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Indoor vaccum circuit breaker

outdoor circuit breaker

SF6 circuit breaker This is one of the best circuit breaker amongst different Circuit Breaker Types , sf6 Circuit Beaker uses sulphur hexaflouride ( SF6 ) gas as an arc quenching medium. The sf6 gas has a strong tendency to absorb free electrons because it is an electro negative gas in nature . The contacts of the breaker are opened in a high pressure flow of sf6 gas and an arc is struck between them. The conducting free electrons in the arc are rapidly captured by the gas to form relatively immobile negative ions. This loss of conducting electrons in the arc quickly builds up enough insulation strength to extinguish the arc. The sf6 circuit breakers are very effective for high power and high voltage service. Construction : As figure shows below the parts of a typical sf6 circuit breaker. It consists of fixed and moving contacts enclosed in a chamber called arc interruption chamber containing sf6 gas. This chamber is connected to sf6 gas reservoir. When the contacts of breaker are opened the valve mechanism permits a high pressure sf6 gas from the reservoir to flow towards the arc interruption chamber. The fixed contact is a hollow cylindrical current carrying contact fitted with an arc horn. The moving contact is also a hollow cylinder with rectangular holes in the sides to permit the sf6 gas to let out through these holes after flowing along and across the arc. The tips of fixed contact, moving contact and arcing horn are coated with copper-tungsten arc resistant material. Since sf6 gas is costly, its reconditioned and reclaimed by a suitable auxiliary system after each operation of the breaker.

Working : In the closed position of the breaker the contacts remained surrounded by sf6 gas at a pressure of about 2.8 kg/cm2. When the breaker operates the moving contact is pulled apart and an arc is struck between the contacts. The movement of the moving contact is synchronized with the opening of a valve which permits sf6 gas at 14 kg/cm2 pressure from the reservoir to the arc interruption chamber. The high pressure flow of sf6 rapidly absorbs the free electrons in the arc path to form immobile negative ions which are ineffective as charge a carriers. The result is that the medium between the contacts quickly builds up high dielectric strength and causes the extinction of the arc. After the breaker operation the valve is closed by the action of a set of springs. Advantages over oil and air circuit breakers :

Gives noiseless operation due to its closed gas circuit. Due to superior arc quenching property of sf6 , such breakers have very short arcing time. There is no risk of fire as sf6 is non inflammable. Dielectric strength of sf6 gas is 2 to 3 times that of air, such breakers can interrupt much larger currents. Low maintenance cost, light foundation requirements and minimum auxiliary equipment. Closed gas enclosure keeps the interior dry so that there is no moisture problem. sf6 breakers are totally enclosed and sealed from atmosphere, they are particularly suitable where explosion hazard exists. There are no carbon deposits.

Disadvantages :

sf6 gas has to be reconditioned after every operation of the breaker, additional equipment is required for this purpose. sf6 breakers are costly due to high cost of sf6 gas.

Applications : sf6 Circuit Breaker have been used for voltages 115kV to 230 kV, power ratings 10 MVA to 20 MVA and interrupting time less than 3 cycles.

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SF6 Circuit Breakers and Current Transformers for High Voltage Lines

Heres a typical set-up of circuit breakers (left) in a high voltage switchyard. The circuit breaker here is a SF6 (Sodium Hexafluoride) type. SF6 is used as a medium of the circuit breaker because of its high dielectric strength (2-3 times than that of air) and approximately 100 times effective than air in quenching spurious arcing. On the right of the Circuit breakers are current transformers which transform HV line current into safe and manageable level for proper relaying and coordination. In the even of transmission line or equipment fault, the current transformers will sense the high amount of current which will then trigger the circuit breakers to open the circuit.

Oil Circuit Breaker a high-voltage AC electrical switch whose main contacts are located in a space filled with mineral (transformer) oil. Upon interruption of the electric circuit, an electric arc forms between the contacts of the circuit breaker. Because of the high temperature of the arc the oil is evaporated rapidly and oil vapors are partially decomposed, liberating ethylene, methane, and other gases. A gas bubble is formed in the arcing zone; the pressure in the bubble may be as high as several dozen meganewtons per sq m. The arc is then extinguished, both because of its elongation upon parting of contacts and because of intensive cooling by the gases and oil vapor. In an oil circuit breaker with simple interruption under oil, the duration of arcing is 0.02-0.05 sec. To extinguish the arc more efficiently, arc-quenching chambers are used. In a longitudinal blast chamber the vapors and gases evolved travel upward along the arc, thus cooling it. In addition, the arc is in contact with the cold oil that fills the annular slots of the chamber, which also accelerates cooling of the arc. In a transverse blast chamber a drastic pressure increase within the gas bubble causes a stream of oil and gases to flow across the arc, thus accelerating the cooling process. In terms of design, a distinction is made between tank-type oil circuit breakers and oil-minimum, or low-oil-capacity, circuit breakers. In the first type, the main contacts and the arc-quenching devices are located in a grounded metal tank; in the second type they are in an insulating or ungrounded metal enclosure filled with oil. Tank-type oil circuit breakers are inferior to other types of high-voltage breakers in many regards. However, their low cost and high reliability have led to their continued use in the USSR, the USA, and Canada. In the USSR, tank-type oil circuit breakers are manufactured for voltages from 6 to 220 kilovolts (kV); maximum rated current, 3.2 kiloamperes (kA); breaking current, 50 kA. For voltages of 10 kV or less and breaking currents of 15 kA or less, all three poles of the oil circuit breaker are located in the same tank. For higher voltages and breaking currents, each pole is located in a separate tank. Oil-minimum circuit breakers are used in the USSR, the Federal Republic of Germany, and France. They are manufactured for 3 to 420 kV; since the late 1960s they have also been manufactured for higher voltages.