Authors: William Bussière, David Rochette & Jean-Louis Gelet
Fuse protection uses a very simple principle of operation. During normal operation, the fuse must ensure the conduction role. Upon occurrence of an electrical fault (abnormally high current from the nominal conduction current) fuse then provides Break role: the fuse – or fuse element, which is in the form of a ribbon or wire – Cross then vaporizes due to the energy input by the electrical fault that must stop. The energy supplied by the electrical fault is subsequently largely dissipated in the porous mineral insulation which surrounds the fusible element. The suspected electrical fault current is limited to a lower value by the fuse which requires simultaneously a power surge that the network can maintain, forcing a return to zero current. This cut-off role, although very simple in principle, is particularly complex to describe, and there is as yet no comprehensive and non-empirical model, including the physical and electrical aspects, able to provide a realistic industrial tool understanding or design fuses suitable for market demand. This is the expertise that guides industrial to develop new technologies to meet the new needs of protection.
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