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Title:
FAULT DETECTION AND CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER DEVICES AND SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/215163
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
Arc fault current interrupter electrical devices and systems. An example is an electrical device comprising: a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line; at least one sensor to detect at least voltage signals indicative of the power line; and a processor configured to determine from the detected voltage signals that a series arc fault has occurred.

Inventors:
RATHI GHANSHYAM (CA)
ERIKSEN JOHN (CA)
FORTIN BENOIT (CA)
Application Number:
CA2020/050545
Publication Date:
December 17, 2020
Filing Date:
April 24, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BRAINWAVE RES CORPORATION (CA)
International Classes:
G01R31/52; G01R13/00; G01R19/00; G01R19/02; G01R19/25; G01R35/00; H01H83/00; H02G3/18; H02H3/00; H03K17/00; G01R23/16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RIDOUT & MAYBEE LLP et al. (CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 16 October 2020 (16.10.2020)

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. An electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

at least one sensor to detect at least voltage signals indicative of the power line; and a processor configured to determine from the detected voltage signals that a series arc fault has occurred.

2. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a solid state switch for in series electrical connection with the power line, the processor further configured to, in response to said determining that the series arc fault has occurred on the power line, deactivating the solid state switch.

3. An electrical device as recited in claim 2, wherein the solid state switch is a TRIAC.

4. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the contact is configured for electrical connection to a downstream power line or an electrical outlet.

5. An electrical device as recited in claim 4, wherein said determining comprises the processor determining that the series arc fault has occurred on the downstream power line or a load plugged into the electrical outlet.

6. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein said determining comprises the processor determining that the series arc fault has occurred on the power line.

7. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a communication subsystem, wherein the processor is configured to, in response to said determining that the series arc fault has occurred, sending a communication that the series arc fault has occurred.

8. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one sensor further includes at least one current sensor to detect current signals indicative of the power line, wherein the determining is further based on the detected current signals in addition to the detected voltage signals.

9. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the determining is that there is little or no variance in the detected voltage signals, and is below a specified voltage threshold.

10. An electrical device as recited in claim 8, wherein the determining is that there is variance in the detected current signals, for a load that experiences current above a threshold.

11. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the power line comprises a hot power line, or a neutral power line.

98

12. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the series arc fault is between a hot power line and a second hot power line, or a neutral power line and a second neutral power line, or a ground power line and a second ground power line.

13. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the series arc fault is between the power line and the contact or a second contact.

14. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the series arc fault has occurred comprises: computing a frequency analysis of the detected voltage signals, determining that the series arc fault has occurred from the frequency analysis by determining that there is little or no deviation of the frequency analysis.

15. An electrical device as recited in claim 14, wherein the frequency analysis comprises calculating a Fourier transform a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the detected voltage signals, and analyzing higher order frequency signals of the Fourier transform or the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

16. An electrical device as recited in claim 14, wherein the frequency analysis comprises analyzing higher order frequency signals that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

17. An electrical device as recited in claim 1 , wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the series arc fault has occurred comprises calculating a mean square or root mean square of the detected voltage signals and determining that the mean square or the root mean square deviates from previous mean square or root mean square of previously detected voltage signals.

18. An electrical device as recited in claim 17, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the series arc fault has occurred comprises determining that that the mean square or the root mean square deviation has occurred for more than a threshold number of cycles of the detected voltage signals within a certain time window.

19. An electrical device as recited in claim 17, wherein the processor is configured to, when the mean square or the root mean square deviation has occurred for less than a threshold number of cycles of the detected voltage signals within a certain time window, determine that no series arc fault has yet occurred to avoid false trips.

20. An electrical device as recited in claim 17, wherein the variance is a decrease in the mean square or the root mean square of the detected voltage signals.

21. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the series arc fault has occurred comprises calculating a mean square or root mean square of individual cycles of the detected voltage signals and determining that there are at

99 least two consecutive cycles of decreases in the mean square or the root mean square of the detected voltage signals.

22. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the series arc fault has occurred comprises determining whether there is a voltage variance for individual cycles of the detected voltage signals, and determining that the voltage variance has occurred for more than a threshold number of cycles of the detected voltage signals within a certain time window.

