High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

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High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

ratliffgrp
Hello Group Members!

Happy New Year to you all!  I am building my newest electric car after
doing my first conversion on a 1995 Hyundai Elantra a year ago.  You
can see it here: < www.evalbum.com/887 >.

My next car is a ground up design.  It will have approximately 288
Volts total pack voltage.  I am wondering what you folks do for circuit
breakers when you are working with the higher voltage packs.  The
highest voltage DC circuit breakers I have found are about 160VDC.  Any
suggestions for breaking 288 Volts?

THANKS!
David (near Atlanta)
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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

Lee Hart
[hidden email] wrote:
> I am wondering what you folks do for circuit breakers when you are
> working with the higher voltage packs.  The highest voltage DC
> circuit breakers I have found are about 160VDC. Any suggestions for
> breaking 288 Volts?

Either use higher voltage rated breakers, or gang two of the 160vdc
rated breakers so they both trip simultaneously.

--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

John Mogelnicki
I'm also planning to run 288 volts, planning to put 2 Albright contactors in
series and also 2 Heinemann circuit breakers in series.   What is standard
practice for 288volts?

Thanks in advance!

On Jan 1, 2008 4:40 PM, Lee Hart < [hidden email]> wrote:

> [hidden email] wrote:
> > I am wondering what you folks do for circuit breakers when you are
> > working with the higher voltage packs.  The highest voltage DC
> > circuit breakers I have found are about 160VDC. Any suggestions for
> > breaking 288 Volts?
>
> Either use higher voltage rated breakers, or gang two of the 160vdc
> rated breakers so they both trip simultaneously.
>
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

Roy LeMeur
In reply to this post by ratliffgrp


John Mogelnicki wrote:
> I'm also planning to run 288 volts, planning to put 2 Albright contactors in
> series and also 2 Heinemann circuit breakers in series.   What is standard
> practice for 288volts?

