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Could thick cloud coal dust cause flashover on hi-voltage line

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by RQ, Oct 27, 2004.

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  1. RQ

    RQ Guest

    I would like some opinions on this. Visualize the following:

    Pressure relief door popping open, thick cloud of coal dust blowing towards
    high voltage line. Could this conceivably cause a flash over? Thanks

  2. A cloud of dust with a high enough concentration of coal dust could cause a
    flashover. Do I know what the concentration would have to be? No. Smoke
    from brush fires in South Africa has been documented as a cause for
    flashovers on transmission lines there. Coal dust is probably more
    conductive than smoke particles.

    Charles Perry P.E.
  3. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    Coal dust has been known to explode. I would suspect that if a spark occurs
    and the dust was dense enough, there would be explosive combustion. Flame
    stability is a major concern with coal fired steam generators using fine
    coal (as dust in an air suspension) - if the flame goes out and fuel is
    still being blown in there is a chance of a hot spot igniting the coal or
    sudden explosive ignition when the flame returns - bye bye boiler.
    It has also happened with flour as well due to static or other sparks. Any
    combustable material in a fine enough suspension can explode.
  4. There's at least one case of someone having this happen in
    a shopping bag, where a steel wool cleaning pad came into
    contact with a small 9V battery's terminals.
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