The Effects of High-Frequency Residual Currents on the Operation of Residual Current Devices

Tim Slangen (Corresponding author), Bram Lustenhouwer, V. Cuk, J.F.G. (Sjef) Cobben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This research investigates the effects of high frequency currents between 50 Hz and 150 kHz on the operation of Residual Current Devices (RCDs). Nowadays, the increasing amount of large power-electronic switching devices can be a source of both harmonics (<2 kHz) and supraharmonics (2-150 kHz) currents injected to the grid. This can have several effects and possibly lead to unwanted tripping of RCDs, due to high earth-currents that can be emitted by the devices. The question is if supraharmonics can also lead to misoperation or fail-to-operate conditions for the RCDs, potentially leading to serious safety risks. A set-up is developed to introduce both 50 Hz and high-frequency leakage currents. First, the 50 Hz tripping-current of the RCDs is tested under nominal conditions. Secondly, the tripping current for non-nominal frequencies (between 50 Hz and 150 kHz) is determined to verify the possibility for false tripping. Lastly, the 50 Hz tripping current for the RCD is tested in the presence of a high-frequency current. The most important conclusion is that RCDs of type A and AC have an increased fundamental (50 Hz) tripping current when there are HF-components present. This potentially results in a safety risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalRenewable Energy & Power Quality Journal
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Event19th International Conference on Renewable Energies and Power Quality, ICREPQ 2021 - Almeria, Spain
Duration: 28 Jul 202130 Jul 2021
Conference number: 19


  • Earth fault current
  • Electrical safety
  • Power system harmonics
  • Residual current device
  • Supraharmonics


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