SciTech Connect

Title: Current limiters

Current limiters The current that flows between the electrical test equipment and the nuclear explosive must be limited to safe levels during electrical tests conducted on nuclear explosives at the DOE Pantex facility. The safest way to limit the current is to use batteries that can provide only acceptably low current into a short circuit; unfortunately this is not always possible. When it is not possible, current limiters, along with other design features, are used to limit the current. Three types of current limiters, the fuse blower, the resistor limiter, and the MOSFET-pass-transistor limiters, are used extensively in Pantex test equipment. Detailed failure mode and effects analyses were conducted on these limiters. Two other types of limiters were also analyzed. It was found that there is no best type of limiter that should be used in all applications. The fuse blower has advantages when many circuits must be monitored, a low insertion voltage drop is important, and size and weight must be kept low. However, this limiter has many failure modes that can lead to the loss of over current protection. The resistor limiter is simple and inexpensive, but is normally usable only on circuits for which the nominal current is less more » than a few tens of milliamperes. The MOSFET limiter can be used on high current circuits, but it has a number of single point failure modes that can lead to a loss of protective action. Because bad component placement or poor wire routing can defeat any limiter, placement and routing must be designed carefully and documented thoroughly. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:383667
Report Number(s):SAND--96-2312
ON: DE97000038; TRN: AHC29621%%113
DOE Contract Number:AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:Technical Report
Data Type:
Resource Relation:Other Information: PBD: Sep 1996
Research Org:Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; ELECTRICAL TESTING; CURRENT LIMITERS; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES; FAILURE MODE ANALYSIS; PANTEX PLANT; POWER SUPPLIES; DATA