AFCI Development with UOM


Development and Introduction of a Compact Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) to Sri Lankan Industry


Generally fires originating from an electrical fault are a major cause for building fires. An electrical fire may begin with a breakdown in insulation that leads to arcing that breaks down the insulation further leading to a fire. In order to prevent such fires, in some other countries, in addition to the Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB), a device known as the Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) has been incorporated into the wiring standards and codes.


An AFCI is a circuit breaker that breaks the circuit when it detects an electric arc in the circuit it protects to prevent electrical fires. An AFCI selectively distinguishes between a harmless arc (incidental to normal operation of switches, plugs, and brushed motors), and a potentially dangerous arc (that can occur, for example, in a lamp cord which has a broken conductor).

Conventional circuit breakers like RCCBs and MCBs only respond to overloads and short circuits, so they do not protect against arcing conditions that produce erratic, and often reduced current. AFCIs are devices designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in the industrial and home electrical wiring. The AFCI circuitry continuously monitors the current and discriminates between normal and unwanted arcing conditions. Once detected, the AFCI opens its internal contacts, thus de-energizing the circuit and reducing the potential for a fire to occur.


When the Sri Lankan wiring stranded and practices are concerned, applying AFCI units cannot be found in its codes. Development of low cost compact AFCI units and introduction them to the Sri Lankan wiring standards and hence to the local market is identified as vital.


Development of a prototype of a low cost compact Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)


Sri Lankan industrial community and household community


Completion of prototype development within 3 months period

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