In the past fuses were the only option when it came to protecting homes, businesses, and equipment against overloaded circuits, shorts in circuits, and other faults. With advancements in technology, circuit breakers became a popular option over the use of fuses due to the number of advantages they are able to offer. The use of modern-day circuit breakers creates increased safety and reliability, decreased costs, and additional support for energy management initiatives.
Benefits of Using Circuit Breakers
The performance of fuses can decrease overtime. Age increases the instances of fault, causing fuses to open even under normal conditions. There is no way for fuses to be tested thus the current value that causes it to become faulty can never be determined. Circuit breakers however are tested when manufactured and can be tested throughout its lifetime to ensure peak performance.
Circuit breakers trip circuit, breaking the electrical connection, up to a thousand times faster than fuses. The trip capacity of a circuit breaker is greater than the equivalent fuses. Modern day circuit breakers provide exception fault current limitations which was once only known to occur with fuses. This function offers reliable protection while increasing the life of equipment by decreasing the aging that occurs with frequently tripped circuits. Unlike fuses that can experience an overload even when one of multiple fuses opens, this will never occur within a circuit breaker. When one breaker experiences an overload, the connection will be stopped immediately.
Increased Safety and Production
Replacing fuses can be risky for untrained personnel. Fuses have exposed conductors and therefore can be quite tricky to change out. The connections for circuit breakers are hidden, being that it is unexposed it keeps re-connecting the circuit safer for employees. A major cause of fires within industrial settings occurs because of fuses that were incorrectly replaced. This could include using the wrong fuse, incorrect model and/or rating, and more. These issues are almost inconceivable when correcting a tripped connection when using a circuit breaker. The time saved is also considerable when using circuit breakers as reclosing the breaker can occur instantly which prevents production downtime.
Although the cost of a single fuse is less than the cost of a circuit breaker overall the installation and usage is less expensive. Consider that three-phrase circuits must have three fuses. Also, the cost of keeping extra fuses in stock. Overall operation costs of using fuses instead of a circuit breaker are higher.
Circuit breakers, unlike fuses, can offer additional functions like ground fault protection. System coordination between breakers, cascading and selectivity cannot occur when using fuses whereas circuit breakers allow for this feature. Newer technology allows for circuit breakers to use remote controls, have alarm features, offer measurement features, and communication within your network.
J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com