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Corona Ions from Overhead Transmission Voltage Powerlines: Effect on Direct Current Electric Field and Ambient Particle Concentration Levels

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2010, 00:00 by Folasade J-Fatokun, Rohan Jayaratne, Lidia Morawska, David Birtwhistle, Rihandanu Rachman, Kerrie Mengersen
Along with their essential role in electricity transmission and distribution, some powerlines also generate large concentrations of corona ions. This study aimed at the comprehensive investigation of corona ions, vertical direct current electric field (dc e-field), ambient aerosol particle charge, and particle number concentration levels in the proximity of some high/subtransmission voltage powerlines. The influence of meteorology on the instantaneous value of these parameters and the possible existence of links or associations between the parameters measured were also statistically investigated. The presence of positive and negative polarities of corona ions was associated with variation in the mean vertical dc e-field, ambient ion, and particle charge concentration level. Though these variations increased with wind speed, their values also decreased with distance from the powerlines. Predominately positive polarities of ions were recorded up to a distance of 150 m (with the maximum values recorded 50 m downwind of the powerlines). At 200 m from the source, negative ions predominated. Particle number concentration levels, however, remained relatively constant (103 particle cm−3), irrespective of the sampling site and distance from the powerlines. Meteorological factors of temperature, humidity, and wind direction showed no influence on the electrical parameters measured. The study also discovered that e-field measurements were not necessarily a true representation of the ground-level ambient ion/particle charge concentrations.