Accurate Prediction Method of Breakdown Voltage in Air at Atmospheric Pressure

  • Kim, Nam-Kyung (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Lee, Se-Hee (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Georghiou, G.E. (Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Cyprus) ;
  • Kim, Dong-Wook (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kim, Dong-Hun (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Kyungpook National University)
  • Received : 2010.08.10
  • Accepted : 2011.09.23
  • Published : 2012.01.01


To predict accurately the breakdown voltage in air at atmospheric pressure, a fully coupled finite element analysis combining the hydrodynamic diffusion-drift equations with Poisson's equation is proposed in the current paper. As three kinds of charged transport particles are nonlinearly coupled with spatial electric fields, the equations should be solved by an iterative numerical scheme, in which secondary effects, such as photoemission and photoionization, are considered. The proposed method has been successfully applied to evaluate the breakdown voltage in circular parallel-plane electrodes. Its validity has been proved through the comparison of the predicted and experimental results. The effects of numerical conditions of the initial charge, photoemission, and background ionization on the discharge phenomena are quantitatively assessed through Taguchi's design of experiment method.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


  1. G. E. Georghiou, R. Morrow and A. C. Metaxas, "Two-dimensional simulation of streamers using the FE-FCT algorithm," J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. vol. 33, pp. L27-L32, 2000.
  2. J. P. Boris, "Flux-corrected transport I. SHASTA, A fluid transport algorithm that works," J. Comput. Phys., vol. 11, pp. 38-69, 1973.
  3. S. T. Zalezak, "Fully multidimensional flux-corrected transport algorithms for fluids," J. Comput. Phys., vol. 31, pp. 335-362, 1979.
  4. R. Morrow and J. J. Lowke, "Streamer propagation in air," J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. vol. 30, pp. 614-627, 1997.
  5. G. E. Georghiou, et al., "Numerical Modeling of atmospheric pressure gas discharges leading to plasma production," J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. vol. 38, pp. R303-R328, 2005.
  6. W. Min, et al., "An investigate of FEM-FCT method for streamer corona simulation," IEEE Trans Magn., vol. 36, pp. 1280-1284, 2000.
  7. B. Khaddour, et al., "Numerical solution and experiment test for corona discharge between blade and plate," IEEE Trans Magn., vol. 43, pp. 1193-1196, 2007.
  8. Se-Hee Lee, Se-Yeon Lee, Young-Ki Chung and Il-Han Park, "Finite-Element Analysis of Corona Discharge Onset in Air With Artificial Diffusion Scheme and Under Fowler-Nordheim Electron Emission," IEEE Trans Magn., vol. 43, pp. 1453-1456, 2007.
  9. O. C. Zienkiewicz, R. L. Taylor, and P. Nithiarasu, The Finite Element Method for Fluid Dynamics, 6th edition, Elsevier, 2005.
  10. G. E. Georghiou, R. Morrow and A. C. Metaxas, "The effect of photoemission on the streamer development and propagation in short uniform gaps," J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. vol. 34, pp. 200-208, 2001.
  11. A. Hallac, G. E. Georghiou and A. C. Metaxas, "Secondary emission effects on streamer branching in transient non-uniform short-gap discharge," J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. vol. 36, pp. 2498-2509, 2003.
  12. G. E. Georghiou, R. Morrow and A. C. Metaxas, "Characterization of point-plane corona in air at radio frequency using the FE-FCT method," J. Phys D: Appl. Phys., vol. 32, pp. 2204-2218, 1999.
  13. J.M. Meek and J. D. Craggs, Electrical Breakdown of Gasses, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 1978.
  14. S. X. Chen, T. S. Low, and B. Bruhl, "The robust design approach for reducing cogging torque in permanent magnetic motors", IEEE Trans Magn., vol. 34, pp. 2135-2137, 1998.
  15. H. T. Wang, Z. J. Liu, S. X. Chen, and J. P. Yang, "Application of Taguchi method to robust design of BLDC motor performance", IEEE Trans Magn., vol. 35, pp. 3700-3702, 1999.
  16. T. Low, S. Chen, and X. Gao, "Robust torque optimization for BLDC spindle motors", IEEE Trans Magn., vol. 48, pp. 656-663, 2001.

Cited by

  1. A prediction method for breakdown voltage of typical air gaps based on electric field features and support vector machine vol.22, pp.4, 2015,
  2. Electrostatic field features on the shortest interelectrode path and a SVR model for breakdown voltage prediction of rod–plane air gaps vol.12, pp.7, 2018,