Benefits of Using Vacuum Circuit Breakers in Industries

Sep 4th 2016

Vacuum circuit breakers are used as switchgear in high voltage applications. In these types of circuit breakers, the quenching takes place in a vacuum. The equipment uses the vacuum interrupters to break the current supply and protect any equipment, appliances, etc., from power surges or overloads. The service life of vacuum circuit breakers is longer than conventional circuit breakers, and they need almost no maintenance. Vacuum circuit breakers are considered ideal for industrial and electrical utilities and applications.

                                                          Vacuum Circuit Breakers Used in Industries

These circuit breakers are also known for their high insulation strength. In comparison to the different insulation materials used in other types of circuit breakers, vacuum is a superior dielectric medium. It is better than all the other insulation mediums except air and SF6 at high pressure. When the contacts are separated in vacuum, the dielectric strength across the contacts becomes much higher, and this helps break the circuit easily.

The benefits of vacuum circuit breakers are described here.

  • Vacuum circuit breakers are cost effective, less bulky and more efficient than the other circuit breakers. Only the SF6 circuit breakers can match their efficiency levels, though the gas-based option is more expensive than a vacuum circuit breaker
  • Vacuum circuit breakers do not need any type of refilling with gas or oil. They do not need any auxiliary oil system or oil handling. Vacuum breakers are free from periodic maintenance needs.
  • They do not involve the use of oil and gas and are, thus, pollution free.
  • Current interruption occurs at first current zero after contact separation with no re-striking. It makes vacuum circuit breakers exceptionally good for capacitors, cable switching, and long line dropping.
  • Vacuum breakers are non-inflammable and operate silently unlike the other variants used for industrial purposes.
  • The breakers are compact, eat up less space and can be installed in any type of orientation.
  • There is no material decomposition in the vacuum as the hermetically sealed vacuum interrupter keeps the circuit breaker intact from all the environmental effects.
  • The vacuum maintains the small resistance of the contacts throughout its life as these contacts are not oxidized in the airless environment.
  • Vacuum circuit breakers can be used up to 230KV. They are especially recommended for higher voltages if long life and maintenance free operations are desired.
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