Difference Between Fuse and Circuit Breaker

The Difference Between the Fuse and Circuit Breaker are explained considering various factors like Working Principle, Reusability, Indication of status, Requirement of Auxiliary equipment, Temperature, Characteristic Curve, its Function, Protection, Breaking Capacity, Operating time, Cost and Mode of Operation.

The Difference Between Fuse and Circuit Breaker is given below in the tabulated form

BASISFUSECIRCUIT BREAKER
Working PrincipleFuse works on the electrical and thermal properties of the conducting materials.Circuit breaker works on the Electromagnetism and switching principle.
ReusabilityFuses can be used only once.Circuit breakers can be used a number of times.
Status indicationIt does not give any indication.It gives an indication of the status
Auxiliary contactNo auxiliary contact is required.They are available with auxiliary contact.
Switching ActionFuse cannot be used as as an ON/OFF switch.The Circuit breaker is used as an ON/OFF switches.
Temperature They are independent of ambient temperatureCircuit breaker Depends on ambient temperature
Characteristic CurveThe Characteristic curve shifts because of the ageing effect.The characteristic curve does not shift.
Protection The Fuse provides protection against only power overloadsCircuit breaker provides protection against power overloads and short circuits.
FunctionIt provides both detection and interruption process.Circuit breaker performs only interruption. Faults are detected by relay system.
Breaking capacityBreaking capacity of the fuse is low as compared to the circuit breaker.Breaking capacity is high.
Operating timeOperating time of fuse is very less (0.002 seconds)Operating time is comparatively more than that of the fuse. (0.02 – 0.05 seconds)
Version Only single pole version is available.Single and multiple version are available.
Mode of operationCompletely automatically.Manually as well as automatically operated.
CostCost of fuse is low.Cost of circuit breaker is high.

A Fuse is an electrical device made up of glass, porcelain or plastic material containing a thin piece of wire. If any faults occur in the system and an over current flow through the circuit, the fuse automatically melts and breaks the contact of the circuit. Thus, protecting the appliances from any damage.

The Circuit Breaker also performs the similar function as that of the fuse but by electromagnetism principle. The circuit breaker also protects the appliances from getting damaged due to overload current.

The Difference Between Fuse and Circuit Breaker are as follows:-

  • Fuse works on the principle of electrical and thermal properties of the conducting materials whereas the Circuit breaker works on the Electromagnetism and switching principle.
  • Fuses once used cannot be reused again, but the Circuit breaker can be reused. Hence, there is no need to change the circuit breaker after any fault takes place and the coil is tripped.
  • No auxiliary contact is required in case of fuse but in circuit breaker, auxiliary contact is required.
  • Fuse cannot be used as an ON/OFF switch whereas Circuit Breaker can be used as an ON/OFF switch.
  • Fuses are independent of ambient temperature, but Circuit Breaker depends on ambient temperature.
  • The Characteristic curve of the Fuse shifts because of the ageing effect and, as a result, it causes nuisance and tripping. The curve of the Circuit Breaker does not shift.
  • The Fuse provides protection against only power overloads whereas Circuit Breaker provides protection for both power overloads and short circuits.
  • The Fuse provides both detection and interruption process. Circuit breaker performs only interruption; a relay system is attached for detection of any fault in the circuit.
  • Breaking capacity of the fuse is low as compared to that of a Circuit Breaker.
  • Operating time of fuse is very less about 0.002 second, whereas Operating time of a Circuit Breaker is comparatively more than that of the fuse. It is about 0.02 – 0.05 second.
  • Mode of operation of Fuse is completely automatic, but Circuit Breakers can be operated manually as well as automatically with the help of a relay system.
  • The cost of the fuse is low, whereas Circuit Breakers are more costly.

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