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Energies 2019, 12(3), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12030536

Case Study about the Energy Absorption Capacity of Metal Oxide Varistors with Thermal Coupling

1
Power Systems Department, Faculty of Electrical and Power Engineering, Politehnica University of Timisoara, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
2
National Institute for Research and Development in Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
3
Electrical Engineering Department, Faculty of Electrical and Power Engineering, Politehnica University of Timisoara, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
4
Romanian Academy of Scientists, Timisoara Branch, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volume II: Semiconductor Power Devices)
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Abstract

Metal oxide varistors are applied today inside modern surge arresters for overvoltage protection for all voltage levels. Their main issue is the thermal activation of their crossing current, which could lead to complete destruction by thermal runaway. This article presents a new technological solution developed in order to increase the thermal stability of metal oxide varistors. It consists in connecting in parallel two or more similar varistors (for dividing their current), having a thermal coupling between them (for equalizing their temperatures and forcing them to act together and simultaneously as much as possible). Starting from a finite element computer model performed for each situation (varistor standalone or parallel), up to real measurements, the thermal stability of the equipment was analyzed in permanent and impulse regime. Experiments were carried out in the same conditions. Experimental data obtain from two disk varistors corresponds very well to simulations, proving that parallel connection of varistors, combined with a thermal exchange between them is an efficient technical solution for thermal stability improvement, even if not apparently economically justified. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal oxide varistor; disk shape; low voltage; parallel connection; thermal coupling metal oxide varistor; disk shape; low voltage; parallel connection; thermal coupling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Frigura-Iliasa, F.M.; Musuroi, S.; Sorandaru, C.; Vatau, D. Case Study about the Energy Absorption Capacity of Metal Oxide Varistors with Thermal Coupling. Energies 2019, 12, 536.

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