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Manuscript Title: The computation of self-similar arcs.
Authors: J.F. Zhang, D.B. Newland, M.T.C. Fang
Program title: SSARC
Catalogue identifier: ABBI_v1_0
Distribution format: gz
Journal reference: Comput. Phys. Commun. 47(1987)267
Programming language: Fortran.
Computer: IBM 3083.
RAM: 34K words
Word size: 32
Peripherals: graph plotter.
Keywords: Plasma physics, Discharge, Electrical arcs, Self-similar arcs, Switchgear, Nitrogen.
Classification: 19.5.

Nature of problem:
The self-similar electrical arc is a cylindrically symmetric arc burning in a longitudinal flow of gas with axial pressure gradient varying linearly in the axial direction. The code SSARC described below finds the steady and transient solutions of a high pressure self- similar arc. The arcing medium is nitrogen.

Solution method:
The differential conservation equations describing the self-similar arc are solved with an implicit finite difference scheme. The radial convection and diffusion of momentum and energy are dealt with by a power-law scheme. Iteration is then used to obtain solutions with a specified accuracy at a given time level. A non-uniform grid system is adopted to overcome the difficulties encountered in the region where a large variation of the radial gradients of pyhsical quantities exists. The time step is determined by the smallest characteristic time of the system.

The model assumes that conditions for local thermal equilibrium are satisfied and the flow is laminar.

Running time:
When the current decreases linearly with a rate of -23.5 A/ms from a d.c. current of 1900A, it takes about 52 s to reach current zero on an IBM 3083 computer.