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Breakdown in short rod-plane air gaps under positive lightning impulse stress

Abstract

Prediction of withstand voltages in air-insulated systems are made on the basis of empirical models that are not sufficiently accurate for complex geometries. Better understanding of the spatiotemporal development of electrical discharges is necessary to improve the present models. Discharges in lightning impulse stressed 20–100mm rod-plane gaps are examined using a high-speed camera, photo-multiplier tubes (PMTs) and a high-bandwidth current measurement system. The images and measurements of gaps larger than 20mm show a fast initial streamer discharge with a current rise time of some tens of ns, followed by a dark period of a few µs and a propagation of a slower leader-type channel leading to breakdown. The breakdown mechanisms in the shortest gaps are faster and geometry dependent, probably occurring by heating of initial streamer channels. Different light filters used with the PMTs indicate that all parts of the leader-type discharge development emit light over a spectrum from UV to IR. The initial discharges emit low amounts of warm light and IR compared to the leader-type channel. Finally, it is suggested that empirical breakdown voltage prediction models should be interpreted in light of the leader-type breakdown
mechanism.

Category

Academic article

Client

  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 245422

Language

English

Author(s)

Affiliation

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Elkraftteknologi
  • Switzerland

Year

2017

Published in

Proceedings of the Nordic Insulation Symposium

ISSN

2535-3969

Volume

25

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