bisco industries Blog

What is a Circuit Breaker?

Circuit breakers act as automatic switches that prevent damage from spikes in electrical current or the incorrect flow of electrical current (short circuit). Circuit breakers do this by detecting irregularities in the flow of electricity, interrupting the current and then controlling the current arc. Interruption and containment of the electrical current (arc) can be accomplished through a variety of means including air pressure, and pressurized gas. While they perform the same function as fuses, circuit breakers can sustain repeated use as long as they are reset. An everyday example of a circuit breaker is a standard power strip. Like their commercial counterparts, power strips prevent power surges from damaging connected devices by switching off the flow of electricity. Key variations to keep in mind when selecting a circuit breaker include voltage range, current rating, and type (low voltage, magnetic, etc.).

Common Circuit Breaker Applications

  • Solar Installations
  • Commercial lighting
  • Data centers
  • Oil rigs
  • Aircraft

Circuit Breaker Manufacturers

The circuit breaker marketplace is extremely competitive but a few of the top players include:

Looking to learn more about circuit breakers? Check out free this 20 minute training courtesy of ABB.

This blog is part of bisco industries’ weekly blog series, What is it Wednesday?, which focuses on providing foundational product knowledge to procurement professionals. Click subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news from bisco industries.

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