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What are the classifications of high voltage circuit breakers?

2023-10-19

High voltage circuit breakers are classified based on various factors, including the medium used for interruption, the method of arc quenching, and the application voltage level. Here are the common classifications of high voltage circuit breakers:

1. Based on the Interrupting Medium:

   a. Air Circuit Breakers (ACB): These circuit breakers use air as the interrupting medium. They are commonly used for low voltage applications.

   b. Oil Circuit Breakers (OCB): Oil circuit breakers use oil as the interrupting and arc quenching medium. They are primarily used for medium voltage applications.

   c. SF6 Circuit Breakers: SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride) circuit breakers use SF6 gas as the interrupting and arc quenching medium. They are widely used for medium to high voltage applications.

2. Based on the Arc Quenching Method:

   a. Oil Circuit Breakers (OCB): As mentioned earlier, OCBs use oil as both the interrupting and arc quenching medium.

   b. Vacuum Circuit Breakers (VCB): Vacuum circuit breakers use a vacuum as the interrupting medium and rely on the rapid arc quenching within the vacuum interrupter.

   c. SF6 Circuit Breakers: SF6 circuit breakers utilize SF6 gas for both interruption and arc quenching.

3. Based on Application Voltage Level:

   a. Low Voltage Circuit Breakers: These circuit breakers are designed for voltage levels up to 1,000 volts AC or 1,500 volts DC.

   b. Medium Voltage Circuit Breakers: Medium voltage circuit breakers are designed for voltage levels from 1,000 volts AC to 72,500 volts AC.

   c. High Voltage Circuit Breakers: High voltage circuit breakers are intended for voltage levels above 72,500 volts AC.

4. Based on Construction:

   a. Outdoor Circuit Breakers: These circuit breakers are designed for outdoor installations and are built to withstand harsh environmental conditions.

   b. Indoor Circuit Breakers: Indoor circuit breakers are specifically designed for indoor installations and are often housed in switchgear panels or electrical enclosures.

It's important to note that there may be additional classifications or sub-classifications based on specific requirements and regional standards. The choice of circuit breaker type depends on factors such as the application voltage level, fault current ratings, switching requirements, environmental conditions, and regulatory standards.

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