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Method for On-line Detection of Arcing in Low Voltage Distribution Systems

This paper presents an algorithm for on-line detection of arcing in low voltage (230V, 50Hz) distribution systems. Electromagnetic radiation has been used as feature for discrimination between arc and non-arc signals. The output of electromagnetic radiation sensor has been analyzed in the spectral domain using Log-Spectral distance-metric for the detection of arcing. For validation of this method a test bench comprising of an arc generation set-up has been developed in the laboratory.

The algorithm has been tested against both arc and arc-mimicking normal signals using the test-bench to validate its effectiveness. Further the algorithm is implemented on-line using xPC target (an embedded platform) for studying the feasibility and accuracy of its on-line implementation. A system based on this method can continuously monitor the health of a distribution network and thus can be very helpful in safeguarding against fire-hazards due to electric arcing.