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Discharging characteristics of Penning gases mixture in plasma display panels can not be described correctly with the self-sustaining discharge conditions which did not consider the influence of Penning ionization. On the basis of Townsend breakdown criteria and the chemical kinetics analysis of Penning gases mixture discharging in plasma display panels, empirical equation of self-sustaining discharge condition for Penning gases mixture was given. The firing voltage Uf and effective secondary electron emission coefficient ϒeff values of Ne-Xe/MgO and Ne-Ar/MgO in testing macroscopic discharge cell of AC-PDP were calculated by this empirical equation. In comparison with the voltage characteristics calculated by Paschen law and the equation which did not consider the influence of Penning ionization on electron ionization coefficient a, the results calculated by the empirical equation had better conformity with experimental data. The empirical equation gave a new approach to research discharge characteristics of penning gases mixture and the secondary electron emission behaviors in plasma display panels.