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Essay: Design and develop plasma discharge equipment using arduino and a flyback transformer

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High voltage generation is a complex process and involves many complex components and circuits. Production of high voltage is usually only done by parties who have the facilities and interest whatsoever in terms of equipment and needs. This study was conducted to meet the needs of the market and the needs of users who need plasma technology equipment capable enhance the quality of everyday life. The use of safe high-voltage technology equipment is increasingly getting attention in the community. The important things remind when implementing this project is to produce an plasma using the flyback transformer and arduino system. Methods for producing this project has been determined through careful planning like identify resource base, designing and developing a suitable circuit, performing circuits testing and conducting measure the output voltage and current. An electronic circuit involved in this project is MOSFET gate driver circuit coupled with the voltage regulator. Research and development projects that have been carried out has achieve the goal with produced plasma 15kVdc and meet the concept of high voltage but in low current 700mA.
1.1 Project Background of Study
The term of high voltage usually mean electrical energy at voltages high enough to inflict harm or death upon living things. Equipment and conductors that carry high voltage should have particular safety requirements and procedures. In certain industries, high voltage means voltage above a particular threshold [1].
High voltage is used in electrical power distribution, in cathode ray tubes, to generate X-rays and particle beams, to demonstrate arcing, for ignition, in photomultiplier tubes, and in high power amplifier vacuum tubes and other industrial and scientific applications. The Table 1.1 shown the types of voltage and also state it range of voltage and current.
Table 1.1: Types of voltage [1]
As shown in the Figure 1.1, electric arc, or arc discharge, is the electric breakdown of gas, which produces a plasma discharge current, as a result of the flow through the media usually nonconductive medium like air. The plasma discharge will be appearing like Figure 1.2. This process is characterized by arc discharge is less than the voltage of light emission, and depends on the thermal emission of electrons from the gate electrode support. This term is long arc voltage, as used in the phrase “voltage arc lamp.”
Figure 1.1 Anode and cathode discharge [2]
Figure 1.2 Plasma in high voltage[2].
This project is suitable for exposure to high voltage applications. A key component of this project is made up of flyback transformer. Flyback transformer type that is used for this project is a ferrite flyback transformer capable of generating high voltage [3]. These components are commonly in use on the system cathode ray tube computer monitors and televisions.
These projects are implemented to produce the design of plasma generator to produce plasma for various applications using the Arduino as voltage supply with square wave. This project will examine, understand and thus yielded a circuit that meets the requirements of the project objectives.
1.2 Problem Statement
Research and development of plasma technology must be enhanced to provide opportunities for middle and lower income groups have affordable plasma technology equipment. The use of safe high-voltage technology equipment is increasingly getting attention in the community. This study was conducted to meet the needs of the market and the needs of users who need plasma technology equipment capable enhance the quality of everyday life.
1.3 Objectives
Objectives to be achieved in this project are:
i. To design plasma discharge equipment using arduino and a flyback transformer.
ii. To develop plasma discharge up to 15kV.
iii. To implement arduino uno in order to produce voltage in the form of square wave.
1.4 Scope of Work
The work scope involve in this project are:
This project is implemented to develop and produce plasma discharge using flyback transformer HR7505 LOPT with open source arduino uno. The project also developed to determine the effects of transformer output current when the input voltage reaches the high voltage. This project also conducted to measure the distance between the anode and the cathode terminal when applicable first time leap charge.
1.5 Significant of study
i. To diversify the use of the flyback transformer to produce high voltage electrical sculpture.
ii. To support the development of high-voltage equipment technology that is more efficient, user-friendly and affordable price for the benefit of daily life.
1.6 Thesis outline
These project reports consist of 5 chapters. The chapter 1 presented introduction, objective, problem statement, scope of project and significant of study. At the chapter 2, is focus on theory and literature review that are related with the project. Continue with the chapter 3 consist of elaboration of methodology used on implementation of project. Chapter 4 will discuss about result and discussion and for the last chapter 5, all the result and discussion will be concluded and come out with the recommendation.
2.1 High Voltage Development
High voltage engineering is not only a key technology for a safe, economic and sustainable electric power supply. Furthermore, a broad spectrum of applications includes most of the innovative fields in engineering and science, such as medical, engineering, laser technology, industrial production, automotive engineering, food technology, Bioengineering, nanotechnology, environmental protection, recycling, electromagnetic compatibility, scientific research or superconductivity [4].
