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Follow-on to a report on the Applicability of the “Gallet equation” to the vegetation clearances of NERC Reliability Standard FAC-003-2

Description: In earlier work, a study done at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory examined a NERC proposed standard specifying clearances between vegetation and power lines. The method proposed for calculating the clearances was based on the results of testing for high-voltage line designs. An equation developed to relate the results of testing with rod-plane gaps to proposed tower window sizes was incorporated into the calculations. The equation in question, sometimes called the “Gallet equation,” describes the insulation performance of the atmosphere for air gaps of a few meters. The equation was described in the PNNL study as a good and simple-to-use way to solve a problem made difficult by the nonlinear interactions of the variables. For calculations based on this equation, a certain set of assumptions must be made. In particular, a value for a quantity called the “gap factor” is needed. This is the amount by which the gap to be modeled by the equation is stronger than the reference gap that was used in developing the Gallet equation. That reference gap is the gap between a rod and a plane. This follow-on report examines the effect on flashover probabilities of assuming an incorrect value for the gap factor. In particular, the flashover probability is found that would result from using a value of 1.3 when a gap factor of 1.0 should be applied. It is shown that with these assumptions the probability of a flashover changes from being extremely unlikely (about 1 in 1000 chance) to a virtual certainty (about 97% chance).
Date: August 31, 2012
Creator: Kirkham, Harold
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applicability of the “Gallet equation” to the vegetation clearances of NERC Reliability Standard FAC-003-2

Description: NERC has proposed a standard to use to specify clearances between vegetation and power lines. The purpose of the rule is to reduce the probability of flashover to a calculably low level. This report was commissioned by FERC’s Office of Electrical Reliability. The scope of the study was analysis of the mathematics and documentation of the technical justification behind the application of the Gallet equation and the assumptions used in the technical reference paper
Date: March 31, 2012
Creator: Kirkham, Harold
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-performance insulator structures for accelerator applications

Description: A new, high gradient insulator technology has been developed for accelerator systems. The concept involves the use of alternating layers of conductors and insulators with periods of order 1 mm or less. These structures perform many times better (about 1.5 to 4 times higher breakdown electric field) than conventional insulators in long pulse, short pulse, and alternating polarity applications. We describe our ongoing studies investigating the degradation of the breakdown electric field resulting from alternate fabrication techniques, the effect of gas pressure, the effect of the insulator-to-electrode interface gap spacing, and the performance of the insulator structure under bi-polar stress.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Sampayan, S.E.; Caporaso, G.J.; Sanders, D.M.; Stoddard, R.D.; Trimble, D.O.; Elizondo, J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method of producing very high resistivity surface conduction on ceramic accelerator components using metal ion implantation

Description: An important technique used for the suppression of surface flashover on high voltage DC ceramic insulators as well as for RF windows is that of providing some surface conduction to bleed off accumulated surface charge. The authors have used metal ion implantation to modify the surface of high voltage ceramic vacuum insulators to provide a uniform surface resistivity of approximately 5 x 10{sup 10} Q{sup 2}. A vacuum arc ion source based implanter was used to implant Pt at an energy of about 135 MeV to doses of up to more than 5 x 10{sup 16} ions cm{sup 2} into small ceramic test coupons and also into the inside surface of several ceramic accelerator columns 25 cm I. D. by 28 cm long. Here they describe the experimental set-up used to do the ion implantation and summarize the results of their exploratory work on implantation into test coupons as well as the implantations of the actual ceramic columns.
Date: May 1, 1997
Creator: Liu, F.; Brown, I.; Phillips, L.; Biallas, G. & Siggins, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Power line damage, electrical outages, reduced in the {open_quotes}sleet belt{close_quotes}

