Faulty Breaker Inspection (FBI)

Principal Investigator: Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi & R. J. Marks II

Sponsor: Southern California Edison Company

Abstract: High voltage breakers can eventually develop improper contact alignment. The initial result is typically a small ohmic voltage drop across the contacts. Left unattended the voltage drop can worsen, resulting in arcing and eventual breaker failure. Detection of the contact resistance during the circuit breaker closure will facilitate an early corrective maintenance before a severe and costly damage occurs to the breaker. Feasibility of detection of the contact resistance early in the failure maturation, including laboratory demonstration of hardware prototype, is the objective of this investigation.

The Detection device operates while the breaker is at high voltage. The device detects a voltage drops of millivolts across milliohms at the breaker contact when closed. The accessibility of the device is only to the external terminals of the breakers and auxiliary contacts.

For more information, please contact M. A. El-Sharkawi