Types of Circuit Breakers for Industrial Applications

Electrician checking the voltage

A circuit breaker is one of the essential components of an electrical system. It protects your system from damage resulting from a short circuit or an overload by interrupting its electrical flow. There are many differences between a residential and industrial circuit breaker.

One of the critical differences is that an industrial circuit breaker handles a more substantial current compared to a residential one. Their core similarity lies in the requirement for contracting an experienced electrician to install both circuit breakers. Your trusted electrician in Arlington would recommend the following types of circuit breakers for industrial applications:

Low-Voltage Circuit Breakers

Though also used in residential properties, low-voltage circuit breakers are ideal for industrial applications with a 1KV rating. Typical examples of low-voltage breakers include miniature circuit and molded case breakers. Miniature circuit breakers are used in applications requiring less than 100A while molded case breakers are ideal for applications with a rated current of not more than 2500A.

Thermal Magnetic Circuit Breakers

These are found on most industrial distribution boards and have two components. Their electromagnetic component instantly responds to massive power surges while their bimetallic strips react to less intense current conditions, but over extensive exposure. The thermal part of this magnetic circuit breaker has a unique inverse response time based on the amount of current.

High-Voltage Circuit Breakers

These are designed for applications of more than 72.5kV. High-voltage circuit breakers are typically found on power transmission networks and circuits. These are further grouped according to their arc extinguishing method into sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas, bulk oil, air blast, and oil breakers. Most of the newer industries use SF6 high-voltage breakers since they are the more eco-friendly option.

Before installing a circuit breaker, an electrician will tour your facility and assess your required voltage. The complexity and number of your equipment will determine your plant’s voltage.