Copper vapor diffusion during arc extinction in high-voltage circuit breaker

Thermal Plasma Modeling

There are plasmas of many different types and properties. Their electron energies and densities vary over several orders of magnitude. The plasmas used in nuclear fusion experiments can have temperatures of the order of 107 K or more, with average electron energies of the order 1 keV or greater. On the other hand, the temperatures of atmospheric pressure industrial plasmas such as electric arcs are of the order of 10 000 K, or 1 eV. Such plasmas have electron and ion number densities of about 1023 m−3. Plasmas at low pressure, such as glow discharges, which occur for example in fluorescent lamps, have a similar electron temperature of around 1 eV. However, the ions and neutrals are close to room temperature, and the electron number densities are very much lower, of the order of 1017 m−3. Thermal plasmas correspond to the electric arc category above. They are typically at around atmospheric pressure, and because of the high collision rate associated with the high pressure, have approximately equal electron and heavyparticle temperatures. (by A B Murphy)

MHD Simulation

MHD simulation: arc temperature

Arc temperature distribution during opening process in high-voltage circuit breaker

MHD simulation: copper vapor

Copper vapor distribution during opening process in high-voltage circuit breaker


. Review of Studies of Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Arc Plasma. Transactions of China Electrotechnical Society (in Chinese), 2016.

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