Title

Cleaning Air with High Voltage

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Poster Presentation

Challenges Theme

Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities

Your Location

Windsor, Ontario

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

DR. TJ Hammond

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Electrical breakdown is an event in which current flows through an electrical insulator when a sufficient voltage is applied across it, known as the breakdown voltage. When this voltage is applied, the electrical insulator becomes partly, momentarily, electrically conductive. The Tesla coil is a large-scale electrical resonant transformer circuit designed to produce high-voltage, low-current, and high frequency alternating current electricity. This device wonderfully demonstrates electrical breakdown, leading to a bright spark as the electrons arc through the air.

The solid-state Tesla coil is designed with two solenoids (primary and secondary), each connected to a resonant circuit, which are loosely coupled to one another. Each solenoid is a hollow insulating tube wrapped in conducting wire; we control the voltage step through the ratio of the number of turns on each solenoid. Through the properties of electromagnetic induction and resonance, the two circuits charge and discharge at the same frequency and the voltage in the secondary coil resonates, leading to the breakdown voltage. Once the breakdown voltage is met, the air surrounding the secondary capacitance begins to ionize and conduct electricity.

The resulting high energy electrons fly through the hot air where they breakdown into a plasma of glowing ion filaments. The bright spark generated by the breakdown has a characteristic colour depending on the air molecules, such as oxygen, nitrogen, or even pollutants. We will perform careful spectroscopic analysis to determine the molecular species in the breakdown region, allowing for monitoring the air quality in our environment and communities.

Share

COinS
 

Cleaning Air with High Voltage

Electrical breakdown is an event in which current flows through an electrical insulator when a sufficient voltage is applied across it, known as the breakdown voltage. When this voltage is applied, the electrical insulator becomes partly, momentarily, electrically conductive. The Tesla coil is a large-scale electrical resonant transformer circuit designed to produce high-voltage, low-current, and high frequency alternating current electricity. This device wonderfully demonstrates electrical breakdown, leading to a bright spark as the electrons arc through the air.

The solid-state Tesla coil is designed with two solenoids (primary and secondary), each connected to a resonant circuit, which are loosely coupled to one another. Each solenoid is a hollow insulating tube wrapped in conducting wire; we control the voltage step through the ratio of the number of turns on each solenoid. Through the properties of electromagnetic induction and resonance, the two circuits charge and discharge at the same frequency and the voltage in the secondary coil resonates, leading to the breakdown voltage. Once the breakdown voltage is met, the air surrounding the secondary capacitance begins to ionize and conduct electricity.

The resulting high energy electrons fly through the hot air where they breakdown into a plasma of glowing ion filaments. The bright spark generated by the breakdown has a characteristic colour depending on the air molecules, such as oxygen, nitrogen, or even pollutants. We will perform careful spectroscopic analysis to determine the molecular species in the breakdown region, allowing for monitoring the air quality in our environment and communities.