Playing with Lightning – Chinese Band Uses 1-Million-Volts Tesla Coil in Its Electrifying Concerts
If you’re ever passing through China’s Fujian province, make sure to stop by Dacuo Village and ca...
If you’re ever passing through China’s Fujian province, make sure to stop by Dacuo Village and catch a performance by local band Lightningfan. The group specializes in producing electric arcs from Tesla coils that are charged with 1 million volts of electricity, and are in sync with the music they play.
31-year-old Wang Zengxiang, founder and leader of the 10-strong band Lightningfan, is a huge fan of the Tesla coil invented by geek hero extraordinaire Nikola Tesla. “When I was young, my family opened an electrical appliance repair shop. I have loved to study semiconductors and electrical equipment since I was a child,” Wang told the local press. But it was in 2001, when he enrolled in the school of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University that he discovered his first Tesla coil. He was so fascinated by the electrical device that he spent nearly all of his free time studying it. In 2007, he managed to build his very own 1.2-meter coil above his house, quit his comfortable job with an electrical company and dedicated himself to combining his passion for music with electricity. Together with a few like-minded friends, Wang founded Lightningfan, which started entertaining fellow villagers with its electrifying performances.
Shielded by protective clothing made from ferroalloy silk thread, the members of Lightningfan play their instruments while generating lightning bolts as long as 4.2 meters without suffering any bodily harm. Their suits insulate them from the current which passes into the ground, and allows them to shape the artificial lightning bolts into various patterns during concerts. Wnag and his colleagues are convinced that ”if the idea is used in large concerts, the visual effect would be far more amazing than flames.”