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I have a high voltage power supply which can power up to 30 kV with respect to ground. However, for my experiment (something like the one used in photocopier machines) I need a high negative DC supply. So how can I convert a positive let's say 20kV into -20kV. I'm a material scientist with a limited knowledge about electrical and electronics machines.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Swap positive and negative? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 1:46

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Yeah seriously, the comment on your question is actually the right answer. Assuming the power supply outputs are isolated/floating (I'd be shocked if such a high voltage supply didn't have floating output -- and you would be too), then the easiest way is to connect the negative terminal of your supply to thing you want to energize to -20kV and your positive lead to whatever your reference is. The power-supply does what it always does and attempts to force 20kV between the positive and negative terminals. Voltage is always a differential measurement, and with the floating the supply you can choose your reference to be whatever you like.

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