Modeling of AC Contactors to Improve Life
Liping Guo1, Aleck W. Leedy2, Sidney Schaaf3, Brian Backs4, Mark Gabatino5, Nathan James6, Mike Pintozzi7

1Liping Guo, Department of Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University, Still Gym 203, DeKalb, India.
2Aleck W. Leedy, Department of Engineering and Physics, Murray State University, 131 Blackburn Science Building, Murray, India.
3Sidney Schaaf, Hartland Controls, 807 Antec Road, Rock Falls, India.
4Brian Backs, Hartland Controls, 807 Antec Road Rock Falls, India.
5Mark Gabatino, Department of Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University, India.
6Nathan James, Department of Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University .India.
7Mike Pintozzi, Department of Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University, India.
Manuscript received on June 06, 2013. | Revised Manuscript received on June 28, 2013. | Manuscript published on July 05, 2013. | PP: 174-178 | Volume-3 Issue-3, July 2013. | Retrieval Number: C1696073313/2013©BEIESP
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Abstract: The life expectancy of an AC contactor is adversely affected by electrical arcs and heat rise within the contactor. Electrical arcing results in erosion in the contact material and also results in failures due to welding. To find alternative methods of improving contactor life expectancy and reduce the maximum temperature without adding costs to production, a computer model was created for the contactor using MATLAB and Simulink that simulated the dynamics of the contactor at closing. The model solves equations that use geometries and material properties to estimate contact life and heat generation. The results from the simulation can be used to run a Design of Experiments analysis to find which combinations improve life and reduce maximum temperature without adding significant costs.
Keywords: AC contactors, Design of Experiments (DOE), MATLAB, and Simulink.