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How does a miniature circuit breaker actually work?
Miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) ensure electrical safety in homes, offices, and other buildings as well as for industrial applications by protecting electrical installations against overloads and short circuits. Once a fault is detected, the miniature circuit breaker automatically switches off the electrical circuit to prevent damage to wires and to avoid the risk of fire. Warranting reliability and safety for people and assets, MCBs are equipped with two tripping mechanisms: the delayed thermal tripping mechanism for overload protection and the magnetic tripping mechanism for short circuit protection.
What exactly does an MCB do?
The short answer: it protects wires from overloads and short-circuits. When we look on the inside of an MCB we can see how that actually works.
While electricity has become an indispensable component of our lives, the fact is, it comes with its own hazards to human life and property. Electrocution and fire being the two major risks associated with electricity, one cannot afford to be negligent when it comes to insulating equipment.
A Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) is an important safety measure when it comes to protection of electrical circuits. It is a current sensing device, which can automatically measure and disconnect the circuit whenever a fault occurs in the connected circuit or the current exceeds the rated sensitivity.
Principle behind RCCB
RCCB works on the principle of Kirchhoff’s law, which states that the incoming current must be equal to the outgoing current in a circuit. RCCB thus compares the difference in current values between live and neutral wires. Ideally, the current flowing to the circuit from the live wire should be the same as that flowing through the neutral wire. In case of a fault, the current from the neutral wire is reduced, the differential between the two known as Residual Current. On spotting a Residual Current, the RCCB is triggered to trip off the circuit.
A test circuit included with the Residual Current device ensures that the reliability of RCCB is tested. When the test button is pushed, the current starts to flow through the test circuit. As it creates an imbalance on the neutral coil of the device, the RCCB trips and supply is disconnected thereby checking RCCB’s reliability.
Benefits of RCCB
Provides protection against earth fault as well as any leakage current
Automatically disconnects the circuit when the rated sensitivity is exceeded
Offers possibility of dual termination both for cable and busbar connections
Offers protection against voltage fluctuation as it includes a filtering device that guards against transient voltage levels.
Moulded Case Circuit Breaker is an electromechanical device which protects a circuit from overcurrent and short circuit. It provides overcurrent and short circuit protection for circuits ranging from 63 Amps up to 3000 Amps.