Circuit breaker is an electrical switching device which can be manually or automatically operated for monitoring and protecting the power network in an electrical system.
There are several forms of irregular situations come in our electrical system that can disrupt the circuit but also its components. There can be a high risk of electrical shocks, electrical fires and electrocution without circuit breakers.
Circuit breakers are an important circuit element which provides safety by tripping and cutting off the load supply in case of failure. They are primarily used for switching a different kind of load in industry, residential and in a commercial complex. There are various types of circuit breaker which are mainly categorized on the basis of different applications.
Miniature circuit breaker (MCB):
MCB is an electromechanical device that is used to protect and trip the electric circuit in case of any short circuit or overload. They are mostly used in low voltage application instead of an electrical fuse. They can easily resettable and are capable of performing several operations without any interruption. Class 3 types of MCBs are very common in many electrical applications due to their ability to easily trip and even minimal loss of letting via energy.
Moulded case circuit breaker (MCCB):
MCCB is another protection device which automatically cut off the load supply against overload, short circuit faults. They are mainly used when the current rating exceeds the limit of MCB and even for switching the electrical circuits. They are mainly used in industrial application because of their high current ratings.
Air circuit breaker (ACB):
In these kinds of circuit breakers, the air is used as an arc quenching medium. Such breakers are used in low voltage applications against overcurrent and short circuits. In many countries, air circuit is completely substituted with oil circuit breakers (OCB), but some countries still prefer the use of OCB up to 15 kV. It is because an oil circuit breaker can catch fire when used at 15V.
Oil circuit breaker (OCB):
Oil circuit breakers are another kind of breaker which used oil as the arc quenching medium. They are mostly used for high voltages. Oil is an excellent insulating medium; therefore, they replace many air circuit breakers.
Sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6) circuit breakers:
These kinds of breakers are used in both medium and high voltage applications. SF6 gas is used for arc quenching due to its potential to quench the arc very effectively. SF6 breakers are not very much favoured because it is a poisonous gas, thus harmful to atmosphere and humans.
Vacuum Circuit breaker (VCB):
VCB usually uses the vacuum as an arc interrupting medium because of its high insulating strength, dielectric and diffusive properties. It is mainly used in medium voltages applications ranging from 11 KV to 33 KV.