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Capacitor Charging Systems


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laser pointers

These capacitor chargers are designed for the researcher or advanced hobbyist who may be experimenting with anything from railguns to can crushers, and of course many applications in between. A suitable charging system must allow a programmable amount of voltage to be dialed in so as not overcharge the storage capacitors. It must also not consume valuable real electric power through a charging resistor.

We offer several types of capacitor chargers on this page:
• the CHARGE-series is an automatic & programmable charger for high capacitances up to 10kV (example: energy storage capacitors)
• the HV350 is a versatile charger for lower capacitances up to 35kV (example: hi pot & multipliers)
• the PBK50 is an inexpensive & low-power manual charger up to 30kV (example: ceramic capacitors)
• the CHARGE800V is an inexpensive & low-power manual charger up to 800V (example: electrolytics)

Additional Information about Capacitor Chargers

Programmable Electronic Capacitor Charger
Available in Three Units • from 200 to 1,000 Volts • 1000 to 5000 volts • 5000 to 10,000 volts

High Voltage DC Power Supply

CHARGE-Series Instructions

See the charger in video action:

Wire Exploder

Mass Launcher

Can Crusher

Intended to charge up energy storage capacitors for single event discharges like kinetic weapons, wire exploding, can crushing, explosives metal forming, fracking, and other applications where high peak electrical energy is required in the form of a high brisance explosive like discharge. Units are built with safety as priority and are intended for the professional researcher and hobbyist /student aware of high voltage circuitry and safety. Chargers are used in several of our high power impulse discharge circuits. (See video downloads.)

Fully programmable efficient electronic circuit charges up all capacitor types from 200V to 10kV in 3 models at recommended capacities from 1 ufd and upwards. Example: Charging a 1000 ufd capacitor to 5000 volts equates out to over 12,500 joules!

FEATURES:
  • Units are each voltage programmable by the charge voltage control on the front panel.
  • A charge rate control allows adjustment of charging current/charging time and is especially useful when charging smaller capacitance values (new feature!).
  • A meter monitors the charge voltage as it builds to the preset value and then stops.
  • A push button starts the charging; a second push button aborts the charging.
  • A selector switch allows manual or automatic charging. Manual charging is where charging ceases once the preset value is reached, and operator must push the charge button to maintain the preset voltage. Automatic charging keeps the capacitor indefinitely at the preset value; capacitors automatically charge to and maintain this voltage until discharged, where the cycle repeats (pushing the "stop" button will end the charging cycle).
  • A safety lamp displays any charge over 70 volts that remains on the capacitors.
  • Charging is lossless and does not use a resistor for current control. It is controlled by our unique circuitry.
  • Input power can be either 115/230 VAC power. Charging rate is > 200 to 400 watt-sec.
  • Size is 10.5 x 7 x 3.75" and weight is about 5 pounds.
- Assembled ready to use, charges 200 to 1000 volts at 300 joule/sec ...........$625.00
- Assembled ready to use, charges 1000 to 5000 volts at 400 joule/sec .........$725.00
- Assembled ready to use, charges 4000 to 10000 volts at 400 joule/sec ..... $825.00

Please contact us for any charging requirements for other output values and options.

 

Universal High Voltage Regulated Power Supply
Adjustable Up To 35,000 Volts • Normal Operating Current Can Be >1mA Includes Current-Reducing Lead that Limits to 200uA Output for Almost Shockless OperationCan also serve as a Low Capacitance Charger and Voltage Integrity Tester
High Voltage DC Power Supply
click for expanded view

HV350REG/SAFE Instructions
HV350REG/SAFE Further Info

In "normal" operation this is a highly reliable and versatile power supply for many high voltage laboratory and research applications. Great for ion sources, creating electric fields, object charging, EMP generators, electro kinetic and pulse magnetic systems. Can also be used to charge small energy HV capacitors such as ceramic discs, doorknob capacitors and similar types.

A "safe mode" of operation is achieved by using the included shock-reducing lead which limits current to 200uA, allowing for high voltage output with a minimal shock hazard. This mode is useful for safe studies in cold plasma (where many interesting experiments produce visual and seemingly amazing displays), ion generation, corona, stable electric fields, and other low-current experiments and applications. This low current reduces possible painful electrical shocks if improper contact is made with the output, allowing the power supply to be suitable for use in schools and by the younger hobbyist. This low current mode also provides a convenient way of testing capacitors and multiplier circuits to verify performance before potting is done, preventing costly rework.

This is a voltage-regulated power supply; see the HV350 for our current-regulated version.

Other voltage ranges are available on request.

