Evaluating the impact of air terminal geometry on lightning intercept efficacy under a strong background electric field

Abstract

A comparative analysis of the attachment efficacy of sharpened vs blunted air terminals under a strong background DC electric field, similar to conditions found in naturally occurring lightning events, is presented. Testing was conducted using an oil-free, 17-stage, 1.4 MV bipolar Marx generator with a biased discharge plane that emulated the conditions found prior to the lightning return stroke. The biased discharge plane allowed the introduction of a strong DC electric field and subsequent corona formation on a time scale much longer than the brief duration over which the downward leader propagates. Initial observations indicate that despite a higher background electric field at the sharpened terminals, leading to pre-discharge corona formation where none is seen on the blunt terminal, both the sharpened and blunted terminals exhibit similar attachment probabilities during discharge events, with some discharge events attaching to both terminals.

Description

© 2024 Author(s). cc-by

Keywords

Citation

Fryar, N., Stephens, J., Mankowski, J., Dickens, J., Hattz, D., Koone, N., & Neuber, A.. 2024. Evaluating the impact of air terminal geometry on lightning intercept efficacy under a strong background electric field. AIP Advances, 14(4). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0198156

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