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Switches and disconnectors

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Circuit breakers and disconnectors

In all electrical installations you will find switches and disconnectors. They are unnoticeable until they are working to indicate that they are functioning properly. They are used as main protection elements in dwellings and buildings, production lines, power supply systems of machines. They control the parameters and the correctness of current flow, and in dangerous situations disconnect the circuit. They are highly resistant and ensure long-lasting conduction of energy supplying the individual sections in the operated electrical systems.

Circuit breaker and disconnectors - the subtle difference

Circuit breakers and disconnects often perform a supervisory function over the components in operation. They are often the specially selected weakest link to enable them to operate correctly when a fault occurs. Circuit breakers have the ability to operate continuously under load and have a mechanical or manual disconnect function. The switches usually react to anomalies and disturbances in the working parts. They are also connecting elements through which the current flow is maintained or interrupted.

Switches and disconnectors are mostly modular devices. This allows them to be used in many places and devices. Their standardization according to standards, allows their installation in many places in switchboards, control cabinets or directly on the equipment. Mounting sockets are adapted to the standard TH 35 rail. The most common module sizes for switches and disconnectors are single-pole and three-pole sets.

Main, auxiliary, protective and shunting switches

Circuit breakers used in electrical systems and installations are responsible for several functions depending on their design and purpose. They have the ability to transfer power on a continuous cycle, as well as the ability to disconnect and switch currents when an overload or short circuit occurs. The circuit breakers exhibit high mechanical resistance and repeatability of operating cycles. They can be used as Protective and shunting switches, depending on the characteristics of each model. They are distinguished by their ability to conduct currents mostly in the ranges from 0,5A to 125A. Depending on the purpose and the time-current characteristics, there are four main groups A, B, C and D. Circuit breakers can have both manual and mechanical actuators. In mechanical control, we distinguish electromagnetic and motor drives.

Electromagnetic switches are used in electrical systems of all types. They can be connected both to individual machines and devices and to control entire sections and systems. Their time-current characteristics are used in many industrial and domestic power sectors. The circuit breakers working in different configurations supervise and provide safety to the subordinate systems. They cooperate with control and measurement apparatus in the form of thermal sensors, current, temperature or motion sensors. They react according to the intended function by disconnecting or switching the circuit.

Residual current devices are used to protect electrical lines. If the residual current circuit breaker detects an anomaly in the flow of current between mating devices, it cuts off the power supply. Thus, it is responsible for switching on and off currents in the controlled circuit. They are used most often as protection against electric shock and are an integral part of any domestic and industrial installation. Most commonly found in saunas, garden installations, kitchens, workshops or swimming pools.

Switch disconnectors versatile application

The switch-disconnectors function as the electrical link between the control system and the actuators. They have the ability to conduct energy in a continuous mode. They are capable of transferring up to 50 times the rated current, guaranteeing the proper protection of the circuit while protecting it from incidental current flow anomalies. The modular design allows a free arrangement and flexible construction of power supply systems. The disconnectors are responsible for switching on and off currents according to their values and settings.

The switches are used for short circuit and overvoltage protection in electrical installations. Some of them can be used as isolating switches and are mounted in place of main or auxiliary switches. Their function in this case is to isolate and protect the entire power circuit. Their purpose is to enable safe work on electrical installations. The modular switch-disconnectors are available with one to four poles.

Contactor as disconnector

A contactor as a typical example of a disconnector is a device used to transfer high power currents. Its operation is based on the operation of an electromagnet or solenoid. They control the position of the operating contacts which transmit current to the actuators. Contactors are typically used in high power systems where high strength and load resistance are required. Contactors are used in construction machinery, on production lines to control motors and in battery installations.

A whole group of disconnectors are manually controlled switching devices. Depending on the location and technical parameters, they are responsible for point control of single devices or groups of machines. Manual disconnectors have the capacity for long-lasting current conduction. Depending on the application, they can be double-position or multi-position. They are either rotary or pushbutton operated. The latter are used to control lighting, activate alarm systems and quickly de-energize a running sector or machine.

The construction of manual disconnectors allows them to be self-assembled or embedded in control cabinets. Additional accessories in the form of extension axes allow for their flexible configuration in any depth of the distribution box. Protected against external factors, they comply with the standards for the corresponding IP class of the device.