Date of Award

8-9-2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Tanvir Farouk

Abstract

High pressure micro plasma discharge has been at the center of interest in recent years, because of their vast applications, ease of access and cost efficiency. This attributes to atmospheric discharges that are generated in ambient conditions and therefore can be readily applicable to everyday use. The absence of vacuum makes these high pressure discharges to be inexpensive to operate. Despite the ease of operation, the high pressure is a source of enhanced gas heating as the gas temperature cannot be controlled by diffusion alone. Gas heating is therefore an important factor when it comes to the simulation of high pressure micro plasma discharge, unlike their low pressure counterpart where the heat generation is almost negligible. Low pressure discharge due to their low degree of collisionality generates ionic species and electrons at small concentrations, whereas high pressure discharge due to their higher gas density produces ions and electrons at higher concentrations which is a direct consequence of increase collision. The higher gas density and consequential large concentration of ionic species and electron contributes directly to higher heat generation rates. . In this thesis the gas temperature transport

In this thesis the gas temperature transport of high pressure micro plasma discharge has been studied with a special focus on the heat source terms, temperature boundary conditions, temperature distribution in the solid phase electrodes and the gas phase and their overall influence on the plasma characteristics. For this purpose a multi-physics mathematical model has been developed that comprised of a plasma module, neutral gas temperature module, external circuit module and conjugate heat transfer module. The plasma module consisted of conservation of the different ionic, electronically excited species, radicals, neutrals and electrons, conservation of the electron temperature, and electric field. The external circuit module resolved the coupled driving circuit comprised of a voltage source, ballast resistor and capacitance. A detailed gas phase chemical kinetic model was also implemented. One-dimensional simulation has been performed to study the effects of the neutral gas temperature on a micro plasma discharge operating in the “abnormal” glow mode. In addition, two dimensional simulation has been conducted to simulate the “normal” glow regime of a micro plasma discharge that has multi-dimensional spatial dependence. The effects of conjugate heat transfer on the gas temperature distribution and the overall plasma characteristics i.e. the voltage-current curve and electron number density has been investigated. The conjugate heat transfer is found to significantly affect the plasma behavior. Finally a temporally varying temperature boundary condition has been proposed that reduces the computational overhead but resolves the conjugate heat transfer effect with reasonable accuracy.

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