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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.
Operating system: CONVERSATIONAL MONITOR SYSTEM, VM/370.
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.

Restrictions:
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.