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Break arc study for the new electrical level of 42 V in automotive applications

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4 Author(s)
Jemaa, N.B. ; Palms Lab., Univ. of Rennes, France ; Doublet, L. ; Morin, L. ; Jeannot, D.

In order to fulfil the increasing need for electric power in automobiles, to satisfy the new environmental requirements and to decrease the weight of cars, the electrical supply, must be changed from the current 14 V to 42 V. In the present work using 42 V, we have studied arc parameters such as break arc duration and extinction gap for different materials, contact opening speeds and circuit loads (correlated with the time constant of the circuit, L/R). We have established that these main arc parameters are greatly enhanced compared to the 14 V arc studied in our previous work. In the case of an inductive or a resistive load, it has been found that there are two domains: a low current domain where the material has no significant effect, and a high current domain where some materials (primarily AgSnO2) induce high arc durations and large extinction gap. In addition, increasing the opening speed reduces arc duration in all cases. The increased opening speed can however, increase the extinction gap for inductive loads and decrease it for resistive circuits. We have found that reducing arc duration is always beneficial with regards to erosion but in some cases, however it may increase the extinction gap.

Published in:

Components and Packaging Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 2002

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