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Voltage-Current Characteristic of Free Burning Arcs in SF6 Alternative Gas Mixtures
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  • Pawel Pietrzak ,
  • Joseph Engelbrecht ,
  • Philipp Simka ,
  • Henning Janssen ,
  • Pascal Devaud ,
  • Mahir Muratovic ,
  • Christian Franck
Pawel Pietrzak
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Joseph Engelbrecht
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Philipp Simka
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Henning Janssen
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Pascal Devaud
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Mahir Muratovic
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Christian Franck
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Abstract—Voltage-current characteristics of free burning arcs in SF6 and air have been known for decades. As the demand for an SF6-free solution is increasing, there is an accompanying need to determine arc parameters in the alternative gases. An unblown arc experiment has been established to determine the voltagecurrent characteristics of SF6 alternative gases, which have not yet been thoroughly studied. In this experiment free burning arc measurements were performed in a number of gases under consideration of SF6 alternatives, including CO2 and mixtures of CO2 / O2 with and without C4F7N or C5F10O additives at concentrations of up to 10 %. Measurements were also performed in air and SF6 for comparison. Arc voltage was measured in each gas at pressures ranging from 1 bar to 5 bar absolute, and electrode separations ranging from 20 mm to 95 mm. Voltagecurrent characteristic measurements for air and SF6 show good agreement with previously published results. A linear relationship of the arc voltage to the arc length is shown, as well as fourth root dependence of the arc voltage on the gas pressure. It was shown that neither the O2 nor the fluorinated additives to CO2 have any significant influence on the voltage-current characteristic. The minimum arc voltage in all measured gases was slightly higher than in SF6, but the arc in SF6 was the least stable and had the highest elongations resulting in high voltage peaks. The arc voltage in air had a similar minimum value to the CO2 based gases, but the arc was much more stable, resulting in lower effective voltage, especially at low currents.