Description: Companies that depend on reliable supplies of electricity, as well as electrical utilities, need to defend against weather-related damage and power outages. Weather-related damage claims in the U.S. totaled $16 billion during the ten-year span from 1980 through 1989 and have already reached $48 billion in the first five years of this decade, evidence that climate change could be causing more severe storms. This makes technology that minimizes weather damage all the more welcome. Ice and snow build-up on high-voltage electric power lines in a moderate to high winds causes high-amplitude low-frequency mechanical vibrations, called galloping. When power lines react aero-elastically to these conditions, undamped vibration tears apart transmission towers and fittings or propels lines into each other, shorting out large circuits. Besides causing costly electric system outages and structural damage, this dramatic phenomenon steals power through higher electricity line losses that occur when other conductors have to carry more power to compensate for a tripped or damaged line. In a 1981 survey, 17 of 38 utilities reported that galloping was a moderate to severe problem, and 11 reported that they had a galloping event at least once a year. Fifty-seven percent of the incidents included flashover, and 60% included structural damage.
Date: April 1, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fast Diagnostic For Electrical Breakdowns In Vacuum

Description: The design of an inexpensive, small, high bandwidth diagnostic for the study of vacuum insulator flashover is described. The diagnostic is based on the principle of capacitive coupling and is commonly referred to as a D-dot probe due to its sensitivity to the changing of the electric displacement field. The principle challenge for the design proved to be meeting the required mechanical size for the application rather than bandwidth. An array of these probes was fabricated and used in an insulator test stand. Data from the test stand with detailed analysis is presented. A highlight of the application of the probes to the test stand was the ability to detect the charging of the insulator surface by UV illumination as a prelude to the insulator flashover. The abrupt change in the insulator's surface charge during the flashover was also detected.
Date: March 25, 2008
Creator: Houck, T L; Javedani, J B & Lahowe, D A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Vacuum surface flashover and high pressure gas streamers

Description: Pre-breakdown current traces obtained during high pressure gas breakdown and vacuum surface flashover show similar signatures. The initial pre-breakdown current spike, a flat constant current phase, and the breakdown phase with voltage collapse and current surge differ mostly in magnitude. Given these similarities, a model, consisting of the initial current spike corresponding to a fast precursor streamer (ionization wave led by a photoionizing front), the flat current stage as the heating or glow phase, and the terminal avalanche and gap closure, is applied to vacuum surface flashover. A simple analytical approximation based on the resistivity changes induced in the vacuum and dielectric surface is presented. The approximation yields an excellent fit to pre-breakdown time delay vs applied field for previously published experimental data. A detailed kinetics model that includes surface and gas contributions is being developed based in the initial approximation.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Elizondo, J.M.; Krogh, M.L.; Smith, D.; Stolz, D.; Wright, S.N.; Sampayan, S.E. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characteristics of high gradient insulators for accelerator and high power flow applications

Description: The high gradient insulator has been demonstrated to operate at levels comparable or better than special geometry or coated insulators. Some patented insulator configurations allow for sophisticated accelerator structures, high power flow interfaces, and microwave applications not previously possible. Sophisticated manufacturing techniques available at AlliedSignal FM and T made this development possible. Bipolar and high power flow applications are specially suited for present insulator designs. The insulator shows a beneficial effect when used under RF fields or RF structures. These insulators can be designed, to a first approximation, from simple electron flight path equations. With a recently developed model of surface flashover physics the authors completed a set of design calculations that include effects such as layer density and dielectric/metal thickness. Experimental data, obtained in the last few years of development, is presented and reviewed. Several insulator fabrication characteristics, indicating critical design parameters, are also presented.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Elizondo, J.M.; Krogh, M.L. & Smith, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electrostatic Modeling of Vacuum Insulator Triple Junctions

