(19)
(11)EP 2 920 803 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
07.03.2018 Bulletin 2018/10

(21)Application number: 13753790.8

(22)Date of filing:  21.08.2013
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01H 9/46  (2006.01)
H01H 73/18  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2013/055945
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/077923 (22.05.2014 Gazette  2014/21)

(54)

ARC RUNNER ASSEMBLY AND CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER

LICHTBOGENLAUFSCHIENEANORDNUNG UND SCHUTZSCHALTER

ENSEMBLE DE TÔLE DE CONDUCTION ET DISJONCTEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.11.2012 US 201213677631

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.09.2015 Bulletin 2015/39

(73)Proprietor: Eaton Corporation
Cleveland, OH 44122 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • MALINGOWSKI, Richard Paul
    McDonald, Pennsylvania 15057 (US)
  • SISLEY, James Patrick
    Baden, Pennsylvania 15005 (US)
  • PUHALLA, Craig Joseph
    Moon Township, Pennsylvania 15108 (US)
  • MCCARTHY, Kelly Julia
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15227 (US)
  • GULA, Lance
    Clinton, Pennsylvania 15026 (US)

(74)Representative: Schmidbauer, Andreas Konrad 
Wagner & Geyer Partnerschaft Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Gewürzmühlstrasse 5
80538 München
80538 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 255 016
US-A1- 2009 200 271
US-A- 5 686 712
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The disclosed and claimed concept relates generally to circuit interrupters and, more particularly, to an arc runner assembly for use in a circuit interrupter, as well as to a circuit interrupter.

    [0002] Circuit interrupters are known for use in numerous applications. Circuit interrupters are employed, for example, to open a portion of a protected circuit in certain predefined circumstances, such as might include predefined overcurrent and under-voltage circumstances, as well as other circumstances.

    [0003] As is generally understood in the relevant art, a circuit interrupter typically includes a set of separable contacts that are electrically interposed between line and load conductors, and the separable contacts can be separated from one another in order to open the portion of the protected circuit to which the line and load conductors are connected. Since an electrical arc is typically formed between the contacts during their initial separation, and since such an electrical arc can be destructive to the circuit interrupter and to the protected circuit, such electrical arcs are desirably extinguished as soon as possible, and circuit interrupters typically employ some type of apparatus or system to extinguish such arcs. One type of arc extinction system includes an arc chute that includes a plurality of arc plates that are divergently oriented and which are configured to break up and extinguish an arc. An arc runner typically is employed adjacent a stationary contact of the set of separable contacts to direct the arc toward the arc chute. Any of a wide variety of devices can be employed to help move the arc in the direction of the arc chute, and these can include devices that generate magnetic fields which push the arc toward the arc chute, devices that generate gases in the presence of an arc that push the arc toward the arc chute, and the like.

    [0004] While such arc extinction systems have been generally effective for their intended purposes, they have not been without limitation. For example, many of the known arc extinction systems have been developed for use in AC applications wherein an arc often lasts for at most only one-half of a cycle. Such arc extinction systems are typically not directly applicable to DC applications since a DC arc can exist for longer period of time. Moreover, whereas the voltage in AC varies between positive and negative according to a known cycle, DC is typically either positive or negative and, depending upon the application, a protected DC circuit may at different times experience either positive voltage or negative voltage. A circuit interrupter that is intended to protect a DC circuit therefore desirably has the capability to interrupt both positive DC and negative DC at given current level in. Furthermore, certain applications such as photovoltaic applications have required successively greater and greater current interruption capabilities. It thus would be desirable to provide solutions that address such shortcomings in the art.

    [0005] US 5 686 712 A discloses an electrical contact assembly including a pair of first contact arms, each having a terminal end portion, a tip end portion and first contacts fixed to said tip end portions, and a second contact arm arranged opposite the first contact arms and having a tip end portion provided with a lengthened bridge contact. Either the pair of first contact arms or the second contact arm is moveable and the other one is stationary, respectively. Upon actuation of the moveable contact arm or arms, a current path is closed between the first contact arms via said bridge contact. Further, a pair of arc runner strips is provided at opposed lateral edges of either the pair of first contact arms or of the second contact arm. Each of the arc runner strips has a free end projecting toward a facing area of the second contact arm or the first contact US2009/0200271 discloses a circuit interrupter according to the preamble of claim 1.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] An improved circuit interrupter inter alia provides a pair of arc runners that are situated at opposite sides of a stationary contact of the circuit interrupter. If used in a DC application, the arc runner assembly is configured to communicate a positive DC arc along one of the arc runners in a first direction away from the stationary contact and is further configured to communicate a negative DC arc along the other arc runner in another direction away from the stationary contact. The arc runner assembly additionally includes a support that is electrically engaged with a conductor of the circuit interrupter on a surface opposite that on which the stationary contact is disposed. The improved arc runner assembly advantageously facilitates extinction of electrical arc and extinguishes both positive and negative DC arcs in a DC application.