23. An electrical device as recited in claim 1 , wherein the processor is configured to determine whether there is a voltage variance for individual cycles of the detected voltage signals, and determine that no series arc fault has yet occurred to avoid false trips when the voltage variance has occurred for less than a threshold number of cycles of the detected voltage signals within a certain time window.

24. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one analog-to-digital convertor (ADC)internal or external to the processor configured to receive a respective analog signal from the at least one sensor and output a respective digital signal for processing by the processor for the determining from the detected voltage signals that the series arc fault has occurred.

25. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one sensor is for in-series electrical connection with the power line.

26. An electrical device as recited in claim 1, wherein the series arc fault is a non-continuous arc fault.

27. An arc fault circuit interrupter comprising:

a power line conductor;

a solid state switch for electrical connection to the power line conductor and configured to be activated or deactivated;

an arc fault trip circuit cooperating with said solid state switch, said arc fault trip circuit being configured to deactivate said solid state switch responsive to detection of a series arc fault condition associated with voltage conditions of the power line conductor.

28. An arc fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 27, wherein the power line conductor comprises a hot conductor, a neutral conductor, or a ground conductor.

29. An arc fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 27, wherein the solid state switch is a TRIAC.

30. An electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

100 at least one sensor configured to detect voltage signals indicative of the power line; and a processor configured to sample a plurality of the detected voltage signals within individual cycles of the detected voltage signals, and calculate mean square or root mean square values of the sampled voltage signals for the respective individual cycle of the detected voltage signals.

31. An electrical device as recited in claim 30, wherein sixty four samples are sampled from the respective individual cycle of the detected voltage signals.

32. An electrical device as recited in claim 30, further comprising an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive analog signals from the at least one sensor indicative of the detected voltage signals and output digital signals to the processor for the sampling.

33. An electrical device as recited in claim 30, further comprising a solid state switch for in series electrical connection with the power line, the processor further configured to, in response to determining that a series arc fault has occurred from the calculated mean square or root mean square values of the sampled voltage signals, deactivate the solid state switch.

34. An electrical device as recited in claim 33, wherein said determining comprises the processor determining that the series arc fault has occurred on the power line.

35. An electrical device as recited in claim 30, further comprising a communication subsystem, wherein the processor is configured to, in response to said determining that a series arc fault has occurred from the calculated mean square or root mean square values of the sampled voltage signals, send a communication that the series arc fault has occurred.

36. An electrical circuit interruption device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

a solid state switch for in-series electrical connection with the power line;

at least one sensor to detect voltage signals indicative of the power line and provide analog signals indicative of the detected voltage signals;

an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive the analog signals from the at least one sensor and output digital signals to the processor; and

a processor configured to determine from the digital signals that an arc fault has occurred, and in response deactivating the solid state switch.

37. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises: computing a frequency analysis of the detected voltage signals, wherein the arc fault is determined to be a parallel arc fault from the frequency analysis.

101

38. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 37, wherein the frequency analysis comprises calculating a Fourier transform or a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the detected voltage signals, and analyzing higher order frequency signals of the Fourier transform or the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

39. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 38, wherein the calculating of the Fourier transform or the FFT of the detected voltage signals is performed on individual cycles of the detected voltage signals, and wherein the arc fault is determined to be a parallel arc fault based on the higher order frequency signals over a plurality of cycles.

40. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 37, wherein the frequency analysis comprises analyzing higher order frequency signals that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

41. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 37, wherein the frequency analysis of the detected voltage signals comprises performing the frequency analysis on individual cycles of the detected voltage signals and wherein the arc fault is determined to be a series arc fault when there is little or no deviation of the frequency analysis over a plurality of cycles.

42. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises calculating a mean square or root mean square of the detected voltage signals and determining that the mean square or the root mean square deviates from previous mean square or root mean square of previously detected voltage signals.

43. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 42, wherein the variance is a decrease in the mean square or the root mean square of the detected voltage signals.

44. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 42, wherein the variance is a decrease in a peak voltage of at least one cycle of the detected voltage signals.

45. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the arc fault is determined to be a series arc fault, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises calculating a mean square or root mean square of individual cycles of the detected voltage signals and determining that a variance of the mean square or the root mean square has occurred over a plurality of cycles.

46. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the arc fault is determined to be a series arc fault, wherein the determining from the detected voltage signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises determining whether there is a voltage variance for individual cycles of the detected voltage signals, and determining that the voltage variance has occurred for

102 more than a threshold number of cycles of the detected voltage signals within a certain time window.

47. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the at least one sensor is for in-series electrical connection with the power line.

48. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the processor is configured to decide, for each cycle of the detected voltage signals, whether to activate or de activate the solid state switch.

49. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the processor is configured for active power distribution of the power line within each cycle of the detected voltage signals by activating or deactivating the solid state switch.

50. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 36, wherein the arc fault is a glowing contact arc fault between the contact and the power line.

51. An arc fault circuit interrupter comprising:

a hot conductor;

a solid state switch for electrical connection to the hot conductor and configured to be activated or deactivated;

an arc fault trip circuit cooperating with said operating mechanism, said arc fault trip circuit being configured to deactivate said solid state switch responsive to detection of an arc fault condition between the hot conductor and a neutral power line associated with detected current variation of the hot conductor and neutral power line.

52. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 51, wherein the arc fault condition is determined based on frequency analysis of the hot conductor and neutral power line.

53. An electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a hot power line;

at least one sensor to detect at least current signals indicative of the hot power line; and a processor configured to determine from the detected current signals that an arc fault has occurred between the hot power line and a neutral power line or between hot power line and ground power line.

54. An electrical device as recited in claim 53, wherein the determining from the detected current signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises: computing a frequency analysis of the detected current signals of the hot power line.

55. An electrical device as recited in claim 54, wherein the frequency analysis comprises calculating a Fourier transform or a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the detected current signals,

103 and analyzing higher order frequency signals of the Fourier transform or the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

56. An electrical device as recited in claim 55, wherein the calculating of the Fourier transform or the FFT of the detected current signals is performed on individual cycles of the detected current signals, and wherein the arc fault is determined to be a parallel arc fault based on the higher order frequency signals over a plurality of cycles.

57. An electrical device as recited in claim 53, wherein the determining from the detected current signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises: determining a variation over a plurality of cycles of the detected current signals.

58. An electrical device as recited in claim 53, further comprising an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive analog signals from the at least one sensor indicative of the detected current signals and output digital signals to the processor for the determining.

59. An electrical device as recited in claim 53, further comprising a solid state switch for in series electrical connection with the power line, wherein the processor is further configured to, in response to determining that the that arc fault has occurred, deactivating the solid state switch.

60. An electrical device as recited in claim 59, wherein the solid state switch is deactivated prior to current overload of the hot power line.

61. An electrical device as recited in claim 59, wherein the solid state switch is deactivated when there is no leakage to ground or another conductor.

62. An electrical device as recited in claim 53, wherein the at least one sensor is for in-series electrical connection with the power line.

63. An electrical device as recited in claim 53, wherein the determining from the detected current signals that the arc fault has occurred comprises: computing a frequency analysis of the detected current signals, wherein the arc fault is determined to be a parallel arc fault from the frequency analysis.

64. An electrical device comprising:

a sensor to detect voltage signals indicative of a hot power line; and

a processor configured to determine from the detected voltage signals that an arc fault has occurred, and differentiate the arc fault as being a series arc fault versus a parallel arc fault.

65. An electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

a solid state switch for in-series electrical connection with the power line;

a sensor to detect voltage signals indicative of the power line;

104 a processor configured to determine from the detected voltage signals that an arc fault has occurred, and in response deactivating the solid state switch without false tripping of the solid state switch.

66. An electrical circuit interruption device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

a solid state switch for in-series electrical connection with the power line;

a sensor to detect current signals indicative of the power line;

a processor configured to: set a settable current threshold value, and deactivate the solid state switch in response to the detect current signals of the power line exceeding the settable current threshold value.

67. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 66, wherein the settable current threshold level is a standard current threshold value.

68. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 67, wherein the standard current threshold value is 15A / 20A ,16A / 32A, 50A, 100A, 200A, or a value higher than 200 A.

69. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 66, wherein the settable current threshold level is non-standard current threshold value.

70. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 66, wherein the setting is performed by the processor based on the detected current signals.

71. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 66, wherein the setting is performed by the processor based on a database stored in a memory accessible by the processor.

72. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 66, wherein the settable current threshold level for the setting is received by the processor by way of received input.

73. An electrical circuit interruption device as recited in claim 72, wherein the received input is received from an Application Program Interface, a user input device, a second electrical receptacle device, or a computer device.

74. An electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

a voltage sensor for in-series connection to the power line to detect voltage signals indicative of the power line and provide analog signals indicative of the detected voltage signals; an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive the analog signals from the voltage sensor and output digital signals; and

a processor configured to sample the digital signals in real time.

75. An electrical device as recited in claim 74, wherein the processor is a microprocessor.

76. An electrical device as recited in claim 74, wherein sixty four samples are sampled from the respective individual cycle of the detected voltage signals and the detected current signals.

77. An electrical device as recited in claim 74, wherein the processor is configured to determine that an arc fault has occurred from at least some of the sampled digital signals.

78. An electrical device as recited in claim 77, wherein the processor is configured to determine that the arc fault is a series arc fault from a calculated mean square or root mean square values of the sampled voltage signals, and that there is little or no deviation in the detected current signals.

79. An electrical device as recited in claim 77 , wherein the processor is further configured to compute a frequency analysis of the detected voltage signals, and determine that the arc fault is a parallel arc fault based on the frequency analysis.

80. An electrical device as recited in claim 79, wherein the frequency analysis comprises calculating a Fourier transform or a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the detected voltage signals, and analyzing higher order frequency signals of the Fourier transform or the FFT that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

81. An electrical device as recited in claim 80, wherein the calculating of the Fourier transform, or the FFT of the detected voltage signals is performed on individual cycles of the detected voltage signals, and wherein the arc fault is determined to be a parallel arc fault when based on the higher order frequency signals over a plurality of cycles.

82. An electrical device as recited in claim 79, wherein the frequency analysis comprises analyzing higher order frequency signals of the Fourier transform or the FFT that are higher than fundamental frequency of the power line.

83. An electrical device as recited in claim 79, wherein the power line is a hot power line, wherein when the parallel arc fault has occurred over the hot power line to a neutral power line, there is little or no deviation in the detected current signals.

84. An electrical device as recited in claim 74, wherein the processor is configured to decide, for each cycle of the detected current and/or voltage signals, whether to activate or de-activate the solid state switch.

85. An electrical device as recited in claim 74, wherein the processor is configured for active power distribution of the power line within each cycle of the detected current and/or voltage signals by activating or deactivating the solid state switch.

86. An oscilloscope electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line; a sensor for in circuit electrical connection to the power line to detect signals indicative of the power line;

a processor configured to sample the detected signals in real time, and provide oscilloscope information indicative of the sampled signals.

87. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, wherein the electrical connection to the power line is in series electrical connection for current.

88. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, wherein the electrical connection to the power line is in parallel electrical connection for voltage.

89. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, wherein the oscilloscope information includes a waveform of the detected signals, further comprising a display screen for the providing of the waveform in real time.

90. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, wherein the processor is configured to analyze the sampled signals in real time.

91. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 88, wherein the analyzing includes calculating a mean square or a root mean square of the sampled signals.

92. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 88, wherein the analyzing includes performing frequency analysis of the detected voltage signals.

93. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 90, wherein the frequency analysis is a Fourier transform or a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the detected voltage signals.

94. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 88, wherein the oscilloscope information includes information of the analyzed sampled signals.

95. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, further comprising a communication subsystem for the providing of the oscilloscope information by transmitting to another device.

96. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, further comprising at least one analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive a respective analog signal from the at least one sensor and output a respective digital signal for processing by the processor for the providing of the oscilloscope information.

97. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, wherein the processor is configured to execute an application program interface (API).

98. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 95, wherein the API includes commands for instructing what mode of the oscilloscope information is to be provided by the processor.

