Arc Fault Management Using Solid State Switching 2004-01-3197
In arc fault circuit breakers, the choice of a fault detection sensitivity is generally made as a compromise between speed of detection and avoidance of nuisance trips. By using solid state switching with a variable arc fault detection threshold, the best of both worlds can be obtained. This paper describes baseline experiments on arc fault management through the use of solid state switching. Direct current testing on series arcs and on parallel arcs across carbonized paths suggests that in some cases, an arc event can be actively managed. This allows a reduced level of power to be supplied to a critical system even in the presence of a fault condition. In cases where fault management is not appropriate, solid state fault interruption technology allows the ability to reset a nuisance trip, enabling more sensitive trip thresholds to be used.