At RS Components, we stock an extensive range of high-quality devices within our circuit breakers range; you can find residential MCBs, RCBOs, and RCCBs as well as thermal automotive and magnetic circuit breakers.
Functioning in a similar way to a fuse, a circuit breaker is designed to provide protection for a circuit from excess current. However, it distinguishes itself from a fuse due to it being a switch device that can be reset if it is tripped. The main advantage of a circuit breaker lies in the fact that they are reusable and can react quickly in the event of a fault, making them ideal for applications such as the fault protection switches found in many houses.
There are many types of circuit breakers and they all work in slightly different ways. Essentially, when excess current is detected, the circuit breaker is designed to trip a mechanism to break the circuit. This is made possible by fundamental characteristics such as its rated voltage. For example, a low voltage circuit breaker is best suited for a 600V or lower circuit, while a high voltage circuit breaker is rated in kV and is often used in transmission systems.
Circuit breaker designs differ depending on the amount of voltage it is required to work with. Most of them are designed for a specific use.
Magnetic circuit breakers – use solenoid components to separate the contacts. These are complex circuit breakers that sometimes use fluid and hydraulic mechanisms to gain more control over the solenoid action.
Thermal breakers – react almost instantly to different types of overcurrent conditions using an electromagnet and bimetallic strips.
Residual current circuit breakers (RCCBs) – are used to protect against residual current only and help to prevent injury from electric shocks. They are classified into types named by letter, types AC, A, B, and S are most commonly used.
Miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) – provide protection from overcurrent and short-circuit only. They are also classified into types, with types B, C, and D being the most common.
Residual circuit breaker with overload (RCBOs) – these devices can protect from short circuit, overload current and residual current as they combine all the functions of an MCB and an RCCB circuit breaker.
Fuses are simple devices that no longer work once they are used and blown. However, a circuit breaker can be reset and reused many times, within the limitations specified by the manufacturer.
If you are in search of reliable circuit breaker suppliers, look no further than RS Components as your trusted distributor. In addition to circuit breakers for your electrical circuit needs, you can also find automation and control gear, cables and wires, switches and more products online at RS Components.