Simulation and Experimental Study of Arc Motion in a Low-Voltage Circuit Breaker Considering Wall Ablation

Qiang MA  Mingzhe RONG  Anthony B. MURPHY  Yi WU  Tiejun XU  Fei YANG  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E91-C    No.8    pp.1240-1248
Publication Date: 2008/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e91-c.8.1240
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Recent Development of Electromechanical Devices(Selected Papers from IS-EMD2007))
Category: Arc Discharge & Related Phenomena
Keyword: 
air arc plasma,  magnetic hydro-dynamics (MHD),  wall ablation,  polymer,  

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Summary: 
This paper focuses on the numerical and experimental investigations of the influence of two polymers (PA6 and POM) on the arc behavior during arc motion process. The mathematical model of 3-dimentional air arc plasma considering the ablation of lateral walls is built based on magnetic hydro-dynamics (MHD). By adopting the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package based on control-volume method, the above MHD model is solved and the distribution of temperature field, concentration field, flow field and electrical potential field in the arc chamber are calculated. The simulation results indicate that the vapor concentration behind the arc column is higher than that in front of the arc column because of the existence of "double vortices" in the arc chamber. The use of polymers causes the maximal arc voltage increase 16.2% with POM and 18.9% with PA6 in this case and causes the average arc velocity increase 15.8% with POM and 21.1% with PA6 in this case. The experiments are also carried out to study the influence of polymers on arc voltage and arc root position in the arc chamber during arc motion. The experimental results prove the validity of the numerical investigation.