Current Zero Club (CZC)
+44 (0) 1788 568374



A. Preamble

1. History and Aims of the club:
During the CIGRE-Meeting of 1960 in Paris a number of electrical engineers and physicists interested in gas-discharges in circuit-breakers met privately to discuss current problems. It was agreed that they needed a forum for free, informal discussion of circuit-breaker problems and research, uninhibited by commercial, national or similar restrictions.
Membership was accordingly restricted to those actively engaged in major researches and whose scientific integrity and confidentiality could be relied upon. It, of course, would place no restrictions whatever on any member who wished to make public his own work. Such procedures were not possible at the CIGRE meeting where the function of each delegate is to represent his own country and/or company, institution, etc. thus a select working group was founded by Prof. D. Th. J. ter Host to be known as the “Current Zero Club”. The first meeting was held in Arnhem in 1961, attended by about twenty members coming from ten countries. Each member represented only himself, not his company, university or institution. The entrance ticket to the Group was to have made significant contributions to research in the relevant field.

2. The Scope of the Club
The sphere of activity of the Club is limited to interruption and make phenomena in high power circuit-breakers and its membership elected from those engaged in the field. The subject would not be confined to the “interaction period” of about 100 μs around current zero but would include the whole arcing period or fault event in so far as this determines the initial conditions, both physical ( e. g. pressure, gas flow ) and electrical of that period.
All types of H.V. breakers, including H.V.D.C. breakers come within the scope of the club as well as considerations of mechanical and fluid dynamical behavior. Contact phenomena, however are excluded in so far as they do not influence the interruption problem; they are to be considered, if they become important for the arcing phenomena, e.g. in vacuum interrupters. For the being it seems improbable that H.V. circuits could be interrupted economically by other means than the electric arc. Nevertheless, should promising developments occur in such devices as synchronized contact separation, semiconductors, superconductivity or the like, then these would naturally be pursued.

B. Bylaws

1 Membership (a) Membership is on a strictly personal basis. (b)Collective member is excluded. (c)No member may represent any country, company, university or other such organization. Each member may act only in his ( or her ) individual capacity.

2 Meetings
(a)Meetings will take place biennially. (b)Meetings are open to all elected members and to individually invited guests. ( § 13) (c) A secretary will be appointed for each meeting, having been elected at the previous meeting and normally being a member from the host country in which the current meeting takes place. He will be responsible for the organization of that meeting, for the agenda in consultation with the chairman, for the minutes and for the circulation of documents concerned with the meeting. (d)If the chairman elected at the former meeting is not present, the secretary has to chair the sessions. (e) At the opening of each session the chairman will emphasize the confidentiality of the proceedings incumbent upon members and guests. (f)At the close of each meeting a convention of members only will decide the location and dates of the next meeting and appoint the chairman and secretary for that meeting. It will receive nominations for new members and submissions of resignation. It is also the occasion on which the affairs of the Club will be discussed and acted upon.

3 Privacy
(a)According to the aims of the Club whatever is said at a meeting must be kept as “private communication”. (b)Written contributions distributed at the meeting must not be forwarded to non-members. (c)Papers presented at the meeting are “not published” . (d)The chairman is allowed to give a report on the general activity of the Club in certain cases (e.g. if asked by CIGRE A3), if authorized by the members in the assembly after the paper sessions. At that occasion, certain restrictions can be requested by any member. (e)The Club has no obligations to any organization in the field of electrical engineering or physics.

4 Language
(a)The official language of the Club is ”broken English”. (b)All written or oral presentations at the meetings should be delivered in English. Nobody should hesitate to use this language imperfectly, since it is of no benefit to present a contribution perfectly but in another language not known by many members. (c)Those speakers who speak English fluently are allowed to do so, if they speak slowly and distinctly.

5 Chairman
(a)The chairman will preside at the assemblies of member and the paper sessions. (b)He has to supervise the observation of the bylaws. (c)At the beginning of the paper sessions he has to emphasize the privacy of the meeting. (d)He has to represent the Club until the next meeting. (e)The chairman may be but need not be re-elected repeatedly to facilitate continuity. (f)Since the secretaryship is by rotation the chairman will instruct the new secretary on his duties ( § 6) and act as his advisor.

6 Secretary
(a)The secretary is required to organize the next meeting. (b)He has to call for papers and guests one year before the meeting. (c)He has to forward a list of proposed guests and the titles of their papers to the chairman, and after review with the chairman, to all the members. (d)He has to invite the members and the accepted guests six months before the meeting. (e)Six months before the meeting he has to ask those members who had missed the last two meetings without sending a written contribution , whether they were interested to remain members. (f)At the next members assembly, he has to report on these cases. (g)He has to write the minutes of the assembly of members and send it to the chairman for countersignature within 3 months. (h)He has to distribute the signed minutes together with an up-to-date mailing list of the members within six months after the meeting.

