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A brief history of AC surge arresters

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Since the beginning of AC transmission, approximately 100 years ago, lightning protection of transmission equipment has been provided by gaps and by nonlinear resistors, alone or in various combinations. Protection during the early part of the period (1892-1908) was provided by simple air gaps from line to ground. During the period 1908 to 1930, nonlinear resistors based on puncturing and reforming of films came in to use. Further developments were oxide film arresters (1920-1930), silicon carbide nonlinear resistors with nonactive gaps (1930-1954), and silicon carbide nonlinear valve elements with active gaps (1954-1976). Current limitations of the types of arresters and the requirements imposed by 500 and 800 kV systems are discussed. The zinc oxide arresters that have been used from 1976 to the present are then considered. An approximate table of sparkovers, discharge voltages, and arrester height is given.<>

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IEEE Power Engineering Review  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 8 )