Vacuum breaker for high DC current: Experimental performances and operational limits

Roberto Piovan, Loris Zanotto, Tullio Bonicelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new method to assess the performances of vacuum circuit breakers (VCBs) for high dc based on the measurement of the energy dissipated in the contacts before the opening of the breaker. This energy is given by the product of the closed-contact resistance times the specific energy I2t flowing through the breaker. The results of an extensive experimental campaign on VCB prototypes, customized for special applications in the field of thermonuclear fusion, are reported in this paper, showing that, whenever the energy dissipated before the opening exceeds a threshold, the probability of VCB restrike increases. It is also demonstrated that vacuum tubes need initial training at low current prior to the operation at full performance. © 2008 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229 - 235
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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