    [0007] Accordingly, an aspect of the disclosed and claimed concept is to provide an improved circuit interrupter to extinguish electrical arcs.

    [0008] Another aspect of the disclosed and claimed concept is to provide an improved arc runner assembly in a circuit interrupter which, if used in a DC application, extinguishes both positive and negative DC arcs.

    [0009] In accordance with the present invention, a circuit interrupter as set forth in claim 1 is provided. Further embodiments of the invention are inter alia disclosed in the dependent claims. The circuit interrupter inter alia has a first conductor, a second conductor, and a set of separable contacts electrically interposed between the first conductor and the second conductor. The set of separable contacts include a stationary contact situated on one of the first conductor and the second conductor. The arc runner assembly can be generally stated as including a first arc runner and a second arc runner, with the first and second arc runners are spaced apart from one another. The first arc runner is structured to be situated adjacent a first side of the stationary contact and to communicate an electrical arc away from the stationary contact in a first direction. The second arc runner is structured to be situated adjacent a second side of the stationary contact opposite the first side and to communicate an electrical arc away from the stationary contact in a second direction different than the first direction

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] A further understanding of the disclosed and claimed concept can be gained from the following Description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an improved arc runner assembly in accordance with the disclosed and claimed concept;

    Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the arc runner assembly of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 3 is a perspective view, partially cut away, of an improved circuit interrupter in accordance with the disclosed and claimed concept that employs the arc runner assembly of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a portion of the circuit interrupter of Fig. 3; and

    Fig. 5 is a sectional view as taken along line 5-5 of Fig. 3.



    [0011] Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the specification.

    DESCRIPTION



    [0012] An improved arc runner assembly 2 is depicted generally in Figs. 1 and 2. The arc runner assembly 2 can be employed in a circuit interrupter 4 in accordance with the disclosed and claimed concept, as is depicted generally in Fig. 3 and is depicted in part in Fig. 4. The improved arc runner assembly 2 advantageously enables the circuit interrupter 4 to rapidly extinguish an electrical arc. Arc runner assembly 2 and circuit interrupter 4 are particularly advantageously employed in DC applications but are employable in AC applications without departing from the present concept.

    [0013] The circuit interrupter 4 can be said to include a first conductor 6, a second conductor 8, and a set of separable contacts 10 that are electrically interposed between the first and second conductors 6 and 8. One of the first conductor 6 and the second conductor 8 will typically be considered a line conductor, and the other of the first and second conductors 6 and 8 will typically be considered a load conductor, although the specific designation is not important herein. The set of separable contacts 10 in the depicted exemplary embodiment include a stationary contact 12 that is depicted as being situated on the first conductor 6. The set of separable contacts 10 further include a movable contact 14 that is situated on a movable contact arm 18 and that is electrically engageable with an engagement surface 16 of the stationary contact 12.

    [0014] The circuit interrupter 4 further includes an arc extinction apparatus 20 that includes a set of arc plates (collectively indicated at the numeral 22), a first magnet 24, a second magnet 26, and a brace 28. The first and second magnets 24 and 26 are rare earth permanent magnets having their south poles facing toward one another and are held in place by the steel brace 28. The first and second magnets 24 and 26 could alternatively have their north poles facing toward one another without departing from the present concept. It is also expressly noted that the first and second magnets 24 and 26 could be of any form, i.e., whether or not permanent magnets, whether or not formed of rare earth materials or other materials, etc., without departing from the present concept. The arc extinction apparatus 20 further includes an intermediate element 30 that extends midway through the set of arc plates 22 and that includes a steel guide element 32 (Fig. 5) that is covered by a sheath 34 which, in the depicted exemplary embodiment, is formed of a polymer material. As is understood in the relevant art, the circuit interrupter 4 additionally includes an operating mechanism that pivots the contact arm 18 to move the movable contact 14 between positions electrically connected with and electrically disconnected from the stationary contact 12.