Electric arc being complex phenomenon, depends on many factors, for instance the electrode gap space, electrode material, humidity etc [2]. The effect of pulsed electrical discharge such like a shock wave, electromagnetic radiations, ozone and free radicals lead to hematological changes; increase in erythrocytes, the effects of the discharge can also be seen in rising rates of hemoglobin, increase in white blood cells, decrease in lymphocytes and increasing of thrombocytes [5].
2.2. Transformer
A transformer is an electrical device constructed of two or more coils of wire (windings) magnetically coupled to each other so that there is a mutual inductance for the transfer of power from one winding to the other. Although many transformers have more than two winding, the coverage in this section is restricted to a basic two winding transformer [6].
The main function of power transformer is to step up or step down the voltage [1]. A transformer consists of two or more coils that are magnetically couple as shown in Figure 2.2. There are some differences in the functions of power transformer and flyback transformer. The flyback transformer has three functions which are step up and down voltage, stored the energy in magnetizing inductance (Lm) and transfer the energy from primary side to secondary side. The circuit diagram for flyback transformer is shown in Figure 2.3. The principle of this transformer is the current will enter the dotted terminal in primary and must exit at dotted terminal in secondary.
The typical operating current output of FBTs is extremely low, whereas it will be in the range of milliamps. The high frequencies essentially make it necessary to construct a supplementary complicated control circuit [3].
By referring to the Figure 2.1, the Common core used for the transformer is ferrite type. The number of turns in the primary and secondary is limited to the size of the core. The number of turns in the primary and secondary side of the transformer is determined by the standard wire gauge of the conductor to be used. The core is specifically designed for frequency capability. Ferrite is the best choice in high frequency transformer. [3]
The duty cycle loss due to this resonance is a severe the problem with such high output voltage applications. The first requirement of a flyback converter used in low power level high output voltage applications is that the output voltage should be obtained as the expected value [7]. An electric arc which is nothing but an electric discharge happened when electric-field between two conductors exceeds the breakdown strength of the air or other medium in the space between the electrodes, is considered a source of harmonics [8].
Figure 2.1 Skematic for hr7505[8]
Figure 2.2 Cross-section of transformer [3]
Figure 2.3 Flyback Transformer circuit with magnetizing inductance [3]
2.3 Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect (MOSFET) IRF460
There are many types of power semiconductor switches that can be choose to control the circuit. In this project, Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect (MOSFET) has been chosen as the switch to control the ON and OFF state. The symbol for N – channel MOSFET and the i-v characteristics for n-channel MOSFET are shown as Figure 2.4 and Figure 2.5.
Figure 2.4 Symbol for N-Channel MOSFET [9]
Figure 2.5 i-v characteristic [9]
MOSFET are available for voltage ratings in 1000V and for current ratings, it is available in the range from 30A until 50A. For switching, the devices should satisfy the 3 important parameters which are power, voltage and current ratings of the converter. The advantage of MOSFET compare to other device is the short switching time, which in the range of nanoseconds [7]. Hence, the switching losses is small and high efficiency can be achieves. To switch ON and OFF, the pulse need to be supply to get pin of the MOSFET. So, Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is used to supply the pulse and start to operate the MOSFET [7].
2.4 Arduino Uno
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software [10]. Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language and the Arduino development environment. Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer. Figure 2.6 shown the board of arduino uno system from the point of view of the top and bottom.
Figure 2.6 Arduino Uno [10]
2.5 Heat Sink
Heat sink is a component which can keep the other component or device from burning up [7]. When the power supply is supplied the voltage to the circuit, the component and device which connected will be heat up. If the heat cannot be removing from the device, the circuit may be failing to operate after a period of time due to the damaged of the device. So, it is important to any circuit to provide the cooling path to the device to avoid the failure as illustrate in Figure 2.7. Moreover, the heat sink can be transform to equivalent circuit as show in Figure 2.8 for design purpose.
Figure 2.7 Cooling Path provide by heat sink [7]
Figure 2.8 Equivalent circuits for heat sink [7]
3.1 Introduction
The project is implemented in accordance with the methodology that has been set to ensure smooth implementation. The methodology of this project has been divided into four(4) main sections:
i. Finding the source of reference
The beginning of this project is to find and identify the information and resources either by articles, reference books or reference from the internet to complement existing knowledge and an understanding of the project. This is important so that the project will be implemented according to specifications.
ii. Circuit design and development
Design a circuit that will be used in the project should be given attention. The circuit will be used is the arduino circuit and flyback transformer driver circuit. I this section the circuit will be produce.
iii. Circuit testing
The circuit is designed to be completed by testing the ability of the working session by entering the input voltage and the output voltage will be measured.
iii. Circuit Analysis
The circuit was completed through circuit testing session should be analysed using a number of tools such as oscilloscope and multimeter to see the waveform and the voltage. If there is a problem it will go back to the process of designing a new circuit.
