The vacuum circuit breaker is one of the most reliable and economical methods of protecting electrical circuits. It has been used in a variety of applications ranging from industrial process, transportation and power systems to residential and commercial installations. Vacuum circuit breakers are the most dependable breakers available due to their minimal arcing time, zero chance of flashover and superior endurance against overloads.
To ensure safety and reliability, it is essential to properly rate the vacuum circuit breaker to match the application. A standard rating of vacuum circuit breaker (SRVCB) is established by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to provide an accepted minimum for circuit breaker performance that meets current safety standards.
The SRVCB rating system assigns a series of numbers that characterize the performance of the breaker. The first number defines the voltage rating of the breaker, which is the maximum voltage that the breaker can safely break. The second number indicates the interrupting capacity of the breaker. This is the maximum amount of current that the breaker can safely interrupt. The third number indicates the short-circuit or fault current rating of the breaker. This is the maximum amount of current that the breaker can handle before tripping.
It is important to note that the SRVCB rating system is based on an assumed ambient temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a conductor temperature rise of 30 degrees Celsius. It is also important to consider the minimum operating temperature when selecting a breaker. For example, if the ambient temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius, the breaker must be derated to prevent possible failure.
When selecting a vacuum circuit breaker, it is important to consider the SRVCB rating. Not only does this ensure that you select a breaker that meets NEMA standards for safety, it is also important to make sure that the breaker is rated for the appropriate voltage and current levels for the particular application. Taking the necessary steps to select a properly rated breaker will help ensure that your system is safe and reliable.
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