PhD Benoît TEZENAS du MONTCEL
“Experimental study and modelling of a metal vapor plasma in a vacuum chamber for the development of High-Voltage Circuit Breakers”
In the frame of a project investigating the possibility to replace SF6 by vacuum as a breaking medium in High-Voltage circuit breakers, a study that focusses on acquiring a better understanding of the behavior of a metal vapor arc at long contact gap (> 10 mm) and controlled by an axial magnetic field (AMF) has been undertaken. The study involves first the building of an experimental setup where arcs, created between two fixed CuCr25 contacts, were visualized using a high-speed camera in a vacuum demountable chamber. Various types of arc regime have been observed. Moreover, by means of a numerical method of detection of the cathode spots, we were able to study the evolution of the spatial distribution of the cathode spots, to measure the average current carried by a spot and to determine the average radial profile of the current density at the cathode surface. This study had also for object the development of a 2D-axisymetric and quasi-steady magnetohydrodynamic model of the hydrodynamic flow region of the arc based on a two-fluid approach. The model allows to simulate the supersonic and the subsonic diffuse arc regimes. It is used to study the arc behavior as a function of to the arc current, the AMF intensity and the contact gap.
Vacuum arc, High-Voltage circuit breaker, Long contact gap, Axial magnetic field (AMF), Experimental study, Numerical study.