Simulation of streamer discharges across solid dielectric surfaces using the open-source fenics platform

Wong, T. and Timoshkin, I. and MacGregor, S. and Wilson, M. and Given, M.; (2022) Simulation of streamer discharges across solid dielectric surfaces using the open-source fenics platform. In: 2021 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2021. IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference . IEEE, USA. ISBN 9781665433471 (

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Modelling the development of streamer discharges across gas-solid dielectric interfaces is of increasing importance to the power and pulsed power industries. Deeper understanding of the dynamics and morphology of fast ionisation fronts in gases and at gas-solid interfaces underpins insulation coordination and optimization in high voltage power and pulsed power systems. However, many physical mechanisms behind gas-solid flashover remain to be fully understood. In this work, an adaptive mesh drift diffusion solver implemented on the open-source finite element framework FEniCS is used to perform computational streamer modelling across gas-solid interfaces. In this study, we verify our implementation by performing studies under a published configuration of a positive streamer initiating and propagating along a flat dielectric surface in a 2D domain. FEniCS is proved fully capable of performing streamer simulations in complex gas-solid topologies, with our results providing further evidence of accelerated surface streamers and other observed effects under various initial seed positions, surface permittivity, and applied voltage magnitudes.