A study of energy partition during arc initiation

Sotiria G. Koutoula, Igor V. Timoshkin, Martin D. Judd, Scott J. MacGregor, Mark P. Wilson, Martin J. Given, Tao Wang, Emma I. Harrison

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This paper presents an analysis of energy partition among various physical processes during the formation of an electrical arc. Experimental work was conducted to accurately determine the energy delivered into the discharge. The transient voltage and current waveforms have been measured. An analytical model was developed which allows estimation of the energy partition in the discharge to be performed in order to evaluate risks associated with different energy components: thermal, kinetic-acoustic and light. Approximately 60% of the electrical energy is converted into mechanical work, subsequently contributing to the pressure rise. The results obtained will help in studies of safety considerations regarding hazards associated with plasma discharges in transient faults/sparks and during the onset of arcing faults (flash and blast hazards).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2137-2144
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number10
Early online date22 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016


  • discharge
  • initiation
  • energy
  • shock
  • flash
  • blast
  • acoustic
  • thermal
  • pressure

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