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5/24/2018 | By Ian Hillier

The Hacksmith: 1,000,000 Amp Capacitor Bank

The capacitor bank used for the Railgun project created so much power that, of course, the Hacksmith team decided to modify the circuit to blow stuff up!

You can see how they did it and watch the capacitor bank blow up some everyday items in the video below!

Capacitors Versus Batteries

Capacitors are commonly found in most electronic devices and have a multitude of uses. When combined with resistors, they are used for frequency selective filters such as high pass and low pass filters. Capacitors can also pass AC signals while still blocking DC signals, making them great for separating the AC and DC components in a signal. They are also used for capacitive sensing, which is detecting a change in capacitance in the local environment through a few different variables.

Like batteries, capacitors store electricity, but they don’t use a chemical reaction to store and release energy. Although they store energy like batteries, they have many more applications. Since capacitors store a static charge, they can release their power all at once. This makes them ideal for blowing up fruit and stuff.

Modifying the Circuit

This is the same set of 16 400V capacitors in parallel used for the Railgun project, which have more power than the 300V capacitor used for Thor’s hammer. The charging circuit from the Railgun wasn’t quite up to the task of making explosions, causing it to overheat and break.

For the new and improved circuit, an array of LiPo DC batteries was used, totaling at 400V. A resistor is needed between the batteries and the capacitors, which in this case, is a few simple light bulbs. You can see the new circuit diagram below.

Digi-Key's Scheme-it

More Capacitor Projects

The Hacksmith team has done a few projects this year with large capacitors for the Make it Real series. Check them out on! Want to keep up to date with Hacksmith projects? Be sure to check out the Hacksmith Vlogs channel!