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Title: Theoretical and experimental study of the formation conditions of stepped leaders in negative flashes

Natural lightning flashes are stochastic and uncontrollable, and thus, it is difficult to observe the formation process of a downward negative stepped leader (NSL) directly and in detail. This situation has led to some dispute over the actual NSL formation mechanism, and thus has hindered improvements in the lightning shielding analysis model. In this paper, on the basis of controllable long air gap discharge experiments, the formation conditions required for NSLs in negative flashes have been studied. First, a series of simulation experiments on varying scales were designed and carried out. The NSL formation processes were observed, and several of the characteristic process parameters, including the scale, the propagation velocity, and the dark period, were obtained. By comparing the acquired formation processes and the characteristic parameters with those in natural lightning flashes, the similarity between the NSLs in the simulation experiments and those in natural flashes was proved. Then, based on the local thermodynamic equation and the space charge estimation method, the required NSL formation conditions were deduced, and the space background electric field (E{sub b}) was proposed as the primary parameter for NSL formation. Finally, the critical value of E{sub b} required for the formation of NSLs in naturalmore » flashes was determined to be approximately 75‚ÄČkV/m by extrapolation of the results of the simulation experiments.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Research Institute, Chengdu 610072 (China)
  2. (China)
  3. State Key Laboratory of Control and Simulation of Power System and Generation Equipment, Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22490025
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 8; 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; AIR; ELECTRIC FIELDS; LIGHTNING; SHIELDING; SIMULATION; SPACE CHARGE; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; THERMODYNAMIC MODEL; VELOCITY