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Does mass of top load torus on Tesla coil matter?

  1. Feb 23, 2013 #1
    How does the mass of a toroidal top load on a Tesla coil affect performance, assuming all dimensions are similar except for mass? You see, I have one hollow aluminum torus and one torus made of heavy, mostly solid metal. Both same size, but different weights. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2013 #2
    What performanc do you seek!
    The masses you mention have no effect on the Tesla coil.
    What matters are:-
    The inductance of the primary coil
    Of the secondary coil
    Their self-capacitances
    Their coefficient of coupling (leakage of magnetic flux between them)
    Whether the whole lot, at that coupling resonates at the frequency of the primary current (capacitor discharge)

    If by "top load" you mean the conductors attached to the ends of the secondary coil, what matters is thier "Capacitance to ground) and "capacitance between"
    This will be (in pF) of the same order of magnitude as their dimensions in cm
    They should have no sharp points or corners and be excellently insulated.
  4. Feb 24, 2013 #3
    The torus is an rounded off area that helps prevent the top's very high voltage - not immediately "spark" off - when energized. The shape reduces the voltage stress in the air.

    The mass has nothing to do with this - since this is an AC device, the ability to collect charge is not the purpose, compared to Van de Graaff Generator for example. However the mass still has no effect - since the charge in this case is only electrons - and since they repel each other they reside on the very outer surface - essentially none in the middle.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  5. Feb 24, 2013 #4
    Drmarshall, Windadct, thank you for your most informative reply. Yes, I am primarily concerned with the torus generating a strong electric field, not overly concerned with current generation. Therefore, both your replies make complete sense. I will only be using the Coil as a secondary device for an electric field source, and since I will be using a type of wave-guide to achieve coherence and channel the electric field to yet a third and fourth device, the electric field must be very strong to survive a guided distance of over 10 meters. Your excellent advice therefore is extremely appreciated. Thank you!
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