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MCB s

MCB S

A miniature circuit breaker (MCB) automatically switches off electrical circuit during an abnormal condition of the network means in overload condition as well as faulty condition.

Nowadays we use an MCB in low voltage electrical network instead of a fuse. The fuse may not sense it but the miniature circuit breaker does it in a more reliable way. MCB is much more sensitive to overcurrent than fuse.

Handling an MCB is electrically safer than a fuse. Quick restoration of supply is possible in case of a fuse as because fuses must be re-wirable or replaced for restoring the supply. Restoration is easily possible by just switching it ON. Let’s look at the working of the miniature circuit breaker.

Whenever continuous overcurrent flows through MCB, the bimetallic strip is heated and deflects by bending. This deflection of bimetallic strip releases a mechanical latch.

As this mechanical latch is attached with the operating mechanism, it causes to open the miniature circuit breaker contacts, and the MCB turns off thereby stopping the current to flow in the circuit. To restart the flow of current the MCB must be manually turned ON. This mechanism protects from the faults arising due to overcurrent or overload.

But during short circuit condition, the current rises suddenly, causing electromechanical displacement of plunger associated with a tripping coil or solenoid. The plunger strikes the trip lever causing immediate release of latch mechanism consequently open the circuit breaker contacts. This was a simple explanation of a miniature circuit breaker working principle.

An MCB is very simple, easy to use and is not generally repaired. It is just easier to replace. The trip unit is the main part, responsible for its proper working. There are two main types of trip mechanism. A bi-metal provides protection against overload current and an electromagnet provides protection against short-circuit current.