How to Make a Voltage Multiplier




About: “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” Nikola Tesla

Hello everyone,
  This instructable will tell you how to make a voltage multiplier! So, lets get started :)

Here is some info about voltage multipliers if you want to know how they work. If not, then skip to the parts list.

Definition - "A voltage multiplier is an electrical circuit that converts AC electrical power from a lower voltage to a higher DC voltage by means of capacitors and diodes combined into a network." - Wikipedia

My definition - Voltage multipliers rectify low voltage AC to high voltage DC (pulsed). It uses a series of capacitors and diodes to simultaneously step up and rectify the AC to DC. Most of its uses are obviously applications that require high voltages...

     The type of multiplier we will be making is called a 'half-wave' multiplier. I think its the simplest, yet efficient for my purposes. full-wave multipliers are more efficient in the sense that, there is less ripple voltage. Basically, ripple = bad, bad = Less current and voltage out. A voltage multiplier consists of 'stages' each stage doubles the peak output of the ACinput. the more stages, the higher the voltage. In this 'ible, I only make a 2 and 3 stage multiplier because my breadboard isn't big enough to support that and its not even rated for that voltage anyway :P

The following is the parts required for building the EXACT replica of my voltage multiplier. you can easily modify to your needs though. Like add more stages and stuff...

six 330VDC 80uF capacitors (you can get them from the single use cameras at wal-mart.)
seven 1A 400v (minimum) diodes (1N4004)
A breadboard, (or something to mount the components)
22 AWG jumper wire or just regular solid 22 AWG wire.
A wall wart- 16VAC or equivalent. (750ma)
misc alligator clips (for temporary testing)

Multimeter (for testing purposes)
wire snips (to take off the insulation on the wire)

Step 1: NOTE!

I am not responsible If you get hurt/die from accidentally touching or coming into contact with the HV output!

Proceed to the next step to start building!

Step 2: Schematic

Making this will be kind of hard since some breadboards are different so I drew a schematic of what we are making. 3 Stage Half-Wave Voltage Multiplier!

Step 3: Build the Capacitor and Diode Array

try to follow the pictures the best you can, I took so many pictures so that I could explain in the photo instead of words because it will become WAY to confusing if I was saying the letters and number pins the you put the components in.

Make sure that each side of capacitors is linked in series like so: Pos + to Neg - Pos + to neg -
The very first diode goes from ground to the Pos + of C1, then from the Pos + of C1to the Pos + of C2, Pos + of C2 to the Pos + of C3 and so on...

Step 4: Prepare Wallwart

Now we are going to prepare the wall wart. Make sure you know which wire is HOT and the other is NEUTRAL first!!! Strip about a half inch of insulation on each wire then attach the alligator clips.

Step 5: Hook Everything Up!

The easiest thing to do is look at the pictures... I detailed them the best I could.

connect the alligator clip ends to the AC input (the Wall wart ones!) and connect 2 alligator clips to the HV out and ground to the multimeter. Turn on the power and your done!! the multimeter should display roughly the AC input 3 * to DC output.

Step 6: END!

Thank you for reading My instructable!! If you have any comments or suggestions the feel free to post! If you need help you can post it here or PM me. Thanks again!

3rd Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
3rd Epilog Challenge



    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest

    69 Discussions


    Reply 1 year ago

    look up how to make a boost converter

    PATEL Rinkesh

    2 years ago

    if we using 24VAC suppy for crockroft walton voltage multiplier for 8 stage

    then which kind of ratings of capacitor we nedded for the circuit ???????

    plzzz ans sir///////////////////////////////


    5 years ago

    DOESNT WORK WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY i have tried everything WHYYYYYYY im going to sleep fck this

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Well as one of my first instructables I don't think it was very good to not include an actual schematic of the device. I attached the pic in my reply, it is not the EXACT same as my project (I added another stage) but if you follow the schematic then it will work fine. Another thing to note is that if you plan on using the DC output for anything important you are going to need a nice fat uF capacitor to buffer the output so there won't be any oscilation


    Reply 3 years ago

    Mubud, I seriously need to show you my setup as I am having problem making a Voltage Multiplier to Power my High Voltage Electromagnet that needs nothing less than 4000VDC to function properly. the first Capacitor on the Rigth line is always getting Hot and exploding!

    Please how can I reach you via email so that I can send all the pictures of What I have done so far including the pictures of my wiring Burst Caps etc.

    I please just need your help privately. darediamond"at" is my contact email address. May I know yours please


    Reply 2 years ago

    The capacitors in the tutorial are rated for 330vdc; if the voltage is stepped to high, the capacitors will heat & explode. To workaround this get higher rated capacitors.


    Reply 2 years ago

    The capacitors can only handle 330VDC. Theoretically with higher-rated capacitors you might be able to step up to over 440V., but with these capacitors they'll probably explode, as the Unibrow showed us.


    2 years ago

    can u specify which capacitors and diodes are used???


    Reply 3 years ago

    just put a transformer driver of some kind to suppy the PWM (ZVS drivers work really well)

    Actually u can use... Because in my recent project of recreating a mosquito zapper i used voltage tripler to step up pulsed voltage and it worked fine


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

    I'm pretty sure that wont work because this relies on the pulsing pos/neg current of AC and not pulsed DC


    Reply 3 years ago

    see above comment also there are buck converter that apply pretty much the same principles with a cap and a coil to get the same effect using DC.


    Reply 3 years ago

    The Voltage Doubler

    As its name suggests, a Voltage Doubler is a voltage multiplier circuit which has a voltage multiplication factor of two. The circuit consists of only two diodes, two capacitors and an oscillating AC input voltage (a PWM waveform could also be used). This simple diode-capacitor pump circuit gives a DC output voltage equal to the peak-to-peak value of the sinusoidal input. In other words, double the peak voltage value because the diodes and the capacitors work together to effectively double the voltage.

    DC Voltage Doubler Circuit


    2 years ago

    I'm curious did you consider what the voltage rating of breadboard is before doing this project? I don't know what the ratings of breadboard are, and from a quick internet search it doesn't appear to be readily available information. Having said that though, you wouldn't catch me prototyping high voltage circuits on breadboard. This would be much safer on vero-board with minimal exposed components legs hanging around in the air for a lazy finger to touch and less chance of a wire coming out to be accidentally touched.