Flourescent Light Generator??

Hi, I was recently reading up on the workings of fluorescent light bulbs, and I thought of an idea for using the bulb as an electrical generator. I know that inside the ballast of the light fixture, there is a small coil of wire that keeps the electrical current from going to fast through the bulb. I also learned that the gas inside the bulb itself, when excited with electrons, turns into plasma, which interacts with the phosphorous coating on the glass to make light. I also learned that unlike normal copper wires, when electricity flows through plasma, the resistance drops as the current rises because the excited ions continually release more electrons as the electricity flows through the gas. I was wondering if anyone knew if both the voltage and the current would rise inside the bulb if the control coil were not present to regulate the power flow. If both the voltage and current rise couldn?t one logically say that the bulb is outputting more power then it took to get it started? If this is true (and it?s purely hypothetical) couldn?t one create a circuit chip to keep the bulb lit and draw out the excess power instead of wasting it away in the control coil? I have absolutely no idea if this would work, but it was just an idea. Any thoughts?

Reply to
Jason Owens
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in article nDNyb.2073691$ snipped-for-privacy@news.easynews.com, Jason Owens at snipped-for-privacy@nospam.sbcglobal.net wrote on 12/1/03 12:36 PM:

As someone else said, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. First, remember the first law of thermodynamics. Energy is always conserved! Even in the era of nuclear reactions, that is true.

The discharge in the lamp is an arc. The ballast is to prevent runaway currents because the arc has a negative caharacterist. This has been used to generate elecricity. One of the first uses was for continuous wave radio transmitters. It is better to think of the arc as a converter from dc to ac. The power has to come from somewhere.

I suggest that you do much more reading. I will suggest an old text by Jacob Millman entitled Electronics. There are two chapters on gaseous electronics. It will not be easy reading.


Reply to
Repeating Decimal

It is a mistake to think that the plasma has a negitive resistance. The Plasma has a negitive resistance or appears to have one because as the current heats the plasma, the resistance drops. But if you use something like a Tec 502 scope and look at the hysteresis loop of the voltage and current, it will always have a positive slope around any given cycle..

I have run this experiments at currents from 10 uamps to about 300 milliamps and it was part of my research when I developed a dimmable florescent light ballast. Part of the reason for this is that included in the total resistance of the lamp is the resistance of the filament (The lamps I worked with all had filaments.)

Every thing that Bill says about the conservation of energy is true. If the lamp truly had a negitive resistance around any part of the loop, then it would be able to produce energy, but seeing as it can not produce energy or store it for later return to the circuit, it can not really have a negitive slope or output energy.

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Hmmm. got my attention.

I know

sounds right.

I also


well, exited ions release electrons... continually when current is applied... I *think* the wording "continually release more electrons" is where you went astray...

No. It would be *using* more power than it took to start it. Not "outputting". Voltage and current would not increase above the input source.

If this is

No. There is no excess power. the coil keeps the bulb from looking like a short circuit.

Now, if you were to excite the tube by other means (like HV field lighting the plasma or something other than by electrical connection), the bulb should light and voltage of some type would be present at the bulb terminals (I thought this was what you were going for at first)

regards, keep trying

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Whilst working at a commercial AM Radio station a while back, I discovered that we didn't need torches when checking on the antenna/transmitter at night - a fluoro tube would do. After taking an ordinary fluoro tube from the back of the car and walking towards the site, the tube would happily start in my hand and stay lit the entire time we were there. Quite a freaky experience the first time! I never tried touching the terminals..

So, a high-power RF field will definitely do it - but whether you can generate any electricity from it to be worthwhile is another question entirely.


Reply to
Cameron Dorrough

The Tesla coil I built in high school would light a 4' tube at

10'. So? Stroke-on, stroke-off.

Certainly one can. It's rather illegal though. Theft of services and all that rot.

Reply to
Keith R. Williams

Kieth I DO not think that is theft of services.

Any more than tuning into a radio station is.

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Got me wondering what it would with the radiation in space...

perhaps that's how TNG lights up thier warp core ;-)

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