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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1140
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1140
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 31 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 31 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

The enhancement of droplet collision by electric charges and atmospheric electric fields

Shian Guo and Huiwen Xue Shian Guo and Huiwen Xue
  • School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China

Abstract. The effect of electric charges and atmospheric electric fields on droplet spectrum evolution is studied numerically. Collision efficiencies for droplet pair with radii from 2 to 1024 μm and charges from −32 r2 to +32 r2 (in unit of elementary charge, droplet radius r in unit of μm) in different strength of downwards electric fields (0, 200 and 400 V/cm) is computed. It is seen that collision efficiency is increased by electric charges and fields, especially for a pair of small droplets.

The evolution of cloud droplet spectrum with different initial sizes is simulated using the stochastic collection equation. Results show that the electric effect is not notable for the cloud with the initial mean droplet radius r = 15 μm or larger. For the cloud with the initial r = 9 μm, the electric charge without field could evidently accelerate large-drop formation compared to the uncharged condition, and the existence of electric fields further accelerates it. For the cloud with the initial r = 6.5 μm, it is difficult for gravitational collision to occur, and the electric field could significantly enhance the collision process. Results of this study indicate that electric charges and fields could accelerate large-drop formation in natural conditions, particularly for clouds with small droplet size.

Shian Guo and Huiwen Xue

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Shian Guo and Huiwen Xue

Shian Guo and Huiwen Xue

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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
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Short summary
Observations in previous studies show that cloud droplets carry electric charges. So, we are curious about whether the electric interaction enhances the collision of cloud droplets. The effect of electric charge and atmospheric electric field on the raindrop formation process is studied numerically. Results indicate that the cloud with small droplet size is more sensitive to electric charge and field, which could significantly trigger droplet collision and accelerate raindrop formation.
Observations in previous studies show that cloud droplets carry electric charges. So, we are...
Citation