Current Zero Club


About Us

The Current Zero Club was founded in 1961 by Prof D. Th J. ter Horst.

History and Aims of the Current Zero Club

During the biennial (every two years) CIGRE Meeting of 1960 in Paris, France 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 Horst to be known as the “Current Zero Club”.

The first meeting was held in Arnhem, the Netherlands, in 1961, attended by about twenty members coming from ten countries. The meeting was managed by Prof. D. ter Horst and the chairman was Mr. Hochrainer. Other chairmen (in past decades) were prof. dr. Klaus Möller, Prof. Geert Damstra and Prof. dr. Satoru Yanabu,

Each member represented only himself, not his company, university or institution.

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 microsecond 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 circuit breakers, including low-voltage breakers come within the scope of the club as well as considerations of mechanical, fluid dynamical and plasma physical behaviour, as well as their measurement and monitoring technology.

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 time being current interruption of circuits in electricity supply systems by electric arcs is the dominant technology. Promising (alternative) developments such as synchronized contact separation, semiconductors, HVDC interruption, superconductivity, fault current limitation, alternative interruption media or the like will naturally be pursued.

Byelaws of the Club

All Club members agree to abide by the byelaws of the Current Zero Club.

You can access a full copy of the Byelaws by clicking the link.


Current Zero Club has specific requirements of eligibility for membership. Details of these are contained within section 6 of the byelaws. Click  to view the full requirements.