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A Homemade Voltage Multiplier (HV DC PSU)
Voltage Multiplier

Paper strips - Power OffUsing a voltage multiplier is a great way to make a high voltage DC power supply. It is very easy to generate high voltages from easily available components.

This page contains information on where to buy the components and how to connect them. It also gives details of sources of mini high voltage power supplys (inverters) which will run from batteries.




 WARNING: Very High Voltage Device!


Paper Strips are electrostaticaly repelled - Power OnYou can see what high voltage static electricity from this device does to a piece of one way window film in the violent discharge experiments section. There are microscope images of the aftermath and a video clip of the explosive action!

For efficiency a voltage multiplier should be powered from a source that is already a relatively high voltage. There are a variety of small battery operated high voltage power supplys available. Many lighting devices contain inverters for powering vacuum tubes such as, florescent lights, cold cathode lights and plasma globes. These types of devices usually run from 12V DC and can output voltages up to around 20kV AC.





Mini cold cathode tube PSU - ~2kV - Maplin
Plasma Globe PSU - ~15kV - Maplin
Mini cold cathode tube PSU - ~1kV
Plasma Globe PSU - ~15kV

HV Capacitors and Diodes



The capacitors and diodes required for the multiplier can be purchased from our shop

The capacitors and diodes can be arranged in a variety of ways. The half wave method is the easiest as it requires fewer components, but a full wave circuit will perform better. If you just want to get one working as soon as possible the the half wave method would be adequate. The circuit diagrams below indicate how the components should be arranged.


Max Voltage
1 - 30kV
1 - 30kV

Voltage Multiplier Circuit Diagram

Connectors for AC Input


The schematics above will output a positive DC voltage relative to the ground (GND). If a negative output is required then the polarity of the diodes should be reversed. you can learn more about how a voltage multiplier works, by visiting the voltage multiplier page.

For safety and improved performance the voltage multiplier should be placed in a protective casing, such as a PVC pipe filled with oil. The image on the left shows two protruding screws used for the AC input connection, and he other image shows polished coin used for the high voltage output. By using Polymorph to seal the ends of the pipe, it can be filled with oil to prevent corona leakage from the internal connections. A more sturdy method would be to fill the pipe with epoxy resin, but this may be difficult with compact component arrangement.

HV Terminal made from a polished pennyExample Experiments
A homemade voltage multiplier is perfect for powering an EHD thruster (aka Lifter). An EHDT can be made from just aluminium foil, sticks, and fine wire. To learn how , see the ElectroHydroDynamic Thruster page.

Using freezer spray (used by plumbers) you can grow ice crystals on the HV output with interesting results.

For more Simple Experiments with static electricity see the Experiments Section

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The information provided here can not be guaranteed as accurate or correct. Always check with an alternate source before following any suggestions made here.