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Application Bulletin (006)

Circuit Breakers Part 1


From: Simanand Gandhi Jeyaraj, Applications Engineer, Technical Support - Dover

Introduction: The moment the term Circuit breaker or its testing comes up for discussion, each
engineer / technician / sales person may assume different variants in their mind because of the
generic name circuit breaker for around 20 different types. At times classifications are also
overlapped and cross referred. Hence this application note is to focus on the type of circuit
breakers available in the market and also to brief how a typical high voltage circuit breaker
operates during close and trip function.
Being a part-I application note, forthcoming parts will discuss on the topics like circuit breaker
parts and its functionalities, Tests to be done on site, Testers and its functionalities, advanced
testing and analysing tools, etc.
What is a circuit breaker?
Where and why it is used?
What are the types available?
How does a high voltage circuit breaker work?
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What is a circuit breaker?
Standard IEC 265-1:1983 specifies, a circuit breaker is a mechanical device of connection,
capable of establish, withstand and break the current under the normal operation of the circuit
and occasionally, under specific overload in-service conditions, as well as endure specific
abnormal circuit currents (e. g. short circuit currents) during a given time (generally fractions of
second).

Where and why it is used?


Circuit breakers are similar to fuse in any LV electrical circuit. Circuit breakers are used in
electrical circuits where protection is necessary from over load and short circuit by breaking the
circuit and protecting the equipments like feeders, generators, motors, transformers and any
electrical apparatus connected.

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25/03/2010

What are the types available?

CIRCUIT
BREAKER
CIRCUIT
BREAKER

CB WITH INBUILT SELF TRIPPING


MECHANISM /
RELAY

CB WITHOUT INBUILTSELF TRIPPING


MECHANISM / RELAY

MCB MCCB LOW OR


MEDIUM VOLTAGE CB
WITH
INBUILT TRIP SETTING

By
Phase

1- Phase
3 -Phase

By
Design

Gas
insulated
Open type
Indoor
Outdoor

By
Installation
type

By
Voltage
Class

By External
Design

Fixed
Draw out

LV,
MV
HV
EHV and
UHV

Live tank
Dead tank

By arc
extinction
medium

Oil
Air blast
Magnetic blast
Vacuum
Gas

TSG Applications Bulletin 008

By type of
operating
mechanism

By drive on
three phase

Spring-operated
Electro magnet
Hydraulic
Pneumatic
Motor-operated

Common
Separate

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By number of
Interrupters /
Breaks per
phase

1 break
2 breaks
2 breaks with PIR
4 break .
Up to 12 breaks

CB TYPES EXAMPLES

Fig-1: Typical MCB 1 phase

Fig-2: MCCB 3 phase

Fig-3: LV or MV CB with inbuilt


Trip mechanism / relay

Operating Mechanism with


Trip and Close coils

Interrupter
(Vacuum or Gas)

Fig-4: Typical draw out type Medium Voltage breaker (with


Vacuum or SF6 interrupters)

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Interrupter
(Vacuum or Gas
or Oil filled)

Supporting
insulator

Operating Mechanism with


Trip and Close coils

Fig-5: Typical live tank Circuit breaker

Interrupter

Operating Mechanism with


Trip and Close coils

Fig-6: Typical Dead tank circuit breaker

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1 Break per
phase

Fig-7: 1 break per phase Three phase CB

2 Break per
phase

Fig-8: 2 break per phase Three phase CB

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1 operating mechanism
for 3 phases hence 1 set
of trip and close coil

Fig-9: Common drive for three phases

3 separate operating
mechanisms for 3 phases hence
3 set of trip and close coils

Fig-10: Separate drive for three phases

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How does a typical high voltage circuit breaker operate?


This topic explains the operation of the circuit breaker without inbuilt-self tripping
mechanism / relay. The sequences of operation of a circuit breaker system while closing under
normal condition and tripping on occurrence of a fault are as follows:

CLOSE FUNCTION
2) I will close and
inform back through
Aux contact

3) I will provide the


load current value
continuously to the
relay once CB is
closed

1) I will issue the


close command
if I was switched
ON

TRIP FUNCTION
4) I will trip and inform
back through Aux
contact

2) I have
informed
the relay.

3) I have
commanded
the CB to trip

1) A fault
has
occurred

Questions may be directed to Simanand Gandhi Jeyaraj at simanand.gandhi@megger.com

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