The electric field

High-Voltage Engineering aims to design functional and reliable components and constructions that are capable of withstanding high voltages for a long-time span. This means that the design engineer should have a thorough understanding of the high-voltage stresses that can be expected during the service life of the equipment.

Knowing the design voltages, the electric field strength must below the maximum allowable field strength of the insulation media in order to ensure that during the service life of the equipment no voltage breakdown will occur.

In the following text the ways of establishing the electric potential distribution for a given electrode configuration embedded in a dielectric medium are described.  From the potential distribution, the electric field strength can be derived and field stresses can be dealt with.

The electric field is governed by the accumulation of electric charges. Normally, these electric charges are almost stationary, so the charge velocities are low and the accompanying magnetic field strength is negligible. This results in practice is an electrostatic field.