Thermal Ionization Detector

Reference#: P01391

Electrical fires that occur in main power distribution panels cause extensive damage and sudden loss of power to critical users. Present arc fault detection systems may detect fires and limit the damage, but power is still lost without warning.

This invention is an arc fault detector designed to prevent electrical fires caused by arcing. The detector comprises a conventional smoke detector's radioactive ionization chamber and added custom electronics to allow the detection of the early outgassing of overheated electrical insulation.

The Thermal Ionization Detector senses vapors produced when electrical connections become heated to 150C 300C. Potential problems are identified before the connection ever reaches temperatures necessary to melt copper and create an arc or electrical fire (1050C). In response, power systems can be seamlessly reconfigured to maintain uninterrupted power and allow proper maintenance of problem areas. This is critically important for power plant operation, hospitals, web server farms and other operations requiring constant power.

Valuable features of the invention include miniaturization that allow the device to be included inside existing enclosures; detection of insulation temperature in open enclosures; detection of insulation temperature without the use of consumables such as tracer gases; networking of the signals from multiple detectors to allow protection of many electrical enclosures.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 6,292,105 issued.

*Exclusively licensed to DRS Training and Control Systems. For more information and sublicensing discussions, please contact Gary Thurston, Business Development Manager (850)302-3397

Mr. K. Chao
Phone: (443) 778-7927