How Do Tesla Coil Models Work - EngineDIY
Several months ago, I received an email titled "Potential Educational Donation" from Nathan, a high school student from San Diego, California studying mechanical and electrical engineering.
Nathan is also a leading member of his school’s engineering club and help run the engineering club, is striving to teach many students at our school about STEM fields which include many types of engineering as well as related fields.
Their goal is to get more students interested in engineering fields by inspiring them with what they can build themselves.
Through the past few months they have come up with many ideas, and learning more about electricity and the unique properties of electricity was something that many were interested in. This is where a Tesla Coil comes in.
However, as a division from a public school, they unfortunately do not receive much funding for these types of projects.
And they are wondering if Enginediy would be interested in providing a Tesla Coil to their club, specifically our mini music tesla coil, as the quality and features would surely be impressive for their purposes.
At last, Enginediy sponsored Nathan and their club 4 kinds of different tesla coil. And this is our story between Nathan, engineering club and enginediy.com
Now let's see what Nathan learn from these Tesla coils.
The Tesla Coil is made of a few staple parts for it to work, and each plays an important role. Main parts include: Discharge needle, main and secondary coil, Capacitors, and usually a “donut” shaped metal ring.
The Tesla Coil was invented by Nikola Tesla (in 1891), a brilliant engineer for his time. His design is pretty similar to the designs we see today. Although instead of discharging sparks, the idea was for it to transmit electricity wirelessly with the unique circuit. This can be displayed by holding a halogen bulb near the coil when it is powered on, you can see the wireless electricity light it up.
Back to the basic parts, the Discharge needle is an important part of any Tesla coil as it allows it to discharge the electricity it is building up. Without it, electricity would not be able to arc as elegantly. The Primary and Secondary coils are used as transformers, they ramp up electricity from low to high voltage by reducing the current and therefore increasing the voltage. The donut ring (which is known as a toroid) allows the electricity from the two coils to build up in that one spot to be discharged by the needle. Of course the capacitors are also an important part of the circuit, and allow the circuit to build up electricity for it to be sent through the coils.
Some Tesla Coils also have an audio input which allows them to play music! The audio signal goes through the circuit and it tells the electronics when to stop and when to start again thousands of times a second, making a frequency with the arc of the electricity. The way that it creates music or sound waves is because the arcs of electricity are hot enough to create plasma and ionize the air which creates small temperature differences and this oscillates the air and creates a frequency or an audible pressure difference which is what we know as sound.
It is important to note that a Tesla coil is basically a large transformer. Like we explained earlier a transformer is an electrical electrical component that converts a specific voltage and current into a higher voltage with lower current. A transformer is windings of wire windings of wire create an electromagnetic field. This is similar to the old science experiment of wrapping a wire around a nail to create an electromagnet. A tesla coil is essentially a larger version of this. This creates a large electromagnetic field as well as dispersing electricity into the air surrounding the tesla coil. Therefore it is important to stay a safe distance away whenever it is powered on as any electronics that get too close could be damaged. It is also important to understand that the discharge of the Tesla coil could burn you or shock you. Luckily that is most of the safety concerns of the Tesla coil.
That is the basics on how a Tesla works. A Tesla coil is a brilliant piece of engineering and is very impressive to see in person. It demonstrates many electrical effects, components and theories. As a product of Nikola Tesla it is very cool to have an invention that you can get a hold of yourselves and see what cool effects can be produced.
That is the end of the article from Nathan.
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