Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pelletron Status

Hey Everyone,

So we've got quite a bit of the Pelletron wired up and the vacuum pumps have been attached.  We'll be finishing up the wiring and then tomorrow we'll hopefully have the entire thing under vacuum and powered up.  We were able to get the chain spinning so we at least have that going in the right direction.  We'll be checking to see if the chain is properly charging tomorrow and hopefully be able to run the entire thing up to 3 million volts!
The Pelletron as of 1/19/11.  It's wired
up (mostly) and the vacuum pumps are

A close up of the Pelletron chain.

The power box and the Pelletron in the background.
If you look at the chain, it looks like a solid metal piece because
it's actually spinning in the picture!
For those of you wondering, a Pelletron is a device similar to a Van der Graaf generator that creates a large electrical potential difference.  The main difference between the two is that instead using a belt to pick up and move the charge from one side to the other, a chain made up of metal pellets connected by insulating nylon links is used.  Also, the charge transfer occurs by induction preventing any spark damage or rubbing.  These machines can generate potential differences up to and beyond 25 million volts.

If everything goes well, we'll be firing dust soon.  Keep your fingers crossed!

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