Evaluation of magnetic insulation in SF6 filled regions

T.L. Houck, T.J. Ferriera, D.A. Goerz, J.B. Javedani, R.D. Speer, L.K. Tully, G.E. Vogtlin
2009 2009 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference  
The use of magnetic fields perpendicular to quasistatic electric fields to deter electrical breakdown in vacuum, referred to as magnetic insulation, is well understood and used in numerous applications. Here we define quasi-static as applied high-voltage pulse widths much longer than the transit time of light across the electrode gap. For this report we extend the concept of magnetic insulation to include the inhibition of electrical breakdown in gases. Ionization and electrical breakdown of
more » ... cal breakdown of gases in crossed electric and magnetic fields is only a moderately explored research area. For sufficiently large magnetic fields an electron does not gain sufficient energy over a single cycloidal path to ionize the gas molecules. However, it may be possible for the electron to gain sufficient energy for ionization over a number of collisions. To study breakdown in a gas, the collective behavior of an avalanche of electrons in the formation of a streamer in the gas is required. Effective reduced electric field (EREF) theory, which considers the bulk properties of an electron avalanche, has been successful at describing the influence of a crossed magnetic field on the electric field required for breakdown in gases; however, available data to verify the theory has been limited to low gas pressures and weak electronegative gases. High power devices, for example explosively driven magnetic flux compressors, operate at electrical field stresses, magnetic fields, and insulating gas pressures nearly two orders of magnitude greater than published research for crossed fields in gases. The primary limitation of conducting experiments at higher pressures, e.g. atmospheric, is generating the large magnetic fields, 10's Tesla, and electric fields, >100 kV/cm, required to see a significant effect. In this paper we describe measurements made with a coaxial geometry diode, form factor of 1.2, operating at peak electrical field stress of 220 kV/cm, maximum magnetic field of 20 Tesla, and SF 6 pressure of 760 torr. SAR 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 6 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON a. REPORT unclassified b. ABSTRACT unclassified c. THIS PAGE unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
doi:10.1109/ppc.2009.5386321 fatcat:cfinb2y2qbdqncgaglthaehyz4