Preemptive Arc-Fault Detection Techniques in Switchgear and Controlgear-Part II

G. Amjad Hussain*, Lauri Kumpulainen, Matti Lehtonen, John A. Kay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The significant benefits of preemptive arc-flash protection and the online condition monitoring of electrical equipment are quite well known. Our continuing research focuses on the development of new advanced sensor technologies that are cost-effective, reliable, and efficient for the early detection of faults in order to predict impending arc-flash occurrences in medium-voltage and low-voltage switchgear and controlgear. More extensive and detailed measurements regarding significant defects that lead to an arc-flash event have been completed since the original work in Part I was completed. A more detailed analysis of the results of this additional testing is presented in this paper. It has been documented that the two major noncontact causes that lead to an arc-flash event in switchgear are insulation degradation and thermal stresses. This paper covers the detailed measurement results under both of these conditions. New sensor technologies for both the partial discharge measurement and the thermal detection are introduced and evaluated. An effective signal processing technique, which is needed for extracting the essential indication of a developing fault, is also presented. Finally, this paper outlines how a preemptive arc detection system can be connected to protection, the programmable logic controller, or the supervisory control and data acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1658
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Arc flash in switchgear
  • discrete wavelet transform (DWT)
  • nonintrusive sensors
  • online condition monitoring
  • proactive techniques

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