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Out of curiosity, is it possible to have a current source generating extremely high current? In the magnitude of 100 kA? With low voltage output since the resistance would be 0.1 micro-ohms.

It's very rare to find, I guess due to the fact that there aren't any useful applications that would use high current in that range without completely melting (maybe a single turn loop to generate high magnetic fields for a short duration of time). What would the power source be -- capacitors, a generator? From an engineering standpoint, it seems to be an extremely difficult task.

An interesting attempt.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, obviously you answered your own question -- it clearly IS possible. So what is your actual question for us? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Connect up to a lightning conductor and wait ... \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ It rather depends how long you want 100KA for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is what a spot welder does. I wrote some code for one for a customer, that was a small-ish hand held device that worked with currents up to 10 kA. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you need AC or DC? For how long time do you need this current? \$\endgroup\$
    – Master
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 13:00

4 Answers 4

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Well if money (and space) is no object, I'd look into a homopolar generator. It's a large conductive flywheel that generates a DC voltage from center to outer radius when a magnetic field is passed through the plane of the disk. Good for low voltage crazy high current DC sources. I remember seeing an old ad for a company selling compact 100V 50kA units (well compact as in the size of a couch). The Australian National University used to have a 500Megajoule 2 Million amp homopolar generator, so they can be built real big. Failing that, grab a set of a hundred or so Maxwell Supercapacitors, the 3000F units have short circuit currents of over a thousand amps each at ~2.5V. Or, if you want an even less safe solution, I've clocked Turnigy 6Ahr 90C nanotech Li-Poly batteries at around 750A short circuit (not bad for a $20 battery).

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I don't know about 100,000 A. But here are a couple of videos showing a 50,000 A transformer. Don't try this yourself. You don't have the special mix of crazy and careful and lucky that photonic induction possesses.

50,000 Amp Transformer Completed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXEPy6Za6cI

Building A Monster High Current Transformer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhOzsFfG1rc

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm assuming that is AC, is it possible to convert this to DC? What components can handle 50kA lol \$\endgroup\$
    – Ad99
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it is AC. I think if you want 50kA DC, you should look at a battery system. I don't know if there are diodes that work at that amperage, and even if there are, the forward voltage will be a real problem. Maybe a DC-DC converter could be made workable with IGBT's or something. \$\endgroup\$
    – user57037
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 23:06
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What is your final objective and other constraints? Without something close to a draft spec, it is too vague. But generally I tend to favor Sam's approach for anything but a lab experiment, as the rotational homopolar approach has been done for ship propulsion motors by General Atomics before. Not quite at 100-kA, but if you have the funds, our team at infiniRel is currently building our second prototype of a small homopolar generator without magnets and brushes. The latter killed acyclic machines for continuous operation due to brush wear, efficiency losses, and O&M costs. Our main reason to eliminate them. This is why our team has a different approach, and actually are looking for an electro-magnetics and a turbo-machinery guru to join us. For that type of high current I would re-work the unit with gen-2 HTS wire, high-temperature superconducting material. If you have some capital to go through with this, let's discuss and build a small unit, then leverage General Atomic's interest in Megawatt machines (I briefly discussed with their VP Strategy in at the aerospace show in Bangalore earlier this year), for which it can scale. I know a supplier who has 15-m (48-ft) HTS wire in production today, but I cannot disclose publicly. Now, these high currents come with a high price tag. Not something you'd do in your garage or on a shoestring budget, and we need a lab such as Lawrence Livermore Berkeley to help us test, which is not far from here. This stuff is used in Tokamak's for plasma and fusion confinement in super-strong-magnetic field research, thus it needs to be treated with care.

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These guys have at standard catalog a 24kA Station (Power Station pe5040-W and Power Station pe5240-W)

http://www.plating.de/en/produkte/dc-rectifiers.html

Buy 4 and you have your 100kA, but it will not be very economic

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