Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 49, Number 2, February 2010
Focus on Electrical Contacts
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||22 December 2009|
Study of the arc behavior in low-voltage circuit breaker by means of optical and magnetic measurements
Laboratoire d'Électrotechnique de Montluçon, Campus F. Mitterrand, Avenue Aristide Briand, 03100 Montluçon, France
2 Schneider Electric Industries, 37 quai Paul-Louis Merlin, 38050 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
Corresponding author: Corinne.Brdys@moniut.univ-bpclermont.fr
Accepted: 9 June 2009
Published online: 22 December 2009
The presented study deals with the influence of the contacts materials on the evolution of the arc in low voltage circuit breakers. The commutation from the mobile contact onto the electrode is especially investigated in order to improve the breaking device performances. Hence, to preserve the qualities of the contact, the arc must leave this area as soon as possible. To undertake this study, several diagnostics are implemented. A measuring device is composed of magnetic induction sensors located outside the chamber. It allows the determination of the position and the volume of the arc during the breaking. Optical (ultra-speed camera) and electrical measurements are also performed with the technical support of Schneider Electric. Different current values (assumed peak current of 3 kA, 8 kA and 12 kA) and different natures of materials composing the electrical contacts have been tested. Copper contacts, different contacts on silver base obtained with different processes have been used. Experimental results show the influence of these various parameters on the arc volume and on the transfer of the arc towards the quenching chamber. Indeed, different dynamic behaviors are observed during the current transfer phase.
PACS: 52.70.Ds – Electric and magnetic measurements / 52.70.Kz – Optical (ultraviolet, visible, infrared) measurements
© EDP Sciences, 2009
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