Figure 3.1 Flow Chart of Project
3.2 Gate Driver Circuit Using MOSFET(IRF460)
The mosfet is a voltage-controlled current device instead. There is a positive temperature coefficient of degree, which prevents thermal runaway. The state resistance has no theoretical limit, so that their losses in the state can be much lower than those of bipolar party [9]. Mosfet also has a diode Sanitation Authority, which is particularly useful in the treatment of freewheeling currents limited. All of these benefits and the elimination of comparative current waiting list is quickly mosfet device of choice to switch graphics power design.
This N-Channel enhancement mode silicon gate power field effect transistor is an advanced power mosfet designed, tested, and guaranteed to withstand a specified level of energy in the breakdown avalanche mode of operation [9]. All of these power mosfets are designed for applications such as switching regulators, switching convertors, motor drivers, relay drivers, and drivers for high power bipolar switching transistors requiring high speed and low gate drive power. The use of MOSFET in this project can be known by referring to the Figure 3.2 below.
Figure 3.2 Full schematic circuit project
Figure 3.3 Block diagram project
The Figure 3.3 above shows a block diagram of the whole project which involves the arduino system, voltage regulator, gate driver circuit and the flyback transformer.
3.3 Flyback Transformer
A flyback transformer (FBT), also called a line output transformer (LOPT), is a special transformer, which is used for conversion of energy (current and voltage) in electronic circuits. It was initially designed to generate high current sawtooth signals at a relatively high frequency [11]. In modern applications is used extensively in switched-mode power supplies for both low (3V) and high voltage (over 10 kW) supplies.
Figure 3.4 describes the relevant basic circuit for flyback transformer comprising a primary winding and a secondary winding and Figure 3.5 shows the position of the pin out at the bottom of flyback transformer that is used to generate plasma.
Figure 3.4 Basic schemetic diagram for flyback [11]
Figure 3.5 Basic pin out flyback transformer [7]
3.4 Arduino Uno
Arduino Uno is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328 (leaves). It has 14 digital pins on the I / O (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz ceramic resonator, Connectivity USB, power socket ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; Simply connect to computer using a USB cable or power adapter or battery AC-DC to operated [10]. The full specification of arduino uno can refer to the Table 3.1.
Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators [10] The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino assembly language and the Arduino development environment.
Table 3.1: Arduino Uno specification [10]
The Arduino Uno can be programmed with the Arduino software. The program for this project is as shown as per Figure 3.6 below.
Figure 3.6 Arduino program for circuit driver
Figure 3.7 Measured Voltage output from Arduino
The Figure 3.7 above shown the measurement output from arduino by using dual trace osiloscope 100MHz.
3.5 Testing on bread board and Print Circuit Board (PCB)
Implementation of an electronic project will normally have a problem if not through the correct procedure. Before the production of printed circuits, testing circuits should be implemented first. The circuit has been designed to be completed in the test manually by attaching it to a proto board or bread board as per Figure 3.8. After completion of all circuit connections there may be tailored supply voltage required by the circuit. A supply for this project in need is 15VDC for transformers and 5 Vdc with square wave signals from Arduino Uno.
Figure 3.8 Testing circuit on bread board
The PCB circuit is designed using PCB Express software. The software that has been used is the simplest and free software to design PCB.Compare to the others this software is easy to use and economic. These are the step when design and make a PCB circuit;
1. Download the software from internet and open the PCB Express software.
2. Select the suitable component at the component library and layout on the virtual board. After finish choosing the component, pick a line and connect the component with the line. Lastly, click at generate button to start generate PCB circuit. The generate PCB circuit as per Figure 3.9 below.
3. After finished, the circuit will print out using laser jet printer.
4. Then, the size of board is choosing to match the size of printed circuit.
5. The printed circuit will patch to the board and laminate using laminated
6. The board circuit will do the etching process to put away the unneeded line.
7. Next, the hole has to be making by using grinder.
8. Lastly, the component will solder on the PCB board and make a test whether the output is come out or not.
Figure 3.9 Circuit Board using Express PCB Software
4.1 Introduction
In this project, there are three types of result that will be discussed in this chapter which are about voltage, current output and distance of discharge jumping.
