On 9/11/19 6:09 AM, Daniel Kunkel wrote:
Just curious about spark gap losses.
There are some discussions in the archives.. google site:pupman.com spark gap losses for more details What is the primary source of the
loss? I know some energy is lost through heat, light, and sound...do all of those losses stem from the energy required to ionize a channel through the air? Does the total gap distance (single or multiple) have anything to do with losses?
Spark gaps have a voltage drop that is some fixed number (40-100 V) (called the cathode drop) plus a thermal loss that is proportional to the length and inversely proportional to the square root of current. The cathode drop is affected somewhat by the material of the electrode and its temperature (sthermionic vacuum tube with a heated cathode being a nice example)
As the current goes up, the spark channel gets bigger in diameter - it turns out free burning arcs tend to have fairly constant temperature within the arc, so the arc expands until there's a balance between the power being dissipated from the current through the arc and the power lost through radiation/conduction to the surrounding air.
So a multigap will have a higher voltage drop (and loss) than the same total length as a single gap. However, because multigaps cool/quench better, that's why they're popular for static gaps.
Thanks, ~Dan Kansas City area _______________________________________________ Tesla mailing list Tesla@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx https://www.pupman.com/mailman/listinfo/tesla
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