 7 Number of Member
(a)To facilitate round table discussions and to avoid “Listeners” the number of active members is limited to about twenty-five. (b)Not more than two members per laboratory should be admitted.

8 Requirements for Membership
(a)Only experts in the field of h.v. circuit-breaker arc research are eligible for membership and who are personally working either theoretically or experimentally in h.v. power interruption phenomena (b)The Club joins the active experts only but not their superiors or managers. (c)Candidates for membership must have published relevant original papers in representative journals. (d)The Level of these papers must be that of a ph.D. thesis (original scientific work). (e)University degrees, memberships etc. are neither needed nor do they privilege the candidate. (f)The Club is interested in uniting all international experts in the field. (g)It is against the interest of the Club to contain members who are not working in circuit-breaking but in fields relevant as “ auxiliary sciences ”. (h)The Club should not contain members who are not expected to continue in the field.

9 Election of Members
(a)A candidate may be nominated by a member only after he delivered an original paper at the meeting. (b)Members will be sent the curriculum and list of published papers of the nominee. (c)Members will decide by a vote whether or not to promote the guest to the status of member”. (d)Reprints of the candidate’s paper and a listing of former publications must be distributed to all members before the meeting. (e)At the closing meeting, the members present will decide on those guests to be nominated for membership. (f)Written objections to candidates should be sent to the chairman within six months from the sending of the minutes to the member. (g)If there is an objection against a candidate, a decision will be postponed until the next members’ assembly.

10 Substitutes
No member is allowed to send a nom-member as a substitute to the paper sessions expect another member or a guest presenting his own paper (contributed by the guest himself).

11 Retired Members
(a)If a member retires this does not necessarily mean that he becomes inactive in the scope of the club. (b)If a retired member who was active in circuit-breaking until his retirement continues a private activity and therefore is still interested in the Club he may continue to be an active member. (c)To obviate the possibility that retiring members may want to change their status (though they are still active in any way) in order not to block the way for younger candidate , the number of retired active members will be exempt in relation to § 7.

12 Termination of Membership
(a)Members who have left the fields of circuit-breaking and are no longer interested in that activity of the Club are kindly requested to inform the chairman that they no longer desire to be members of the Club. (b)If a member has not attended two consecutive meetings not sent any written contribution to the secretary to be presented at those meetings, the secretary may ask him six months before the next meeting whether he wishes to remain a member. At the next members’ assembly the secretary will report about such cases and the members must decide on the future status of the missing member. (c)If the missing member did not answer and has not published any relevant paper it must be assumed that he is no longer interested in the field and he has to be deleted as a member.

13 Guests
(a)Guests may be invited to the Club’s paper sessions. (b)Each member is allowed to nominate one guest speaker. (c)The secretary has to invite the guest and ask for copies of the candidates paper and a listing of his former publications. (d)Guests may present either their own work which is within the scope of the Club or give a survey paper on a field closely related thereto. (e)Guests may not attend the member’s assemblies.

14 Circulation of Papers
(a)All members are obliged to distribute copies of their own publications and if possible also of those of their collaborators to each member according to the miling list distributed by the secretary after each meeting. (b)Any member who reads a paper published but not distributed by another member is obliged to remind the author of his duty(a).

15 Colloquium
(a)An open tutorial colloquium may be organized by secretary before or after the meeting to inform interested non-members on fundamentals and current problems of circuit-breaking. (b)These Colloquia shall —avoid a provocative exclusivity on the part of the Club —but nevertheless keep the club meetings intimate, small and confidential, —raise financial aids, —give the Club more publicity, —be of the benefit to CIGRE and IEC where a lack of up-to-date knowledge can impede progress. (c)The financial proceeds of the colloquium shall be used to give support to those members who find it a hardship, especially if they have to go to another continent ; this concerns mainly members working at universities and our retired ”grand old man”. (d)Each member, except chairman and secretary, is obliged to contribute a paper to each colloquium,upon request of the secretary.

16 Change of the bylaws
(a)Any change or extension of the bylaws must be proposed in writing to the chairman and distributed to the members together with the invitaation to the next meeting at the latest. (b)This motion must be discussed at the next members’ assembly. (c)If accepted by 2/3 of the members present the motion must be circulated together with the minutes of the meeting. (d)Written objectons may be sent to the chairman within six months from the sending of the minutes to the members. (e)If there are any written objections against the motion a final decision has to be made at the next members’assembly. (f)The motion is finally accepted if 2/3 of the members present are voting in favour of it.

  • NAME

Since the unconventional name “Current Zero Club” has already caused difficulties when members applied for refund of their traveling expenses, a more attractive sub-title is needed which might facilitate the decision of sympathetic but uninformed managers and bureaucrats. The new sub-title adopted at the 1997 meeting is “International Research Group on Interruption Phenomena of High Voltage Circuit Breaker”.