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Digital circuit breaker

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by BillConnerFASTC, May 23, 2019.

  1. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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  2. Morte615

    Morte615 Active Member

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    Interesting, I've seen and used "digital" breaker panels, which are really just network controllable standard breaker panels. Usually though they still have a physical breaker than can be turned off and locked. I wonder how LOTO would work on a fully digital breaker that can be turned on again from anywhere in the world. Would a software override be enough or would they still have to put in a physical LOTO device after the digital breaker?
     
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  3. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    "IoP" Internet of Power. Network-controlled, WiFi-connected power panels. Talk about inviting an attack vector into your home and business.

    The article doesn't seem very objective at all, peppered with big round numbers -- "Atom Power’s digital circuit breakers are 3000 times faster and 100 percent safer than mechanical circuit breakers." That's a pretty vague claim. Wonder how they'll be received in the market.

    upload_2019-5-23_10-50-30.png

    What on earth does that mean?
     
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  4. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @MNicolai Is this by any chance another innovative, quality,Trump product, proudly U.S. built, protected by tariffs and available only on your side of Donald's walls? (I hope.)
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  5. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Another thing for the hostile government hackers to take control of. I'm waiting for the first fire caused by a microprocessor glitch or software bug in one of these devices. In my opinion, this is a dangerous and foolish idea.
     
  6. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Count me among the sceptical. It reads like an industrial version of a dimming system, using those same SSR parts to switch on and off. I assume so-called "safety"comes from line monitoring of the circuits to determine faults and set the device off. That's a LOT different than an air gap circuit breaker. Some smart engineering is going to be required to allow these circuits to deliver clean power.
     
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  7. Chris Pflieger

    Chris Pflieger Well-Known Member

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    I first read this thread title and thought of some breaker that cuts the line if the ratio of 1's to 0's is too far out of whack. :)

    Hmmm....

    Let's think about this, 99.9999999% of the time a CB is just waiting patiently for a chance to act, so you must combine the possibility of a controller failure with the possibility of a downstream failure (e.g. short circuit)...
    There's plenty of other things that are much, much more critical that have shifted from analog circuits to embedded controls (e.g. brake-by-wire, fly-by-wire)

    As for hacking potential, that ship has sailed long, long ago with the advent of BMS. I do see there's an air-gap with lockout, so I'm not too worried about that (comparatively).

    There's a lot of possibilities here by removing slow mechanic switches from the circuit. It looks like their target is for much bigger things than the old-school 20A controllable breakers.



    What bothers me the most is their product page listing a "2 phase" breaker.


    I wonder if they're hiring and where their office is...
     
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  8. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Just like the calculator and computer. Slide rules and abaci were so safe.
     
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  9. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    And the slide rule was analog!

    I'm so old I remember when email was composed on an abacus and sent by carrier pigeon.
     
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  10. DrewE

    DrewE Member

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    The last bit of the article is particularly telling, in my opinion. Power dissipation from solid state switching devices is not exactly something that will be particularly easy to overcome, I suspect. For control applications like dimmers and motor control the power consumption is a necessary cost (but generally acceptable compared to other methods of doing the same sort of thing); but where the device has a life of sitting there waiting for something to go wrong, or possibly for some relatively rare event to come around and turn it on or off, it's a big problem...both from the standpoint of efficiency and from that of heat generation and dissipation. Who would like their floor to suddenly lose power because the fan in the electrical panel got too clogged up with dust?
     
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  11. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    I can see a lot of potential here. But I would want it running on an internal network and totally isolated from the internet.
     
  12. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @DrewE Good point! Have you ever noticed the dummy loads on the roofs of diesel electric locomotives with their cooling fans making more noise than their diesels when a train is rolling down a steep grade with the traction motors and the dummy loads providing dynamic braking working to defeat the inertia of the train fighting what gravity does best? My abode is immediately adjacent to a rail line with my only window looking down on a train line where trains typically noisily power their way up a lonnng uphill grade during the darkness of night with two large diesels on the front aided by two smaller helpers on the rear gathering speed until the lead end is crowning the hill after which the loudest sounds from the two helpers coasting back down the lengthy grade are the sounds of their roof mounted fans dissipating heat from their dummy loads. IGBT power ratings must've come a long way from where they began.
    Do you recall a computer virus of a few years ago which caused your processor's cooling fans to slow or stop leaving your processor to self destruct with a flaming ferocity?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  13. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Problems are you may not be able to do much about guaranteeing that. Lot of the IoT products have had unusual vulnerabilities where your network restrictions weren't as effective as you thought they were. Like when the Ring doorbells exposed your home WiFi network to everyone in your neighborhood, or when Stuxnet infected those power stations. Then there was that time all those devices created their own worldwide botnet.

    The vast majority of people will end up putting it on their WiFi with the internet because if they want to access it from their phone like advertised people are going to say screw it to switching back and forth between WiFi networks all the time and just put everything together under the same SSID.
     
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  14. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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  15. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    It is Listed. Granted, they don't say what standard. And I did say possibilities (def:. a thing that may happen or be the case) not certainties.
     
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  16. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    I follow the crowd that write the NEC (Isn't @STEVETERRY on that list?), and I can't see NFPA ever approving this.

    Sure, CB's at much larger scale depend on computers/controllers to determine when to trip, instead of basic physical properties, as consumer/residential ones do (something about which I'm not entirely germane, but it seems to work, mostly)... but they also don't have to fit in a half-inch thick form-factor. They're generally measured in feet. On all 3 sides.

    And Mike's security worries are also *very* well taken; we have documentary evidence that Russia is trying to get to where they can control large-scale SCADA... as well as elections.

    Doesn't anyone *read* Tom Clancy anymore??
     
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  17. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    Reading further down it appears they mention that said listing is UL.


    My biggest concern with this is that their claims clearly indicate that the circuit breaking is achieved by Solid State Relay. This video by bigclive is more about Triac dimming, however SSRs possess the same leakage characteristics.


    There isn't really a clean way i can think of to make these play nice with intelligent loads other than if the breaker breaks the current with an SSR, and then uses a mechanical relay afterwards to prevent leakage.
     
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  18. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    UL listed for what? 1500+ standards and I think some have multiple classes or groups. And is its Listed, NFPA already accepts it. NFPA doe snottest products and uses published standards - like UL - where possible.
     
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  19. Chris Pflieger

    Chris Pflieger Well-Known Member

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    ...or Chicago.

    Getting something UL listed is easier than getting a AHJ to allow it for something like this.
     
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  20. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Not sure I would want to work downstream if this is how the power was cut. I kind of like open contacts and the whole "lock out" bit.
     
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