By V. N. Maller

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Extra info for Advances in High Voltage Insulation and Arc Interruption in SF6 and Vacuum

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The breakdown voltage primarily depends on the cathode material and the influence of the material increases with the gas pressure and the field strength. The anode is usually considered as not to have any effect on breakdown but under certain conditions the anode effect has been reported [61]. The preparation of the electrode surfaces has a significant influence on the breakdown in SFfi. Polishing and thorough degreasing the electrodes increases the breakdown strength, reduces the amount of conditioning and decreases the pre-breakdown emission current.

Breakdown voltage in SFfi is about five times that in nitrogen. Bered that such a breakdown in SF is preceded by violet corona. To make the best use of the high breakdown voltage of SF,- at this pressure, all the solid insulation present in the region o? the field must be capable of withstanding the violent corona. Generally, it is a common practice to design 33 High Voltage Breakdown in SF 6 Gas the apparatus to operate without corona. Therefore, with SFfi gas, the field non-uniformity must be avoided as far as possible.

If the discharge across x, is assured to occur at the Paschen law voltage, W can be estimated. Using this formula, the energy in the microdischarges formed when a spherical particle of 6 mm diameter meets an oppositely charged electrode has been estimated to be about 100 microjoules. W = 134 One of the objections to the microdischarge mechanism is that the calculated discharge energies are several orders of magnitude lower than those measured in a three-electrode trigatron gap in SFfi [52], However, the breakdown of the main gap will be predominantly deter­ mined by the ionization growth term n = n exp {/[or, f~nv \ ]d } O (X) {X; X evaluated across the gap, where n is the number of charge carriers produced by microdischarge and a,v x*/and n,(x) * are the ionization and attachment coefficients, respectively, at a given point.

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