Originally, the Tesla transformer was developed to transmit energy and messages wirelessly. But it did not prove itself for either of these applications, so today it is only used for research purposes. Over time, the Tesla transformer has evolved and improved. Today it is possible with Tesla transformers to generate powerful and highly precise controlled discharges. During operation, impressive high-voltage discharges occur at the transformer.
A tesla transformer is basically a high voltage generator that achieves a voltage boost by using two magnetically coupled LC series resonant circuits of the same resonant frequency. The Dual Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil (DRSSTC) built in this work has a high power IGBT half bridge module to excite the primary resonant circuit at the resonant frequency. The IGBTs are driven in such a way that audible pressure waves, and therefore music, are generated by the electrical discharges at the high voltage electrode.
Within the scope of this work were the following two questions:
- How is a DRSSTC designed and built?
The DRSSTC system realized in this work is about 80 cm high and reaches about one-meter-long discharges. The design, development, and construction of the transformer are documented in detail and extensively in this thesis.
- How does one measure an electrical voltage of 200,000 V, which changes sign more than 100,000 times per second?
Two approaches have been taken to measure the voltages. Derived from the energy balance of an ideal capacitor and an ideal coil, a secondary voltage of about 200 kV was calculated via secondary current measurement. The second approach uses a voltage measurement via an in-house developed measuring electrode and a calculated divider ratio between the measured voltage and the secondary voltage. A relatively unrealistic secondary voltage of about 750 kV was measured since the divider ratio depends on approximate values. Nevertheless, the measuring electrode can be used for investigations of the voltage curve, or the divider ratio can be calibrated via the secondary current measurement.
The development of such a transformer laid the foundation for much further research and scientific analysis.