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High voltage discharge capacitor help? Answered

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I recently got a 50uf 2000 volt polarized pulse discharge capacitor to blow stuff up. I tried to charge it with a microwave transformer rectified by a single HV diode, but that did not work. My plan was to fire up the microwave transformer, close HV switch #1 to charge the cap, open HV switch #1, and turn off the microwave transformer. Then I would close HV switch #2, and would send power to "load", in this case an orange (see diagram). However, when I closed HV switch #1 (which is a nail in a piece of wood and a rod on a PVC pipe), I would get arcs. Then, when I closed HV switch #2, nothing happened. I even tried shorting the cap with a rod, but it had not charged. Before this test, I tested the capacitor by charging it to 120 volts and it worked fine (I got a spark). Also, there is no internal resistor to discarge the capacitor after a long period of time. Should I try a full bridge rectifier with 4 diodes instead of a single diode?

I will also include a schematic of the circuit (you might have to zoom in in order to see it).

3 Replies

TimTD (author)2011-04-08

Thanks, I'll try both the resistor and full bridge rectifier. I have the resistors, but I need to buy some HV diodes for a bridge rectifier. I will also make a voltage divider to measure the voltage on the capacitor.

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The MadScientist (author)2011-03-29

I would suggest the full bridge rectifier or possibly a higher current source.

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steveastrouk (author)2011-03-28

Odd on what's happened is you saturated the transformer core with the dead short presented by the empty cap.

Put a suitable high voltage resistor in series with the cap to limit the peak current to the transformers orginal rating.


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