    [0015] As is depicted generally in Figs. 1 and 2, the arc runner assembly 2 can be said to include a first arc runner 36, a second arc runner 38, a support 40, and a base 42. The arc runner assembly 2 is formed from a plate of stainless steel that is electrically conductive but that does not affect the magnetic fields within the arc extinction apparatus 20 or the other components of the circuit interrupter 4. In the depicted exemplary embodiment, the first and second arc runners 36 and 38 and the support 40 are formed in the arc runner assembly 2 via cutting and bending. In the embodiment depicted herein, the first and second arc runners 36 and 38 and the support 40 each extend from the same end of the base 42. The base itself has a mounting hole 44 formed therein which, in the depicted exemplary embodiment, is threaded to receive therein a threaded fastener 46 (as is depicted generally in Fig. 3) which extends through a molded case component of the circuit interrupter 4 to secure the arc runner assembly 2, the first conductor 6, and other structures within the circuit interrupter 4. It is noted, however, that in other embodiments of the arc runner assembly 2, the mounting hole 44 can accommodate other types of fasteners without departing from the present concept.

    [0016] The first arc runner 36 can be said to include a first arc runner element 48 situated on a first leg 50. The first leg 50 supports the first arc runner element 48 in a position spaced from the base 42. The second arc runner 38 likewise can be said to include a second arc runner element 52 situated on a second leg 54, with the second leg 54 supporting the second arc runner element 52 in a position spaced from the base 42. The support 40 can be said to include a support element 56 situated on a strut 58, with the strut 58 supporting the support element 56 at a position spaced from the base 42. The first and second arc runners 36 and 38 can be said to be situated on opposite sides of the support 40, and the support 40 can alternatively be said to be situated generally between the first and second arc runners 36 and 38.

    [0017] The first arc runner element 48 includes a generally planar first arc runner surface 60, and the second arc runner element 52 likewise has a generally planar second arc runner surface 60. The first and second arc runner surfaces 60 and 62 are generally coplanar with one another and with the engagement surface 16 of the stationary contact 12. The support element 56 has a generally planar support surface 64 that is oriented parallel with and offset from the first and second arc runner surfaces 60 and 62, as can be understood from Figs. 1 and 2. The support surface 64 is structured to be electrically engaged with a surface of the first conductor 60 opposite that upon which the stationary contact 12 is situated. The support 40 engaged with the aforementioned surface of the first conductor 6 supports the first conductor 6 when the contact arm 18 compressively engages the movable contact 14 with the engagement surface 16 of the stationary contact 12. Such supporting engagement also provides the aforementioned electrical engagement between the first conductor 6 and the arc runner assembly 2 which enables an electrical arc that may be formed between the stationary and movable contacts 12 and 14 to be communicated along the first arc runner surface 60 or the second arc runner surface 62 which, in a DC application, depends upon the polarity of the DC that is being interrupted.

    [0018] As has been suggested elsewhere herein, arc runner assembly 2 is formed by cutting and bending a piece of stainless steel or other appropriate conductive material. The first arc runner 36 can be said to include a proximate bend 66 that is proximate the base 42 and to further include a distal bend 68 that is distal from the base 42. The second arc runner 38 likewise includes proximate bend 70 and further includes a distal bend 72. Support 40 includes proximate bend 74, a distal bend 76, and an intermediate bend 78 situated between the proximate and distal bends 74 and 76. As can be understood from Figs. 1 and 2, some of the various bends in the first and second arc runners 36 and 38 and the support 40 are generally in the same direction whereas other bend are in opposite directions. For instance, the proximate bends 66, 70, and 74 are all in the same direction as one another, i.e., facing generally toward base 42. However, while the distal bends 68 and 72 are generally in the same direction as one another, i.e., generally away from the base 42, the distal bend 76 is in a direction opposite thereto, i.e., generally toward the base 42. The intermediate bend 78 is in generally the same direction as the distal bend 76. It is noted, however, that the arc runner assembly 2 can be formed in any of a variety of fashions and can have any of a variety of configurations without departing from the present concept.

