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Arc Fault Protection


Avoiding Electrical
Fires

Hossam Eldin A. Talaat


Professor at Electrical Eng. Dept., Future University in
Egypt On Leave from Ain Shams University, Cairo.
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Contents

Hossam Talaat
Fundamentals of Arcing Faults
Concept of Arc Detection Protection
Arcing Fault Detection in Codes
Arcing Fault Protective Devices

Arc Fault Protection


Adding AFDD to SBC 401
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Fires Caused by Electricity

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Eectrical Fires%
40%
38%

34%

25%

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13%
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Arcing Statistics

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Arcing Conditions represent 1/3 of
Electrical Fires.
A 1994 insurance company survey of
660 electrical fires concluded that over
33% of these fires resulted from arcing

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conditions.
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Electric Arc

Hossam Talaat
Technically, an arc is defined as:
a continuous luminous discharge of
electricity across an insulating medium
OR
an electrical breakdown of a gas that

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produces an ongoing electrical discharge
Causes of
7 Arcing Faults

Hossam Talaat
Crushed cables

Loose contacts and


terminals

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Broken cables

Defective Wire Insulation


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What is an Arc-Fault ?

Hossam Talaat
The UL Standard for AFCIs defines an arc-fault
as an unintentional arcing condition in a
circuit.
Arcing creates high intensity heat (may exceed
6,000 oC) resulting in burning particles that

Arc Fault Protection


may over time ignite surrounding material
such as wood framing or insulation.
arc-faults are often unseen and can occur
anywhere in the homes electrical system
including within walls and at loose electrical
connections.
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Development of an Arc Fault

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Carbonized
Damage in Wire + insulation Arc fault

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electric Insulation layer + and fire
wire heating Copper produced
melting
Arcing Faults
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Hossam Talaat
Arc Fault Protection
Parallel
Series Arc Arc
Figure-1.jpg
Features of Series
11 Arc Fault
Load current -> cannot be detected by MCB.

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No earth (ground) leakage -> cannot be detected by
RCD (GFCI).
voltage and current arcing signature is shown below.

Arc Fault Protection


History of arc-detection
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patent applications

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Arc Fault Protection
Methodologies
13 of Arc Fault
Detection

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Mathematical Methods (Auto-regressive
analysis)
Wavelet
Artificial Intelligence

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Randomness
Arc Fault Detection
14 using HF noise

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Mains voltage

Load current
(Interruptions at zero crossing and steep edges)

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Arc voltage

HF noise of the arc


Normal Arc Fault Detection
Using Power Spectrum
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(Electric Drill)

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Arc Fault Normal

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Arc Fault Protective Devices

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AFCI
Fire Impact Arc Fault Circuit
(NEC)

Interrupter
Concept o Zrc Detection Protecto
AFCI

Arc Fault Protection


AFDD

AFDD Arc Fault


(IEC) Detection Device
NEC Progression
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First Mention of AFCI in NEC
1999

Listed AFCI in ALL bedroom circuits


2002 Allows Branch/Feeder AFCI

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Combination Type AFCI in bedroom circuits
2005 Branch/feeder ACFI permitted until 1/1/2008
Combination Type AFCI
Expanded the installation to all living spaces:
2008 bedrooms, family rooms, living rooms, parlors, or
similar rooms.
AFCI Theory of
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Operation

Hossam Talaat
The AFCI circuitry continuously monitors current flow
through the AFCI.
AFCIs use detection circuitry to discriminate
between normal and unwanted arcing conditions.
Once an unwanted arcing condition is detected, the
control circuitry in the AFCI trips the internal
contacts,.
The circuit is de-energized reducing the potential for

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a fire to occur.
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Types of AFCI

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Operating
Characteristic
of an AFCI

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21 EX: A 1-pole MCB
Equipped with AFCI + GFCI

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Arc Fault Protection
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Products
Some AFCI

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AFDD Standard:
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IEC 62606 (2013)

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IEC62606 applies to devices performing
simultaneously the detection and
discrimination of arcing current with regards
to fire hazards and defines operating criteria
under specified conditions for the opening of
the circuit when the arcing current exceeds
the limit values given in this standard.

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The maximum rated voltage is 240 V a.c.
The maximum rated current (In) is 63 A a.c.
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of AFDD
Basic Design

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Some AFDD
25 Products

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Arc Fault Protection
Standalone AFDD
Combined to MCB Combined to RCD (RCBO)
Operating
26 Characteristic
of an AFDD

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Arc Fault Protection
27 Parallel Arcing
Phase-Neutral

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Arc Fault Protection
AFDD/AFCI MCB RCD/GFCI
28 Parallel Arcing
Phase-Protective Earthing

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PE

LOAD

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N

AFDD/AFCI MCB RCD/GFCI


29 Serial Arcing

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PE

LOAD

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N

AFDD/AFCI MCB RCD/GFCI


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Contents

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ANNEX B
(Informative)
Arc fault detection devices (AFDD)

NOTE 1

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Fire ignition by arc faults is normally a result of one or more of the
following:
Insulation defects between active conductors leading to fault
currents (parallel arcs).
Broken or damaged (reduced cross-section) wires under load
current conditions (series arcs).
Terminal connections with high resistance.
34 Amendment 1 of
60364-4-42, Nov. 2014

Inclusion of an additional recommendation for


automatic disconnection in cases of dangerous
arcs with arc fault detection devices (AFDDs);
Inclusion of an informative Appendix A for arc
fault detection devices (AFDDs).
National Committees may decide using AFDD as
a Requirement OR a Recommendation
Inclusion of locations proposed to install AFDD.
35 Recommended
Locations to Use AFDD

Hossam Talaat
a) mortal danger for persons (due to late detection) in
- bedrooms, children's rooms
- old people's homes
- kindergartens, schools, universities
- hospitals
- Recreation areas
b) In the vicinity there are readily flammable materials
- houses made of wood or ecological building materials

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- light-weight structures and wood paneling
-
c) A fire could cause damage to valuable buildings
- libraries
- museums
- listed buildings
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Conclusion

Hossam Talaat
The Electrical Technical Committee of the Saudi
Building Code National Committee (SBC 401) should
study the inclusion of AFDD in
CHAPTER 42
PROTECTION AGAINST THERMAL EFFECTS
As a start, this could be a recommendation.
The standard IEC 62606 should also be studied for

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issuing as SASO standard
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