Electrical Safety

Types of Circuit Breaker and Its Importance

In the electronics and electricals world, mishap takes place in a lot of places. It can lead to severe damage to offices, industries, buildings, schools, etc. Once circuit breakers are installed, it will help in controlling the sudden rise of current and voltage.
Generally, in the case of power connection, the electricity goes through a circuit breaker box where it is divided into numerous circuits. Breaker or fuse supports these circuits and function as switching devices. In order to control the electrical power, circuit breakers can be handled manually or automatically. There is a risk of electrical fires, shocks, and electrocution without a circuit breaker.

There is a broad range of circuit breakers available, which depend upon the voltage, installation, external design, placement, and breaking mechanism.

Here are the different types of circuit breakers:

Air Circuit Breakers operates in the air with their arcing contacts exposed. These arcing contacts quench at a given level of atmospheric pressure.  In a lot of countries, the air circuit breakers are generally replaced by oil circuit breakers.
Types of air circuit breakers:

1)Plain Air Circuit Breaker:
Plain Air circuit breakers are also called as Cross-Blast Circuit Breaker. These circuit breakers are fitted with a chamber( arc chute) which surrounds the contacts.

2)Air Blast Circuit Breaker:
These Circuit Breakers are used for a system voltage of 245 KV to 420 KV and more. Air Blast Circuit Breakers are generally of two types: Axial blast breaker and Axial blast with sliding moving contact.

The traditional circuit breakers use electromechanical trip unit which may be either interchangeable or fixed. A molded case circuit breaker helps in providing support by bringing together a temperature-sensitive device with a current-sensitive electromagnetic device. Once the mechanism trips, both the circuit breakers start working automatically.

Unlike fuses, MCB protects light switches, equipments, circuits, etc. and operates as an automatic switch that opens or breaks the connection when the current flowing through the circuit is excessive. Once the circuit returns to normal, it can be reclosed without any manual replacement. MCBs have the ability to protect against fault arising due to overheating or increase in temperature. The construction of an MCB is such that, it has a bimetallic strip. It is a combination of both magnetic and thermal tripping mechanisms that are implemented in most of MCBs. This is designed to trip within 2.5 milliseconds when an overcurrent fault arises. In case of temperature rise or overheating it may take 2 seconds to 2 minutes for the MCB to trip.

Other than circuit breakers, a distribution management is also important because of the following benefits:

  • Enabling leading critical grid controlling capabilities
  • Optimising the dynamic grid functioning
  • Enhanced outage response

Thus, it is very important that circuit breakers are a component of every home to provide for a greater degree of protection.


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