There are several types of circuit breakers present in the market. Before going in their details let’s firstly discuss about what is a circuit breaker. It is an automatic device which is used to interrupt or break the flow of electric current in an electric circuit for safety reasons. It basically reduces or eliminates the danger caused by a short circuit or overload. They are designed in a way that they are able to immediately stop the flow of electricity when any fault is detected. They have different characteristic than fuse as they can be used several times by restarting the device. On the other hand, the fuse can be used only once. Circuit breakers are of different dimensions (Smaller, Larger etc), and they all have different functionalities and purposes. The switchgear type (larger one) is designed to protect those circuits, which have higher voltage and the smaller ones are designed to protect appliances which are used in household. They have a GFI type which is especially designed to safe and protect individuals from those shocks that are lethal and very dangerous.
Now as, we have discussed what a circuit breaker is, let’s discuss about the several types of circuit breakers. Some of the commonly used types of circuit breakers are discussed below:
Magnetic type Circuit breaker:
These are one of the types of circuit breakers that use electromagnetism as an agent to break the circuit. Solenoid is used in some of its design. It is designed in such a way that, as the flow of the current increases, it’s pulling strength also increases. The electromagnetic energy rises as the current flow increases in the magnetic breakers and as soon as the current reaches the tipping point, the magnetic force flips the switch and moves the plate (contact plate) thus breaking the circuit. It has this characteristic that the increase in current flow makes the electromagnetic force more strong, and this force acts as a circuit breaking agent.
Thermal type Circuit breaker:
These are one of the types of circuit breakers that use heat force as an agent to break the circuit. The concept of bimetallic strip is used in such types of circuit breakers. These circuit breakers are designed and worked in such a way that a bimetallic strip is attached in a circuit and as soon as the current flow increases in the circuit, it increases the heat, thus deforming the strip, and it flips the breaker to interrupt the flow of current. These types of circuit breakers are generally used in boards of electric distribution.
Hybrid type Circuit breaker:
These types of circuit breakers use the combination of both magnetic and thermal circuit breakers. They use both electromagnetism and heat for interrupting the abnormal flow of current. These types of circuit breakers generally provide more protection and safety. They include both, electromagnetism that helps in guarding the surges that are abrupt in the circuit and also have bimetallic strip that helps in guarding the excessive heating and load.
Apart from the above discussed types of circuit breakers, there are many other types as well which includes: High voltage breakers, medium voltage breakers and more.