Influence of Voltage on Arc Characteristics and Electrode Mass Change of AgNi Contacts for Electromagnetic Contactors

Koichiro SAWA

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E94-C    No.9    pp.1395-1401
Publication Date: 2011/09/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E94.C.1395
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Recent Development of Electro-Mechanical Devices – Papers selected from International Session on Electro-Mechanical Devices (IS-EMD2010) and other research results –)
electromagnetic contactor,  electrical contact,  arc duration,  AgNi contact,  arc energy,  electrode mass change,  

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Recently, photovoltaic power systems and electric vehicles have been commonly used. Therefore, the importance of DC (direct current) switching is expected to increase in the near future. The authors have been examining a method of evaluating the electrode loss of AgNi contacts for an electromagnetic contactor with a medium DC load current at a resistive circuit. In this study, the arc energy and electrode mass changes were investigated in more detail. We carried out experiments of 100,000 operations for an electromagnetic contactor at a load current of 5 A constant with a source voltage change from 100 to 160 V. The arc duration, contact resistance, arc energy, and electrode mass changes were measured. As a result, the arc duration was found out increase with the source voltage. In addition, the stationary cathode mass change (loss) increased proportion only to the total arc energy. However, the stationary cathode loss per unit arc energy decreased at the highest source voltage.