Thursday, July 16, 2009

This will really save lives and change our world

Electrical Fault Circuit Interrupter (EFCI)

Electrical PlugImage by One Tree Hill Studios via FlickrElectrical Fault Circuit Interrupters (EFCI) are designed to protect against top electrical fire ignition causes including poor connections and high resistance points in branch circuit wiring, overloads in utilization equipment and open neutral connections.

1) Detection of wiring faults including poor connections and open neutral connections
2) Detection of overload faults in outlets and utilization equipment
3) EFCI Diagrams (receptacle and fixed wired)
4) Location, location, location...

1) Detection of wiring faults including poor connections and open neutral connections.
These faults can be best detected by analyzing the utilization voltage at outlet locations, not at the service point or head of the circuit. 1,2

EFCI analyzes the line voltage, compares it against both upper and lower safe limits, and disconnects the load when it detects hazardous conditions.3 As a result, EFCI can trip on the creation and the existence of high-resistance points, such as poor connections.

EFCI locks off power at receptacle sockets after detecting a wiring fault. After fault correction, resetting the EFCI restores power.

2) Detection of overload faults in outlets and utilization equipment.
EFCI uses a variable threshold, resettable electronic overload interrupter located inside specially designed electrical outlets, including receptacles and light fixtures, and cord connected or fixed-wired utilization equipment. EFCI can detect overloadconditions in appliances, lamps, cords, strip outlets, and other utilization equipment.4

EFCI automatically matches the overload trip threshold to the utilization equipment rating. EFCI has multiple overload trip levels ranging from 1/3 Amp up to the maximum branch circuit rating.

EFCI locks off power to the load after detecting an overload fault. After fault correction, resetting the EFCI restores power.

3) Location, Location, Location...
To effectively detect high resistance points and open neutral in premise wiring, an EFCI must be located in an electrical outlet downstream of the fault location and in parallel with the load. To detect overloads in utilization equipment wiring, an EFCI must be located in an outlet or similar location close to the utilization equipment.

These faults cannot be detected accurately, if at all, from a service point or the head of a circuit.
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