Laboratory experiments cannot be utilized to justify the action of Early Streamer Emission terminals
2008 (English)In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, ISSN 0022-3727, E-ISSN 1361-6463, Vol. 41, no 8, 085204- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The early emission of streamers in laboratory long air gaps under switching impulses has been observed to reduce the time of initiation of leader positive discharges. This fact has been arbitrarily extrapolated by the manufacturers of early streamer emission devices to the case of upward connecting leaders initiated under natural lightning conditions, in support of those non-conventional terminals that claim to perform better than Franklin lightning rods. In order to discuss the physical basis and validity of these claims, a self-consistent model based on the physics of leader discharges is used to simulate the performance of lightning rods in the laboratory and under natural lightning conditions. It is theoretically shown that the initiation of early streamers can indeed lead to the early initiation of self-propagating positive leaders in laboratory long air gaps under switching voltages. However, this is not the case for positive connecting leaders initiated from the same lightning rod under the influence of the electric field produced by a downward moving stepped leader. The time evolution of the development of positive leaders under natural conditions is different from the case in the laboratory, where the leader inception condition is closely dependent upon the initiation of the first streamer burst. Our study shows that the claimed similarity between the performance of lightning rods under switching electric fields applied in the laboratory and under the electric field produced by a descending stepped leader is not justified. Thus, the use of existing laboratory results to validate the performance of the early streamer lightning rods under natural conditions is not justified.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 41, no 8, 085204- p.
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97283DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/41/8/085204ISI: 000254329500024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97283DiVA: diva2:172149