Characterisation of corona ioniser for simulation of power line corona charging

J C Matthews, M D Wright, M F Biddiscombe, S R Underwood, D L Henshaw, O S Usmani & D E Shallcross

High voltage power lines create small ions that are released into the atmosphere and can charge aerosols through diffusive charging. These charged aerosols have been suggested as a cause for the reported increase in childhood leukaemia near to high voltage power lines. In order to test this hypothesis, a human volunteer study will test the deposition of charged particles. A corona charger has been created to recreate the charge state of aerosols near to power lines for this study. The corona ioniser creates a temporally stable steady charge distribution at +3.25 and ‑4.5 kV. The output of the ioniser was measured with an electrical low pressure impactor and measured steady corona currents of 300 and 140 fA for positive and negative streamers, which are equivalent to 11,250 charges cm-3 and 5,250 charges cm-3 respectively.

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