A circuit breaker is a manually or automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current, typically resulting from an overload or short circuit.
Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected.The circuit breaker is an absolutely essential device in the modern world, and one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home.
Whenever electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, these simple machines cut the power until somebody can fix the problem.
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
Without circuit breakers (or the alternative, fuses), household electricity would be impractical because of the potential for fires and other mayhem resulting from simple wiring problems and equipment failures.
The circuit breaker must firstly detect a fault condition. In small mains and low voltage circuit breakers, this is usually done within the device itself.
Typically, the heating and/or magnetic effects of electric current are employed. Circuit breakers for large currents or high voltages are usually arranged with protective relay pilot devices to sense a fault condition and to operate the opening mechanism.
These typically require a separate power source, such as a battery, although some high-voltage circuit breakers are self-contained with current transformers, protective relays, and an internal control power source.
Once a fault is detected, the circuit breaker contacts must open to interrupt the circuit; This is commonly done using mechanically stored energy contained within the breaker, such as a spring or compressed air to separate the contacts.
Circuit breakers may also use the higher current caused by the fault to separate the contacts, such as thermal expansion or a magnetic field.
Small circuit breakers typically have a manual control lever to switch off the load or reset a tripped breaker, while larger units use solenoids to trip the mechanism, and electric motors to restore energy to the springs.
there are different types of circuit breakers and these include oil breakers, air circuit breakers, sf6 circuit breaker and the vacuum circuit breaker.it is of great importance to note that circuit breakers can be branded as outdoor as well as indoor circuit breakers.