Extreme High Voltage: Water Drop Triggered Arc Gap Vaporization Experiment Setup

I’m experimenting with using water drops to trigger the arc-spark in an air gap. I hope to be able to inject enough energy into a falling water droplet to atomize it. Not literally to atoms, of course… but maybe there will even be some splitting at the molecular level into ions, who knows.

There are some theories, largely discredited, that arc discharges in water can release extra energy in the form of momentum imparted to the “fog” generated by atomizing the liquid water. I’m interested in making some photographs, if I can manage it, of the arc entering the falling water droplet.

For more on the possibility of water arcs releasing stored energy in the water, please refer to the work of Peter Graneau and Neal Graneau. Unfortunately, the best research has shown that the particular paradigms used by the Graneaus do not manage actually to release or produce any excess momentum or electrical energy beyond that which is supplied to their systems by the arc discharge itself. The “unusual” phenomena that the Graneaus rely on as experimental evidence for their theory are actually better explained by supersonic shock wave energy transfers in the water arc chamber, and the simplistic Conservation of Momentum argument they use is fatally flawed in its circularity and its failure to account for experimental results.

The High Voltage is produced by another scavenged TV flyback transformer, driven by a ZVS driver (the same one I used in the Jacob’s Ladder videos). The driver uses 2 ea. IRFP260 mosfets in a Royer-oscillator type arrangement and can take up to 28-30 volts input. Ten turns of #14 stranded wire, center tapped, on the outer part of the flyback’s ferrite frame make the flyback’s new primary. I used a capacitor stack made of 10 ea. 400 pF 30 kV strontium titanate doorknob caps in parallel to make the 4 nF cap bank. The gap itself is made from a couple of brass acorn nuts screwed onto the ends of some phenolic threaded rod, and is installed inside a plastic mayonnaise jar. There is a tiny pond fountain pump in the big jar to make the stream of water, and a little valve to regulate it down to drops at whatever rate I need.

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