A Numerical Investigation of the Effect of Electric Charges and Vertical External Electric Fields on the Collision Efficiency of Cloud Drops

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences University of California, Los Angeles 90024
  • | 2 Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Ilamilton, Canada
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Abstract

The aerodynamic interaction between electrically charged cloud drops in the presence of vertical external electric fields was numerically investigated for 800 mb and +10°C. The collector drops had radii between 11.4 and 74.3 µm while the collected drops had radii between 1 and 66 µm. The external electric fields considered ranged between 0 and 3429 V cm−1 (=3.429×105V m−1 and the electric charge on the cloud drops ranged between 0 and 1.1×10−4 (=3.7×10−14 C). The results demonstrate that the presence of electric charges and fields of magnitudes observed during thunderstorm and pre-thunderstorm conditions drastically enhance the collision efficiency of cloud drops. The enhancement was found to he most pronounced for the smallest collector drops studied.

Abstract

The aerodynamic interaction between electrically charged cloud drops in the presence of vertical external electric fields was numerically investigated for 800 mb and +10°C. The collector drops had radii between 11.4 and 74.3 µm while the collected drops had radii between 1 and 66 µm. The external electric fields considered ranged between 0 and 3429 V cm−1 (=3.429×105V m−1 and the electric charge on the cloud drops ranged between 0 and 1.1×10−4 (=3.7×10−14 C). The results demonstrate that the presence of electric charges and fields of magnitudes observed during thunderstorm and pre-thunderstorm conditions drastically enhance the collision efficiency of cloud drops. The enhancement was found to he most pronounced for the smallest collector drops studied.

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