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Fuse or Circuit Breaker

Connector Geek
Connector Geek is Dave in real life. After three decades in the industry, Dave still likes talking about connectors almost as much as being a Dad to his two kids. He still loves Lego too. And guitars.


January 30, 2017 10:29

Enclosed HBC type fuses do have the great advantage that they just sit around for years waiting for a fault, and being enclosed they do not tend to age as do open types or the simple glass tube fuses. HBC fuses also have the added advantage of limiting the energy let through during operation, this is achieved using a fine sand in the fuse that falls into the space left by the fuse element after operation, and blocking the path of any arc that has been formed.
Fuses have many disadvantages such as needing to keep spares, fitting the correct rating and type and the old problem of some folks just bridging them out with fuse wire.
The mechanical disadvantages of circuit breakers may be alleviated by using 'Backup protection, that is using a fuse upstream of the CB that has operating characteristics that mean it will not operate before the CB has fully cleared the fault, ie the arc is extinguished. This method ensures protection in the event of the CB failing to open in the specified time.
Backup protection has been in use in the Electrical Contracting field since the introduction of Circuit Breakers.

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