What’s The Need of Circuit Breakers in Protecting Valuable Equipment?
What are Circuit Breakers?
Where can Circuit Breakers be used and what is the importance of using these devices?
In this article, we will take a brief look at these devices called Circuit Breakers, their uses, principle of operation and how/where they can be used.
A Circuit Breaker is an electrical device designed to protect an electric circuit from current overload or short-circuit. The Circuit Breaker protects the circuit by creating an opening in the circuit to trip it off, and closing to reconnect it.
As soon as a fault is detected in the circuit, the Circuit Breaker (which acts as an automatic switch) trips off in order to prevent damage to the circuit as a whole. After the fault has been corrected, the Breaker is reset to resume operation.
Circuit Breakers vary in size; from small units used in protecting household appliances to large Switchgears for protecting high voltage circuits like feeders.
Circuit Breakers consists of fixed and moving contacts called Electrodes. These contacts remain closed under normal conditions unless in the event of a fault. When a fault is detected in the circuit, a trip causes the contacts of the circuit breaker to move apart, thus opening the circuit.
Circuit Breakers are very necessary in the protection of devices, equipments, lives and properties. Protection against short circuits and overloads are some to the faults that can be prevented with the use of a Circuit Breaker.
Circuit Breakers belong to a family of devices called OCPD (Over Current Protection Devices), along with fuses and relays. OCPDs are incorporated into protection systems to isolate, break or disconnect the circuit when an overload or short circuit occurs.
As soon as the current exceeds the rated threshold, the Circuit Breaker isolates the locality by opening the circuit. This is reversed when the fault has been rectified then the normal operation is allowed to resume.
Modern Circuit Breakers can be supplemented by digital controls through relays, this can be operated through devices like PLCs and Micro Controllers, therefore, giving rise to the concept of building automation as control devices that can be operated through accurate data obtained from sensors rather than their inherent capabilities. Such systems are usually implemented in large-scale buildings since they require extra investment and having additional running costs.