Yes, It’s Time to Rethink Current Arc Suppression
|October 1, 2012||Posted by COMauthor under PES||
“Rethinking Contact Current Arcing—new insights into an old, chronic problem” was the topic addressed by Reinhold Henke at the recent IEEE Foothill Section PES chapter meeting. This was held in the CPP Bronco Student Center building on September 27.
Mr Henke gave the audience of more than 22 PES members some insights on his recent investigations in characterizing arc currents in relays and contactors as part of his work efforts at Arc Suppression Technologies in Bloomington, MN. His study of the I/V signal history of arcs shows that there are five distinct phases as the contact is broken, and then reestablished: Make arc, Make Bounce Arc, Break Bounce Arc, Primary Break Arc, and finally, Secondary Break Arc. This display of data lead to an interesting exchange with the Foothill member audience on just how to specify contactors and relays duty cycles, and what are expected lifetimes for reliable device usage.
Mr Henke finished his presentation with a demonstration of a solid state (impedance switching device) that he estimated reduced the visible arc strength by a factor of 1000 for a small contact relay with a relatively high duty cycle. This device was developed after he analyzed the I/V characteristics of many current arcing events in a variety of contactors.
We in the IEEE Foothill Section PES thank Reinhold Henke for his productive visit and technical talk to our Section.