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Muhammad Usman Shahid EE-1057

Linear Circuit Analysis

The Corona Effect


When an alternating voltage is applied to two conductors lying near each other, the medium between
the conductors gets polarized. This is due to the attraction between the atoms of the medium and the
charge on the conductor.
Under normal circumstances, when the voltage is low, nothing is observed. However, when the voltage
across the conductors is increased, the polarization of the atoms keeps on increasing as well, until such a
time when the voltage is high enough to completely ionize the atoms of the
medium (which then become charged ions). This ionization produces
light and sound, as energy is released when the charged ions neutralize
the charged conductors.
When this phenomenon occurs between two conductors, in air, whose
diameters are small as compared to the space between them, its
known as the Corona Effect.
The voltage at which the Corona Effect occurs is called the Critical Disruptive Voltage
and is about 30kV which is the breakdown voltage of air.

The Corona Effect in Transmission Lines


In a Power System, the Corona Effect is a major disadvantage because it causes enormous power losses
in the system. Such a system usually deals with generating huge voltages and transferring them from the
generators to the consumption areas via closely laid wires (conductors). This high voltage causes the
Corona Effect and results in huge power losses as energy is converted into light and sound due to the
ionization of the air. The light can be seen as a faint glow along the wires and a loud hissing noise is
heard as well.
Furthermore, the ionization of air produces copious amounts of ozone (because of the oxygen present in
air) which causes corrosion of the wires as it reacts with copper to form copper oxide.

Muhammad Usman Shahid EE-1057


Use of Capacitor in the Ceiling Fan
A household ceiling fan uses a single phase induction motor. Unfortunately, a single phase induction
motor cannot produce enough torque to overcome the inertia of the blades and hence the ceiling fan
can either start at all or can start very slowly and is unable to get to its full speed.
The capacitor is therefore used to split the single phase from the mains supply into two so that the
induction motor produces enough torque to start the fan.
Since a capacitor is a transient device, theres a delay small delay before the voltage reaches a constant
state. This time delay, determined by the time constant (t = RC), causes a time difference of t seconds
between the original source voltage (Vs )and the voltage across the capacitor (Vc). This time difference is
seen as a phase shift between Vc and Vs as the AC waveform from Vs is either leading or lagging behind
the Vc by ts.
The voltage across the capacitor and the original voltage from the mains supply together produce a two
phase voltage which when applied to the induction motor causes it to start and thereby starting the
ceiling fan!