Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Commercial/Residential Current Limiting Fuse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    193

    Commercial/Residential Current Limiting Fuse

    I am trying to pick a current limiting fuse for residential/light commercial applications. I welcome any suggestion. My service 120/240 single phase 150-200A. The calculated short circuit current is 24kA and I want to reduce it to 10 kA.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Cherry Valley NY, Seattle, WA
    Posts
    4,740
    You cant reduce fault current that way. I know that is what they seem to be for, but under the NEC no can do. Check the series ratings of your 10kA equipment to see what combinations are available.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    19,149
    I agree with Ethan. I don't fully understand the physics, so I can't explain the situation completely. The basic issue is that the behavior of the upstream "current-limiting fuse" (CLF) will be influenced by the behavior of any downstream device (breaker or fuse) that will itself react to high currents by attempting to terminate the event. So if the thing you are trying to protect at 10KA is, for example, a controller for an elevator or an air conditioning system, then that controller's internal fuses will change the way the CLF will function during a fault. The result is that the CLF may wind up passing more than the desired limit of 10KA down to the controller.

    A solution that I have used in the recent past is to insert a series reactor upstream of the controller you are trying to protect.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    193
    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    You cant reduce fault current that way. I know that is what they seem to be for, but under the NEC no can do. Check the series ratings of your 10kA equipment to see what combinations are available.
    Where in NEC states that CLF can't function as it is designed or it can't reduce the fault level?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Cherry Valley NY, Seattle, WA
    Posts
    4,740
    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    I agree with Ethan. I don't fully understand the physics, so I can't explain the situation completely. The basic issue is that the behavior of the upstream "current-limiting fuse" (CLF) will be influenced by the behavior of any downstream device (breaker or fuse) that will itself react to high currents by attempting to terminate the event. So if the thing you are trying to protect at 10KA is, for example, a controller for an elevator or an air conditioning system, then that controller's internal fuses will change the way the CLF will function during a fault. The result is that the CLF may wind up passing more than the desired limit of 10KA down to the controller.

    A solution that I have used in the recent past is to insert a series reactor upstream of the controller you are trying to protect.
    I would like an explanation too. I've never been really clear in this. I thought a CLF DOES indeed limit fault current by itself, but for some reason the NEC doesn't allow their use? Maybe I'm off base though.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Miami, Florida, USA
    Posts
    154
    I'll stand by for the correct answer as well. I feel I must add the disclaimer that I'm not well versed in code to all of my posts.

    That said my understanding is that while fuses certainly limit fault current, to be code compliant for what the OP wishes, they must be listed/tested/accepted by the breaker manufacturer for a series arrangement.

    For example older GE tri-break CB's had internal fuses to achieve a 100K rating.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    460
    Quote Originally Posted by Russs57 View Post
    I'll stand by for the correct answer as well. I feel I must add the disclaimer that I'm not well versed in code to all of my posts.

    That said my understanding is that while fuses certainly limit fault current, to be code compliant for what the OP wishes, they must be listed/tested/accepted by the breaker manufacturer for a series arrangement.

    For example older GE tri-break CB's had internal fuses to achieve a 100K rating.
    Correct. Look at 240.86. For series rating it allows engineering supervision to select breakers, or tested combinations.
    No such language exists in Part VI of 240 for fuses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    622
    Quote Originally Posted by packersparky View Post
    Correct. Look at 240.86. For series rating it allows engineering supervision to select breakers, or tested combinations.
    No such language exists in Part VI of 240 for fuses.
    to elaborate on packer's reply: 240.86 governs when devices are used in a fault-current environment that's higher than what they are rated for and there are two choices: (A) Engineering supervision for EXISTING Installations; or (B) Tested Combinations. So you could engage a PE to make an analysis that shows that devices proposed work together on a Time Current Characteristic curve to interrupt the fault current safely, which requires the upstream device to trip before the downstream device which can be tricky/impossible because the downstream device tries to open and becomes a dynamic impedance; or take the simpler and more direct route and find devices that are listed together in the published series combo rating charts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,897
    This is a quick and dirty explanation: breakers are not as slow and fuses are not as fast as a many people think.

    Molded case breakers often begin to open before a fuse begins to limit current. Once the breaker contacts begin to open the resulting arc can greatly impact the amount of current flowing through the fuse, further preventing it from entering its current limiting region, especially for relatively large fuses and low fault currents.

    The NEC requirement that a breaker and another protective device be 'series rated' by actual testing, has been around for some 30 years now.
    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    19,149
    Quote Originally Posted by Electriman View Post
    Where in NEC states that CLF can't function as it is designed or it can't reduce the fault level?
    That's not an NEC thing. It's a physics thing.

    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •