How to use a Variac with your electrolisis tank

Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:50 pm

Ok, lets see if I can figure this out...

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This is a view of the tank in operation with a Cub fender in it. The tank is a 55 gallon plastic one with the top cut out. The anodes are 5/8 in (#5) rebar 36 in long. The clips used are Mueller #25's rated at 40 amps. The wires are #10. The connections are made to a pair of 1/4-20 stainless bolts in the upper lip of the tank. The Mueller clips used seem to have a bit more "bite" than the typical battery charger clips and have made reliable connections so far.

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Here is a shot of the complete setup using a Variac to control the voltage to the battery charger. By changing the Variac setting, I can maintain a set current output from the battery charger independent of the area of the part being cleaned and by bringing up the Variac output slowly after putting in a part, I can check for a shorted condition inside the tank without damaging anything. The fan keeps the charger temperature under control.

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Here's a shot showing 4 amps of current out from the charger with roughly 60 volts into the charger. Using the Variac protects the charger from attempting to put out more than it's rated current.