Arc faults occur when an electrical current jumps between two conductors, leading to an arc. There are two common types of arc faults: parallel arc faults and series arc faults. These faults typically arise from worn electrical contacts, cable breaks, and lost connections.
Various factors contribute to the occurrence of arc faults, including:
- Cable kinks or breaks
- Cable wear from frequent use
- Cables damaged during DIY or construction projects
- Incorrectly stripped wires
- Improper bonding
- Loosening connections in plug tops
- Defective plugs
- Rodent bites
AFDDs for Arc Fault Detection
AFDDs (Arc Fault Detection Devices) utilize microprocessor technology to analyze the waveforms of electricity in a circuit. These devices are designed to detect specific signatures that indicate the presence of an arc. Once an arc is detected, the AFDD swiftly cuts off power to the affected circuit, effectively preventing potential fires. Compared to conventional circuit protection devices like MCBs (Miniature Circuit Breakers) and RBCOs (Residual Current Circuit Breakers with Overcurrent Protection), AFDDs exhibit a higher sensitivity to arcs.
AFDDs play a crucial role in enhancing electrical safety by promptly identifying and mitigating arc faults. By incorporating advanced technology and detection capabilities, these devices provide an additional layer of protection against electrical hazards, reducing the risk of fires caused by arc faults. Installing AFDDs in electrical systems ensures a safer and more secure environment, offering peace of mind for homeowners and businesses alike.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Systems! For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of industry safety. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.