Otmar just recently put his take on the subject of safe contactor operation at higher voltages up on his Zillablog-
http://www.cafeelectric.com/blog/



~~~~~~


Roy LeMeur

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions? SW200A

rodhower
Speaking of EV contactors, I have a few of these,
http://curtisinst.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cDatasheets.dspListDS&CatID=7&siteID=1
Click on the link for "Electric Vehicle Contactors
SW200 Series"
They have magnetic blowouts and 28Vdc coils.
$30 plus $10 shipping.
A pretty good deal.
Thanks,
Rod
W8RNH
www.qsl.net/w8rnh

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions? SW200A

Morgan LaMoore
Rod,

I'll take 2, if there are any left.

-Morgan LaMoore

On Jan 2, 2008 10:38 PM, Rod Hower <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Speaking of EV contactors, I have a few of these,
> http://curtisinst.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cDatasheets.dspListDS&CatID=7&siteID=1
> Click on the link for "Electric Vehicle Contactors
> SW200 Series"
> They have magnetic blowouts and 28Vdc coils.
> $30 plus $10 shipping.
> A pretty good deal.
> Thanks,
> Rod
> W8RNH
> www.qsl.net/w8rnh
>
> _______________________________________________
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> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

Robert MacDowell
In reply to this post by John Mogelnicki
That doesn't seem like it would work.  2 breakers in series won't break
twice their rated voltage, because one is going to break slightly before
the other, and it will have full voltage across it arcing spectacularly.
  Maybe when the second drops, the voltage won't be able to sustain 2
arcs across 2 breakers, but it still doesn't seem like the right way to
do it.

They make 600V stuff for electric streetcars and trolleybuses.  Wouldn't
that work?  (aside from being heavier and bigger.)

Robert

John Mogelnicki wrote:

> I'm also planning to run 288 volts, planning to put 2 Albright contactors in
> series and also 2 Heinemann circuit breakers in series.   What is standard
> practice for 288volts?
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
> On Jan 1, 2008 4:40 PM, Lee Hart < [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> [hidden email] wrote:
>>> I am wondering what you folks do for circuit breakers when you are
>>> working with the higher voltage packs.  The highest voltage DC
>>> circuit breakers I have found are about 160VDC. Any suggestions for
>>> breaking 288 Volts?
>> Either use higher voltage rated breakers, or gang two of the 160vdc
>> rated breakers so they both trip simultaneously.
>>
>> --
>> Ring the bells that still can ring
>> Forget the perfect offering
>> There is a crack in everything
>> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
>> --
>> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> For subscription options, see
>> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

John Mogelnicki
I agree, I'm planning to run the contactors in series and to get a new
breaker for higher voltage.
Thank you for the feedback
John

On Jan 4, 2008 2:37 AM, Robert MacDowell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That doesn't seem like it would work.  2 breakers in series won't break
> twice their rated voltage, because one is going to break slightly before
> the other, and it will have full voltage across it arcing spectacularly.
>  Maybe when the second drops, the voltage won't be able to sustain 2
> arcs across 2 breakers, but it still doesn't seem like the right way to
> do it.
>
> They make 600V stuff for electric streetcars and trolleybuses.  Wouldn't
> that work?  (aside from being heavier and bigger.)
>
> Robert
>
> John Mogelnicki wrote:
> > I'm also planning to run 288 volts, planning to put 2 Albright
> contactors in
> > series and also 2 Heinemann circuit breakers in series.   What is
> standard
> > practice for 288volts?
> >
> > Thanks in advance!
> >
> > On Jan 1, 2008 4:40 PM, Lee Hart < [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> [hidden email] wrote:
> >>> I am wondering what you folks do for circuit breakers when you are
> >>> working with the higher voltage packs.  The highest voltage DC
> >>> circuit breakers I have found are about 160VDC. Any suggestions for
> >>> breaking 288 Volts?
> >> Either use higher voltage rated breakers, or gang two of the 160vdc
> >> rated breakers so they both trip simultaneously.
> >>
> >> --
> >> Ring the bells that still can ring
> >> Forget the perfect offering
> >> There is a crack in everything
> >> That's how the light gets in    --    Leonard Cohen
> >> --
> >> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> For subscription options, see
> >> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > For subscription options, see
> > http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

dave cover-2
In reply to this post by Robert MacDowell
On 1/4/08, Robert MacDowell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> That doesn't seem like it would work.  2 breakers in series won't break
> twice their rated voltage, because one is going to break slightly before
> the other, and it will have full voltage across it arcing spectacularly.

As I understand it, it will work if the breakers are mechanically tied
so they open at the same time. I have a Heinemann breaker that is
essentially 3 breakers bolted together and the arms are solidly
connected too. If one trips they all trip. If this is not the case,
could someone let me know.

I'm using mine more as a switch than a breaker, so I never expect it
to trip. It's rated for 600 amps and located mid pack. I have a 500
amp fuse and my controller limits what it will draw from the pack well
below that (for now at least.)

Thanks

Dave Cover

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

Roland Wiench
Hello Dave,

In a two or three pole using separate handles that are gang together, one
poles trips and the other poles trip, but not all at the same time.

If we have a 3 pole 3 handle C/B on a three phase load, and one phase opens
by a loose connection or cut wire, that one pole of the circuit breaker with
the lose circuit, will not trip yet.

The other two poles will go on overload and if the ampere goes over the
rating of the circuit breaker, then one of these poles will trip, which
trips the next one.

Even with a tie handle, there is too much slack between the mechanism for
all of them to trip at once.  Test it out your self.  You can get tie bars
to tie two or three breakers together. Then pull on one circuit breaker
handle and that one will click on or off first and than the next one may
activated.

A common trip 2 or 3 pole breaker would be better and last longer, but there
