Numerical Modeling of Dielectric Breakdown in a Low Voltage Circuit Breaker Post Current-Zero
The overall objective of this research is analyzing the important factors contributing to dielectric breakdown in a low voltage circuit breaker post current-zero. If the proposed model is successful, it would be marked as the first effort of its kind in addressing chemical and kinetic non-equilibrium effects on dielectric breakdown involving plastic and metallic vapors. The model would also highlight important species, reactions, and pathways contributing to dielectric breakdown. Once completely validated and tested, it is expected that the proposed model would fit seamlessly into an encapsulating CFD model determining dielectric breakdown paths in realistic 3D circuit breaker geometries. MSI resources are primarily dedicated towards calculating (i) equilibrium and (ii) finite rate non-equilibrium species number densities and hence dielectric breakdown fields for cases (i) and (ii). A comparison is expected to be made between these two cases to assess the importance of non-equilibrium processes like non-Maxwellian EEDFs and finite-rate chemical reactions in a dielectric breakdown.
MSI is sorry to note that Professor Heberlein passed away on February 17, 2014. He had been a PI at MSI for over two decades. More information can be found in the News section of the MSI website and on the College of Science and Engineering website. The MSI staff extend their deepest condolences to Professor Heberlein’s family, friends, and colleagues.