Difference Between Relay and Circuit Breaker

The difference between the Relay and Circuit breaker is explained on the various factors like the principle of their operation, working of relay and circuit breaker, type of device they are, voltage, their usability and whether it works as an amplifier or not.

The Difference Between Relay and Circuit Breaker are given below in the tabulated form.

BASISRELAYCIRCUIT BREAKER
Principle The Relay is a switching device which gives a signal to the circuit breaker as soon as the fault occurs in the power system.Circuit breaker breaks the circuit automatically when receives the signal from the relay.
Working The Relay does not break the contact. It only senses the error and send the signal to the circuit breaker.It breaks the circuit contacts.
Type of deviceThe Relay is a switching and sensing device.The Circuit breaker is an isolating or disconnecting device.
Voltage Relays operate on low power input voltage.The Circuit breaker is an automatic on load device.
Usability It is used to control or select one among many circuits.

It uses one per circuit.
As an amplifierRelay acts an electrical amplifier for discrete signal.Circuit breaker does not act as an amplifier.

Relay acts as a switching or protecting device which gives a signal to the circuit breaker of arrival of any fault in the circuit, as the prescribed safe limit is crossed by the circuit. It is controlled by the low power signal.

Circuit Breaker is an Automatic or manually operated protecting device which comes into operation as soon as it receives a signal of any error in the circuit. It protects the circuit from any damage by disconnecting or breaking the contact of the circuit. It restricts the flow of over current or any short circuit in the circuit.

The detailed description of Difference Between Relay and Circuit Breaker is described below.

  • The Relay is a switching device which gives a signal to the circuit breaker as soon as the fault occurs in the power system. Circuit breaker breaks the circuit automatically when receives the signal from the relay.
  • The Relay does not break the contact. It only senses the error and send the signal to the circuit breaker where as Circuit Breaker breaks the circuit contacts.
  • The Relay is a switching and sensing device, but the Circuit breaker is an isolating or disconnecting device.
  • Relays operate on low power input voltage. The Circuit breaker is an automatic on load device.
  • The Relay is used to control or select one among many circuits, whereas Circuit Breaker is one per circuit.
  • Relay acts an electrical amplifier for discrete signal. Circuit breaker does not act as an amplifier.

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