Circuit breakers have become an integral and indispensable device. Wherever there is electricity, a circuit breaker with the right engraving plastic labels is essential to protect the electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or a short circuit.
While there are many types, the most common being the low voltage for homes, high voltage for commercial use is also necessary, as they are responsible for regulating the flow of electricity in large facilities and as well as in neighborhoods and cities.
Types of Circuit Breakers
There are essentially three types and while all of them serve the same purpose, they operate differently. Magnetic This type employs electromagnetism to break a circuit. The strength of the electromagnet is relative to the flow of electricity.
In the event that the electrical load goes over the expected amount, the electromagnet mechanism forces the lever down to move the contact plate, which then turns off the switch to stop the flow of electricity.
Thermal ones use heat to break a circuit in the event of an overload. This kind of circuit breaker comes equipped with a bimetallic strip, which responds to the heat of the electrical current.
This strip is made out of two kinds of metals, which expand uniquely to bend the strip. When the electrical current flows too strong, the strip bends to turn over the conductive plate.
As the name suggests, this kind employs both heat and electromagnetism to break a circuit. In the event of an electrical overload, the electromagnet will keep the circuit from the flow of electricity whereas the bimetallic strip is responsible for preventing overheating due to prolonged overload.
All of the aforementioned types of circuit breakers can be used for offices or buildings, provided that the electrical flow is not too high.
Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers
A medium voltage one can be installed in a metal enclosure for indoor use or it can also be used as an individual component for outdoor use. Air circuit breakers are used for power distribution in large industrial plants, they are typically installed in draw-out enclosures to make it easy to maintain them.
The air circuit breaker was designed to replace the conventional oil-filled unit but is now being replaced by the vacuum circuit breaker.
High Voltage Circuit Breakers
For heavy industrial and commercial units, it may be necessary to use a high voltage circuit breaker also known as oil breakers, as their contacts are typically submerged in an oil tank.
High voltage ones cover the electrical arc with oil so that the circuits won’t overheat. The only drawback to this kind of circuit breaker is that oil has to be maintained frequently, as oil is flammable and it can be rather difficult to keep oil in good condition.
A high voltage one needs more maintenance than other kinds of circuit breakers. If you plan to buy online, make sure to stick to trusted brands to avoid faulty ones that may serve as a potential hazard.