Detection of series arcs using load side voltage drop for protection of low voltage DC Systems

Aditya Shekhar*, Laura Ramírez-Elizondo, Soumya Bandyopadhyay, Laurens Mackay, Pavol Bauera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


Low voltage dc distribution grids face issues associated with arc faults, aggravated by the absence of current zero crossing. The focus of this paper is to comprehensively develop a method of series arc fault detection at the load side power electronics, based on the electrode dependent initial voltage drop occurring at the arc initiation. The proposed arc detection algorithm is described along with the structure and time constants of the designed bandpass filter. The operational boundaries of the arc detection algorithm are defined for copper electrodes depending on the set threshold voltage and the system parameters, like grid inductance, resistance, and the load capacitance. Further, the detection time and the zone of guaranteed positive detection are depicted. These are validated through test simulations on the state space model of the system. Finally, experimental validation of the proposed scheme is carried out, wherein, a series arc is generated in the dc circuit and the programmed micro-controller provides a real time signal upon detecting the arcing event. The results on variation in detection time with set threshold voltage are also presented experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7932971
Pages (from-to)6288-6297
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Arcs
  • boundaries
  • dc
  • detection
  • distribution grids
  • elimination
  • experimental
  • faults
  • low voltage
  • microgrids
  • operational
  • protection
  • safety
  • selectivity
  • series


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