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Arc root commutation from moving contacts in low voltage devices

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3 Author(s)
J. W. McBride ; Sch. of Eng. Sci., Southampton Univ., UK ; K. Pechrach ; P. M. Weaver

This paper focus on the arc commutation from a moving contact and in particular on the anode motion of a high current arc in low voltage current limiting circuit breakers. Recent investigations have observed that the anode arc root motion is affected by arc chamber geometry. It was previously assumed that cathode root motion was the dominant process. The study uses a flexible test apparatus with a solid state high speed imaging system. The experimental results presented show the influence of arc chamber venting, current level, current polarity and contact velocity on arc motion, Particular emphasis is made on the anode motion. The physical processes occurring in the anode root are discussed and related to the observed motion. The results show that the anode root is retarded at the tip of the moving contact and that this is primarily related to the venting process in the arc chamber

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 3 )