Electrical Contacts for Ultra-Fast Disconnect Switches (Sponsored by NSF)
Ultra fast mechanical disconnect switches are an integral part of hybrid circuit breakers, which are proposed as protection devices to clear faults in medium voltage distribution systems. They operate in vacuum, carry high continuous current, opens at current zero, features minimum moving mass and has an open contact separation of less than a millimeter. The stresses experienced by the electrical contacts are different from those of conventional circuit breakers and vacuum interrupters and the choice of contact material has a significant impact on the performance of the disconnect switch. This project models electrical contact behavior in open and closed state and validates them through experiments.