4.2 Voltage output
Schedule shown below is an output voltage compared to the input voltage. There are significant differences between the input and output voltages as caused by the primary winding and the secondary winding are different. It should be remembered that the transformer that is used in this project is the flyback transformer step up and be in the know that the rate of production in the secondary side will be bigger than the primary. The primary winding is equal to 10 while the secondary winding is 1000 windings.
Proved that the value of the gain produced at the output is about 100 times larger than the input. The comparison result between input and output can refer to the Table 4.1 below. To achieve the input voltage reaches the high voltage which can generate an electric arc, the input voltage must reach at least 6Vdc and then an electric arc will be produced. The electric arc cannot been measure by using normal dc voltmeter but we can measure the high voltage output by using HV rod meter tester that normally used to measured flyback voltage in television.
The Figure 4.1 is about the original ionisation event liberates one electron, and each subsequent collision liberates a further electron, so two electrons emerge from each collision: the ionising electron and the liberated electron [2].
Figure 4.1 Basic of electric discharge in gases [2]
The Figure 4.2 below shown the testing and measure the output voltage using HV rod testing meter and all the value of measurement has been recorded in the Table 4.1.
Figure 4.2 Testing and measured with HV rod meter tester
Figure 4.3 Voltage supply to transformer
The Figure 4.3 shown the input voltage that has been used for the transformer operation. The measurement completed using dc power supply and dual trace oscilloscope 100MHz. The result shown the straight line of pure dc voltage at 15Vdc.
Table 4.1 Voltage gain from flyback transformer
Figure 4.4 Voltage gain from transformer
As shown in the Figure 4.4, the graph shown the voltage output gain about 100 times and the maximum output voltage is more than 15100Vdc.
4.3 Current Output
The current is supplied to the transformer is worth 1.5A and enable the transformer to function properly. Noted that the concept of high voltage is high voltage but low current. The implementation of this project should take into account this concept. Based on this concept, testing through current measurements has been performed by measuring the current at the output. Current values have been obtained in the state in the Table 4.2 below.
Table 4.2: Current output
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
6 200
7 300
8 400
9 400
10 450
11 500
12 550
13 600
14 600
15 700
Figure 4.5 Current output
Refer to the Figure 4.5 above, the reading of current recorded when the voltage reaches 6Vdc of 200mA and its value continues to ascend directly proportional to the input voltage. A significant change also occurred at the end of the anode and cathode terminal where the leap charge began to happen that produces an electric arc. When the voltage reaches the high voltage, an electric arc will be produced. The closer the terminal anode and cathode, the stronger will be the resulting arc.
4.4 Distance of electric arc discharge
Table 4.3: Current output and discharge distance
Figure 4.6 Graph of current output and discharge distance
Testing the circuit was implemented to ensure that the circuit works well and achieve all project objectives. When it has been known that the electric arc has been successfully generated, then the measurement of the maximum distance jump charge has been done referring to the Figure 4.6 above. The closer the terminal anode and cathode in place, the more powerful plasma produced.
By refer to the Figure 4.7 until Figure 4.16, when the terminal anode and cathode spaced, an electric arc will be thinner and sometimes only happens occasionally leap of charge. Measurement readings will be taken and recorded. Input voltage adjusted periodically according to the schedule, refer to the Table 4.3 above.
Figure 4.7 Electric arc for 6Vdc
Figure 4.8 Electric arc for 7Vdc
Figure 4.9 Electric arc for 8Vdc
Figure 4.10 Electric arc for 9Vdc
Figure 4.11 Electric arc for 10Vdc
Figure 4.12 Electric arc for 11Vdc
Figure 4.13 Electric arc for 12Vdc
Figure 4.14 Electric arc for 13Vdc
Figure 4.15 Electric arc for 14Vdc
Figure 4.16 Electric arc for 15Vdc
5.1 Conclusion
This project is implemented according to the problems and the needs of the research and development of products based on plasma technology in general know has a high value in the market. The successful production of this project has kept the real objective of this project is implemented. Based on the results of project findings, it can be concluded that the plasma appear after input voltage achieve 6Vdc (minimum distance discharge).
The higher input voltage, a plasma discharge will be stronger. The maximum voltage output 15100Vdc , 700mA and the plasma distance discharge maximum is 18mm. The Arduino could be used as PWM dc source. Now proved that the concept of high voltage but low current is correct.
5.2 Recommendation
The better result and performance always be required and explored in engineering and other field. There are some recommendations for the improving of the performance for the project in the future.
i. In the future, some components can be replaced with components that are more efficient, such as opto-coupler circuits and high frequency driver.
ii. The circuit for power supply can be combined with the driver circuit to produce a more compact design and efficient.
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