What is Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB)?

An MCB or miniature circuit breaker is an electromagnetic device that embodies complete enclosure in a molded insulating material. The main function of an MCB is to switch the circuit, i.e., to open the circuit (which has been connected to it) automatically when the current passing through it (MCB) exceeds the value for which it is set. It can be manually switched ON and OFF as similar to normal switch if necessary.

MCBs are of time delay tripping devices, to which the magnitude of overcurrent controls the operating time. This means, these get operated whenever overload exist long enough to create a danger to the circuit being protected. Therefore, MCBs doesn’t respond to transient loads such as switches surges and motor starting currents. Generally, these are designed to operate at less than 2.5 milliseconds during short circuit faults and 2 seconds to 2 minutes in case of overloads (depending on the level of current).

A typical external appearance of an MCB is shown in figure. MCBs are manufactured in different pole versions such as single, double, triple and four pole structures with different fault current levels. Mostly, MCBs are linked to give two and three-pole versions such that a fault in one line will break the complete circuit and hence complete circuit isolation are provided. This feature will be helpful in case of single phasing in three phase motor protection.

These are rated at 220V for DC supply and 240/415 for AC supply (single and three-phase) with different short circuit current capacity. Typically, single phase devices have load current range of up to 100 A. Some MCBs have facility to adjust its tripping current capacity while some devices are fixed for some load current and short circuit rating.

1. Home Electrical Panels
2. Ground Fault Trip Mechanism
3. Lights
4. Industrial Applications
5. Heaters/ Air Conditioning Systems

  • Legrand
  • Schnieder
  • L&T
  • Hager
  • Standard
  • Anchor
  • Siemens
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