The Kirk Cell acts as an electrochemical switch, blocking DC voltages in the cathodic protection range while instantaneously shunting hazardous voltages to ground. The Kirk Cell consists of multiple pairs of stainless steel plates immersed in a potassium hydroxide electrolyte solution. An oil seal floating on the electrolyte prevents evaporation, absorption of atmospheric gases and excessive foaming under high current flow. DC current flow through the Kirk Cell causes a film of gas to form on the plates offering high resistance to low voltage DC current. As the applied voltage across the cell increases, current flow through the cell increases causing the thickness of the polarization gas film to increase. When the leakage threshold is exceeded, the film starts to break down and the cell resistance quickly decreases as the applied voltage increases. AC voltages and higher DC voltages see the Kirk Cell as a dead short. Galvanized steel enclosures are offered for exterior or interior installations of the cell.

The Kirk Cell must be vented to atmosphere but shielded from direct sunlight or rainfall. To protect the Kirk Cell, we provide the Kirk Galvanized Steel Enclosure, NEMA rated, with the following characteristics:

  • The Kirk Enclosures will protect a Kirk Cell from direct contact with sunlight or rainwater.
  • The galvanized or polyurethane/epoxy finish case will withstand spillage of the caustic electrolyte and/or oil seal.
  • Optional Painted Enclosures upon request
  • Dual enclosures available to provide for the installation of two same rated cells.
  • Lead wire entrance and exit on each side of enclosure is in line with the cell terminals.
  • Write for installation drawing before pouring pad.
  • Easy access to the interior is by removal of one or more sheet metal screws or padlocks, depending upon the enclosure. Insect proof vent and drain holes or fittings are provided with each enclosure.
  • Conduits hubs are provided for most models.

Note: The Kirk Cell is not an arc-making device and may be used where a combustible atmosphere could be present as long as the cell’s rating is not exceeded.

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