Lords of Lightning Electrify Newcastle Skies
New Zealand electrician Carlos Van Camp will brighten the skies over the River Tyne in Newcastle with man-made lightning strikes as part of the Great North Run event.
The Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony is being held on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides in September to celebrate the half marathon’s millionth finisher this year.
As part of the show, the Lords of Lightning will use four million volts of electricity to send lightning bolts between two performers dressed in special metal suits.
New Scientist describes the attraction: “The secret to the Lords’ power is Tesla Coils. The ones they use are two metres wide, on which they stand while thick blue bolts fly around them. First developed in 1891 by Nicola Tesla, a Tesla Coil is in fact two coils – one sitting inside the other. When an alternating current builds up in the smaller coil it creates a magnetic field that induces a current in the larger one.”
“In the show, one primary coil is wound around two secondary coils which service the two towers. This ensures both towers vibrate at the same frequency. Voltage in the larger coil can build up into millions of volts once the coils vibrate at precisely the same frequency. ‘That’s what causes the huge voltage rises that you see in the way of lightning,’ Van Camp says.”
Lords of Lightning is a collaboration between the creator of Lightning for Hire in New Zealand and Arcadia Spectacular in the UK.
Original article by Graeme Whitfield, The Journal, July 28, 2014.