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Simulating the multiphysics of a residual current device

Ensuring the safety of users around electrical contacts

Newsletter EnginSoft Year 17 n°4
By Enrico Gnata | Bticino
Emiliano D’Alessandro, Giovanni Falcitelli, Enrico Boesso, Fabiano Maggio, Davide Girardi | EnginSoft
Simulating the multiphysics of a residual current device
Simulating the multiphysics of a residual current device

Abstract

Residual current devices (RCDs) are arguably the most important electrical safety devices for human beings in both residential and industrial settings. Where circuit breakers function to protect electronic devices and electrical systems from electrical overload, the residual current device is designed to cut the flow of electricity to your circuit when it detects that the flow of electricity is going to travel down an unwanted path. The speed at which the RCD cuts the electrical flow varies from 40 to 300 milliseconds after the detection of a fault. They are not failproof, however, and many factors influence the speed of response. This article examines the simulation of an RCD to determine the factors that affect its response times.

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