3D Simulation of Electric Arcing and Pressure increase in an Automotive HVDC Relay During a Short Circuit Situation

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


A short circuit situation in an electric vehicle can lead to several undesirable occurrences. One of such is the formation of high temperature electric arcs between the contacts of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) relays in the circuit. These arcs significantly vaporize the contacts within a few milliseconds. As a result, the pressure of the gas within the relay chamber significantly increases. Depending on the magnitude of the short circuit current, the pressure increase may lead to an explosion of the relay. To understand and quantify the pressure increase, a Panasonic AEV14012 relay is investigated. A short circuit experiment is conducted on the relay. The test results are compared with a numerical model established in COMSOL to simulate the electric arcing process. The temperature of the arcs is used to estimate the resulting vaporization. The simulation results show the arcing process and the resulting pressure increase within the relay chamber.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationELECTRICAL CONTACTS 2020 - Proceedings of the 66th IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts and Intensive Course, HLM 2020
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationSan Antonio
PublisherIEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Publication date30.09.2020
Article number9307918
ISBN (Print)978-0-7381-2360-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7381-2359-2, 978-0-7381-2358-5
Publication statusPublished - 30.09.2020
Event66th IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts - IEEE Holm 2020 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: 30.09.202007.10.2020
Conference number: 66

    Research areas

  • Engineering - relays, electrical contacts, numerical models, short circuit, electric arc, pressure, simulation