DETECTION OF SERIAL ELECTRIC ARC IN LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS
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DETECTION OF SERIAL ELECTRIC ARC IN LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS Zoran Radakovic, PhD EE PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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DETECTION OF SERIAL ELECTRIC ARC IN LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS Zoran Radakovic, PhD EE Department of power converters and drives Faculty of electrical engineering University of Belgrade Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 73, 11120 Beograd, Yugoslavia mailto: [email protected]

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DETECTION OF SERIAL ELECTRIC ARC IN LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS Zoran Radakovic, PhD EE

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Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

DETECTION OF SERIAL ELECTRIC ARC IN LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS

Zoran Radakovic, PhD EE

Department of power converters and drives

Faculty of electrical engineering

University of Belgrade

Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 73, 11120 Beograd, Yugoslavia

mailto: [email protected]


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Fire hazard

  • According to data published by Consumer Products Safety Commission,

  • there are more than 450 thousand fire events per year in USA,

  • one third of them being caused by failure in electrical installations.

  • The most critical electrical faults are those containing electric arc

  • of longer duration. The arc produces a high amount of heat and

  • temperature increase, causing appearing of fire.

  • Types of electrical arc:

  • parallel (between parts of installation on different potentials)

  • serial (on clamps in switch boards and inside the consumers,

  • contacts in receptacles, plugs and switchers)


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Characteristics of parallel and serial arcs

  • by a parallel arc:

    • a current of the circuit increases

    • in the case of phase to protective conductor fault,

      the differential current appears

    • the parallel arc usually grows to a standard direct short circuit

  • by a serial arc:

  • a current of the circuit decreases !!!

  • There is the need to search some special kind

  • of protection against serial electrical arc.


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

State of the art

  • 1. GREGORY, G.D., and SCOTT, G.W.,: ’The Arc – Fault Circuit Interrupter: An

  • Emerging Product’, IEEE Trans. on industry applications, September/October 1998

  • 2. http://www.cutlerhammer.eaton.com

  • From their description it is hardly possible to realise the physical base of protective

  • algorithm. It seems that it is necessary to protect any idea in this subject by a patent.

  • By the product 1. A complex adjustment is required at the specific place installation.

  • The quoted devices are based on analysis of electrical signal.

  • There is also possibility of arc detection based on

  • acoustic signals or

  • light

  • These detection techniques are practically limited to the places with high number

  • of contacts, for example at switchboards.


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Our idea and research done

  • Electric arc is non-linear element (impedance).

  • It means that distort current will flow through the linear consumer - electric arc serial connection.

  • The idea is to detect the distortion caused by the electric arc.

  • The questions to be investigated:

  • spectral characteristics of the electric arc

  • the minimal current of stable arc maintaining

  • influence of material to arc characteristics

  • influence of the consumers to the arc characteristics

  • investigation of the harmonics caused by non-linear consumers

  • influence of the voltage distortion

  • structure of the consumers in household and industry

  • setting-up the limitations of the algorithm application


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

6A

System for fine tuning of electrode position

A

S

A

CT

25A/5A

Consumer

220V

V

250V

50Hz

B

AT

0-300V

+- M

LEM

Rs

Digital

oscilloscope

Supply

of the

LEM

PC

+- M

Experimental set-up

  • Consumers:

  • resistor 220 A, 30 A

  • fluorescent lamps

  • mono-phase motor with speed control

  • microwave furnace

  • compact fluorescent lamp with electronic ballast

  • PC


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Results of experiments

Materials and arc characteristics

  • At 1.5 kW consumer the existence of electric arc is already possible.


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Spectral characteristics of the electric arc: resistive load

By effective current of 6.5 A the higher current components are

I3g = 1.95 A

I5g is our great sicret

I7g and I9g are about 3 times lower than I5g


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Harmonics caused by non-linear consumers

Fluorescent lamps. By the fundamental harmonic current of 3.35 A,

the third harmonics was 0.60 A and the fifth 0.015 A.

Mono-phase motor with speed control. Simular existance of a high third harmonic was detected: by the fundamental current of 3 A, the third harmonic was 1.6 A.

Conclusions:

1.Detection algorithm will be based on the fifth harmonic.

Criteria: detected fifth harmonic greater than I5g.

2.The idea was to have simple algorithm, easy and chip in hardware realisation and without adjustment by the installation.

3.That is why the objective application is in household. All circuits, first of all in industry, having consumers with highly distort currents can not be

protected against the arc using this simple algorithm.

4.There is the need to test other consumers appearing in households which could jeopardise the algorithm application.


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Specific problems with the non-linear consumers

  • by the usage of welding device, containing controlled electric arc, protection does not function, i. e. have to be blocked

  • microwave has the fifth harmonic of 45.5 % I5g; the microwave decrease the total fifth harmonic appearing in parallel connection microwave - circuit of resistive load with electric arc. Solution: fortunately, microwave operates intermittent, i. e. there are long periods with no load

  • By the motor start, there is an appearance of high fifth harmonics. Solution: short time delay of the protection response. We hope nothing will be burned .

  • Usage of some consumers in the circuit has to be limited:

    • compact fluorescent lamps: 20 W, up to 20. Measured THD = 78.4 %

    • PC: up to 4. Measured THD = 76.7 %


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Current (A)

Time (s)


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Influence of the voltage distortion

The fifth current harmonic can appear in the case of pure resistive load in the case when the network voltage is distorted.

Quantification of the phenomena (the worst case study):

U5max IEC = 0.06 x 230 = 13.8 V

Ifuse  max = 16 A

IconsumerIfuse max

Rconsumer 230 V / 16 A =14.38 

Iconsumer 5max  = 13.8 V / (230 V / 16 A) =0.96 A I5g


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Structure of the consumers in household

Having in mind noticed minimal currant of stable arc and the power of real consumers in household, the critical ones are thermal (boilers, heaters, furnaces).

Central protection, in the supply of the whole flat is not suitable due to the quoted non-linear consumers.

It is explained that harmful effect of non-linear consumers to the efficacy and reliability can be avoided.


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Voltage input

1

f’o

2

3

fo

LF

Current input

HF

4

5

6

LCD

P

7

11.0682MHz

Realised prototype of the arc protective device


Detection of serial electric arc in low voltage electrical installations zoran radakovic phd ee

Concept of the commercial device

Separate circuits should be monitored using analogue multiplexer.

Analogue multiplexed signals would be secondary currents from current transformers or voltage signals from the shunts.

Uniform scanning cycle would be interrupted in the case of detecting the signal of electric arc on one of the channels. Than, the monitoring of this channel only would be undertaken the following 10 seconds.

For every circuit two diodes (the green, indicating normal operation and the red would be installed) in order to distinguish the protection due to the electric arc.

Further research: Extension of the algorithm and its elaboration to a more general, industry applicable case. The idea is to train the detector with the harmonic characteristic of the consumer every time at the specific place of its instalment.


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