Feature-rich high voltage power supplies for research and development
Project Peta-pico-Voltron offers free designs of computer-controlled high voltage power supplies with detailed assembly and usage instructions. The Peta-pico-Voltron concept include printed-circuit board (PCB) design and assembly/testing instructions. A graphic user interface to control the power supply and a library of functions to integrate the power supplies in computer-controlled test beds. It is is designed to drive electrostatic actuators, such as dielectric elastomer actuators.
The origins of project Peta-pico-Voltron
Project Peta-pico-Voltron started in 2015 in Herbert Shea’s EPFL’s soft transducer’s lab (LMTS) by a team of researchers experimenting with Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs) and transducers. These are soft and stretchy electrostatic actuators that require a high driving voltage, but a very low current. We were frustrated by the lack of commercial affordable compact power supplies that met our needs for testing DEAs: capacity to generate a square signal up to 100 Hz, possibility to be controlled by a computer with a simple set of instructions, and with a low footprint, so that it can be easily moved around.
We ended up developing our own custom solution, and because of the interest of other researchers for an affordable power supply that can be easily assembled, we have decided to make the design freely available, hoping that it could be useful to other researchers. Through the many kind e-mails of support we received over these past few years, we realised that this was a good decision.
One of the requests we often receive by e-mail is the ability to purchase a Peta-pico-Voltron power supply. The idea of this project and website is to enable you to assemble your own power supply. Yet we understand that not all end-users of a Peta-pico-Voltron have the knowhow, time, or interest to solder electronic components and programme micro-controllers. Hence we have decided to provide a soldering/programming calibration service, for those who would like to get a fully functional device without the having to assemble one. More information will be available once hvps-x is released.
hvps-x: the neXt generation of high voltage power supplies
Legacy single channel high voltage power supplies
Peta-pico-Voltron in action
Peta-pico-Voltron in action: See applications of the Peta-pico-Voltron High Voltage Power supply and link to scholarly articles that use the HVPS
Journal article about Peta-pico-Voltron in HardwareX: Peta-pico-Voltron: An open-source high voltage power supply