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Different types of Circuit breakers


We are surrounded by circuits in our everyday life. From distribution circuits for the house to electrical appliances in our homes, all consist of a functional electrical circuit. Electric current streams from these circuits, power the appliances and all the associations in the circuit. To secure this circuit, there should be some instrument that can generally be there to avoid breakdowns. Circuit breakers are those security systems that protect the circuit from harm and undesirable circumstances.

Different types of circuit breakers

Based on Voltage

Low voltage circuit breakers - These breakers are mainly used in small-scale industries and usually operate at low voltages (up to 2 kV).

High voltage circuit breakers - These breakers operate at voltages greater than 2 kV and can be further classified into transmission class breakers: Medium voltage class circuit breakers and those which operate at 123 kV and above. You can buy according to your requirement.

By Installation Location

Indoor circuit breakers - These are made to use inside homes or buildings or in water-resistant areas. These circuit breakers usually operate at a medium voltage and are enclosed in metal-clad switchgear.

Outdoor Circuit breakers - Due to their extreme design, these breakers can be used outdoors without any roof. When compared to indoor circuit breakers, outdoor circuit breakers are enclosed in a strong body and can withstand wear and tear.

Based on External Design

Dead tank circuit breakers - The circuit breakers with an enclosed tank at ground potential are dead tank circuit breakers. In other words, the tank is shorted to or it is at a dead potential.

Live tank circuit breakers-These breakers have a tank housing interrupter at a potential above the ground with some insulation medium in between.

By Interrupting Mechanism

Air circuit breaker - This breaker uses air as an insulating and interrupting medium.

Oil circuit breaker- It uses oil as an interrupting and insulating medium.

In contrast to an oil circuit breaker, air circuit breakers have consequent benefits over different circuit breakers for example circuit breakers which use oil as an extinguishing medium. Air circuit breakers do not require your attention or support like those with oil circuit breakers. As there is no oil, the expense of oil is also reduced in air circuit breakers. The risk of burning is also low due to fast action as well as its short action technique. Air circuit breakers have considerably low maintenance and are suitable for frequent operations.

An air circuit breaker is an assembly of Arch chutes, Arching contacts, Load carrying contacts like moving contact inside its construction. Air circuit breakers comprise of plural contacts, usually, two pairs: one acts as the main pair and another is used for arcing contacts. Among these, the main contacts carry the current at normal load conditions. The main pair is made of copper while the supporting pair is made of carbon.

Air circuit breakers are widely used for safety and control of power. Because it doesn?t use any volatile substance like oil these circuit breakers are commonly used in areas with fire or explosion hazards.

Air circuit breakers can offer protection to various industrial machinery, capacitors and generators. Air circuit breakers are versatile and hence can be used in high or low voltage and current applications. Air circuit breakers find their applications in electricity sharing systems and NGD, which consist of voltage similar to 15kV.

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