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Time dependent evaluation of the lightning upward connecting leader inception
Division for Electricity, Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6375-6142
Division for Electricity, Uppsala University.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, ISSN 0022-3727, E-ISSN 1361-6463, Vol. 39, no 21, 4695-4702 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The evaluation of the upward connecting leader inception from a grounded structure has generally been performed neglecting the effect of the propagation of the downward stepped leader. Nevertheless, field observations suggest that the space charge produced by streamer corona andaborted upward leaders during the approach of the downward lightning leader can influence significantly the initiation of stable upward positive leaders. Thus, a physical leader inception model is developed, which takes into account the electric field variations produced by the descending leader during the process of inception. Also, it accounts for the shielding effect produced by streamer corona and unstable leaders formed before the stable leader inception takes place. The model is validated by comparing its predictions with the results obtained in long gap experiments and in an altitude triggered lightning experiment. The model is then used to estimate the leader inception conditions for free standing rods as a function of tip radius and height. It is found that the rod radius slightly affects the height of the downward leader tip necessary to initiate upward leaders. Only an improvement of about 10% on the lightning attractiveness can be reached byusing lightning rods with an optimum radius. Based on the obtained results, the field observations of competing lightning rods are explained. Furthermore, the influence of the average stepped leader velocity on theinception of positive upward leaders is evaluated. The results obtained show that the rate of change of the background electric field produced by a downward leader descent largely influences the conditions necessary for upward leader initiation. Estimations of the leader inception conditions for the upper and lower limit of the measured values of the average downward lightning leader velocity differ by more than 80%. In addition, the striking distances calculated taking into account the temporal change of the background field are significantly larger than the ones obtained assuming a static downward leader field. The estimations of the present model are alsocompared with the existing leader inception models and discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2006. Vol. 39, no 21, 4695-4702 p.
Keyword [en]
Electric corona, Electric fields, Electric space charge, Leader propagation, Mathematical models
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72519DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/39/21/029ISI: 000242476000031OAI: diva2:487715
QC 20120202Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Becerra, Marley
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