The Van de Graaff Generator is an Electrostatic Friction Machine where mechanical energy is converted in electric potential energy: the charges are removed from a low potential – the Ground – and are “pumped” up to a charge accumulator – the metallic sphere on the top of the machine, the charge accumulated with the sphere generates a high electrical potential related to the Ground.
The charges are generated by friction of an insulation belt with the rollers and are also transported from the lower part of the machine up to the upper sphere by this belt.
With these DIY plans you can construct your own Van de Graff hand cranked generator with easy and at low cost, plus the machine presented by these plans has special features that cannot be found in others VDG sold there:
- it uses no batteries or main electricity at all: so you can perform outdoor demonstrations and is clearly that are no tricks with the machine and the electricity is really produced moving the handle
- the transmission is a mechanical friction system: no pulleys or gears – smooth and precise rotation
- made with common available materials: a wood base and EVA foam belt
The plans consists in two PDF documents: The Templates that is a set of real size pattern sheets and the Building Guide that brings the instructions with figures and pictures, including exploded views and 3D CAD figures, showing step by step how to construct the machine using the templates.