A Simple Model of Capacitor Discharge Through a Spark Gap


A simple computational model is established to simulate a capacitor discharge process through a spark gap. The model constitutes of three intervals, the first one is concerned with charging the capacitor by a D.C. voltage source, where the voltage across the capacitor raisesto a certain critical valueregarded as the breakdown voltage of the spark gap. The second interval describes the gap breakdown where the resistance of the ionized gas in the gap decreases very sharply as a result of heating the plasma by the electrical current. This interval is denoted as the resistive phase of the discharge. The third interval describes the discharge through the previously heated plasma in the gap;for this interval the plasma resistance is assumed tohave a constant value which is considered as the minimum value obtained at the end of the previous interval (the resistive phase interval). The temporal evolution curves obtained from the model exhibit reasonable trends that conform to the physical situation under study. Also, the comparison made with published data shows an acceptable agreement. The model is employed to perform a parametric comparison to examine the rule of the gap parameters on the voltage and current evolution curves.