High voltage device (1 to 3kV, low) control using Arduino

Hi All,

I am trying to control a high voltage (~2.5 kV) using Arduino Uno for now. I have a few dielectric actuators that actuate at (~2 kV).

I want to have control on multiple of these using a single high DC voltage source and the control signal I want is from Arduino to select which one actuates based on the signal.

Currently, I have EMCO AG60P-5 (http://www.emcohighvoltage.com/proportional/agseries.php) for DC-DC high voltage proportional conversion.

I have looked at a couple of threads (Multiplier: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=153684.0) and (Driving Hgh voltage modules: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=164109.0).

I am looking for a simple solution where I shall be able to control multiple actuators using a single
Arduino and a single High voltage EMCO device.
One of the ideas I was thinking is to connect with a power MOSFET as a switch between EMCO and actuators and have multiple gates from each power MOSFET to be controlled by Arduino which can manipulate the actuation signal. However, when I tried directly connecting Power MOSFET (XTT02N450HV) with HV supply, it's always on and doesn't switch.
On the other hand, when I connect EMCO directly to the actuator, it doesn't work either. However, if an OPAMP is connected with EMCO, then actuator works.

Can anyone help in this regard and simplify the circuit to have minimum components as possible?

Do you mean an IXTF02N450 mosfet? Needs 10 or 12V drive, and you'll have to do low-side switching,
ie MOSFETs between actuators and ground.

You'll need a gate driver IC to protect the gate from dV/dt damage, and be very careful about
layout w.r.t. flashover.

And of course these voltages pose great risk if you don't limit the current with specialized high voltage
resistors - ordinary resistors will simply flashover at kV levels.

There are some very high voltage opto-couplers available, they might be more flexible and
easy to use. No idea of pricing though, probably high.

The MOSFETs can be stacked, such as in the above picture, and gated on to provide the desired output voltage. I worked on x-ray equipment that did something similar to control 150KV down to the desired output level. The individual MOSFETs used could only take 60V across the individual MOSFET but with stacking the MOSFETs a high degree of output control was obtained. Be ware of how close the MOSFETs are placed to each other to prevent MOSFET to MOSFET arching.

Thanks for the responses MarkT and Idahowalker.

For Idahowalker, just having an increased number of MOSFETs will only make the circuit more cumbersome rather than simplifying as it will also need a resistive ladder network as shown. In addition, when I want to use multiple of the actuators, I will have to repeat the same setup each time.

MarkT:
Yes, MOSFET should be between actuator and GND as a pull-up. I believe this will give the flexibility to have multiple actuators lined parallel to each other from the same high-voltage source EMCO.

I am still wondering, can I directly plug in a positive bias of say (4V at Vg for MOSFET to turn it on) while Vdd is connected to high-V (through actuator) and Vss is ground? I mean this without actually having any resistive network.

For isolation, if we see the datasheet of EMCO, it says it comes with isolation that means we may not need external isolation. However, how about this optoisolator board (SparkFun Opto-isolator Breakout - BOB-09118 - SparkFun Electronics) between input from Arduino and input to HV EMCO directly?

Or do I still need current amplifier somewhere?

Thanks

ssfaizan:
MarkT:
I am still wondering, can I directly plug in a positive bias of say (4V at Vg for MOSFET to turn it on) while Vdd is connected to high-V (through actuator) and Vss is ground? I mean this without actually having any resistive network.

You need to drive the gate properly or you'll blow up the MOSFET. 4V is not the correct voltage for those
devices at all. 10 or 12V is required, preferrably 12V as they have a very high plateau voltage of 8V or so
from the graphs.

You need to use a gate driver IC so that the gate voltage is controlled well, otherwise dV/dt effects will
just blow up the MOSFET. You must use only small values of gate resistor, if at all, for this reason.

Or do I still need current amplifier somewhere?

You need a gate driver IC to drive the MOSFET gate, its exactly the part for the job.

Expect issues at these voltages, anything over about 30V on the gate however briefly will instantly
destroy the MOSFET, and you will be swinging output voltages at extreme dV/dt values meaning
that tiny amounts of stray capacitance will inject quite large currents into the low voltage parts of
the circuit if you don't plan around the issue and shield well and layout things well.

ssfaizan:
Hi All,

I am trying to control a high voltage (~2.5 kV) using Arduino Uno for now. I have a few dielectric actuators that actuate at (~2 kV).

I want to have control on multiple of these using a single high DC voltage source and the control signal I want is from Arduino to select which one actuates based on the signal.

Currently, I have EMCO AG60P-5 (http://www.emcohighvoltage.com/proportional/agseries.php) for DC-DC high voltage proportional conversion.

I have looked at a couple of threads (Multiplier: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=153684.0) and (Driving Hgh voltage modules: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=164109.0).

I am looking for a simple solution where I shall be able to control multiple actuators using a single
Arduino and a single High voltage EMCO device.
One of the ideas I was thinking is to connect with a power MOSFET as a switch between EMCO and actuators and have multiple gates from each power MOSFET to be controlled by Arduino which can manipulate the actuation signal. However, when I tried directly connecting Power MOSFET (XTT02N450HV) with HV supply, it's always on and doesn't switch.
On the other hand, when I connect EMCO directly to the actuator, it doesn't work either. However, if an OPAMP is connected with EMCO, then actuator works.

Can anyone help in this regard and simplify the circuit to have minimum components as possible?

Hi I am also looking to do the same, but I just need to control 1 dielectric elastomer actuator with the EMCO AGH60-5. Please can I ask if you have succeeded in solving your issue?

My issue now is that the output voltages are in millivolts. I am not sure if using PWM is the issue or if I am doing something else wrong.

Hey everyone,

I'm also currently working on dielectric elastomer actuator project. I have couple of questions regarding the construction of a voltage control board. Through this research article, its recommended that you use "a resonant converter combined with a Greinacher voltage doubler is used to supply a DE load."(https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058576_Development_of_a_high_voltage_source_for_dielectric_elastomer_actuators_DEA). Would anyone know the specifics on the parts used for this circuit?

medindav002:
Hey everyone,

I'm also currently working on dielectric elastomer actuator project. I have couple of questions regarding the construction of a voltage control board. Through this research article, its recommended that you use "a resonant converter combined with a Greinacher voltage doubler is used to supply a DE load."(https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326058576_Development_of_a_high_voltage_source_for_dielectric_elastomer_actuators_DEA). Would anyone know the specifics on the parts used for this circuit?

Google "multivibrator" and look at the images. Look for a schematic with component values.

Paul