Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering




The following technical report describes the development and testing of an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) for DC circuits operating primarily at 48 volts. We have identified an effective method for determining when arcing is occurring. Our method is primarily based on comparing the frequency spectrum of current flowing through the circuit during an arcing event to a known characteristic spectrum. Once an arc has been identified, our interrupter is capable of responding adequately to eliminate the arc. Hardware tests show the AFCI developed in this thesis responded, in all test cases, within 2 seconds of an arc fault occurrence. Commercialization and adoption of our interrupter will increase the safety of DC circuits operating at 80 volts or less.