Gas heating dynamics during leader inception in long air gaps at atmospheric pressure
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The inception of leader discharges in long air gaps at atmospheric pressure is simulated with a thermo-hydrodynamic model and a detailed kinetic scheme for N2/O2/H2O mixtures. In order to investigate the effect of humidity, the kinetic scheme includes the most important reactions with the H2O molecule and its derivatives, resulting in a scheme with 45 species and 192 chemical reactions. The heating of a thin plasma channel in front of an anode electrode during the streamer to leader transition is evaluated with a detailed 1D radial model. The analysis includes the simulation of the corresponding streamer bursts, dark periods and aborted leaders that may occur prior to the inception of a propagating leader discharge. The simulations are performed using the time-varying discharge current in two laboratory discharge events reported in the literature as input. Excellent agreement between the simulated and the experimental time variation of the thermal radius for a 1m rod-plate air gap discharge event reported in the literature has been found. The role of different energy transfer and loss mechanisms prior to the inception of a stable leader is also discussed. It is found that although a small percentage of water molecules can accelerate the vibrational-translational relaxation to some extent, this effect leads to a negligible temperature increase during the streamer-to-leader transition. It is also found that the gas temperature should significantly exceed 2000 K for the transition to lead to the inception of a propagating leader. Otherwise, the strong convection loss produced by the gas expansion during the transition causes a drop in the translational temperature below 2000 K, aborting the incepted leader. Furthermore, it is shown that the assumptions used by the widely-used model of Gallimberti do not hold when evaluating the streamer-to-leader transition.
streamer-to-leader transition, kinetic model, streamer corona, leader discharge, humidity effect
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject Electrical Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-204632OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-204632DiVA: diva2:1085732
23pp, submitted to Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. QCR 201704122017-03-302017-03-302017-04-17Bibliographically approved