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Modeling of streamers in transformer oil using OpenFOAM

Nils Lavesson (ABB Corporate Research, Västerås, Sweden)
Jonathan Jogenfors (Department of Electrical Engineering, Institutionen för systemteknik, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Ola Widlund (ABB Corporate Research, Västerås, Sweden)



A model for streamers based on charge transport has been developed by MIT and ABB. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the consequences of changing numerical method from the finite element method (FEM) to the finite volume method (FVM) for simulations using the streamer model. The new solver is also used to extend the simulations to 3D.


The equations from the MIT-ABB streamer model are implemented in OpenFOAM which uses the FVM. Checks of the results are performed including verification of convergence. The solver is then applied to some of the key simulations from the FEM model and results presented.


The results for second mode streamers are confirmed, whereas the results for third mode streamers differ significantly leading to questioning of one hypothesis proposed based on the FEM results. The 3D simulations give consistent results and show a way forward for future simulations.


The FVM has not been applied to the model before and led to more confidence in second mode result and revising of third mode results. In addition the new simulation method makes it possible to extend the results to 3D.



Lavesson, N., Jogenfors, J. and Widlund, O. (2014), "Modeling of streamers in transformer oil using OpenFOAM", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 1272-1281.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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