Discharge Characteristics in Soils Subjected to Lightning Impulse Voltages

  • Kim, Seung Min (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Graduate School, Inha University) ;
  • Yoo, Yang-Woo (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Graduate School, Inha University) ;
  • Lee, Bok-Hee (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Inha University)
  • Received : 2015.03.28
  • Accepted : 2015.10.07
  • Published : 2016.03.01


In this paper, we present experimental results of the soil discharge characteristics as a function of moisture content when a 1.2/50-㎲ lightning impulse voltage is applied. For this study, laboratory experiments were carried out based on factors affecting the transient behavior in soils. The electrical breakdown voltages in soils were measured for a 0-6% range of moisture content for sand and a 0 - 4% range of moisture content for gravel. A test cell with semi-spherical electrodes buried face-to-face in the middle of a cylindrical container was used. The distance separating the electrodes is 100 mm. As a result, the time-lag to breakdown in soils decreases as the amplitude of applied voltage increases. The time-lag to initiation of ionization streamer is decreased, with an increase in the moisture content. However, the formative time-lag is rarely changed. The behavior of soil discharges depend not only on the type of soil and its moisture content but also on the amplitude of the impulse voltage. When the test voltage is applied repeatedly, electrical breakdown occurs along different discrete paths, leading radially away from the injected electrode. i.e., the fact that the ionization streamers propagate in different paths from shot to shot was observed.


Soil discharge;Lightning impulse voltage;Formative time-lag;Electrical breakdown;V-t curve


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