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Electrical power distribution equipment, such as medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, must be designed to withstand the pressures and temperatures of gases resulting from an internal arcing fault. An original way to limit the external effects of the arc consists in channeling downward the gas flow across a filter composed of a granular porous medium in order to absorb the abrupt pressure wave and to cool the hot gas flow. In this paper, we propose an optimization of the MV switchgear configuration to enhance the porous filter efficiency where we manage to strongly reduce the external manifestations of the arc fault. On one hand, we employ the numerical simulation tool lying on a physical model where the major events are taken into account. On the other hand, real experimental tests have been performed according to the IEC standards and pressure and temperature histories obtained by numerical simulation are compared with the experimental measurements.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2010