107

99. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 95, further comprising a solid state switch for in-series electrical connection with the power line, wherein the API includes control commands for manual or automatic power distribution or safety of the power line by activating or deactivating the solid state switch.

100. An oscilloscope electrical device as recited in claim 86, wherein sixty four samples are sampled from the respective individual cycle of the detected signals.

101. An electrical device comprising:

a contact configured for electrical connection to a power line;

at least one sensor to detect signals indicative of the power line and provide analog signals indicative of the detected signals;

an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive the analog signals from the at least one sensor and output digital signals to the processor; and

a processor configured to calibrate the electrical device by:

applying a first known electrical signal to the sensor and receiving a first digital signal value,

applying a second known electrical signal to the sensor and receiving a second digital signal value,

performing linear interpolation or extrapolation using the first digital signal value and the second digital signal value for the calibrating of the electrical device .

102. An electrical device as recited in claim 99, further comprising more than two digital signal values for calibrating non-linear sensor characteristics using a piece-wise linear approximation.

103. An electrical device as recited in claim 99 further comprising a solid state switch for in series electrical connection with the power line, the processor further configured to determine that a series arc fault has occurred, and in response deactivating the solid state switch.

104. An electrical device as recited in claim 100, wherein the solid state switch is a TRIAC.

105. An electrical device as recited in claim 99, wherein the contact is configured for downstream electrical connection to a downstream power line.

106. An electrical device as recited in claim 99, wherein the contact is configured for electrical connection through an electrical outlet.

107. An electrical device as recited in claim 99, wherein the processor is a microprocessor.

108. An electrical device comprising:

a first contact for configured for electrical connection to a hot power line;

a first sensor configured to provide a first analog signal indicative of current of the hot power line;

108 a second contact for configured for electrical connection to a neutral power line; a second sensor configured to provide a second analog signal indicative of current of the neutral power line;

a solid state switch for electrical connection to the hot power line and configured to be activated or deactivated;

an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive the analog and output a digital signal, and

a processor configured to detect a ground fault condition of the hot power line by determining a current imbalance between the hot power line and the neutral power line based on the digital signal from the ADC, for the deactivation of the solid state switch.

109. A ground fault circuit interrupter comprising:

a power line conductor;

a first sensor configured to provide a first analog signal indicative of current of the power line conductor;

a neutral line conductor;

a second sensor configured to provide a second analog signal indicative of current of the neutral line conductor;

a solid state switch for electrical connection to the power line conductor and configured to be activated or deactivated;

a ground fault trip circuit cooperating with said operating mechanism, said ground fault trip circuit being configured to deactivate said solid state switch responsive to detection of a ground fault condition associated with current imbalance between said hot conductor and said neutral conductor,

wherein said ground fault trip circuit includes:

an analog comparator circuit configured to receive the first analog signal and the second analog signal and output an analog signal indicative of a difference between the first analog signal and the second analog signal,

an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive the analog signal from the analog comparator circuit and output a digital signal, and

a processor configured to perform determining of the current imbalance for the detection of the ground fault condition based on the digital signal from the ADC, for the deactivation of the solid state switch.

110. A ground fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 106, wherein the analog comparator circuit comprises a differential amplifier.

109

111. A ground fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 106, wherein the differential amplifier is unaffected by magnetic field effects.

112. A ground fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 106, wherein the detection of the ground fault condition by processor includes determining that the current imbalance exceeds a threshold current imbalance and/or that the current imbalance has lasted for more than a threshold time.

113. A ground fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 106, wherein the detection of the ground fault condition by processor includes determining that the current imbalance exceeds a threshold current imbalance.

114. A ground fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 106, wherein the detection of the ground fault condition by processor includes determining that the current imbalance has lasted for more than a threshold time.

115. A ground fault circuit interrupter as recited in claim 106, wherein the first sensor and the second sensor are unaffected by magnetic field effects.

116. An electrical device comprising:

a conductive housing defining a first channel for receiving a power line, and a second channel;

a fastener through the second channel for tightening the power line to the first channel, a head of the fastener engaging the power line and the conductive housing when tightened.

117. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the head is nested within an exterior of the conductive housing when tightened.

118. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the fastener contacts the conductive housing without contacting the power line.

119. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the conductive housing includes a first conductive part and a second conductive part that collectively define the first channel.

120. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the first channel includes one or more ribs for crimping contact with the power line.

121. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the fastener is a screw and the head is a screw head.

122. An electrical device as claimed in claim 118, wherein the power line does not wrap around the screw.

123. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, further comprising a conductive element conductively connected to the conductive housing for electrical connection to an electrical outlet or for downstream connection.

110

124. An electrical device as claimed in claim 120, further comprising a circuit board that comprises the conductive element.

125. An electrical device as claimed in claim 121, wherein the circuit board includes an opening for receiving direct connection to the power line, the opening being accessible through the first channel.

126. An electrical device as claimed in claim 122, wherein the opening is axially offset from the first channel.

127. An electrical device as claimed in claim 122, wherein the opening and the first channel collectively define a guiding tunnel for the power line.

128. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the power line does not wrap around the fastener.

129. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, for preventing of glowing contact between the power line and the conductive housing.

130. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the fastener and the head are conductive.

131. An electrical device as claimed in claim 113, wherein the first channel is generally perpendicular to the second channel.

132. A device as recited in any one of claims 1 to 128, wherein the device is an in-wall receptacle, a multiple-outlet power adapter, a power strip, an in-line power receptacle, an extension cord, a circuit breaker, a circuit breaker panel, a junction box, or a load center.

133. An electrical device comprising:

a ground contact configured for electrical connection to ground;

a first voltage sensor to detect voltage signals indicative of the ground contact;

a first current sensor to detect current signals indicative of the ground contact;

a neutral contact configured for electrical connection to a neutral power line;

a second voltage sensor to detect voltage signals indicative of the neutral power line; a second current sensor to detect current signals indicative of the neutral power line; and a processor configured to determine from the detected voltage signals and/or the current signals that a ground imbalance has occurred between the neutral power line and the ground.

134. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, further comprising a solid state switch for in series electrical connection with a power line, the processor further configured to, in response to said determining that the ground imbalance has occurred on the power line, deactivating the solid state switch.

135. An electrical device as recited in claim 131, wherein the solid state switch is a TRIAC.

Ill

136. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, wherein said determining comprises the processor determining that the ground imbalance has occurred upstream of the electrical device.

137. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, further comprising a communication subsystem, wherein the processor is configured to, in response to said determining that the ground imbalance fault has occurred, sending a communication that the ground imbalance has occurred.

138. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, wherein the ground contact is for electrical connection to the ground by way of a ground power line.

139. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, further comprising at least one analog-to- digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive a respective analog signal from the first voltage sensor and output a respective digital signal for processing by the processor for the determining from the detected voltage signals that the ground imbalance has occurred.

140. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, wherein the first voltage sensor is for in-series electrical connection with the ground.

141. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, wherein the first current sensor includes a magnetic field sensor for the detecting of the current signals of the ground.

142. An electrical device as recited in claim 130, further comprising a ground plate for connecting the ground contact to the ground.

143. An electrical device as recited in claim 139, wherein the ground plate is a heat sink of the electrical device.

144. An electrical device as recited in claim 139, wherein the ground plate is a face plate of the electrical device.

145. An electrical device comprising:

a ground contact configured for electrical connection to ground;

a voltage sensor for in-series connection to the power line to detect voltage signals indicative of the ground contact line and provide analog signals indicative of the detected voltage signals;

a current sensor for in-series connection to the power line to detect current signals indicative of the ground contact line and provide analog signals indicative of the detected current signals;

an analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) configured to receive the analog signals from the voltage sensor and output digital signals; and

a processor configured to sample the digital signals in real time.

146. An electrical device as recited in claim 143, wherein the voltage sensor is for in-series electrical connection with the ground.

112

147. An electrical device as recited in claim 143, wherein the current sensor includes a magnetic field sensor for the detecting of the current signals of the ground.

148. An electrical device as recited in claim 143, further comprising a ground plate for connecting the ground contact to the ground.

