Experimental investigations of water breakdown
Lojewski, David Y.
MetadataShow full item record
The Water Breakdown System was designed to investigate various techniques for increasing the high voltage breakdown strength of water and increase the time before breakdown. The interest in water for high voltage applications is because of water's unusually high dielectric constant (8r) which is typically 80. This is about 30 to 40 times higher than most other insulator materials. If the insulating ability of water could be improved, then high energy capacitors could be made 30 to 40 times smaller than they presently are. The initial breakdown mechanism is beheved to be an electrode surface effect in which case the use of a coating to grade the field effects at the electrode surface would have the greatest chance for improvement in the voltage holdoff capabihty of water. Several techniques were tried during this investigation which included magnetic fields, SFe gas, and HCl. The electrodes were also coated with two different polymers, poly(ethersulfore) (PES) and polycarbonate (PC) to see if there would be an improvement in voltage holdoff. The use of anodized aluminum electrodes and coating the electrodes with black wax have been tried by other researchers. These experiments were conducted to see if the results could be repeated.