The Development of Fast Single-Shot and Repetitively-Operated SF6 Closing Switches for Pulsed-Power Applications

  • Owen Farish
  • Scott J. MacGregor


When sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) was first considered as a replacement for compressed air in gas-blast switchgear, it was attractive both for its high intrinsic strength and for its excellent dielectric recovery characteristics. These factors, coupled with the very rapid rates of voltage collapse, and hence the high values of dl/dt which are achievable at breakdown, also make SF6 the dielectric of choice in high-power plasma closing switches. For single-shot applications, SF6 spark-gap switches can be designed for voltages of 10kV-5MV, high current-handling capability and switching speeds up to 1015V/s.


Pulse Electric Field Sulphur Hexafluoride Thermal Recovery Voltage Collapse Voltage Recovery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A H Cookson, O Farish and G M L Sommerman.Effect of conducting particles on ac corona and breakdown in compressed SF6 IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, PAS-91, p1329–1338,1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    O Farish, O E Ibrahim and A Kurknoto, Prebreakdown corona processes in SF6 and SF6/N2 mixtures Proc 3rd International Symposium on High Voltage Technologies, paper 31.15,1979.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    I D Chalmers, O Farish and S J MacGregor, 201CThe effect of impulse waveshape on point/plane breakdown in SF6 Gaseous Dielectrics IV, Pergamon Press, New York, p344–351,1984.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S J MacGregor S M Turnbull, F A Tuema and A D R Phelps,Methods of improving the pulse repetition frequency of high pressure gas switches 10th Int Pulsed Power Conf, Albuquerque, p249–254,1995.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J Harrower, S J MacGregor and F A Tuema,Design Considerations for Corona Stabilised Repetitive Switches J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., Vol 32, p790–797,1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    S J MacGregor, S M Turnbull, F A Tuema and 0 Farish Factors affecting and methods of improving the pulse repetition frequency of pulse-charged and dc-charged high pressure gas switches Invited Paper, IEEE Trans Plasma Science, Vol 25, No 2, p110–117,1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    S J MacGregor, S M Turnbull and F A Tuema,A lOOkV, 1kHz triggered pulse generator Proc 22nd IEEE Power Modulator Symposium, Boca Raton, Florida, p153–156, 1996.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    J M Koutsoubis, S J MacGregor and S M Turnbull,Triggered Switch Performance in SF6 and SF6/air Mixtures IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 27, N° 1, p272–281, Feb, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    J A Harrower,The development and characterisation of corona-stabilised repetitive closing switches, PhD Thesis, University of Strathclyde, 2001.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    S J MacGregor, S M Turnbull, F A Tuema and O Farish,Enhanced spark gap recovery using non-linear V-p curves IEEE Trans Plasma Science, Vol 23, No 4, p798–804, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    S J MacGregor, D Bickers, I C Somerville and O Farish, “Temporal development of nanosecond electrical discharges in highly divergent gaps” 6th IEEE Int Pulsed Power Conf, Washington DC, USA, pl87–190, 1987.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    S M Turnbull, S J MacGregor, F A Tuema and O Farish, A quantitative laser Schlieren method for the measurement of neutral gas density in high pressure gas switches Meas Sci Technol. Vol 4, p1154–1159, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    S J MacGregor, O Farish, R Fouracre, N J Rowan and J G Anderson, Inactivation of Pathogenic and Spoilage Microorganisms in Liquids Using Pulsed Electric Fields,IEEE Trans Plasma Science, Vol 28, Nol,pl44–149,2000.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J G Anderson, N J Rowan, S J MacGregor, R Fouracre and O Farish,Inactivation of Food-borne Enteropathogenic Bacteria and Spoilage Fungi Using Pulsed-Light, IEEE Trans Plasma Science, Vol 28, N°l,p83–88,2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    S Espie, L Marsili, S J MacGregor and J G Anderson,Pulsed Power Inactivation of Liquid-Borne Microorganisms, Int Conf on Pulsed Power Applications, Gelsenkirchin, Germany, paper B07/1, 2001Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owen Farish
    • 1
  • Scott J. MacGregor
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Energy and EnvironmentUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations