Human body capacitance: static or dynamic concept? [ESD]

Niels M Jonassen

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A standing human body insulated from ground by footwear and/or floor covering is in principle an insulated conductor and has, as such, a capacitance, i.e. the ability to store a charge and possibly discharge the stored energy in a spark discharge. In the human body, the human body capacitance (HBC) is traditionally chosen as 100 pF. However, a simple geometric model seems to suggest considerably higher values. A series of experiments, where the capacitance of standing persons were determined for various combinations of footwear and floor coverings, gave values in the order of 100-150 pF when the capacitance was determined by an AC-bridge measurement, but 200-400 pF when the traditional static charge-sharing method was used. Further experiments indicate that the two methods give the same result when the electric flux is well located in a dielectric other than air, but that the static method leads to higher values when a substantial part of the flux extends itself through badly defined stray fields. Since the concept of human body capacitance is normally used in a static (electric) context, it is suggested that the HBC be determined by a static method. No theoretical explanation of the observed differences is presently at hand
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectrical Overstress/Electrostatic Discharge Symposium Proceedings, 1998
Publication date1998
ISBN (Print)1-878303-91-0
Publication statusPublished - 1998
EventElectrical Overstress/Electrostatic Discharge Symposium -
Duration: 1 Jan 1998 → …


ConferenceElectrical Overstress/Electrostatic Discharge Symposium
Period01/01/1998 → …

Bibliographical note

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