A circuit breaker is a switching device that interrupts the abnormal or fault current. It is a mechanical device that disturbs the flow of high magnitude (fault) current and in additions performs the function of a switch. The circuit breaker is mainly designed for closing or opening of an electrical circuit, thus protects the electrical system from damage.
Working Principle of Circuit Breaker
Circuit breaker essentially consists of fixed and moving contacts. These contacts are touching each other and carrying the current under normal conditions when the circuit is closed. When the circuit breaker is closed, the current carrying contacts, called the electrodes, engaged each other under the pressure of a spring.
During the normal operating condition, the arms of the circuit breaker can be opened or closed for a switching and maintenance of the system. To open the circuit breaker, only a pressure is required to be applied to a trigger.
Types of Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers are mainly classified on the basis of rated voltages. Circuit breakers below rated voltage of 1000V are known as the low voltage circuit breakers and above 1000V are called the high voltage circuit breakers.
The most general way of the classification of the circuit breaker is on the basis of the medium of arc extinction. Such types of circuit breakers are as follows :-
- Oil Circuit Breaker
- Minimum Circuit Breaker
- Air Blast Circuit Breaker
- Sulphur Hexafluoride Circuit Breaker
- Vacuum Circuit Breaker
- Air Break Circuit Breaker
All high-voltage circuit breakers may be classified under two main categories i.e oil circuit breakers and oil-less circuit breaker.