Arc Suppression Facts
Everywhere electricity is used, it is controlled through the use of automated electromechanical power switches, including relays, contactors, snap-action switches, and other like devices that turn power on and off by opening and closing metal contacts. These switches charge batteries, operate vehicles, carry electricity to buildings, switch motors on and off, run manufacturing equipment, and operate heating, cooling and refrigeration systems. Surprisingly, these incredibly important devices have not significantly evolved since the days of Tesla and Edison. While their design and operation is incredibly simple, they all share one common problem: contact arcing. Each time a switches’ contacts opens, an electrical arc forms that erodes and degrades the relay contacts and is the #1 cause of failure. And when a switch fails, the entire system it operates is at risk of failure.
Because of the damaging effects of arcing, the lifetime of an electromechanical switch is directly related to the frequency of switching. In most applications the impact of arcing on the lifetime of each switch is understood and, for any given load, somewhat predictable. This is why most companies invest a great deal of time on the routine inspection of contacts – often prematurely replacing switches whose contacts exhibit degradation. If arcing could be significantly reduced, not only would the lifetime of each switch be greatly extended, but companies using machinery controlled by electromechanical switches would also realize enormous reductions in costs associated with maintenance and unplanned downtime.
Over the last six years, Arc Suppression Technologies has designed, engineered and patent protected a line of NOsparc arc suppressors that are truly revolutionary. This simple yet novel technology eliminates nearly all of the contact arc energy, which, in turn, greatly reduces damage to the switch contacts.
The compelling result is that NOsparc arc suppressors extend the operational lifetime of an electromechanical switch by 10 times or more. In simple terms, if the replacement interval of a switch in a specific application is six months, the addition of a NOsparc arc suppressor would extend that interval to five years, producing cost savings equal to nine replacements in addition to the many hours of preventative maintenance that will no longer be necessary.