Flashover effect, the destructive discharge of a gas or liquid medium along an insulator surface under high voltage. The voltage at which it discharges is called the flashover voltage. After flashover occurs, the voltage across the electrodes rapidly drops to zero or close to zero. Sparks or arcs in the flashover channel cause localized overheating of the insulating surface to cause charring and damage the surface insulation. The voltage between the two electrodes immediately before the flashover occurs is called the flashover voltage. The discharge along the surface of the insulator is called flashover, while the discharge along the inside of the insulator is called breakdown.
The flashover voltage is always lower than (at most equal to) the spark discharge voltage of the gas gap with the same electrode structure and the same distance due to the influence of the surface condition and shape of the solid insulation.
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