Step-Wise Propagation of Long Streamer in Electronegative Gases

  • Nickolay L. Aleksandrov
  • Edward M. Bazelyan


Observations and numerical simulation showed a step-wise development of a long streamer in highly non-uniform gaps at rising applied voltage.1,2This was obtained in electronegative gases such as air, 02 and SF6. It is known that the plasma in the streamer channel is characterized by a high density of charged particles (electron density n e ~ 1013 −1015 cm−3) and a considerable difference between electron temperature and gas temperature. Electron-ion recombination and electron attachment to a molecule in the streamer channel of radius r reduce fast the value of n e and consequently the conductivity γ = πr 2 en e μ e per unit channel length where µ e is the electron mobility. The plasma decay does not need to lead to a decrease of the streamer current which is written as
$$ {i_s} \approx {C_s}{\varphi _t}{v_s} + {C_s}{L_s}\frac{{dU}}{{dt}} $$
The first term on the right-hand side is determined by delivery of charge to the new streamer sections that must be charged up to the potential φ 1 of the streamer tip. This component of the current decreases with decreasing channel conductivity.The second term in Eq. (1) describes recharging the formed channel of the length L s and of the capacitance C s per unit length when the applied voltage U 0(t) rises in time. Here, U is the time-varying average potential of the streamer. If the streamer develops at a sharp front of the voltage impulse (at high positive values of dU/dt), the total current i s can remain constant or even increase in spite of the plasma decay. This will result in a growth of the electric field in the decaying streamer channel:
$$ {E_s} = \frac{{{i_s}}}{{\pi {r^2}e{n_e}{\mu _e}}} $$


Secondary Wave Applied Voltage Streamer Channel Electric Field Distribution Streamer Length 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nickolay L. Aleksandrov
    • 1
  • Edward M. Bazelyan
    • 2
  1. 1.Moscow Institute of Physics & TechnologyDolgoprudnyRussia
  2. 2.Krzhizhanovsky Power Engineering InstituteMoscowRussia

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