Measures to Minimize Series Faults in Electrical Cords and Extension Cords

Tratos’ culture is deeply rooted in research and development in order to foster innovation.

Members of the Tratos team in the UK and in Italy has been collaborating in the production of academic papers that discuss crucial matters within the cable industry and beyond.

The following paper, published by the IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organisation for the advancement of technology, has been co-authored by Elisabetta Bragagni-Capaccini, TRATOS Cavi Director and member of Health, Safety & Environment HSE leadership team Europacable. The paper revolves around the topic of electrical and extension cords and how to minimise series faults in such cords.

Abstract: In electrical power systems, cords and extension cords are exposed to mechanical damage and other insulation stresses. Mechanical damage to the stranded conductors can reduce locally their cross section or break them and cause anomalous local conditions of overheating or arcing. The ordinary protective devices cannot detect the series faults that persist; so the fault point remains energized and subject to electric shock and fire hazards. Effective protection can be accomplished by implementing active and passive measures: installing Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) or Detection Devices (AFDD), able to detect arcing faults; or wiring the circuits with a grounding protection conductor to involve the ground in every fault. In this way, residual current protective devices (RCDs or GFPDs) protect quickly the series faults with arc, but also without arc. The Ground-Fault-Forced Cable (GFFC) facilitates by design the conversion of any kind of cable fault to a ground fault. They are particularly recommended for cords and extension cords, internal circuits to grounded equipment, UPS continuity circuits, aircraft circuits, road tunnels, data centers, refrigerated containers parks, residences and hospitals.

The paper was published in the  IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications ( Volume: 55, Issue: 5, Sept.-Oct. 2019).

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