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An investigation into major factors in shunt capacitor switching performances by vacuum circuit breakers with copper-chromium contacts

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6 Author(s)

The performance of vacuum circuit breakers in switching shunt capacitors depends much more on in-rush current than on interrupting current. This is because when contacts that were fused together by pre-arcs during contact closing are forcibly separated, large protrusions are formed on the contact surface, making it easier for microparticles to be detached from the protrusions. Microparticles are also produced on the entire surface of contacts by mechanical impact or cold weld. Current interruption of a certain magnitude, however, has a conditioning effect because moderate arcs can eliminate such microparticles and lower the protrusions. To clarify the relationship between the behavior of microparticles and the dielectric breakdown, a laser scattering technique was employed. The authors found a microparticle-induced breakdown phenomena that could explain the mechanism of long delayed restrikes that is occasionally observed in vacuum circuit breakers

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Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 4 )