I am happy to announce that my pocket extra-strong static electricity generator project is now complete and works well.

However there is one problem, I am often getting zapped severely (to the extent I get muscle contractions) by touching the wire that carries out the high voltage negative output even though it is supposedly insulated.

My guess is that the wire is too thin, what is the easiest way to solve this problem? Is it best that I insulate it further with hot glue?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Stray capacitance holds and couples energy insulation breakdown of plastic is about 5k ~8kV/mm \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jul 13 '18 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TonyEErocketscientist Yes the negative output is much higher in voltage than my body, because of my body resistance and I get shocked because of the voltage difference. \$\endgroup\$ – Edenia Jul 13 '18 at 3:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no way to have 0V on the negative lead of a floating 20kV output. Using rubber insulated wire pairs , treat both as live. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jul 13 '18 at 3:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TonyEErocketscientist No I didn't said I have 0V at the negative lead of a floating 20kV output. In fact the negative output (that goes to ground) is where a number close to 20kV moves through. As far as I know it does not have to be 0, but just different than your skin in order to get shocked, because of the electrons jumping from one another. \$\endgroup\$ – Edenia Jul 13 '18 at 3:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BlairFonville I see. Well, one thing to know when making English jokes - they don't always work with Bulgarian :) I even thought it is an insult haha. We say to mental people that they've been hit by electricity many times. \$\endgroup\$ – Edenia Jul 14 '18 at 9:47

I haven't tested it buy my gut feeling is the breakdown of hotglue will be below 5kV

Some high voltage electric tapes are rated up to ~70kV, make sure there is a continuous wrap that is clean as any residue on the tape could conduct. Any residue on the outside of the wire could also conduct.

The best way would be to get some high voltage wire that has a breakdown above that of the voltage you are experimenting with.

  • \$\begingroup\$ what about optical fiber cable? It is not conductive at all, but surely harder to implement. \$\endgroup\$ – Edenia Jul 13 '18 at 3:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with that will be getting a wrap without gaps , even something smaller than a pinhole can leak out the electric charge as the air will conduct, it then forms a plasma and blows a hole through the insulation to some extent \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Jul 13 '18 at 3:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ 5kv is surely not sufficient, but if it is outside the wire insulation it could be beneficial at least to keep it from zapping me. hotglue melts easily so it makes sense that it has a fairly subtle breakdown cap \$\endgroup\$ – Edenia Jul 13 '18 at 3:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes the ionized air is highly conductive, especially under my clothes, where the space is very small. I am almost always getting shocked if I put the wires under my clothes. \$\endgroup\$ – Edenia Jul 13 '18 at 3:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ It was just the paint ( low pF) no worse that neoprene shoes on a nylon carpet with ESD on a door knob. If you wish to safeguard with a current limiting, add a current limiting with carbon sparkplug wire. 10k to 36kOhm/m. I first noticed the silent discharges called Partial Discharge, PD on an AM radio. ... millions of research articles on this subject \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jul 13 '18 at 3:47

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