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16.1 Switchgear: The apparatus used for switching, controlling and protecting electrical circuits
and equipments is known as switchgear.
16.2 Essential features of switchgear:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

Complete reliability.
Absolute certain discrimination.
Quick operation.
Provision for manual control.
Provision for instruments.

16.3 Switchgear equipments:


i.

ii.
iii.
iv.

Switch: A switch is a device which is used to open or close an electrical circuit in a


convenient way.
a) Air switch
b) Isolator Used in No load condition.
c) Oil switch.
Fuse.
Circuit Breaker.
Relay.

Isolator:

No load knife switch.


Used on both side of circuit breaker in order to repair and replacement of circuit breakers.
Should never be open until the circuit breaker in the same circuit has opened and should
always be used before the circuit breaker is closed.

Bus-Bar

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16.4 Bus-Bar Arrangements: Single bus-bar system

Advantages: The chief advantages of this type of arrangement are low install cost, less
maintenance & simple operation.
Disadvantages:
1.

The bus-bar cannot be cleaned, repaired or tested without de-energizing the whole
system.
2. If a fault occurs on the bus-bar itself, there is complete interruption of supply.
3. Any fault on the system is fed by all the generating capacity, resulting in very large fault
currents.
Single bus-bar system with sectionalisation:

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Advantages:
1.

If a fault occurs on any sections of bus-bar, that section can be isolated without affecting
the supply to other section.
2. They permit lower capacity of circuit breaker.
3. Repairing and maintenance of any section of the bus-bar can be carried out by deenergizing that section only.
Disadvantages:
i.
ii.

Additional C.B. & ezolator are required.


Costly.

Duplicate bus-bar system:

Disadvantages:
i.
ii.
iii.

If repair and maintenance it to be carried on the main bus, the supply need not be
interrupted as the entire load can be transferred to the spare bus.
The testing of feeder circuit breakers can be done by putting them on spare bus-bar,
thus keeping the main bus-bar undisturbed.
If a fault occurs on the bus-bar, the continuity of supply to the circuit can be
maintained by transferring it to the other bus-bar.

Fuse: A fuse is a short piece of metal, inserted in the circuit which metals when excessive current
follows through it and thus breaks the circuit.
Advantages:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Cheapest.
No maintenance.
Completely automatic.
Break heavy current without noise or smoke.
Inverse-time characteristic.
Time of operation shorter than circuit breaker.

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Disadvantages:
1. Considerable time is lost in rewiring or replacing a fuse after operation.
2. Discrimination between fuse in series cannot be obtained.
3. Cannot always be co-related with that of protected apparatus.
Desirable characteristics of fuse element:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Low melting point. E.g. tin, lead


High conduction e.g. silver, copper
Free from determination due to oxidation e.g. silver
Low cost e.g. lead, tin, copper.

Important terms:

i.

ii.

Current rating of fuse element: It is the current which the fuse element can normally
carry without overheating or melting. It depends upon the temperature rise of the
contacts of the fuse holder, fuse material and the surrounding of the fuse.
Fusing current: It is the minimum current at which the fuse element melt and thus
disconnects the circuit protected by it. Its value will be more than the current rating of the
fuse element.

iii.

Fusing factor=

iv.

Prospective Current: It is the r.m.s. value of the first loop of the fault current obtained if
the fuse is replaced by an ordinary conductor of negligible resistance.
Cut-off current: It is the maximum value of fault current actually reached before the fuse
melts.
Pre-arcing time: It is the time between the commencement of fault and the instant when
cut off occurs.
Arcing time: This is the time between the end of pre-arcing time and the instant whrn
the arc is extinguished.
Total operating time: It is the sum of pre-arcing and arcing times.
Breaking capacity: It is the r.m.s value of a.c. component of maximum prospective
current that a fuse can deal with a rated service voltage.

v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.

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