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High Voltage Resistors

Even such a mundane component as a resistor has special requirements when it comes to high voltage applications. The usual little 1/4 watt carbon film resistor used in most other electronics is only rated to 250 or 500 volts, a far cry from the kilovolt levels needed. The voltage limitation is usually set by power dissipation issues: a 10K resistor with 1 kV across it dissipates 100 watts! And, of course, the physical length of the device of around a centimeter means that around 5-10 kV, arcing around the resistor body is a significant problem. There are a number of manufacturers of resistors intended specifically for high voltage applications, and of course, you can construct a resistor suitable for your application.

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