Category Archives: 1 MV VDG Project

1MV Van De Graff project – Notts Gaussfest

After a lot of work, I just managed to get everything to Notts Gaussfest. This was really the first time all of the pieces had run together for any length of time.

I found a number of issues. The belt stuck together at high charges, usually stopping the belt completely and the motor control would crash when there was a really good discharge.

The motor problem was a partially solved by coating the controller in aluminium foil, which at least let me run the VDG for the day at Notts Gaussfest.



1MV Van de Graff – First light

Details of the project

First light tonight 6″ sparks, not bad for the first time I’ve powered it up.

At the moment the limiting factors to the spark length/voltage is the unfinished top load and a problem with the belt. The top load has a very uneven surface, I believe I’m losing charge this way.

When the VDG starts charging the two sides of the belt are attracted to each other and they rub together, reducing the charging. I tried tightening the belt with no effect, so I have ordered 0.4mm (was 0.25mm) latex to make another thicker belt.

Work continues to complete the top load.