Industrial circuit breakers are available in different forms, shapes, and sizes. There is no one-size-fits-all circuit breaker. Breakers are classified differently based on so many factors. One way of classifying circuit breakers is based on their voltage requirement. Based on this, we have a low voltage industrial circuit breaker and high voltage industrial circuit breaker.
In this article, we will be distinguishing between these two based on a host of factors.
- Applications: Low-voltage circuit breakers are majorly used for D.C applications. They are commonly found in subway lines. The most common use case of a low-voltage circuit breaker is where excess electrical power is not needed. Conversely, high-voltage circuit breakers are not used for D.C applications. However, studies are being conducted to find out if it can be used for direct current applications in the future.
- Shutting down the arc: By using a remote-controlled electrical motor operator, a low voltage breaker will be able to shut down the arc. It can also do this by using an air circuit breaker mechanism. The same cannot be said of a high-voltage circuit breaker which is highly dependent on mediums like sulphur hexafluoride to shut down the arc.
- Mounting: While a high voltage circuit breaker does not need any support, a low voltage circuit breaker has to be mounted on multiple tiers.
- Maintenance: The frequency of inspection of high voltage circuit breakers exceeds that of low circuit breakers. High voltage circuit breakers should be checked every 6-12 months while low voltage circuit breakers can be assessed every 1-3 years.
- Location: High voltage circuit breakers are usually positioned outside a building because they need air insulation and consume space. However, a low voltage circuit breaker can be positioned within a house.
- Cost: High voltage circuit breakers are more expensive due to the higher cost of materials and the amount of money needed to ship it.
- Installation: Low voltage circuit breakers are more easily installed than high voltage circuit breakers due to smaller size and weight.