Investigation of the mechanisms leading to the electrical breakdown of a triggered water gap

M. Saniei, S.J. MacGregor, R.A. Fouracre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


The breakdown of a triggered, plane-parallel electrode system with water dielectric has been investigated. The gap was triggered by a discharge initiated at an electrically isolated trigger pin, positioned in the center of one of the electrodes, using a 500 ns voltage pulse. A 5000 fps CCD-camera monitored events occurring in the gap during such a discharge and the intensity variations of a laser beam transmitted through the electrode gap was also monitored. The results indicate the initiation, expansion and collapse of a gas bubble generated at the trigger electrode. The subsequent application of a voltage between the plane electrodes results in the complete breakdown of the gap due to the trigger discharge. The effect of a delay time between the trigger pulse and the application of the main gap voltage was consistent with the growth and collapse of the trigger-initiated bubble.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings from the Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena Conference, 2003
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0-7803-7910-1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003
EventConference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 2003 - , United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Oct 200322 Oct 2003


ConferenceConference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 2003
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • investigation
  • mechanisms
  • electrical breakdown
  • triggered water gaps
  • breakdown voltage
  • switches
  • resistors
  • optical pulses
  • monitoring
  • laser beams
  • gas lasers
  • electrodes
  • electric breakdown
  • dielectrics

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