Energy Addition to a Flowing Gas by High-Repetition-Rate, Arrested-Breakdown Discharges
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR United States
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When a steep-front impulse voltage is applied to a pair of corona- type electrodes, a current of several thousand amperes will flow through the gas for a period of 10 to the -8th to 10 to the -7th power second before spark streamer formation takes place. If the voltage is removed quickly enough and the duration of current flow is short enough, several joules of energy can be delivered to an atmospheric-density gas in a single suppressed-breakdown pulse. By using pulse repetition rates of several thousand per second, several kilowatts of electrical power can be delivered to a subsonic or supersonic gas stream by a single set of electrodes. Compared to arc-heating methods, the pulsed-corona discharge is diffuse and uniform and the gas flow remains much more homogeneous. In addition to possible wind-tunnel-air-heating applications, the process may be useful for MHD and other research requiring a non-equilibrium gas having substantial ionization and conductivity at room temperature.
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