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If you wanted to double ac voltage, you could use one of those capacitor diode voltage multipliers. The thing I'm wondering is can you use it on mains? I've only seen people use them with transformers. For example, if you have a european light bulb and wanted to use it, could you use the voltage multiplier? You wouldn't need a massive transformer, so would it work?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Voltage multipliers generate DC. Is that what you want? \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 19 '16 at 0:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah, the light would still work. \$\endgroup\$ – noobboob May 19 '16 at 0:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Use a proper agency listed step up transformer to do this. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Karas May 19 '16 at 0:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ A simple voltage doubler would not be much more dangerous than an ordinary light bulb as-is. There might well be some flicker though, because it would be a half-wave device and at that it would only supply current at voltage peaks. A light bulb of any size might just blink 30 times a second, feebly. \$\endgroup\$ – user56384 May 19 '16 at 3:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Power supply for the legendary "Skinnier Linear" RF amplifier was exactly this. Oddly enough, googling for it doesn't help much but eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=70984.0;wap2 suggests QST magazine, April 1970 has a design example. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Drummond May 19 '16 at 11:25
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Yes, it would work But be aware that voltage multipliers are severely limited in the amount of CURRENT they can provide. They are typically found in applications that need very little current (like bug-zappers or electrostatic gadgets, etc.) And, of course, you are producing DC and not AC if that is important to your (undisclosed) application.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I'd imagine you'd need some pretty high value caps for a decent current. I'll find out what I'll need. Was just confused why they always seem to be used with transformers. \$\endgroup\$ – noobboob May 19 '16 at 0:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Danger Danger - the output is not isolated from mains, so the "ground" is directly connected to mains neutral. Not ground. Not safe. If either the supply or return come into contact with any human, there can be injury or death. This is the real reason everybody uses transformers, the small cost savings does not justify the extreme safety hazard of non-isolated wiring in most cases. \$\endgroup\$ – MarkU May 19 '16 at 1:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Old "AC-DC" Television sets used to be unisolated. They had all-plastic cabinets and no exposed metal connected to the chassis though. And, they were considered dangerous and are not designed anymore. But, I built a simple kit that uses a 30 stage multiplier to create "ions" that discharge in to the air. Pretty pitiful device though. The transformer-powered ones are far more powerful. \$\endgroup\$ – user56384 May 19 '16 at 3:34

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