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High Voltage DC Generator Using Marx Generator


The need for high voltage testing in various applications makes Marx generators an invaluable asset. Our guide takes you through the process of building a Marx generator that utilizes MOSFET and capacitors to create a high voltage generator circuit, ideal for testing electrical insulation.

Understanding the Marx Principle

Developed by Erwin Otto Marx, the Marx principle is ingenious in its simplicity. It involves charging multiple capacitors in parallel and then connecting them in series to create a pulse of high voltage. This method is widely used to test the effectiveness of electrical insulation in power carriers.

Components and Their Roles

  • Capacitors: The backbone of the Marx generator, capacitors are charged in parallel and connected in series to amplify the voltage.
  • MOSFET Switch: Acts as an efficient switch to minimize power losses during the ON and OFF cycles of the generator.
  • Diodes: Utilized in each capacitor charging stage to direct the current flow.
  • 555 Timer Multivibrator: Used to time the ON and OFF states of the capacitors.

Hardware Specifications

  • MOSFET Switch
  • 555 Timer Multivibrator
  • Resistors
  • Capacitors
  • Diodes
  • Transistors
  • Cables and Connectors, etc.

Operating the Marx Generator

The capacitors are charged in parallel during the ON time using a 555 timer. MOSFET switches then rearrange them in series during the OFF time. The resulting voltage is approximately 3.2 times the supply voltage. Our project effectively converts a DC supply of 12V into approximately 30-36 volts.

Application and Testing

Marx generators have numerous applications, notably in testing the insulation effectiveness of electrical appliances to be put up on power carriers. It’s a cost-effective and efficient means for real-time, high voltage testing.


Building a Marx generator offers an accessible way to generate high voltage for various applications. By understanding each component and their role, you can create a safe and effective high voltage generator circuit.

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