FEATURES:
  • Adjustable output up to 20kV at 1 milliamp / 35kV at 700ua / open circuit voltage may exceed 35kV at loads < 700ua.
  • Front panel adjustable voltage control with voltmeter, with a panel lamp to indicate “in or out” of regulation.
  • Output is voltage regulated through the output current range.
  • 2 HV output leads are included: a shock-reducing lead for safe operation, and a normal lead for full power operation. Easily switch between them by plugging in to the output connector.
  • Open- and short-circuit protected.
  • Output is end-point grounded for convenience.
  • Unit is powered by an included 3-wire grounded 12VDC 4A adapter (runs on 110-240VAC wall power for both US and international use), and a 2.5mm plug with wire leads is also included should you want to run the power supply from a 12VDC battery.
  • Small and light weight, approximately 8"L x 4.25"W x 4.5"H. Made of an aluminum base with a military gray PVC cover.
  • Highly reliable device can be used for powering ion sources, antigravity lifters, object charging, EMP experimenting, electro kinetic and pulse magnetic systems. Excellent for many laboratory and research applications.
  • This unit has been approved by our testing labs to be around younger students and hobbyists. Nevertheless, qualified adult supervision is suggested.
- 5-35kV up to 1mA Positive (+) Output ... $249.50
- 5-35kV up to 1mA Negative (-) Output ... $249.50

- 500-5000V up to 4mA Positive (+) Output ... $219.50
- 500-5000V up to 4mA Negative (-) Output ... $219.50

Optional 12V Battery:
- Rechargeable 12V, 7AH battery for field use, 6 x 2.5 x 3.7" ... $29.95
 
Click Above to See Video of HV350 in Use

Note: NEVER power 12V electronics from 12V battery chargers, as the chargers can operate up to 20V and may ruin your circuitry. Battery chargers should only be used to charge batteries, never as power supplies.


Lower Cost Manually-Operated Charger and Power Supply
Ideal for testing door knob and high voltage disk ceramic capacitors to over 30kV
High Voltage DC Power Supply

Low Power Input, High Voltage Ceramic Capacitor Charger and Test Jig

These low powered devices may be used for battery or solar applications. They are short circuit proof and suitable for capacitor charging without a current limiting resistor. They may also be used as low power high voltage power supplies.

Small lightweight unit measuring 5-½ x 2-¼ x 1-½” converts 12V DC to over 30kV DC for charging capacitors or just supplying a potential. Use the included adapter for wall power (runs on 110-240VAC for US or international operation), or can be used with 8 AA alkaline batteries in a cradle (not included) that can produce >90,000 Joules (!). The charge rate is about 0.25 joule/sec. Higher voltage units available on request.

This device is best-suited for use with our ceramic capacitors or similar (taking care to not overcharge the smaller capacitors). For charging photo flash and electrolytic capacitors (or similar), the CHARGE800V is better suited.

An external voltmeter is required to monitor charge. Small value capacitors must be charged by merely tapping the charge push button, as voltage value can be easily and quickly exceeded.

PBK50 Instructions

- Assembled Power Supply with 12V wall adapter ... $79.95

High Capacitance Electrolytic & Photoflash Capacitor Charger and Tester
Great for charging electrolytic capacitors from 100 to 800 Volts at 100 to 5000 ufd.

Electrolytic Capacitor Charger

Handy electronic circuit charges up electrolytic capacitors from 100 to 800 volts at 30ma. Recommended capacities are between 100 to 5000 ufd. This equates out to over 3000 joules! (Note that the kinetic energy of a .30-06 is 750 joules.) This little unit charges up our 5kJ banks to 800 volts in 7 minutes, for several hand held personnel kinetic contracts we are developing.

Just connect a capacitor and hold the charge button. It is recommended that the user initially monitors the voltage with his own external voltmeter until the desired voltage is reached, whereupon an internal adjustment can then be set for the indicator lamp to illuminate at that voltage, which will then alert the user when to stop the charging cycle on subsequent charges. (This setting can be readjusted for any different target voltage.)

Great for testing parts with identical voltage ratings, to prevent over charging and potentially dangerous explosions, or to prevent circuit damage if using a bank of capacitors in a parallel or series combination such as for lasers, electro kinetic, and other projects.

Charging is current controlled by our unique circuitry. Input power is 12V DC, either with the included 12V wall adapter, or from a 12V battery such as C or D cells in a cradle. Charging rate is over 25 (watt-sec) joules. Size is 5 x 4 x 2”

CHARGE800V Instructions

- Assembled & ready to use with 12V wall adapter ... $99.95
Charges up to 800 volts at 25 joule/sec.
  This device is best-suited for use with photo flash and electrolytic capacitors. For charging ceramic capacitors (or similar), the PBK50 is better suited.