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Author Topic: How can I make this static electricity device stronger?  (Read 1227 times)
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I recently made a pretty simple device to constantly and rapidly charge a person up with static electricity.

The main part of the device is simply a cheap component called a "Negative Ion Generator".  Which runs off of AC, so I'm using a cheap inverter to convert the DC from a typical 9v battery, or 12v lipo, into usable current for the device.  The main wire off the Ion generator attaches to a piece of aluminum that is put against the skin, and another ground wire attaches to the bottom of the shoe.

It works pretty decent, and can allow someone to generate a pretty constant stream of 1/8 - 1/4 sparks from their fingers to any grounded metal.  But I want to see if I can make it stronger.

I tried ordering more Ion generators, and actually hooked 3 of them up in parallel, thinking this would drastically increase my output, however to my surprise, I saw absolutely no increase at all, in fact, it was possibly even a little weaker.  I know the lipo battery can supply more than enough power, and the inverter is rated for more current than all 3 of these things draw.

Can anyone explain why this didn't work the way I expected, or offer any advice how to make it stronger.  Would like to increase my spark length as long as possible.
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I tried ordering more Ion generators, and actually hooked 3 of them up in parallel, thinking this would drastically increase my output, however to my surprise, I saw absolutely no increase at all,

Sparks need voltage, not amps. Put them in series.


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The length of a spark depends on voltage, not on current.  Putting ion generators in parallel will increase the current (number of electrons being moved) but no the voltage (force applied to push electrons).  For higher voltage you need to increase the turns ratio in the high-voltage transformer.  Either reduce the number of turns in the primary winding or increase the number of turns in the secondary winding.
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Or increase the voltage into the transformer. That is run the ion generator at a higher voltage.
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Increasing the voltage definitely makes sense, although I'm a little bit confused about how to do so in the example of static electricity, since doesn't it behave differently than typical current?

Its my understanding (and I could be wrong about some of this, so correct me if I'm mistaken on anything) that voltage boils down to one object having more negative electrons than the other.  In the sake of the static electricity I'm going for with this device, the body collects more negative electrons than its surroundings.   Its my understanding that the negative ion generator, to be simplified, constantly floods the body with negative electrons.  So isn't voltage constantly increasing, simply by more and more negative electrons flowing from the device onto the body, before they are discharged?  Basically making the body like a capacitor.

Thats why I was figuring 3 in parallel would work, is because they would all 3 be flooding the body with negative electrons 3 times as fast, and building voltage 3 times as fast.  But apparently not.  But then is it even possible to somehow increase this with a transformer instead?  And if so, how?

Here is a link to the ion generators I'm using http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/SW-750/IONIZER/1.html .

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Here is a link to the ion generators I'm using http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/SW-750/IONIZER/1.html .

7.5KV is already quite high. That will cause a pretty good spark, I believe. ESD [electrostatic discharge]
involves voltages up to 40-50KV or so, but at VERY VERY low currents. If the currents aren't VERY VERY
low, you're gonna electrocute somebody, so it's nice to know what the heck you're doing - after all,

"Carl1864's Electric Chair".

However, since the link actually says "Output: 7.5 KV 60 Hz", it sounds like the ion generator is actually
outputting a changing voltage, and not simply storing a high-voltage up, waiting for discharge. Just
remember before implementing anything,

"Carl1864's Electric Chair".
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Thats why I was figuring 3 in parallel would work, is because they would all 3 be flooding the body with negative electrons 3 times as fast, and building voltage 3 times as fast.  But apparently not. 

No, that's correct.

You don't want "three times as fast" though, you want "three times as many"...
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Some reason I doubt that 7.5kv is at 60hz, if you can safelt check that I would
if its in a decently high range you can use a walton cockroft multiplier to boost it easily
I made a 12 stage one once, which I fed with a joulethief circuit with a hv winding, basically boosted the 1.5v aa battery to 46 volts 150khz which then my multipler boosted to anywhere from 1200-1400 volts, it works prettty well but you may spend a few bucks making one,, mine cost like 30$ and is limited to 1kv input, you would need one with like a 10kv input, maybe ebay may have some cheap ones
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Its my understanding that the negative ion generator, to be simplified, constantly floods the body with negative electrons.  So isn't voltage constantly increasing, simply by more and more negative electrons flowing from the device onto the body, before they are discharged?  Basically making the body like a capacitor.

As the excess electrons on a body build up the body starts to repel negative charges.  Likewise a capacitor only charges up to the voltage applied to it, no matter how long it is connected to that voltage.
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Ion generators use corona discharge, there's not much more voltage you can get once discharge starts!

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It works pretty decent, and can allow someone to generate a pretty constant stream of 1/8 - 1/4 sparks from their fingers to any grounded metal.  But I want to see if I can make it stronger.

Why do you want to go higher?  Sounds painful.  Unless the air is dry you won't get much higher anyway.

To get more voltage the Van-def-Graff is the way to go, and there are _serious_ safety considerations with larger VdGG's.
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Or a real quick way to get a new do.
Btw....
What you are attempting to do is Extremely Dangerous both to you and any "Participants".
Serious injury is the least of your worries.

Bob
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Ion generators use corona discharge, there's not much more voltage you can get once discharge starts!

Quote
It works pretty decent, and can allow someone to generate a pretty constant stream of 1/8 - 1/4 sparks from their fingers to any grounded metal.  But I want to see if I can make it stronger.

Why do you want to go higher?  Sounds painful.  Unless the air is dry you won't get much higher anyway.

To get more voltage the Van-def-Graff is the way to go, and there are _serious_ safety considerations with larger VdGG's.


No, not really painful, just about like touching a doorknob.  Reason I want to make it stronger is simply more fun, and more impressive.  As a kid I remember this one slide I'd go up and down over and over without touching the ground, and could build up to 1" sparks. so I feel like there has got to be some untapped potential.

A van def graff generator is definetly something awesome, however for this project I'm really looking for something that can be worn right on the body (unless I found a good way to make some sort of wearable one)

So anyone know exactly what is the limiting factor on the current design?  Is it the "corona discharge" (I'll have to read more about this)?  Is it perhaps the body simply can't hold more charge (a possiblity, it is a bit humid, however I don't think its the case since I've built up higher charges before the natural way).  Is the output of the ionizer module somehow too low?  Something else?
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Maybe what you really want is a Taser.

Good luck with your practical jokes, bunky, how old are you anyways?


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