is still a delay if overloaded, but as a mechanical shutdown, it is better.

The problem is that for anything over 400 amp, you are getting into a L
frame circuit breaker for a 600 vac/250 dc is very expensive.  I just
looking in my wholesale circuit breaker catalog and cost for a standard trip
400 amp 250vdc circuit breaker is $2932.00.  For High Interrupting it is
$4039.00 and for Extra High interrupting is $4749.00.  For motor starting
and interrupting duty which is a current limiting circuit breaker runs about
$5463.00.

This is why I use two large 600 amp open frame safety contactors with
Bussman semi-conductor buss bar bolt in fuses.

Roland




----- Original Message -----
From: "dave cover" <[hidden email]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 6:19 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?


> On 1/4/08, Robert MacDowell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > That doesn't seem like it would work.  2 breakers in series won't break
> > twice their rated voltage, because one is going to break slightly before
> > the other, and it will have full voltage across it arcing spectacularly.
>
> As I understand it, it will work if the breakers are mechanically tied
> so they open at the same time. I have a Heinemann breaker that is
> essentially 3 breakers bolted together and the arms are solidly
> connected too. If one trips they all trip. If this is not the case,
> could someone let me know.
>
> I'm using mine more as a switch than a breaker, so I never expect it
> to trip. It's rated for 600 amps and located mid pack. I have a 500
> amp fuse and my controller limits what it will draw from the pack well
> below that (for now at least.)
>
> Thanks
>
> Dave Cover
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by ratliffgrp
Robert MacDowell wrote:
> That doesn't seem like it would work.  2 breakers in series won't
> break twice their rated voltage, because one is going to break
> slightly before the other, and it will have full voltage across it
> arcing spectacularly.

This has been discussed before. The voltage rating of multiple contacts in series *do* add, as long as they are all switched at the same time.  Look at any type of high voltage mechanical switching device, and you will see that this is the standard way it is done -- more than one contact in series, switched at the same time.

"The same time" does not mean literally instantly. It only means within a fraction of a second of each other (like within 0.01 second). This is easily achieved with mechanical connections between them.

Mechanical switch contacts are found in switches, relays, contactors, circuit breakers, and similar devices. The ones built to get the best ratings are designed to "snap" open and closed. It takes on the order of 10 milliseconds (0.01 second) to move between the fully open and fully closed positions. The contacts have to survive arcing at full rated voltage and current during this time.

Suppose you put two such contacts in series, and they don't quite switch at the same time. First one opens; and 10 msec later the other one opens. The first one has to sustain the arc for 20 msec instead of 10 msec. Then the second one has opened, and the arc extinguishes.

That's not a drastic difference; the normal manufacturing tolerances and variations between loads are already this big. The safety factor in the contact's design already takes such things into account.

Bottom line: You *can* add the voltage ratings of two switches *IF* you make sure they always turn on and off within about 10 msec of each other.

--
"Excellence does not require perfection." -- Henry James
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart-at-earthlink.net

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Re: High Voltage Breaker Suggestions?

Adrian DeLeon
In reply to this post by ratliffgrp
This topic has come up many times - often with heated debate...

SOME large breakers are DC rated, and have voltage ratings that depend on  
the number of poles breaking in series. In particular, Square D has a  
great paper describing the use of breakers for high current DC operation  
(their DC rated breakers have a part number that ends in DC):

http://ecatalog.squared.com/techlib/docdetail.cfm?oid=0900892680150159

Note that this particular paper applies ONLY to breakers made by Square D.  
Products from other companies (GE, Cutler-Hammer, Heinemann, Airpax, et.  
al.) may be similar, but you have to check with each individual company to  
find out.

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to look for a "250A, DC breaker rated  
to at least 300V". Breakers are usually listed in groups and families - to  
make it easier to search for a replacement part. Do you want a THD series?  
Molded case? FHT family? If you're lucky you can find a listing by type:  
thermal, magnetic, hydraulic, thermal-magnetic, etc. Then you have to wade  
through data sheets to find out IF the breaker can be used with DC, what  
its ratings are, how long it can handle overloads (trip curves), thermal  
performance, lifespan, terminal types, size, yadda yadda yadda.

Once you find one of these magic breakers, hold onto your seat because  
they typically run $1,500 or more. Some can be found on eBay for $300 to  
$700, but the auctions often don't include the full part number - which  
makes it hard to verify if that particular breakers actually works on DC.

It has been suggested many times that putting single pole breakers in  
series and tying the trip handles together should work OK. This is  
PROBABLY true, but is NOT GUARANTEED to work. An EVDL lister recently  
spoke with an Airpax engineer who said "don't do it, contact us for a  
custom breaker". Others on the list have done it (Mike Willmon and Tehben  
come to mind) while making sure there are other safety precautions in  
place - like still having a clutch, properly sized fuses, multiple safety  
contactors, etc. I might series some breakers myself if I can't find a  
good deal on eBay soon.

It's also worth noting that there are high profile vehicles WITHOUT  
circuit breakers - such as White Zombie. John Wayland is definitely very  
safety conscious - EV500 main contactor, SW200 forward/reverse contactors,  
fuses in the traction AND charging circuit, Anderson service disconnects,  
AND an "Oh !@#$" handle, which consists of a very large fuse holder with a  
copper bus bar where the fuse should be. Pull it out to disconnect the  
traction pack from the controller. I saw the "Oh !@#$" handle get used on  
the race track when the Zombie's throttle cable stuck ON. Makes a pretty  
flash amidst all the tire smoke :)

Now if anyone has a source for reasonably priced 300V DC breakers I'll be  
first in line.

-Adrian

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