Building the electronics for a Tesla coil… and watercooling them

A few years ago [Patrick] was offered the Tesla coil of a friend of a friend. This was an opportunity too good for him to pass up.

He then began the creation of an Off-Line Tesla Coil (OLTC), where no supply transformer is used. The incoming mains supply is rectified and directly fed into the tank capacitor.

[Patrick] therefore had to build a huge capacitor bank and more importantly his own primary coil, made with a 1.6mm (0.064″) copper sheet to handle the immense current involved.¬†Air cooling the electronics was sufficient until he started using his three phase input supply. As more power involves more heat, a waterblock was designed to cool the main transistor.

Patrick’s write-up is very detailed and worth the read. Once you’re finished with it, we advise you to browse through his website, where a lot more cool projects are described.

5 thoughts on “Building the electronics for a Tesla coil… and watercooling them

  1. Super build! Love the large quantities of heavy copper conductor ;-)

    Re: capacitors. I once had an idea about trying to cool film capacitors more directly by sanding away the ends to reveal the sprayed metal contact then soldering them to a copper cooling plate with low-temperature solder. Never really pursued it past soldering one capacitor to a bit of scrap copper. Photos here –

    1. The resonant frequency of the secondary and the sphere is around 113khz. Line filtering is in the separate 22KW phase angle control power supply (I’m an electrical engineer) which I will detail in another post.

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