PlasMa (ENG)

PlasMa: advanced theory and simulation of plasmas relevant to energy applications

Project title | PlasMa: advanced theory and simulation of plasmas relevant to energy applications
Project code | M1420-01-0145-FEDER-000016
Main objective | Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
Intervention region | Autonomous Region of Madeira

Approval date | 06-06-2019
Start date | 01-01-2019
Completion date | 31-12-2021
Total eligible cost |1 408 453,90 €
European Union financial support (ERDF 85%) | 1 197 185,82 €
University of Madeira financial support (15%) | 211 268,08 €

The PlasMa Project will contribute to the development and recognition of research in plasma science and technology with energy applications at an international level and therefore will make the Region recognized for research carried out in this area, through the publication of scientific articles in the most important international journals of the area and for the collaboration, already underway, in RTD + I projects with international partners of excellence.
The project is dedicated to the research of two types of gas discharges in high-pressure gases, which constitute R&D sub-projects:


Sub-project Arc: plasma-electrode interaction in high pressure arc discharges, including electrode erosion

Objective
  • Develop a fast, robust and accurate tool for modeling high pressure arc discharges considering the plasma-electrode interaction in a self-consistent way.
Specific actions to be taken
  • Refinement of boundary conditions that describe the energy exchange between the cathode and the volume of the arc without introducing a more complex structure of the arc close to the cathode region;
  • Ensure a complete coupling (thermal and electrical) of the cathode with the plasma by taking into account the variation, along the cathode surface, of the voltage drop in the plasma layer next to the cathode, due to the electrical resistance of the arc volume;
  • Coupling the models of arc discharges and surface discharges and streamers with the code that simulates the processes inside the cathode, including the vaporization of the cathode material and the eventual formation of craters and the ejection of drops;
  • Development of an integrated code, which will work for any set of parameters of interest, and which will allow a transition between the models of arc discharges and streamer discharges as appropriate. This code will be ready to be used for industrial applications.
Expected results
  • Integrated code, which will work for any set of parameters of interest, and which will allow a transition between the models of arc discharges and streamer discharges as appropriate. This code will be ready to be used for industrial applications;
  • Publication of 10 scientific articles in the best international journals in the relevant areas.

Sub-project Streamers: disruption and surface streamers in high pressure gases.

Objective
  • Develop a code capable of predicting gas disruption conditions in a wide range of conditions, including the effects of the presence of dielectrics and time-varying fields. This code will be ready to be used for energy applications.
Specific actions to be taken
  • Development of a code capable of predicting gas disruption conditions in a wide range of conditions, including the effects of the presence of dielectrics and time-varying fields;
  • Validation of the code with other numerical results and also experimental results.
Expected results
  • Code capable of predicting gas disruption conditions over a wide range of conditions, including the effects of the presence of dielectrics and time-varying fields. This code will be ready to be used for energy applications;
  • Publication of 5 scientific articles in the best international journals in the relevant areas.

The sub-projects will be developed in collaboration with leading international partners in their respective areas.

Photo gallery


Activities throughout 2021

Project publications in 2021

Activities throughout 2020

Zarco supercomputer

On October 28, the Pole of the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion at the University of Madeira was visited by the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, the Regional Secretary for Education and the President of the Board of Directors of the Regional Development Institute, being also present among others, UMa’s rector, José Carmo. The President of the Government became aware of the investigation carried out by Polo and inaugurated the Zarco supercomputer. This supercomputer will enable advanced numerical modeling and 3D simulations.

The PlasMa project fulfills the objective of capturing for Madeira research projects financed by the international high-tech industry

The Physics Department and the Pole of the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion at the University of Madeira began to develop, in partnership with, and with funding from, Siemens AG (Erlangen, Germany), a new project dedicated to the investigation of vacuum arcs, with applications to energy equipment. It will be the second research project funded by the international high-tech industry in progress at the Department of Physics and at the Pole of the Institute for Plasmas and Nuclear Fusion, with another to be carried out in partnership with Schneider Electric (Grenoble, France).

Project publications in 2020

Activities throughout 2019

Consultant visits
  • The visit of Prof. Georgy Naidis, a worldwide expert in detailed kinetic models, aimed to carry out scientific discussions for joint work on the modeling of corona and streamer discharges, as well as the development of works with field emission, for numerical simulation with application in switches high pressure and low voltage switches.
Participation in conferences
Invited lectures presented at international conferences
  • Mikhail Benilov, Nuno Ferreira, Georgy Naidis, Does field emission from ‘real’ surfaces affect the high-pressure air breakdown in electric power equipment?, 8th International Workshop on Mechanisms of Vacuum Arcs (MeVArc 2019), Consorzio RFX, Padova, 16 a 19 de Setembro de 2019)
  • Helena Kaufmann, Carlos Silva, Mikhail Benilov, Numerical Simulation of the Initial Phase of Unipolar Arcing in Fusion-Relevant Conditions., 8th International Workshop on Mechanisms of Vacuum Arcs (MeVArc 2019), Consorzio RFX, Padova, 16 a 19 de Setembro de 2019)
Project publications in 2019