    [0019] As can be understood from the foregoing, therefore, the first arc runner surface 60 is situated coplanar with the engagement surface 16 of the stationary contact 12 and is situated at a first side thereof. Likewise, the second arc runner surface 62 is oriented coplanar with the engagement surface 16 and is situated at a second, opposite side of the stationary contact 12. Since the arc runner assembly 2 is electrically connected with the first conductor 6, any arc that is formed between the stationary and movable contacts 12 and 14 could potentially be communicated along either the first arc runner element 48 or the second arc runner element 52 at the first and second arc runner surfaces 60 and 62, respectively, depending upon various factors.

    [0020] In the depicted exemplary embodiment, as is indicated generally in Fig. 5, the first and second magnets 24 and 26 are oriented and held in place by brace 28 such that the same magnetic poles face one another. In the depicted exemplary embodiment, the south poles of the first and second magnets 24 and 26 face toward one another, but in other embodiments the north poles could face one another without departing from the present concept.

    [0021] As is further depicted in Fig. 5, the guide element 32 is electrically connected with the brace 28. The sheath 34 is of a relatively small thickness in comparison with the overall dimensions of the guide element 32 such that the guide element 32 extends expansively within intermediate element 30. Since the south poles of the first and second magnets 24 and 26 face toward one another, and due to the presence of the ferrous and thus magnetic field directing guide element 32 therebetween, the magnetic field lines that exist between the first and second magnets 24 and 26 are represented generally at the numerals 80A and 80B in Fig 5. Some of the field lines, such as those indicated generally at 80A, extend from the guide element 32 directly toward either the first magnet 24 or the second magnet 26. Other field lines, such as those indicated generally at the numeral 80B, and which emanate from a free end of the guide element 32 opposite its connection with the brace 28, can be said to extend generally outward from the free end of the guide element 32, generally across the first or second arc runner elements 48 and 52, and toward a different location on the first and second magnets 24 and 26, respectively.

    [0022] According to the well understood Right Hand Rule, the magnetic fields indicated by the field lines 80A and 80B will direct a DC arc along either a first movement direction 82 or a second movement direction 84 depending upon the polarity of the DC arc being interrupted. More particularly, DC current going into the plane of the page of Fig. 5, i.e., from the movable contact 14 toward the stationary contact 12, will be pushed generally along the first movement direction 82, meaning that the DC arc will be communicated along the first arc runner surface 60 of the first arc runner element 48 and then toward the set of arc plates 22. On the other hand, DC current coming out of the plane of the page of Fig. 5, i.e., going from the stationary contact 12 toward the movable contact 14, will be pushed by the magnetic fields in the arc extinction apparatus 20 generally along the second movement direction 84, which means that the arc will be communicated along the second arc runner surface 62 of the second arc runner element 52 and then toward the set of arc plates 22.

    [0023] It is reiterated that the arc runner assembly 2 and circuit interrupter 4 can be employed in an AC application without departing from the present concept and will achieve similarly beneficial results. However, the first and second arc runner elements 48 and 52 that are situated at opposite sides of the stationary contact 12 very advantageously communicate DC arcs of either polarity along their surfaces toward the arc plates 22 for interruption of such arcs, which is highly advantageous.

    [0024] While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of invention which is to be given the full breadth of the claims appended and any and all equivalents thereof.


    Claims

    1. A circuit interrupter (4) comprising:

    a first conductor (6);

    a second conductor (8);

    a set of separable contacts (10) electrically interposed between the first conductor and the second conductor, the set of separable contacts comprising a stationary contact (12) situated on one of the first conductor and the second conductor;

    an arc runner assembly (2) comprising:

    a first arc runner (36);

    a second arc runner (38);

    the first and second arc runners being spaced apart from one another;

    the first arc runner (36) being situated adjacent a first side of the stationary contact (12) and being structured to communicate an electrical arc away from the stationary contact (12) in a first direction (82); and

    the second arc runner (38) being situated adjacent a second side of the stationary contact (12) opposite the first side and being structured to communicate an electrical arc away from the stationary contact (12) in a second direction (84) different than the first direction; characterized by

    a magnet apparatus (24, 26) that comprises two magnets (24, 26) and that is structured to generate a magnetic field wherein, upon separation of the set of separable contacts, the field is structured to communicate a positive DC arc along one of the first arc runner (36) and the second arc runner (38) and is structured to communicate a negative DC arc along the other of the first arc runner (36) and the second arc runner (38).


     
    2. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 1 wherein the arc runner assembly (2) further comprises a base (42), the first and second arc runners (36, 38) being situated on the base (42).
     
    3. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 1 wherein the arc runner assembly (2) further comprises a support (40) that is structured to be electrically engaged with the one of the first conductor (6) and the second conductor (8) at a surface thereof opposite that on which the stationary contact (12) is situated.
     
    4. The circuit interrupter (4)of Claim 3 wherein the support (40) is electrically connected with the first and second arc runners (36, 38).
     
    5. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 4 wherein the first arc runner (36) comprises a first arc surface (60), and wherein the second arc runner (38) comprises a second arc surface (62), the first and second arc surfaces (60, 62) being oriented substantially coplanar, the support (40) having a substantially planar support surface (64) that is electrically engaged with the one of the first conductor (6) and the second conductor (8) and that is oriented generally parallel with but offset from the first and second arc surfaces (60, 62).
     
    6. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 4 wherein the arc runner assembly (2) further comprises a base (42), the first and second arc runners (36, 38) and the support (40) being situated on the base (42).
     
    7. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 6 wherein the support (40) comprises a support element (56) and a strut (58), the support element (56) being electrically engaged with the one of the first conductor (6) and the second conductor (8), the strut (58) extending between the support element (56) and the base (42) to support the support element (56) at a location spaced from the base (42).
     
    8. The circuit interrupter (4)of Claim 7 wherein at least a first bend is formed in the arc runner assembly (2) between the support element (56) and the base (42); or wherein the first arc runner (36) comprises a first arc runner element (48) and a first leg (50), the first arc runner element (48) being situated adjacent the first side of the stationary contact (12), the first leg (50) extending between the first arc runner element (48) and the base (42) to support the first arc runner element (48) at a location spaced from the base (42), and wherein the second arc runner (38) comprises a second arc runner element (52) and a second leg (54), the second arc runner element (52) being situated adjacent the second side of the stationary contact (12), the second leg (54) extending between the second arc runner element (52) and the base (42) to support the second arc runner element (52) at a location spaced from the base (42).
     
    9. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 8 wherein the strut (58), the first leg (50), and the second leg (54) each extend from the same end of the base (42).
     
    10. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 9 wherein a number of first bends (66, 68) are formed in the arc runner assembly (2) between the first arc runner element (48) and the base (42), wherein a number of second bends (70, 72) are formed in the arc runner assembly (2) between the second arc runner element (52) and the base (42), and wherein a number of third bends (74, 76, 78) are formed in the arc runner assembly (2) between the support element (56) and the base (42).
     
    11. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 10 wherein at least one of the number of first bends (66, 68), at least one of the number of second bends (70, 72), and at least one of the number of third bends (74, 76, 78) are in a common direction; or wherein at least one of the number of first bends (66, 68) and at least one of the number of second bends (70, 72) are in one direction, and wherein at least one of the number of third bends (74, 76, 78) is in another direction different than the one direction.
     
    12. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 4 wherein at least a portion of the support (40) is situated generally between the first and second arc runners (36, 38).
     
    13. The circuit interrupter (4) of Claim 1 wherein the set of separable contacts (10) further comprises a movable contact (14) that is engageable with an engagement surface (16) of the stationary contact (12), wherein the first arc runner (36) comprises a first arc surface (60), and wherein the second arc runner (38) comprises a second arc surface (62), the first and second arc surfaces (60, 62) being oriented substantially coplanar with one another and being structured to be oriented substantially coplanar with the engagement surface (16).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ein Schaltungsunterbrecher, der Folgendes aufweist:

    einen ersten Leiter (6);

    einen zweiten Leiter (8);

    ein Satz trennbarer Kontakte (10), der elektrisch zwischen den ersten Leiter und den zweiten Leiter geschaltet ist, wobei der Satz trennbarer Kontakte einen stationären Kontakt (12) aufweist, der an Einem des ersten Leiters und des zweiten Leiters angeordnet ist;

    eine Bogenläuferanordnung (2), die Folgendes aufweist:

    einen ersten Bogenläufer (36);

    einen zweiten Bogenläufer (38);

    wobei der erste und zweite Bogenläufer beabstandet voneinander angeordnet sind;

    wobei der erste Bogenläufer (36) benachbart zu einer ersten Seite des stationären Kontakts (12) angeordnet ist und zum Übertragen eines elektrischen Bogens weg von dem stationären Kontakt (12) in eine erste Richtung (82) aufgebaut ist; und

    der zweite Bogenläufer (38) benachbart zu einer zweiten Seite des stationären Kontakts (12) gegenüber der ersten Seite angeordnet ist und zum Übertragen eines elektrischen Bogens weg von dem stationären Kontakt (12) in eine von der ersten Richtung unterschiedliche zweite Richtung (84) aufgebaut ist; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    eine Magnetvorrichtung (24, 26) zwei Magneten (24, 26) aufweist und strukturiert ist zum Erzeugen eines magnetischen Feldes, wobei beim Trennen des Satzes trennbarer Kontakte, das Feld aufgebaut ist zum Übertragen eines positiven Gleichstrombogens bzw. DC-Bogens entlang dem ersten Bogenläufer (36) oder dem zweiten Bogenläufer (38) und aufgebaut ist zum Übertragen eines negativen DC-Bogens entlang des Anderen der ersten und zweiten Bogenläufer (36, 38).


     
    2. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Bogenläuferanordnung (2) ferner eine Basis (42) aufweist, wobei die ersten und zweiten Bogenläufer (36, 38) an der Basis (42) angeordnet sind.
     
    3. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Bogenläuferanordnung (2) ferner einen Träger (40) aufweist, der strukturiert ist, um elektrisch mit dem ersten Leiter (6) oder dem zweiten Leiter (8) an einer Oberfläche in Eingriff zu stehen, die der Oberfläche gegenüber liegt auf der der stationäre Kontakt (12) angeordnet ist.
     
    4. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 3, wobei der Träger (40) elektrisch mit dem ersten und zweiten Bogenläufer (36, 38) verbunden ist.
     
    5. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 4, wobei der erste Bogenläufer (36) eine erste Bogenoberfläche (60) aufweist, und wobei der zweite Bogenläufer (38) eine zweite Bogenoberfläche (62) aufweist, wobei die ersten und zweiten Bogenoberflächen (60, 62) im Wesentlichen koplanar orientiert sind, wobei der Träger (40) eine im Wesentlichen planare Tragoberfläche (64) besitzt, die elektrisch mit dem ersten Leiter (6) oder dem zweiten Leiter (8) in Eingriff steht, und die im Allgemeinen parallel mit aber versetzt von der ersten und zweiten Bogenoberfläche (60, 62) orientiert ist.
     
    6. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Bogenläuferanordnung (2) ferner eine Basis (42) aufweist und die ersten und zweiten Bogenläufer (36, 38) und der Träger (40) an der Basis (42) angebracht sind.
     
    7. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 6, wobei der Träger (40) ein Tragelement (56) und eine Abstützung bzw. Strebe (58) aufweist, wobei das Tragelement (56) elektrisch mit dem ersten Leiter (6) oder dem zweiten Leiter (8) in Eingriff steht und die Abstützung (58) sich zwischen dem Tragelement (56) und der Basis (42) zum Tragen der Tragelemente (56) an einer Stelle beabstandet von der Basis (42) erstreckt.
     
    8. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 7, wobei mindestens ein erster Bogen in der Bogenläuferanordnung (2) zwischen dem Tragelement (56) und der Basis (42) gebildet ist; oder wobei der erste Bogenläufer (36) ein erstes Bogenläuferelement (48) und ein erstes Schenkel (50) aufweist, wobei das erste Bogenläuferelement (48) benachbart zu der ersten Seite des stationären Kontakts (12) angeordnet ist, und das erste Schenkel (50) sich zwischen dem ersten Bogenläuferelement (48) und der Basis (42) zum Tragen des ersten Bogenläuferelements (48) an einer Stelle beabstandet von der Basis (42) erstreckt, und wobei der zweite Bogenläufer (38) ein zweites Bogenläuferelement (52) und ein zweites Schenkel (54) aufweist, wobei das zweite Bogenläuferelement (52) benachbart zu der zweiten Seite des stationären Kontakts (12) angeordnet ist, und das zweite Schenkel (54) sich zwischen dem zweiten Bogenläuferelement (52) und der Basis (42) zum Tragen des zweiten Bogenläuferelements (52) an einer Stelle beabstandet von der Basis (42) erstreckt.
     
    9. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Abstützung (58), der erste Schenkel (50) und der zweite Schenkel (54) sich jeder von demselben Ende der Basis (42) erstrecken.
     
    10. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 9, wobei eine Vielzahl von ersten Bögen (66, 68) in der Bogenläuferanordnung (2) zwischen dem ersten Bogenläuferelement (48) und der Basis (42) gebildet sind, wobei eine Vielzahl von zweiten Bögen (70, 72) in der Bogenläuferanordnung (2) zwischen dem zweiten Bogenläuferelement (52) und der Basis (42) gebildet sind, und wobei eine Vielzahl von dritten Bögen (74, 76, 78) in der Bogenläuferanordnung (2) zwischen dem Tragelement (56) und der Basis (42) gebildet sind.
     
    11. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 10, wobei mindestens einer der Vielzahl von ersten Bögen (66, 68) und mindestens einer der Vielzahl von zweiten Bögen (70, 72) und mindestens einer der Vielzahl von dritten Bögen (74, 76, 78) in einer gemeinsamen Richtung sind; oder wobei mindestens einer der Vielzahl von ersten Bögen (66, 68) und mindestens einer der Vielzahl von zweiten Bögen (70, 72) in einer Richtung sind, und wobei mindestens einer der Vielzahl von dritten Bögen (74, 76, 78) in einer anderen Richtung unterschiedlich als die eine Richtung sind.
     
    12. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 4, wobei mindestens ein Teil des Trägers (40) im Allgemeinen zwischen den ersten und zweiten Bogenläufern (36, 38) angeordnet ist.
     
    13. Schaltungsunterbrecher (4) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Satz trennbarer Kontakte (10) ferner einen bewegbaren Kontakt (14) aufweist, der mit der Eingriffsoberfläche (16) des stationären Kontakts (12) in Eingriff bringbar ist, wobei der erste Bogenläufer (36) eine erste Bogenoberfläche (60) aufweist, und wobei der zweite Bogenläufer (38) eine zweite Bogenoberfläche (62) aufweist, wobei die ersten und zweiten Bogenoberflächen (60, 62) im Wesentlichen koplanar miteinander orientiert sind und strukturiert sind, um im Wesentlichen koplanar mit der Eingriffsoberfläche (16) orientiert zu sein.
     


    Revendications

    1. Interrupteur de circuit (4) comprenant :

    un premier conducteur (6) ;

    un deuxième conducteur (8) ;

    un ensemble de contacts séparables (10) interposés électriquement entre le premier conducteur et le deuxième conducteur, l'ensemble de contacts séparables comprenant un contact fixe (12) situé sur l'un du premier conducteur et du deuxième conducteur ;

    un ensemble de conduction d'arc (2) comprenant :

    un premier conducteur d'arc (36) ;

    un deuxième conducteur d'arc (38) ;

    les premier et deuxième conducteurs d'arc étant espacés entre eux ;

    le premier conducteur d'arc (36) étant situé adjacent à un premier côté du contact fixe (12) et étant agencé pour communiquer un arc électrique loin du contact fixe (12) dans une première direction (82) ; et

    le deuxième conducteur d'arc (38) étant situé adjacent à un deuxième côté du contact fixe (12) opposé au premier côté et agencé pour communiquer un arc électrique loin du contact fixe (12) dans une deuxième direction (84) différente de la première direction ;

    caractérisé par

    un dispositif à aimants (24, 26) qui comprend deux aimants (24, 26) et qui est agencé pour générer un champ magnétique dans lequel, lors de la séparation de l'ensemble de contacts séparables, le champ est agencé pour communiquer un arc DC positif le long de l'un du premier conducteur d'arc (36) et du deuxième conducteur d'arc (38) et est agencé pour communiquer un arc DC négatif le long de l'autre du premier conducteur d'arc (36) et du deuxième conducteur d'arc (38).


     
    2. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ensemble formant conducteur d'arc (2) comprend en outre une base (42), les premier et deuxième conducteurs d'arc (36, 38) étant situés sur la base (42).
     
    3. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ensemble formant conducteur d'arc (2) comprend en outre un support (40) qui est agencé pour être mis en prise électriquement avec ledit un du premier conducteur (6) et du deuxième conducteur (8) au niveau d'une surface opposée sur laquelle le contact fixe (12) est situé.
     
    4. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel de support (40) est connecté électriquement aux premier et deuxième conducteurs d'arc (36, 38).
     
    5. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le premier conducteur d'arc (36) comprend une première surface d'arc (60), et dans lequel le deuxième conducteur d'arc (38) comprend une deuxième surface d'arc (62), les première et deuxième surfaces d'arc (60, 62) étant orientées de manière sensiblement coplanaire, le support (40) ayant une surface support sensiblement planaire (64) qui est en prise électriquement avec l'un du premier conducteur (6) et du deuxième conducteur (8) et qui est orientée de façon générale parallèle, mais avec un décalage, aux première et deuxième surfaces d'arc (60, 62).
     
    6. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel l'ensemble de conduction d'arc (2) comprend en outre une base (42), les premier et deuxième conducteurs d'arc (36, 38) et le support (40) étant situés sur la base (42).
     
    7. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 6, dans lequel le support (40) comprend un élément support (56) et une entretoise (58), l'élément support (56) étant en prise électriquement avec ledit un du premier conducteur (6) et du deuxième conducteur (8), l'entretoise (58) s'étendant entre l'élément support (56) et la base (42) pour supporter l'élément support (56) au niveau d'un emplacement espacé par rapport à la base (42).
     
    8. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel au moins un premier coude est formé dans l'ensemble de conduction d'arc (2) entre l'élément support (56) et la base (42) ; ou dans lequel le premier conducteur d'arc (36) comprend un premier élément conducteur d'arc (48) et une première jambe (50), le premier élément conducteur d'arc (48) étant situé adjacent au premier côté du contact fixe (12), la première jambe (50) s'étendant entre le premier élément conducteur d'arc (48) et la base (42) pour supporter le premier élément conducteur d'arc (48) à un emplacement espacé de la base (42), et dans lequel le deuxième conducteur d'arc (38) comprend un deuxième élément conducteur d'arc (52) et une deuxième jambe (54), le deuxième élément conducteur d'arc (52) étant situé adjacent au deuxième côté du contact fixe (12), la deuxième jambe (54) s'étendant entre le deuxième élément conducteur d'arc (52) et la base (42) pour supporter le deuxième élément conducteur d'arc (52) au niveau d'un emplacement espacé de la base (42).
     
    9. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel l'entretoise (58), la première jambe (50) et la deuxième jambe (54) s'étendent chacune à partir de la même extrémité de la base (42).
     
    10. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel un certain nombre de premiers coudes (66, 68) sont formés dans l'ensemble de conduction d'arc (2) entre le premier élément conducteur d'arc (48) et la base (42), dans lequel un certain nombre de deuxièmes coudes (70, 72) sont formés dans l'ensemble de conduction d'arc (2) entre le deuxième élément conducteur d'arc (52) et la base (42), et dans lequel un certain nombre de troisièmes coudes (74, 76, 78) sont formés dans l'ensemble de conduction d'arc (2) entre l'élément support (56) et la base (42).
     
    11. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 10, dans lequel au moins l'un des premiers coudes (66, 68), au moins l'un des deuxièmes coudes (70, 72) et au moins l'un des troisièmes coudes (74, 76, 78) sont dans une direction commune ; ou dans lequel au moins l'un des premiers coudes (66, 68) et au moins l'un des deuxièmes coudes (70, 72) sont dans une première direction, et dans lequel au moins l'un des troisièmes coudes (74, 76, 78) est dans une autre direction différente de la première direction.
     
    12. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel au moins une portion du support (40) est située de manière générale entre les premier et deuxième conducteurs d'arc (36, 38).
     
    13. Interrupteur de circuit (4) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ensemble de contacts séparables (10) comprend en outre un contact mobile (14) qui peut se mettre en prise avec une surface de mise en prise (16) du contact fixe (12), dans lequel le premier conducteur d'arc (36) comprend une première surface d'arc (60), dans lequel le deuxième conducteur d'arc (38) comprend une deuxième surface d'arc (62), les première et deuxième surfaces d'arc (60, 62) étant orientées de manière sensiblement coplanaire entre elles et étant structurées pour être orientées de manière sensiblement coplanaire avec la surface de mise en prise (16).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description