Photovoltaic system DC series arc fault: a case study

Alaa Hamza Omran, Dalila Mat Said, Siti Maherah Hussin, Sadiq H. Abdulhussain


Photovoltaic (PV) systems are becoming increasingly popular; however, arc faults on the direct current (DC) side are becoming more widespread as a result of the effects of aging as well as the trend toward higher DC voltage levels, posing severe risk to human safety and system stability. The parallel arc faults present higher level of current as compared with the series arc faults, making it more difficult to spot the series arc. In this paper and for the aim of condition monitoring, the features of a DC series arc fault are analyzed by analysing the arc features, performing model’s simulation in PSCAD, and carrying out experimental studies. Various arc models are simulated and investigated; for low current arcs, the heuristic model is used where a set of parameters established. Moreover, the heuristic model’s simulated arc has been shown to be compatible with the experimental data. The features of arc noise in the electrode separation region and steady-arcing states with varied gap widths are investigated. It has been discovered that after an arc fault occurs, arc noise increases, notably in the frequency range below 50 kHz; where this property is useful for detecting DC series arc faults. Besides that, variations in air gap width are more sensitive to frequencies under 5 kHz.


Arc characteristics; Arc fault; Arc model; DC series arc; PSCAD

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