MCB or Miniature Circuit Breaker
  • by Havells India
  • September 26, 2017
  • Switchgear

Does your MCB Stand Out?

MCB or Miniature Circuit Breaker is an extremely critical safety device that can be found in every home, office or commercial building. There are many types of MCBs available in the market today that perform a myriad of functions. However, their primary objective remains the same, which is to protect the circuitry and electrical devices from overload and short-circuit.

We almost always tend to take the role of MCBs for granted. It is likely that you expect them to work seamlessly given how ubiquitous they are, just as we expect the brakes and airbags in our cars to work as they should, without fail.

What you may not realize is how vital the role of MCBs is in protecting you and your possessions. More than their role, what you should be asking is how effective and reliable the MCB in your home or office will be in case of an event, and what does it have that other MCBs do not?

A typical Miniature Circuit Breaker is a time delay tripping device that will be in operation directly proportional to the amount of overcurrent. Ideally, they are meant to operate anywhere between 2.5 milliseconds to around 2 minutes for temporary transient loads and overloads, depending on the level of current. For this, most MCBs will use a combination of thermal and magnetic tripping instruments. A bimetal for continuous overload tripping and a solenoid for instant tripping for short-circuits. Depending on the type of use, an MCB may have a current rating between 0.5A and 100A.

This is where the commonality between MCBs end. There are a lot of other factors that should be considered before picking an MCB for your home or commercial project. If you are about to procure MCBs then here are some key features to consider for ensuring maximum safety of property and human life.

Safety Terminals

You may have a really good quality MCB  and power cable running to it, but if your electrician fails to properly terminate the cable into its input and output terminals, it can lead to failure of the MCB and a hazardous incident. Safety terminals eliminate the possibility of improper termination as the cage guides the cable for systematic termination.

Large Cable Terminations

Cables terminating into an MCB made from copper or aluminum can be as thick as 35mm2 in cross-section area. Large termination ports help in proper termination that is must for ensuring reliable functioning of an MCB during an incident.

Cooler Operation

India is a country with a varied climate. The summers could be excruciating where the outside temperature may reach upwards of 50 °C. The temperature inside an MCB with passing current can be even higher. So, it becomes critical for a good MCB design to feature an efficient design that cools the entire MCB unit while it is in operation. An MCB with grooves on the outer body will promote better air circulation inside when individual poles are placed adjacent to each other, cooling the overall switch operation.

High-quality MCB Enclosure

What is the point of an MCB having all the bells and whistles if it can’t hold its components in place and disintegrates or catches fire during a short-circuit or overload? A good quality MCB is usually made of high-precision moulded thermoplastic material. It should possess flame-retardant properties having a high melting point, high dielectric strength, lower water absorption, and the ability to withstand high temperature.

MCBs play an important role in the safety of our homes and office premises. Yet, we often tend to overlook the key aspects that go into making an MCB reliable, efficient, and effective. An MCB may not entirely stand out but there are certain features that can definitely make it a better choice than the others.

Havells India Ltd is a billion-dollar-plus organization and is one of the largest & India’s fastest growing electrical and power distribution equipment manufacturer. The company offers a wide range of switchgears for home and industrial use.

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