Principal Investigators: Dr. Juan Carlos Balda, Dr. Alan Mantooth
Reducing short-circuit current levels using fast-acting solid-state fault current limiters: High short-circuit current levels may cause many adverse effects ranging from high interrupting capabilities for protecting equipment to increased arc-flash protection. Developing a protecting piece of equipment which is able to isolate faults under a quarter cycle of the fundamental frequency should not only minimize safety hazards due to arc flash but bring economic benefits because of reduced interrupting capabilities for protecting equipment and not needing to size equipment to sustain higher fault current levels. The first goal of this project for the first six months is evaluating whether a solid-state faulty current limiter (SSFCL) is a better option to reduce fault current levels than existing industry practice using circuit breakers. The UA team has performed research work in SSFCL for several years so this research project will leverage upon the accumulated knowledge. In conjunction with interested IAB members, the research team will select a case study to evaluate the SSFCL benefits and identify its potential shortcomings (e.g., fast di/dt’s lead to overvoltages that must be clamped).