X-L Synergy's Arc Fault Management Technology

Both the U.L. 1699 and the SAE 5692 specifications for arc fault protection include a guillotine test for simulating a high current, parallel arc. The general schematic of a guillotine tester is shown to the right. A power supply Vsource is connected to a load and then a sharp blade is lowered to bridge the parallel conductors. The blade is controlled to cut slowly. Arcing results as the blade edge is evaporated to form the plasma paths that "short out" the supply.

A guillotine tester is used to reproducibly lower the blade onto the conductors, allowing repeatibility in the experiments.

When X-L Synergy's arc fault management module is added to the circuit, it can serve to detect and interrupt high current flows before they have an opportunity to create substantial arcs. X-L's module is series connected with the source so it can serve both the detection function and the interruption function. When these functions are actively combined, they result in arc management. Interruption of the arc is implemented when it is first detected, and power is restored when the arc is extinguished.

In the accompanying video, a guillotine tester is used for arc management experiments on 270 VDC. The video shows three cases of unmanaged arcing, both full speed and in slow motion. The unmanaged arcs are violent and destructive events. Imagine what would happen if arcing occurred between two conductors in a wire bundle!

The video also shows the results of the guillotine test when the arc is managed. The lamp load can be seen in the background. When an arc is detected due to the vaporizing of the blade edge, power is momentarily interrupted and the light bulb dims. X-L's control scheme prevents the arc from developing. Because the conductors remain largely intact, power can be immediately restored to the load and the light bulb glows again. The arc remains extinguished because there is no plasma path available for the conduction of electrical current. With X-L's module, the blade can be lowered continuously and arcs can be repeatedly initiated without causing the arc blast seen in the unmanaged case.

[ For a 3 minute Video, click here]

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