Description: Triple junctions are often initiation points for insulator flashover in pulsed power devices. The two-dimensional finite-element TriComp [1] modeling software suite was utilized for its electrostatic field modeling package to investigate electric field behavior in the anode and cathode triple junctions of a high voltage vacuum-insulator interface. TriComp enables simple extraction of values from a macroscopic solution for use as boundary conditions in a subset solution. Electric fields computed with this zoom capability correlate with theoretical analysis of the anode and cathode triple junctions within submicron distances for nominal electrode spacing of 1.0 cm. This paper will discuss the iterative zoom process with TriComp finite-element software and the corresponding theoretical verification of the results.
Date: October 25, 2006
Creator: Tully, L K; Goerz, D A; Houck, T L & Javedani, J B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Understanding High Voltage Vacuum Insulators for Microsecond Pulses

Description: High voltage insulation is one of the main areas of pulsed power research and development since the surface of an insulator exposed to vacuum can fail electrically at an applied field more than an order or magnitude below the bulk dielectric strength of the insulator. This is troublesome for applications where high voltage conditioning of the insulator and electrodes is not practical and where relatively long pulses, on the order of several microseconds, are required. Here we give a summary of our approach to modeling and simulation efforts and experimental investigations for understanding flashover mechanism. The computational work is comprised of both filed and particle-in-cell modeling with state-of-the-art commercial codes. Experiments were performed in using an available 100-kV, 10-{micro}s pulse generator and vacuum chamber. The initial experiments were done with polyethylene insulator material in the shape of a truncated cone cut at +45{sup o} angle between flat electrodes with a gap of 1.0 cm. The insulator was sized so there were no flashovers or breakdowns under nominal operating conditions. Insulator flashover or gap closure was induced by introducing a plasma source, a tuft of velvet, in proximity to the insulator or electrode.
Date: August 15, 2007
Creator: J.B., J; D.A., G; T.L., H; E.J., L; R.D., S; L.K., T et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DIELECTRIC WALL ACCELERATOR TECHNOLOGY

Description: The dielectric wall accelerator (DWA) is a compact pulsed power device where the pulse forming lines, switching, and vacuum wall are integrated into a single compact geometry. For this effort, we initiated a extensive compact pulsed power development program and have pursued the study of switching (gas, oil, laser induced surface flashover and photoconductive), dielectrics (ceramics and nanoparticle composites), pulse forming line topologies (asymmetric and symmetric Blumleins and zero integral pulse forming lines), and multilayered vacuum insulator (HGI) technology. Finally, we fabricated an accelerator cell for test on ETAII (a 5.5 MeV, 2 kA, 70 ns pulsewidth electron beam accelerator). We review our past results and report on the progress of accelerator cell testing.
Date: October 18, 2007
Creator: Sampayan, S; Caporaso, G; Chen, Y; Harris, J; Hawkins, S; Holmes, C et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Displacement Current and Surface Flashover

Description: High-voltage vacuum insulator failure is generally due to surface flashover rather than insulator bulk breakdown. Vacuum surface flashover is widely believed to be initiated by a secondary electron emission avalanche along the vacuum-insulator interface. This process requires a physical mechanism to cause secondary electrons emitted from the insulator surface to return to that surface. Here, we show that when an insulator is subjected to a fast high-voltage pulse, the magnetic field due to displacement current through the insulator can provide this mechanism. This indicates the importance of the voltage pulse shape, especially the rise time, in the flashover initiation process.
Date: July 17, 2007
Creator: harris, J R; Caporaso, G J; Blackfield, D & Chen, Y J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Study of Vacuum Insulator Flashover for Pulse Lengths of Multi-Microseconds

Description: We are studying the flashover of vacuum insulators for applications where high voltage conditioning of the insulator and electrodes is not practical and for pulse lengths on the order of several microseconds. The study is centered about experiments performed with a 100-kV, 10-ms pulsed power system and supported by a combination of theoretical and computational modeling. The base line geometry is a cylindrically symmetric, +45{sup o} insulator between flat electrodes. In the experiments, flashovers or breakdowns are localized by operating at field stresses slightly below the level needed for explosive emissions with the base line geometry. The electrodes and/or insulator are then seeded with an emission source, e.g. a tuft of velvet, or a known mechanical defect. Various standard techniques are employed to suppress cathode-originating flashovers/breakdowns. We present the results of our experiments and discuss the capabilities of modeling insulator flashover.
Date: July 31, 2006
Creator: Houck, T; Goerz, D; Javedani, J; Lauer, E; Tully, L & Vogtlin, G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restoration and testing of an HTS fault current controller

