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A hybrid drive merging a servo-controlled motor and a spring mechanism

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3 Author(s)
Dupraz, J.P. ; Res. Center, AREVA T&D, Villeurbanne, France ; Luescher, R. ; Montillet, G.F.

Spring mechanisms have demonstrated their high reliable performance by operating thousands of circuit breakers (CBs) safely all over the world for decades under the most severe conditions. This well-known technology could be improved, when merged with a servo motor system. The result is a hybrid drive, which offers the accuracy and flexibility of servomechanisms and the reliability of spring operating mechanisms. The paper starts with a reminder of the state of the art of operating mechanisms, followed by an overview of spring mechanisms with the aim of identifying potential improvements. The remaining part is dedicated to the first evolution of the hybrid drive. The architectural description emphasizes the reliability aspects, especially due to the application of redundant tripping circuits, allowing the tripping operation without either an auxiliary power supply or electronic support. Test results are discussed. The conclusion illustrates that if technical benefits are obtained, the cost of some critical components still remains high. The applications of such a hybrid technology are restricted today to specific applications. As the prices of electronic systems decrease with time and, hopefully, the cost of low inertia motors, the architecture of operating mechanisms could be dramatically modified and tightly merged with the CB. The advantages of hybrid drives could be decisive for the long-term future.

Published in:

Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )