Relationship between electrode surface roughness and impulse breakdown voltage in vacuum gap of Cu and Cu-Cr electrodes

Adv. Technol. R&D Center, Mitsubishi Electr. Corp., Hyogo, Japan
IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation (Impact Factor: 1.28). 09/2003; 10(4):576 - 582. DOI: 10.1109/TDEI.2003.1219640
Source: IEEE Xplore


The relationship between the impulse breakdown voltage of vacuum gaps and electrode surface roughness was investigated for the purpose of controlling the surface roughness on HV conductors. The roughness of mechanically polished Cu and Cu-Cr electrodes was measured with a roughness meter, and the relationship between the breakdown voltage and surface roughness was obtained for plate-to-plate gaps. The discharge-conditioning effect increased with reduction in the surface roughness. The breakdown voltage depended not only on the roughness of the cathode but also on the anode surfaces. Reducing the surface roughness was found not to be an effective way to increase the breakdown voltage for non-uniform field gaps after discharge conditioning.

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