Nozzle Wear and Pressure Rise in Heating Volume of Self-blast Type Ultra-high Pressure Nitrogen Arc


  • F. Abid Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • K. Niayesh Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • N. S. Støa-Aanensen SINTEF Energy Research



ultrahigh pressure arc, nozzle wear, supercritical fluid, arc discharge


This paper reports on experiments with ultra-high pressure nitrogen arcs in a self-blast type switch design. The effect of filling pressure on nozzle mass loss and pressure-rise in the heating volume were investigated. An arc current peak of 130 A at 190 Hz and a fixed inter-electrode gap of 50 mm were used throughout the experiment. The arc burns inside a polytetrafluoroethylene nozzle with a gas outflow vent in the middle. Nitrogen filling pressure of 1 bar, 20 bar, and 40 bar was tested, which also covers the supercritical region. Moreover, to study the effect of vent size on blow pressure near current zero, three different vent dimensions were investigated. By increasing the filling pressure, the energy deposited in the arc increases as a result of increased arcing voltage. It was observed that the pressure-rise in the heating volume is linked to the filling pressure, while the vent size plays a crucial role in the blow pressure near current zero. The nozzle mass loss per unit energy deposited in the arc is found to be independent of the filling pressure.


W. Hermann and K. Ragaller. Theoretical description of the current interruption in HV gas blast breakers. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and systems, 96(5):1546–1555, 1977. doi:10.1109/T-PAS.1977.32483.

J. Zhang, E. van Heesch, F. Beckers, A. Pemen, R. Smeets, T. Namihira, and A. Markosyan. Breakdown strength and dielectric recovery in a high pressure supercritical nitrogen switch. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, 22(4):1823–1832, 2015. doi:10.1109/TDEI.2015.005013.

T. Kiyan, A. Uemura, B. C. Roy, T. Namihira, M. Hara, M. Sasaki, M. Goto, and H. Akiyama. Negative DC prebreakdown phenomena and breakdown-voltage characteristics of pressurized carbon dioxide up to supercritical conditions. IEEE transactions on plasma science, 35(3):656–662, 2007. doi:10.1109/TPS.2007.896774.

F. Abid, K. Niayesh, E. Jonsson, N. S. Støa-Aanensen, and M. Runde. Arc voltage characteristics in ultrahigh-pressure nitrogen including supercritical region. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 46(1):187–193, 2018. doi:10.1109/TPS.2017.2778800.

F. Abid, K. Niayesh, and N. S. StÃÿa-Aanensen. Ultrahigh-pressure nitrogen arcs burning inside cylindrical tubes. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 47(1):754–761, Jan 2019. doi:10.1109/TPS.2018.2880841.

M. Seeger, B. Galletti, R. Bini, V. Dousset, A. Iordanidis, D. Over, N. Mahdizadeh, M. Schwinne, P. Stoller, and T. Votteler. Some aspects of current interruption physics in high voltage circuit breakers. Contributions to Plasma Physics, 54(2):225–234, 2014. doi:10.1002/ctpp.201310067.

Z. Guo, X. Li, Y. Zhang, X. Guo, and J. Xiong. Investigation on the influence of gas pressure on CO2 arc characteristics in high-voltage gas circuit breakers. Plasma Physics and Technology, 4(1):95–98, 2017.