By Aditya Taneja and Ulrich Klapper, Omicron Electronics
A circuit breaker is an electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. It is also used to isolate part of a healthy circuit for regular maintenance. Its operation can therefore be both automatic and manual. Its basic function is to immediately discontinue electrical flow.
The circuit breaker plays a significant role within the power system where it:
- Minimises losses in closed position.
- Opens and closes on command.
- Opens or closes a circuit to connect the power to/from the transmission line (O – break, C – make).
- Opens a circuit for planned maintenance (O – break).
- Opens a circuit at system fault to protect the system behind the circuit breaker (O – break, O-C -reclose, O-CO auto-reclose).
- Isolates between poles (TRV), open contacts and earth.