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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 609486, 9 pages
Research Article

CFD Simulation of Transonic Flow in High-Voltage Circuit Breaker

Interrupter Development, ABB Switzerland Ltd, 5401 Baden, Switzerland

Received 25 October 2011; Revised 23 January 2012; Accepted 8 February 2012

Academic Editor: Nandkishor Nere

Copyright © 2012 Xiangyang Ye and Mahesh Dhotre. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A high-voltage circuit breaker is an indispensable piece of equipment in the electric transmission and distribution systems. Transonic flow typically occurs inside breaking chamber during the current interruption, which determines the insulating characteristics of gas. Therefore, accurate compressible flow simulations are required to improve the prediction of the breakdown voltages in various test duties of high-voltage circuit breakers. In this work, investigation of the impact of the solvers on the prediction capability of the breakdown voltages in capacitive switching is presented. For this purpose, a number of compressible nozzle flow validation cases have been presented. The investigation is then further extended for a real high-voltage circuit breaker geometry. The correlation between the flow prediction accuracy and the breakdown voltage prediction capability is identified.