149. An electrical device as recited in claim 145, wherein the ground plate is a heat sink of the electrical device.

150. An electrical device as recited in claim 145, wherein the ground plate is a face plate of the electrical device.

151. An electrical device comprising:

a processor; and

a sensor assembly electrically coupled to the processor for detecting a current leakage, a voltage between two power lines, or both the current leakage and the voltage between the two power lines.

152. The electrical device as recited in claim 148, wherein the sensor assembly comprises a current sensor.

153. The electrical device as recited in claim 148, wherein the sensor assembly comprises a voltage sensor.

154. The electrical device as recited in claim 148, wherein the sensor assembly comprises both a current sensor and a voltage sensor.

155. The electrical device as recited in claim 149, wherein current sensor detects current leakage on a safety ground wire.

156. The electrical device as recited in claim 152, wherein current sensor detects a magnetic field generated by the leakage current on the safety ground wire.

157. The electrical device as recited in claim 152, wherein current sensor detects a magnetic field generated by the leakage current on the safety ground wire.

158. The electrical device as recited in claim 148, further comprising a communications line for connecting the sensor assembly with the processor for transmitting measurement results from the sensor assembly to the processor.

159. A method for detecting ground imbalance on an electrical device, comprising:

receiving, from a senor assembly, current, voltage, or both current and voltage measurement results;

determine whether a ground imbalance is above a predetermined safety threshold level; and sending an error message indicating the ground imbalance.

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160. The method as recited in claim 156, further comprising, in response to the determining that the ground imbalance is above the predetermined safety threshold level, discontinuing delivery of power to the electrical device.

161. The method as recited in claim 156, further comprising, if a second ground imbalance indicated by an external sensors above a predetermined threshold, alerting an external safety ground fault.

162. The method as recited in claim 158, further comprising, if a second ground imbalance indicated by an external sensors above a predetermined threshold, alerting an external safety ground fault.

163. The method as recited in claim 159, further comprising discontinuing delivery of power to the electrical device.

164. An electrical device comprising:

a dielectric body,

a plurality of through holes formed on the dielectric body, each through hole for receiving a power line; and

a housing at an end of the body for housing a current sensor for sensing a current of the power line, a voltage sensor for sensing the voltage of the power line, or both a current for sensing a current of the power line and a voltage sensor for sensing a voltage of the power line.

165. The electrical device of claim 164, further comprising a plurality of screw holes, each hole for receiving a screw for securing the power line in a through hole.

166. The electrical device of claim 165, further comprising a plurality of attachment screw holes for securing the electric device to an object.

167. The electrical device of claim 164, further comprising a plurality of sensor leads, each for indicating a status of a sensor in the housing.

168. The electrical device of claim 164, further comprising a conductor or a cable for transmitting measurement results to a processor.

169. The electrical device of claim 164, wherein the electrical device is an insulated bus bar mounted on a breaker panel housing.

170. The electrical device of claim 164, wherein the electrical device detects fault on current and/or voltage.

171. The electrical device of claim 164, wherein the electrical device is configured to receive a wire through a main feed conductor hole, and to provide an exit path for the wire through a seocnd conductor hole.

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172. The electrical device of claim 171, wherein the electrical device further comprising a jumper cable for use between the second conductor hole and a bus bar.

173. An electrical device comprising:

a dielectric body,

a through holes formed on a first side of the dielectric body for receiving an end of a power line; and

a housing at an end of the body for housing a current sensor for sensing a current of the power line, a voltage sensor for sensing the voltage of the power line, or both a current for sensing a current of the power line and a voltage sensor for sensing a voltage of the power line; and

a conductive pin on a second side of the dielectric body for conducting current or voltage to or from the power line.

174. The electrical device of claim 173, wherein the conductive pin is mounted perpendicularly to the second side of the dielectric body.

175. An electrical device comprising:

a plurality of power output terminals for supplying power;

a plurality of power supply terminals for receiving power supply from a power source; a plurality of insulated power delivery modules, each module electrically connected to a respective power supply terminal and a power output terminal for conducting power; and a sensor unit for sensing current and voltage flowing through each of the power delivery module.

176. The electrical device of claim 175, wherein the sensor unit is encapsulated in the electrical device.

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