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Re: [TCML] Science Fair Project
On 11/16/12 9:17 AM, plasticanvil wrote:
I would like to experiment with a Tesla coil for a Science Fair in
mid-January. I can’t just do a show and tell. I need a hypothesis and a
variable, data collection and something I can prove. I'd like to measure the
performance of the Tesla coil and change some variable to increase it. This is
kind of the idea I’m thinking of… varying the coil rotations or length, type of
capacitor, or the gap length to produce different results.
A good quantitative experiment might be to experimentally validate John
Freau's empirical "spark length in inches = 1.7*sqrt(input pwr in
Build a coil with a breakout point and go to a ground point (something
like a ring stand).. Use a variac to adjust the power. Carefully
measure the AC power going into the coil. At each power setting, adjust
the coil for peak performance.
The challenge is that for a given coil size, you don't get a lot of
power range where it works. When you get too low, it stops breaking out.
Maybe another way is to vary the loss in the primary by using a variable
resistor (salt water is easy, and will take the HV, and you can measure
it with a standard meter with the power off)
You run at constant voltage into the system, so the only thing varying
is the series resistance. You can measure current and voltage .. but to
do it right, you'd really need to use an oscilloscope (but maybe you
have one available or can borrow one).
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