Author Topic: Van de Graaf Voltage measurement with voltage sensor and voltage divider  (Read 583 times)

Offline vK

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Hello! I'm working on a Van de Graaf generator project, where I want to model the orbit of 2 planets with it, simulating gravity as an electrostatic force. In order to do this, my plan is to maintain a specific charge on the van de graff generator using feedback control, sensing the voltage of the top dome, and then controlling the speed of the belt motor to maintain a certain desired voltage. However I'm having problems with how to measure the voltage of the Van de Graff generator.

I read the previous post on this topic, however I don't have access to a field mill, and I'm trying to look for a budget friendly sensor ~ Ideally something around 200-300 dollars, ideally much less though. Additionally, I'm planning to estimate the voltage from the spark length, but, I would like to be able to measure the voltage digitally to implement feedback control.

My initial plan was to use an arduino 25 range voltage sensor with a voltage divider to step down the voltage for measurement. However, I came to the thought that as soon as I touch the leads of the measurement device to the generator, the van de graff dome will lose all it's charge. Basically I want to ask if I'm correct to think this, and if there's a way to make it work in spite of this limitation. I'd really appreciate any feedback you have for me.

This is a link to the specific generator I bought. It claims to reach up to 325,000 volts, which I would like to be able to measure.
https://sci-supply.com/van-de-graaff-generator-325kv-220-240-vac-model-converter/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw65-zBhBkEiwAjrqRMI-8Jm5gD0KK806At4YFtRegPonQgmNaM9Vs-KeSb1wpzzmqRn5REhoCZIEQAvD_BwE

Offline Mads Barnkob

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I think you can find some ideas on how to do it, from this thread on Tesla coils measuring topload voltage: https://highvoltageforum.net/index.php?topic=2625.0
https://kaizerpowerelectronics.dk - Tesla coils, high voltage, pulse power, audio and general electronics
https://www.youtube.com/KaizerPowerElectronicsDk60/join - Please consider supporting the forum, websites and youtube channel!

Offline haversin

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A very simple voltage control is to use a corona gap. Position a small sphere near the top dome and ground this small sphere thru a large resistance. If the voltage of the dome rises the corona current increases and loading down the VDG voltage and if the voltage lowers the decrease in corona current lets the VDG voltage go higher. The distance between the small sphere and dome determines the voltage.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2024, 07:01:32 PM by haversin »

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