Assessment of the power balance at a copper cathode submitted to an electric arc by surface temperature measurements and numerical modelling

Abstract : The aim of this work is to improve the understanding of the heating of copper cathodes under the action of a nonstationary electric arc in air. An experimental method is proposed for the measurement of the surface temperature distribution just after a very fast arc-controlled arc extinction. The arc current intensity is about 60-70 A, and the arc duration is in the range of 2.5-5 ms. Different kinds of surface temperature distributions have been observed depending on the arc root behavior. The measurement of the temperature decrease after the arc extinction was used to estimate the cathode surface temperature just at the moment of arc extinction. Two-dimensional thermal modeling taking into account phase changes is used to estimate the power balance at the cathode surface and to propose a second estimation of the surface temperature at the point of arc extinction. The comparisons between experimental results and thermal modeling lead in the present experimental conditions to a volt equivalent at the cathode in the range 6.7-10.7 V, to a surface power density in the range0.6 × 109 - 2.5 × 109 W/m2 and to a maximum surface temperature in the range 850°C-1300 °C .
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Romaric Landfried, Thierry Leblanc, Mike Kirkpatrick, Philippe Testé. Assessment of the power balance at a copper cathode submitted to an electric arc by surface temperature measurements and numerical modelling. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2012, 40 (4), pp.1205-1216. ⟨10.1109/TPS.2012.2185069⟩. ⟨hal-00777866⟩

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