Development of a parallelised, adaptive mesh drift-diffusion solver in FEniCS for the modelling of streamer discharges in gas-solid topologies

Wong, T. and Timoshkin, I. and MacGregor, S. and Wilson, M. and Given, M. (2021) Development of a parallelised, adaptive mesh drift-diffusion solver in FEniCS for the modelling of streamer discharges in gas-solid topologies. In: 2021 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), 2021-12-12 - 2021-12-16, Denver.

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Abstract

Streamer discharges are fast ionisation fronts that are of crucial importance to many academic and industrial fields, including: understanding of geophysical processes, gaseous breakdown, surface treatment technology, bio-decontamination, air cleaning, and pulsed power system design. The growing capabilities of modern computers allow streamers to be simulated on desktop computers. However, it is far from a trivial task. In this work, we demonstrate a parallelised, adaptive-mesh enabled code developed using FEniCS in python. We show that the platform is capable of simulating streamer propagation in pure gas and across gas-solid interfaces, with the inclusion of complex photoionisation processes, while simultaneously being user-friendly yet comparably fast to previously published codes. We further demonstrate that FEniCS is a highly suitable alternative, by showing excellent agreement between our simulated results, results from published custom codes, and results from popular commercial applications.