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Title: Theory of partial discharge and arc formation
Author: Shipley, Adrian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 6631
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The demand for electrical power has consistently risen over time, whether it be to support the development and expansion of cities or because traditional approaches to societies solutions are being replaced by their electrical equivalent. The automotive industry is beginning to introduce more electric, greener vehicles. The aviation industry is also being challenged with the same issues. Whatever the motivation, this rising demand for power is always facilitated by employing higher and higher voltage levels. It is well understood that if the voltage is too high for a given air gap, electric breakdown will occur. this effect is exacerbated by increases in altitude, resulting in constant challenges in aviation to satisfy the contradictory demands for smaller/lighter compact solutions against the biggest possible air gaps necessary to prevent electric breakdown. An experimental curve by Louis Karl Heinrich Friedrich Paschen was developed, which relates the voltage at which electric breakdown would be expected to that of the product of gas pressure (p) and distance (d). The aviation industry does not use this curve directly as alternate guidance documents are used. These documents are extremely conservative, sometimes overly so, as will be seen in the thesis. Mathematical attempts have been provided to try and explain the Paschen curve, based on Townsend Primary and secondary ionisation. However, the variable 'pd' does not get explicitly linked and a type of mathematical fudge becomes incorporated. This thesis attempts to provide a theory of the minimum electric breakdown curve and fundamentally link he 'pd' product. by experimental validation of the theory, with the accepted standards included. A basis for challenging these standards may result and prevent potential over engineering in the future in this continually challenging environment. This theory will then go on to explain arc formation by providing a treatment to a paradox that occurs at the point of breakdown.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics