DRSSTC design guide

Introduction to the guide

This is a guide that aims to explain a few in depth details and best practices that one should have in mind when designing and building a Dual Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil (DRSSTC).

It is not a complete instruction in how to make a entire DRSSTC system work, but food for thought and explanations on why some parts are chosen over others. The lessons learned over the years by other people who built Tesla coils have resulted in some parts being the only one used, just due to the fact that they were used by the original designer and proven to work good.

This guide should hopefully give you an insight to chose among a wider selection of parts for your DRSSTC and that could help on lowering the construction price and time spent looking for parts. The math and calculations used are simplified for practical use.

Topics of the DRSSTC design guide

  1. Rectifiers
  2. Busbar and primary circuit
  3. IGBTs
  4. DC bus capacitor
  5. PFC (20% done)
  6. Snubber capacitor
  7. MMC / tank capacitors (50% done)
  8. GDT / driver (20% done)
  9. Secondary coil
  10. Topload
  11. Grounding and EMI
  12. Tuning and testing (10% done)
  13. Featured Tesla coils (0% done)
  15. Online design tools

Remember that reading is only a fraction of the learning process. Design, build, blow it up, redesign, rebuild, blow it up again, redesign, rebuild and you are on your way to become a master of lightning 🙂

It is not as simple as pushing a button and receiving lightning, prepare to make an effort yourself.

Thanks to the fellow experimenters that helped me proof read, check data and many of them for providing much of the information and experiences collected in this guide.

9 Responses to DRSSTC design guide

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  4. William Hutchinson says:

    When do you expect to finish the MMC article?

  5. Mads Barnkob says:

    Hi William Hutchinson

    That article currently has a word count of 1700 and my best guess is that is is about 50% done.

    Since you are specifically asking about this article, I would like to give it more focus 🙂 In the mean time, is there anything specific you have a question about, please go register at http://www.highvoltageforum.net and we can take a good discussion there, if you can not find a suitable article to comment on here at my site.

    Kind regards

  6. William Hutchinson says:

    Hey Mads,

    I thought I could go without the article when designing my DRSSTC. I’ve now come to realize I’m hopelessly confused and drowning in equations (oops). I just need to know how to select the capacitance for the MMC.

    I’ve got about 3300 turns of 36AWG wire on a 19″ long 4.5″ diameter PVC pipe.
    The primary is made of the standard flat spiral of 10mm copper tubing.
    The bridge is a full-bridge of IXGN60N60C2D1.
    Fres = 63khz, 500a limit.

    My concern is picking too large/small of a capacitance and exploding my bridge from over current. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. (In hindsight 15 might have been a little too young to start a project like this)

  7. Mads Barnkob says:

    Hi William Hutchinson

    I do unfortunately not have the MMC chapter done yet, and even if I had, that would not help on the confusion, because you can design a DRSSTC from so many starting points, depending on what you have available, what is cheapest etc.

    Exactly the point of MMC capacitance was discussed a few days back here: https://highvoltageforum.net/index.php?topic=90.msg462#msg462

    Read that and the previous posts 🙂

    Kind regards

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  9. Pingback: How to build a Tesla coil. Design, theory and compromises! | Kaizer Power Electronics

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