Numerical modelling of electrode plasma generation

Ng, W.L., Tutty, O.R. and McBride, J.W. (2000) Numerical modelling of electrode plasma generation. In, The 27th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science. , IEEE, 164. (doi:10.1109/PLASMA.2000.854863).


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Arc erosion due to material transfer in the plasma developed between low voltage switching devices during opening and closure is one of the major mechanisms leading to contact failure. Electrical contact failure can have relatively catastrophic consequences.

This work is primarily concerned with the arc phenomena associated with low voltage switching devices during the breaking of two current carrying electrical contacts. It is assumed that the electrode plasma is initiated by the application of electric potential between electrodes which gives rise to a strong electric field which draws electrons from the cathode. This then generates a non-linear responses in the gas, involving fluid and reactive effects. A numerical solution to the Navier-Stokes equations in a multi-species, nonequilibrium reacting, viscous nitrogen plasma flow under the electrical arcing condition is presented here. Here, a convection-diffusion-ionization operator splitting scheme is adopted. The Navier-Stokes equations are divided into separate partial differential equations that describe respectively the convective, diffusive, chemical and electromagnetic effects separately.

A further geometric operator splitting is applied, in which the various part of the equations are reduced to a sequence of one-dimensional problems along grid lines which are relatively easy to solve conceptually. This has the advantage of maintaining sharp resolution of discontinuities and monotonicity in the solutions

Item Type: Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1109/PLASMA.2000.854863
ISBNs: 0780359828 (paperback)
Keywords: navier-stokes equations, arcs (electric), electrical contacts, plasma flow, plasma switches, plasma transport processes, wear
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics
ePrint ID: 155865
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
4 June 2000Delivered
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2010 09:15
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:26

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