Thursday, November 19, 2009

High-Voltage Circuit Breakers

Electrical power transmission networks are protected and controlled by high-voltage breakers. The definition of high voltage varies but in power transmission work is usually thought to be 72.5 kV or higher, according to a recent definition by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). High-voltage breakers are nearly always solenoid-operated, with current sensing protective relays operated through current transformers. In substations the protection relay scheme can be complex, protecting equipment and busses from various types of overload or ground/earth fault.
High-voltage breakers are broadly classified by the medium used to extinguish the arc.
Bulk oil Vacuum Circuit Breaker Minimum oil Air blast SF6 Some of the manufacturers are ABB, AREVA, Mitsubishi Electric, Pennsylvania Breaker, Siemens, Toshiba, Koncar HVS, BHEL and others.Due to environmental and cost concerns over insulating oil spills, most new breakers use SF6 gas to quench the arc.Circuit breaker can be classified as "live tank", where the enclosure that contains the breaking mechanism is at line potential, or dead tank with the enclosure at earth potential. High-voltage AC circuit breakers are routinely available with ratings up to 765 kV.High-voltage circuit breakers used on transmission systems may be arranged to allow a single pole of a three-phase line to trip, instead of tripping all three poles; for some classes of faults this improves the system stability and availability.