Arc extinction with nitrogen at 1-40 bar in a puffer-like contact configuration
Keywords:Current interruption, Subsea switchgear, Medium voltage, High-pressure nitrogen
To develop cost-eﬃcient subsea switchgear for large sea depths, the extinction of arcs under high ﬁlling pressures must be understood. In this work, arc-extinction experiments have been performed with a puﬀer-like contact conﬁguration using nitrogen at diﬀerent ﬁlling pressures as the current interruption medium. The main ﬁnding is that, for the given contact conﬁguration, the current
interruption capability was lower at 20 and 40 barabs than at 1 and 10 barabs. While higher pressures result in higher cooling ﬂow rates and longer ﬂow times given the same puﬀer volume, compression spring and nozzle geometry; it does not necessarily improve the arc-extinction capability. This is probably because higher ﬁlling pressures increase the arc voltage and total energy dissipated in the arcing zone. Because the ﬁlling pressure greatly inﬂuences the ﬂow characteristics, the puﬀer design should be optimized for each pressure level.
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