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Old 07-18-2016, 04:19 PM
thx1138 thx1138 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 371
Originally Posted by Ernst View Post
That is an interesting thought. But if you look (wiki) at how and why a mercury arc rectifier works (low pressure, and a carbon anode) you will see that Tesla's circuit controllers (high pressure, mercury stream) will not rectify the current.
True. Tesla did not use them as a continuous current rectifier. I only included that link to explain how mercury can and is used as a diode.

This type of Tesla's circuit controllers used a rotating wheel inside with slots that would either block or allow the flow of mercury from the jets to the pool of mercury as explained in the patents.

So this type of controller was a circuit interrupter similar to a rotating spark gap that used a pool of mercury in the same way a diode would be used today to obtain unidirectional pulses that could carry high voltage and high current. Keep in mind that Tesla was always working on systems for industrial scale power. I'm certainly not aware of any solid state devices that can handle megawatts of power as a mercury based device can.

By varying the size of the slots and blocks in the rotating wheel he could alter the duty cycle. And changing the speed of the rotating wheel with the slots and blocks he could vary the frequency of the makes and breaks.
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