Maximum "Safe" Amperage

 * Originally By: Dave Halliday
 * Originally To: Jonathan Luthje
 * Originally Re: Maximum "Safe" Amperage
 * Original Area: FIDOElectron
 * Forwarded by : Richard Quick

JL> Gday All,
JL> I'm currently in the process of gathering all the design specs
JL> for a tesla coil and i need to know what is the maximum safe 
JL> output amperage at 1.2 Million Volts (1200 kV).

The trick with the Tesla Coil is its very high operating frequency. The
higher the frequency, the less the current will actually penetrate the
conductor and the more it "wants" to just flow along the outside.

At the 100KHz to 500KHz ( give or take ) that the Tesla Coil operates,
there is almost zero current flowing through the body of the conductor.

Your only concern is actual electrical and thermal burns where the arc
hits you.  Hold a length of copper pipe or something to draw the arc.

Additionally, it is really really really good to operate the coil with
some form of variable power input so that you can tune it at low power
before running it out to full.  This will protect your power supply and
enable you to regulate it's operation.  ( NOTE: Solid State lamp-type
dimmers will not work well in this application because they are designed
to drive resistive loads and not the highly inductive load a Tesla Coil
presents )

Anyway, with the Variac or PowerStat ( to brand names of these
controllers ) you can have someone run the power up to the point where
it becomes uncomfortable for you to sustain the arc but no higher.

Dave Halliday

 ! Origin: Grey Matter * Seattle, WA * (206) 528-1941  (1:343/210.0)

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