LSU Electrical, Computer Engineering Professor Researches Hybrid Circuit Breaker

LSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Shahab MehraeenJune 24, 2024

BATON ROUGE, LA – LSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Shahab Mehraeen is working on a bipolar hybrid direct current circuit breaker (DCCB) that generates a current zero crossing (i.e., point at which there is no voltage present) that reverses and re-routes the current, causing current decay with minimal arc. 

The new DCCB employs a design that prevents over-voltages across the breaker contacts, reducing stress across the switches and other components, making it so that the fault energy can be partially sent back to the direct current (DC) source. In addition, the design ensures reduced arc, or discharge of high current between conductors through an air gap, making it safer for operation in the presence of a human.

“Experimental and simulation results have proven the performance of the bipolar hybrid circuit breaker in current breaking and rapid fault interruption with no significant arc between the breaker contacts,” Mehraeen said. 

Benefits of the DCCB include improved DC grid reliability, protection from short circuiting by rapid current interruption via creating artificial current zero crossing, reduced arc and providing user safety, low-cost production and reduced size compared to other hybrid DCCBs that utilize bulky inductors, energy loss reduced without use of complex control and energy conservation methods, and increased life span and decreased maintenance costs. 

The new DCCB is marketable to low- and high-voltage DC power grids, as well as green energy resources such as wind farms, solar panels, and tidal wave generators. It is also useful for multi-terminal DC systems. 

Mehraeen is working with LSU’s Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization (ITC) on patenting this DCCB. 


LSU ITC protects and commercializes LSU’s intellectual property. The office focuses on transferring early-stage inventions and works into the marketplace for the greater benefit of society. ITC also handles federal invention reporting, which allows LSU to receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year in federally funded research, and processes confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements, and other agreements related to intellectual property.

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Contact: Libby Haydel
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