Description: A three-phase, 1200 A, 12.5 kV fault current controller using three HTS 4 mH coils, was built by industry and tested in 1999 at the Center Substation of Southern California Edison in Norwalk, CA. During the testing, it appeared that each of the three single-phase units had experienced a voltage breakdown, one externally and two internally. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) was asked by DOE to restore the operation of the fault current controller provided the HTS coils had not been damaged during the initial substation tests. When the internally-failed coil vacuum vessels were opened it became evident that in these two vessels, a flashover had occurred at the high voltage bus section leading to the terminals of the superconducting coil. An investigation into the failure mechanism resulted in six possible causes for the flashover. Based on these causes, the high voltage bus was completely redesigned. Single-phase tests were successfully performed on the modified unit at a 13.7 kV LANL substation. This paper presents the postulated voltage flashover failure mechanisms, the new high voltage bus design which mitigates the failure mechanisms, the sequence of tests used to validate the new design, and finally, the results of variable load and short-circuit tests with the single-phase unit operating on the LANL 13.7 kV substation.
Date: January 1, 2002
Creator: Waynert, J. A. (Joseph A.); Boenig, H. (Heinrich E.); Mielke, C. H. (Charles H.); Willis, J. O. (Jeffrey O.) & Burley, B. L. (Burt L.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Neutron Production from Feedback Controlled Thermal Cycling of a Pyroelectric Crystal Stack

Description: The LLNL Crystal Driven Neutron Source is operational and has produced record ion currents of {approx}10 nA and neutron output of 1.9 ({+-}0.3) x 10{sup 5} per thermal cycle using a crystal heating rate of 0.2 C/s from 10 C to 110 C. A 3 cm diameter by 1 cm thick LiTaO{sub 3} crystal with a socket secured field emitter tip is thermally cycled with feedback control for ionization and acceleration of deuterons onto a deuterated target to produce D-D fusion neutrons. The entire crystal and temperature system is mounted on a bellows which allows movement of the crystal along the beam axis and is completely contained on a single small vacuum flange. The modular crystal assembly permitted experimental flexibility. Operationally, flashover breakdowns along the side of the crystal and poor emitter tip characteristics can limit the neutron source. The experimental neutron results extend earlier published work by increasing the ion current and pulse length significantly to achieve a factor-of-two higher neutron output per thermal cycle. These findings are reviewed along with details of the instrument.
Date: August 9, 2007
Creator: Tang, V; Meyer, G; Schmid, G; Spadaccini, C; Kerr, P; Rusnak, B et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Understanding and Improving High Voltage Vacuum Insulators for Microsecond Pulses

Description: High voltage insulation is one of the main areas of pulsed power research and development, and dielectric breakdown is usually the limiting factor in attaining the highest possible performance in pulsed power devices. For many applications the delivery of pulsed power into a vacuum region is the most critical aspect of operation. The surface of an insulator exposed to vacuum can fail electrically at an applied field more than an order or magnitude below the bulk dielectric strength of the insulator. This mode of breakdown, called surface flashover, imposes serious limitations on the power flow into a vacuum region. This is especially troublesome for applications where high voltage conditioning of the insulator and electrodes is not practical and for applications where relatively long pulses, on the order of several microseconds, are required. The goal of this project is to establish a sound fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that lead to surface flashover, and then evaluate the most promising techniques to improve vacuum insulators and enable high voltage operation at stress levels near the intrinsic bulk breakdown limits of the material. The approach we proposed and followed was to develop this understanding through a combination of theoretical and computation methods coupled with experiments to validate and quantify expected behaviors. In this report we summarize our modeling and simulation efforts, theoretical studies, and experimental investigations. The computational work began by exploring the limits of commercially available codes and demonstrating methods to examine field enhancements and defect mechanisms at microscopic levels. Plasma simulations with particle codes used in conjunction with circuit models of the experimental apparatus enabled comparisons with experimental measurements. The large scale plasma (LSP) particle-in-cell (PIC) code was run on multiprocessor platforms and used to simulate expanding plasma conditions in vacuum gap regions. Algorithms were incorporated into LSP to handle secondary ...
Date: March 5, 2007
Creator: Javedani, J B; Goerz, D A; Houck, T L; Lauer, E J; Speer, R D; Tully, L K et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

