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Dr. E. A.

Feilat
Electrical Engineering Department
School of Engineering
The University of Jordan

Topic 1b: Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB)

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What is MCB?
MCB (Miniature Circuit Breakers)

 The MCB is a mechanical switching device which is capable


of making, carrying and breaking currents under normal circuit
conditions and also making, carrying for a specified time and
automatically breaking currents under specified abnormal
circuit conditions such as those of short circuit.
 The MCB is a device for overload and short circuit
protection.
 The MCB protects an individual household appliance.
 It is a manually or automatically operated electrical switch
designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused
by overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to detect a
fault condition and interrupt current flow.
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What is MCB?
 Its purpose is to protect lighting circuit wiring from accidental
short-circuits and overloads.
 Its basic function is to detect a fault condition and interrupt current
flow.
 Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a
circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to
resume normal operation.
 It automatically switches off the electrical circuit during abnormal
condition of the network i.e. under overload condition as well as
faulty condition.
 MCB is much more sensitive to over current than fuse.
 An early form of circuit breaker was described by Thomas Edison
in an 1879 patent application, although his commercial power
distribution system used fuses.
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Characteristics of MCB
 Rated current not more than 100 A.
 Trip characteristics normally not adjustable.
 Thermal or thermal-magnetic operation.
Thermal tripping:
 In this type of tripping mechanism the current is passed through a
bimetal strip connected in series with a magnetic coil.
Magnetic tripping:
 When a short circuit occurs, t he heavy current in the magnetic coil
produces a strong magnetic field which instantly opens the breaker
Arc Extinction:
 Facilitated by guiding the arc (via self-induced magnetic fields) on
splitter plates.
 The V-shaped metal splitter plates increase the length of the arc,
splits it up, cools it and d-ionises it.

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Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCB’s)

MCB Overcurrent detection:


 Thermal Tripping
 Magnetic Tripping

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MCB