Influence of the Arc on Breakdown Phenomena in Circuit Breakers
After the thermal interruption regime a zone of hot gas 300 < T < 5000 K is present in the circuit breaker. This zone is contracting and cooling down simultaneously. In the peak-regime the axial temperature is of the order of 2000 K. The development of the temperature distribution with time is investigated.
The decaying hot zone still contains charge carriers (mainly positive and negative ions). The ion concentration is generated by rather complex processes. It is large enough to be able to change the external electric field by space charges. As a consequence, a small current prior to breakdown occurs and the breakdown voltage is reduced.
The theory which is developed determines the ions which are generated by a decaying, axially blown arc. During the decay time until breakdown, recombination of ions, attachment, and recombination of atoms occurs to generally no more than diatomic molecules. The partial equilibrium concentration, as well as the kinetics of the reactions leading to equilibrium, is investigated.
KeywordsBreakdown Voltage Circuit Breaker Partial Equilibrium Axial Temperature Nozzle Throat
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