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Title: One-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation on the influence of electron and ion temperature on the sheath expansion process in the post-arc stage of vacuum circuit breaker

The inter-contact region of vacuum circuit breakers is filled with residual plasma at the moment when the current is zero after the burning of metal vapor arc. The residual plasma forms an ion sheath in front of the post-arc cathode. The sheath then expands towards the post-arc anode under the influence of a transient recovery voltage. In this study, a one-dimensional particle-in-cell model is developed to investigate the post-arc sheath expansion. The influence of ion and electron temperatures on the decrease in local plasma density at the post-arc cathode side and post-arc anode side is discussed. When the decay in the local plasma density develops from the cathode and anode sides into the high-density region and merges, the overall plasma density in the inter-contact region begins to decrease. Meanwhile, the ion sheath begins to expand faster. Furthermore, the theory of ion rarefaction wave only explains quantitatively the decrease in the overall plasma density at relatively low ion temperatures. With the increase of ion temperature to certain extent, another possible reason for the decrease in the overall plasma density is proposed and results from the more active thermal diffusion of plasma.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408151
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ANODES; CATHODES; CIRCUIT BREAKERS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CURRENTS; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ION TEMPERATURE; ONE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA SHEATH; THERMAL DIFFUSION