# Van de graaff generator as a current source

I know that van de graaff generator is a high voltage generator, i was wondering though if we can use it as a current source, if we get any resistor, connect the negative terminal to the generator "if the generator generates negative charge " then ground the positive terminal, then any charge that appears on the sphere will be immediately pulled to ground, creating a current, using simple formulae we can derive the current, is that feasible or not?

phinds
Gold Member
I know that van de graaff generator is a high voltage generator, i was wondering though if we can use it as a current source, if we get any resistor, connect the negative terminal to the generator "if the generator generates negative charge " then ground the positive terminal, then any charge that appears on the sphere will be immediately pulled to ground, creating a current, using simple formulae we can derive the current, is that feasible or not?
Sure, it's feasible as far as I can see but it is a HUGE waste of electricity to do that since the amount of current you'll get is tiny vs the amount you have to use to get it.

Yea i know, i calculated it, and the efficiency was extremely low

Just wanted to know if it would work, gonna use it to measure how much time does my generator need to reach maximum voltage

phinds
Gold Member
Just wanted to know if it would work, gonna use it to measure how much time does my generator need to reach maximum voltage
I don't get how you could do that.

My plan is by grounding the generator and measuring the current in the wires i can use it to know the time to reach the maximum voltage, can't write the formula now because i am using the mobile app

My plan is by grounding the generator and measuring the current in the wires i can use it to know the time to reach the maximum voltage, can't write the formula now because i am using the mobile app
Assuming I=const the formula is simply t=Vmax⋅C/I

I don't know yet if I is constant, but theoretically, it should be

phinds