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Discharge-generated electrical fields and electrical tree structures

Dissado, L. A., Fothergill, J. & Bromley, K. S. (1998). Discharge-generated electrical fields and electrical tree structures. Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP), Annual Report, 2, pp. 649-652. doi: 10.1109/CEIDP.1998.732981


The discharge-avalanche (D-A) model for electrical tree propagation in polymers is founded entirely upon basic physical concepts. Electrical discharges in an existing tree structure are taken to raise the electrical field in the polymer both along the discharge path and particularly at the tree tips. As a result of the field increase, electron multiplication avalanches occur within the polymer causing damage, possibly through ionisation of polymer molecules, which is accumulated over a period of thousands (or more) cycles and eventually leads to a tree extension of limited size. The assumption that the damage produced in an avalanche is proportional to the number of ionisations allows the model to be expressed quantitatively in terms of material properties: such as the ionisation potential, I; the impact-ionisation length parameter λ; the critical number of ionisations for tree extension Nc; discharge features such as the number of 1-electron initiated avalanches per half cycle, Nb ; and the potential difference ΔV between the start and end of the avalanche over a distance Lb.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: Presidents's Portfolio
School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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