A simple FEM procedure is proposed to predict approximately the electrostatic discharge path in a complex configuration. The method is based on the FEM solution of the Laplace equation in order to find the maximum electrical field in the examined domain. When the calculated local electric field is greater than the electric strength of the considered material, a partial discharge event is imposed in the numerical procedure and modelled by an equipotential segment. The procedure continues iteratively to solve the Laplace equation modifying adequately the boundary conditions at each iteration to approximate the breakdown discharge path. Details of the PEM implementation and numerical results of the proposed iterative procedure are given.
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