Following my various high voltage experiments, the need for high voltage components became clear. Unfortunately these are among the most expensive parts.

So I've decided to try building some of them myself - in this case a high voltage capacitor.
Using plastic foil (from various shopping bags) and aluminum foil, the only other ingredient required was patience: in cutting everything with the scissors, and putting the parts together using tape.

I've used two pieces of 30cmX40cm plastic foil, cut into 3 equal longitudinal parts (10cmX40cm). Some smaller stripes of aluminum foil (to avoid arc overs), say 7cm x 37cm.

The 2 plastic foils were used as one single ticker foil, and they served as dielectric. Making some initial measurements (a must do!), showed they can withstand 10KV without puncturing.

So one layer of dielectric, one of aluminum foil, another of of dielectric, and so on, everything put together in this topology:

======= (dielectric)
------- (A)
======= (dielectric)
------- (B)
======= (dielectric)
------- (A)
======= (dielectric)
------- (B)
======= (dielectric)
------- (A)
======= (dielectric)
------- (B)
======= (dielectric)

The 3 A's are connected together using well insulated wire, and so are the B's. Basically at the end you need to connect one capacitor wire to A and another to B. I've used red - high voltage wires.

Then roll everything together to minimize the used space, and try to compress them as good as possible, since tiny air spaces can affect the capacitance. Even so, my homemade capacitor had variable capacitance on the pressure applied to it.

See this video for more details:

Cheers,
Radu Motisan

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