Inventors at Georgia Tech have proposed the use of electric contacts made of dissimilar materials in a contact pair. This will combat the adhesion problem of similar contacts under continuous current and possible contact welding under short circuit. By reducing the adhesion between contacts, damage to the materials when the contact opens is largely reduced. Using dissimilar contact materials will also make the transfer of heat more efficient by allowing the flow of heat only to the heat sink.
- Higher contact life expectancy
- Reduce wear and surface damage
- Direct the flow of heat in desired directions
- Smart Grid
- Switchgear devices
- Circuit breakers
- Vacuum interrupters
- Disconnect switches
- Grounding switches
- Transfer switches
In switchgear devices, such as circuit breakers, vacuum interrupters and disconnect switches, the electric contacts in a contact pair are made of the same material. The material chosen depends on the conditions the electric contacts are exposed to. The increasing share of renewable energy in the electric grid and proposed DC transmission and distribution systems will result in higher short circuit currents upon fault in grid. Among other things, this will require redesigned contacts.