Thermal FEM Analysis of Surge Arresters during HVDC Current Interruption Validated by Experiments

S. Liu, M. Popov, Nadew Belda, Rene Smeets, Zhiyuan Liu

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This paper deals with the development of an accurate finite-element model of an arrester to investigate the electrothermal and mechanical stress during dc current interruption. The comprehensive analysis performed on a ZnO surge arrester is supported by experiments during high-voltage dc circuit breaker current interruption. The performed experimental analysis comprises three sequential 26 kV/10 kA direct current interruption tests carried out within a period of one hour. The dynamic temperature and current distribution of the surge arrester columns during current interruption are measured. The finite-element simulation results are in good agreement with the test results. The influence of the surge arrester temperature on the current distribution among the surge arrester columns is analyzed. The impact of the surge arrester temperature on ZnO electrical characteristics and mechanical stress inside the surge arrester are also investigated. The surge arrester finite-element model can be used with full success for parameter optimization of the surge arresters to prevent possible failures when dc circuit breakers performed multiple interruptions in short period of time.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberTPWRD-00966-2020
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Arresters
  • Circuit breakers
  • Heating systems
  • II-VI semiconductor materials
  • Metal-oxide surge arresters
  • Power system reliability
  • Varistors
  • Zinc oxide
  • dc circuit breaker
  • temperature measurement
  • thermodynamics finite-element simulation


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