DJP, thanks for the clarification. I was thinking of "FuseStats", which are more expensive than fuses and which are not interchangeable. Each size is a different length so that putting a hgher rated uit in a lower current position will not work.
The methods used to compensate for voltage drop in distribution systems can be quite different in different areas, and it seems that some methods are not adequate for the real worlod, as your example shows.
William, the Fusetron is a variant on the regular screw in fuses that were in common use before the circuit breakers. The regular fuse is one time use, the Fusetron is a time delay variant that should tolerate minor over-current events a few times; the older version were more robust than available now. There are also push-button reset C/B's that can be used, and all are physically the same size, so one has to use intelligence to choose the correct fuse for the circuit. Mine were in a separate switch box for the AC unit. I suspected the high inrush motor currents for the compressor & fan due to the very high voltage exceeded the capabilities of the fuses, so I increased the fuse size by one step.
As to why the line voltage is so high I am unable to fathom. I do know that many years a go a linear power supply for thermoelectric coolers (120 VAC to 12 VDC) often went up in smoke & flames early in the morning in rural motels. It was noted by some people washing up first thing in the morning. It was suspected the local power authority switched from an overnight level to a higher morning level to cope with increasing demands made as people awoke. These were approved units, and yet failed in a spectacular way that was not anticipated. That design was dropped.
Rob,I can relate a true horror story about a multi-speed starter for a very large (150HP) motor and quite weak 380 volt three-phase power lines. The supply voltage drooped so badley that the starter "chattered" during the first on-site start, and as a result large portions of the started were destroyed. The local supplier for that brand claimed that the starter was obsolete and that parts were not available, nor was a replacement. So our startup team was trapped there for several weeks under a "somewhat hostile" condition while a replacement starter was obtained, with modifications that would allow it to function correctly with such poor incoming power supply.
Based on that experience of a predecesor designer, I have avoided using multispeed startersever since. An electronic soft-starter or variable speed drive is a far safer choice. It is valuable to learn from the mistakes of others, and much less damaging to one's career.
When it comes to machines, "beefing up" the power would have been my first response to any power issue. I have my own machineshop and fabricate countless items, I have little time to make it so the gear scrimps by with the weakest options. Depending on the complexity of the machines, different loads will have a huge influence on the power demands.
I have the same ethos with motors and circuit protection. I've fused together too many motor coils to not protect it all...
How in the world were you able to make a 20 amp Fusetron function in a 15amp socket? or are Fusetrons different than Fuse-Stats, which none of the current ratings are interchangable? And I also wonder about why the line voltage would be that high.
This sort of reminds me of troubleshooting repeat failing of a Fusetron on one side of my AC compressor. The new 15 A Fusetron's would fail regularly while the old one on the other side of the 230 did not. I measured the voltage on the circuit: over 250 VAC. Ontario Hydro advises to conserve energy, then RAMS it down the line. Replacing the 15A Fusetron's with 20A fixed the problem. Although we are in a village (pop 700+) we must be getting rural high voltage that requires a bit of adaptation.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.