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Arc detection

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Ryan, Dec 5, 2005.

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  1. Ryan

    Ryan Guest

    Redirect appreciated if needed.

    How does an arc fault circuit interruptor work? What does it do in
    order to detect an arc?

    So far, nobody, not even the dealer of our electric supplies has been
    able to explain how an arc fault circuit interruptor works. I've not
    found the answer on the internet either. The explanations say "unique
    circuitry," or "arc detection technology" and other vague words that do
    not explain _how_ it works, only what it does.
  2. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    I'm going to guess... high frequencies dominating the current
    You may need to search for patents to get the real info.

  3. highpower

    highpower Guest

    An ARC fault detector in common home circuits utilizes
    current-sense-transformer with the 115AC wire and the nuetral wir
    both passing through it. If there is any current flowing through th
    115V wire which is not also flowing back through the nuetral wire
    then this current is obviously going somewhere else back to ground
    (from the cheap chinese grinder I bought on ebay, through my body
    into the garage floor to earth). The secondary of the transformer i
    hundreds of windings which converts the current unbalance to
    current output. If this is above a certain threshold, a timer start
    and several milliseconds later a relay is opened to stop the power
  4. You have described a ground-fault detector or interrupter.
  5. PCK

    PCK Guest

    and really poorly as well
  6. spudnuty

    spudnuty Guest

    Sorry to top post:
    This is from :
    "Arc Recognition
    • Flat "shoulders" in the current around current zero
    • Arcing current lower than ideal current
    • Voltage across the arc approaching a square wave
    • Voltage spikes each half cycle as the arc ignites and extinguishes"
    Mostly from various things I've read there's a problem with false
    trippings. The technology is changing and as the article says
    "Any statement about how AFCIs function today may be changed by the
    introduction of a new product tomorrow that employs a different

    • High frequency "noise"
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