1994 Triggered Lightning Test Program: Measured responses of a reinforced concrete building under direct lightning attachments

Description: A rocket-triggered lightning test was carried out during the summer of 1994 on a specially designed steel reinforced concrete test building located at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. Currents, voltages, and magnetic fields were measured at 24 instrumented locations during 42 return strokes triggered to designated points on the structure and its lightning protection systems. As was found during an earlier similar lightning test of an earth covered munitions storage building, the buried power service conduits carried a much larger fraction of incident stroke current away from the building than did the intended grounding elements of the lightning protection system. Electrical breakdown and subsequent arcing occurred repeatedly to create dominant current paths to earth that were not accounted for in pretest linear modeling. Potential hazard level transient voltages, surprisingly more resistive than inductive in nature, were recorded throughout the structure. Also surprisingly, strikes to a single grounded protection mast system resulted in internal environments that were generally comparable to those occurring during strikes to roof-mounted air terminals. A description of the test structure, experimental procedures, and a full set of the resultant data are presented in this two-volume report.
Date: August 1, 1995
Creator: Schnetzer, G.H.; Chael, J.; Davis, R.; Fisher, R.J. & Magnotti, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SECONDARY ELECTRON TRAJECTORIES IN HIGH-GRADIENT VACUUM INSULATORS WITH FAST HIGH-VOLTAGE PULSES

Description: Vacuum insulators composed of alternating layers of metal and dielectric, known as high-gradient insulators (HGIs), have been shown to withstand higher electric fields than conventional insulators. Primary or secondary electrons (emitted from the insulator surface) can be deflected by magnetic fields from external sources, the high-current electron beam, the conduction current in the transmission line, or the displacement current in the insulator. These electrons are deflected either toward or away from the insulator surface and this affects the performance of the vacuum insulator. This paper shows the effects of displacement current from short voltage pulses on the performance of high gradient insulators. Generally, vacuum insulator failure is due to surface flashover, initiated by electrons emitted from a triple junction. These electrons strike the insulator surface thus producing secondary electrons, and can lead to a subsequent electron cascade along the surface. The displacement current in the insulator can deflect electrons either toward or away from the insulator surface, and affects the performance of the vacuum insulator when the insulator is subjected to a fast high-voltage pulse. Vacuum insulators composed of alternating layers of metal and dielectric, known as high-gradient insulators (HGIs), have been shown to withstand higher electric fields than conventional insulators. HGIs, being tolerant of the direct view of high-current electron and ion beams, and having desirable RF properties for accelerators, are a key enabling technology for the dielectric-wall accelerators (DWA) being developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Characteristically, insulator surface breakdown thresholds go up as the applied voltage pulse width decreases. To attain the highest accelerating gradient in the DWA, short accelerating voltage pulses are only applied locally, along the HGI accelerator tube, in sync with the charged particle bunch, and the effects of displacement current on trajectories of electrons emitted from HGI surface are particularly interesting. This ...
Date: April 21, 2010
Creator: Chen, Y; Blackfield, D; Nelson, S D & Poole, B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department