How can I build a robust long lasting high voltage generator?

 What I need is system to output a minimum 6000 volts and cyclically spark an electrode. This is for a remote unmanned site and will use a 6V battery connected to a solar charger for the power supply. This is to keep a flame lit for the destruction of uncaptured biogas (methane)? The electrode would be mounted on a burner stack to reignite the gas if the flame blows out. So the output from the generator would need to be pulsed on a cyclical basis to deliver a recurring spark continuously 24/7.

The HV generator and battery would be housed in a weather protected enclosure.

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The reason I suggested something based on an automotive igniton system is that they are built to operate for extended periods of time in a fairly harsh environment under the hood of a vehicle.

I know that a car can be driven tens of thousands of miles without much need to sevice the ignition components. I don't know what that would translate into for lifespan in your application. Your application sounds like it is in an environment that might not be as hot as under a car hood, so it would be reasonable to expect a somewhat longer lifespan if the system is adequately weatherproofed.

If the purpose is just to make an occasional spark to make sure that gas released continues to burn, then it should be possible to operate much more intermittantly than a car ignition, possibly extending lifespan further. Additional circuitry would be needed to turn on the arc intermittantly. If it wouldn't matter if the flame blew out and didn't get reignited for a second or so, then it you could greatly reduce the operating time of the ignition components and save battery life, which would be important in a solar charged application.

The output of an ignition coil will easily ignite a natural gas mixture, so no further voltage step up would be necessary. The output of an ignition coil can easy be on the order of 20kV or more.

lemonie5 years ago
Get the device from an old gas-hob / cooker.

L
rickharris5 years ago
Remember, this sounds like a safety critical application - You need to ensure it fails safe.
Pretty easy to do. You'd use a flash gun circuit from an old camera.,
jmcnabbcmi (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
Could this be built using a DC to DC "up" converter by pulsing/switching using a transistor "trigger" to toggle the input on/off of the DC to create a rising and collapsing field in the primary of a step up transformer or flyback transformer to bump the 6V input up to say 800V - 1000V and then using a series of diodes and capacitors as a high voltage multiplier to output the required 6kV? Could you then use a thyristor or what? to pulse the discharge to the electrode and complete 1 cycle?

If this is correct, would this be a type of system that could reliably operate for a long period of time before component failures?
jmcnabbcmi (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
This would need to be something heavy duty that would pretty much be able to operate with little to no maintenance for an extended period of 2-3 years if possible.

The recurring spark would need to be generated continuously 24/7/365.
You could build one based on an automotive ignition. It could be pulsed briefly once every second or so, to reduce the battery power and solar charger capacity requirements.
jmcnabbcmi (author)  LargeMouthBass5 years ago
Could this be built using a DC to DC "up" converter by pulsing/switching using a transistor "trigger" to toggle the input on/off of the DC to create a rising and collapsing field in the primary of a step up transformer or flyback transformer to bump the 6V input up to say 800V - 1000V and then using a series of diodes and capacitors as a high voltage multiplier to output the required 6kV? Could you then use a thyristor or what? to pulse the discharge to the electrode and complete 1 cycle?

If this is correct, would this be a type of system that could reliably operate for a long period of time before component failures?
jmcnabbcmi (author)  LargeMouthBass5 years ago
What would be the best method to pulse the discharge to the electrode? Another concern is this needs to be able to operate 24/7 for long periods 2-3 years with very little to no maintenance if at all possible.

Could you use a solid state step up transformer by switching the DC that you know of on the market either automotive or marine? I have seen Honeywell 120V AC to 6kV solid state transformers that are used for lighting off boilers or furnaces etc.