Plasma-Based Electrical Transformers

Tibbar Plasma Technologies, Inc. is currently developing plasma-based AC to DC converters for commercial applications. These devices have the potential to be half the cost and yield power densities 10x higher than state-of-the-art converters, which could significantly improve electrical use efficiencies in power transmission, distribution, micro-grids, data centers, and in large, electrified platforms for transportation such as ships and trains.

We received a 2-year contract from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) which is providing $3.5 million in funding for our invention. So far we have tested the concepts for both a plasma DC to DC transformer and a plasma AC to DC transformer using an experimental test-bed called “Bismarck.”

The new enhanced test-bed which is being built under the ARPA-E contract is called “Shiner.” It consists of an eight foot long core chamber wrapped with a two-part solenoid coil. Shiner will rely on helical coils that induce output current and voltage through electrodes at the ends of plasma. The current induced along the axis produces an output voltage and current at the ends of the plasma chamber, which enables efficient conversion of AC to DC or DC to DC.

Bismarck Device

Hybrid Magnetic/Electrostatic Device


Chamber Diameter 4 inches bismarck-technology-page
Chamber Length 22 inches
Coil Length 12 inches
Coil Turns 900
Peak magnetic field 1.2 kGauss
Peak Coil Current 27 Amperes
Peak voltage 280 V

Shiner Device

New Machine for ARPA-E Work


Chamber Diameter 8 inches shiner-technology-page-2
Chamber Length 8 feet
Coil Length 7.5 feet
Coil Turns 1900
Peak magnetic field 2.0 kGauss
Peak Coil Current 150 Amperes
Peak voltage 480 V

View a Poster showing how Shiner works.

View our FAQs about plasma-based electrical transformers.

View our infographic.

The following links include the source code for the software used to model the Tibbar device and their descriptions: