The recommendation for the use of AFDDs in BS7671:2018 – the 18th Edition – has certainly created a lot of debate in the industry about their use, but one thing is for sure, their purpose and function is one that is unparalleled when it comes to detecting potentially deadly arc faults in electrical installations.
Existing circuit protective devices typically found in consumer units do not offer complete protection against all arc fault types. For example, Live to Neutral arc faults will go undetected by RCDs and dependent on the level of current flow in the arc, can also be missed by MCBs. Series arcs faults will also go undetected by such devices.
Arc Fault Detection Devices bridge that gap, identifying previously unseen arc faults at low current levels (typically 2.5A and above) that can cause fires within electrical circuits and installations with sometimes devasting consequences.
AFDDs continuously monitor the protected circuit, looking for variations in the wave patterns and magnitude of arcs, whilst all the while differentiating between normal, everyday arcs – like those generated from light switches, relays, etc. – and genuine arc faults caused by damaged insulation, broken conductors, pierced cables and the likes.
The M2-AFR device also features a self-test facility plus a LED status indicator on the front of the device which highlights whether a series, parallel, over-voltage or self-test fault has been identified following a trip event.
To view the M2 Arc Fault Detection Range click here.