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High Temperature Material Processes: An International Quarterly of High-Technology Plasma Processes
ESCI SJR: 0.176 SNIP: 0.48 CiteScore™: 1.3

ISSN Print: 1093-3611
ISSN Online: 1940-4360

High Temperature Material Processes: An International Quarterly of High-Technology Plasma Processes

DOI: 10.1615/HighTempMatProc.v9.i4.60
pages 557-571

TOWARDS THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODELLING OF ELECTRIC ARC INITIATION IN A LOW-VOLTAGE CIRCUIT BREAKER

Laure Reynard
Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d'Acoustique, CNRS UMR 5509 Ecole Centrale de Lyon/Université C. Bernard-Lyon I/INSA de Lyon ECL, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex
Daniel Henry
Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d'Acoustique, CNRS UMR 5509 Ecole Centrale de Lyon/Université C. Bernard-Lyon I/INSA de Lyon ECL, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex
Denis Jeandel
Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d'Acoustique, CNRS UMR 5509 Ecole Centrale de Lyon/Université C. Bernard-Lyon I/INSA de Lyon ECL, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex
Julian Scott
Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d'Acoustique, CNRS UMR 5509 Ecole Centrale de Lyon/Université C. Bernard-Lyon I/INSA de Lyon ECL, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex
Jean Wild
Schneider Electric, 37 quai Merlin, 38050 Grenoble Cedex 9

ABSTRACT

The object of this study is three-dimensional simulation of the initiation phase of an electric arc in a low-voltage circuit breaker. The model uses tabulated values for radiative cooling, the physical properties of the plasma and the equation of state. Coupled Navier−Stokes and Maxwell equations are solved by a mixed finite-element/finite-volume method on a moving grid mesh, allowing the electrodes to move apart in a realistic manner. Different test cases were used to verify each modification of an existing numerical scheme to treat the arc problem. Preliminary results show the birth of the arc, followed by its growth and displacement within the inter-electrode gap.


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