Phase-Based Digital Protection for Arc Flash Faults
Marine switchboards are manufactured to specifications similar to industrial switchboards but sustain arcing faults more frequently. Thus, the marine environment can serve to accelerate aging, showing what industrial switchboards will experience over time. U.S. Navy data are used to show that faulty connections are the primary cause of arcing faults in marine switchboards. Various approaches to arc detection and to the prevention of arcing failures will be examined. The approaches which were integrated into an automatic arc fault protection system for the Navy will be discussed. The historical effectiveness of arc fault protection systems on Navy ships will be discussed. The authors believe that the success achieved in this harsh marine environment is statistically significant and holds lessons for the deployment of arc fault protective systems in critical land-based power distribution systems.