Why Choose The Fuse For Electrical Protection?
- Published: Wednesday, 23 November 2016 12:36
Electricity can kill - Every year, around the world there are thousands of accidents at work involving electrical shock or burns, some of which are fatal.
Risks-assessments and maintenance are paramount to safety
Risks-assessments have to be done to identify the precautions that are necessary to work safely. To prevent danger all electrical installations and devices should be maintained, inspected and tested periodically by a competent person. They must be maintained in a safe working condition throughout their working life.
In addition to the cost of human life is the financial cost
Beyond the cost of human life is the financial cost to industry, equipment replacement and downtime. A safe and reliable electrical installation, with adequate risk assessment is not only a moral obligation, but a financial as well as a legal responsibility. It’s our and your responsibility to recommend the best solution for a high level of safety and security.
Re-energising a circuit is a major risk
Re-energising a circuit de-energised by a circuit protective device, is a major risk and should NOT be done by a simple resetting of a circuit breaker or replacement of fuses until it has been determined that the equipment and circuit can be safely re-energised. In any case, with fuses or with circuit breakers the person carrying out the work should have received adequate training.
Two options: fuses or circuit breaker
There is still an on-going debate whether the fuse or circuit breaker is the most suitable solution for circuit protection. Both devices work well and there are many applications in which either or both approaches are suitable.
Fuse protection: a solution which has proved itself
For more than a century, the electrical fuse has been used as a protective means against over currents. Today’s fuse-links have very high interrupting and current-limiting capability and are frequently applied in distribution and industrial networks as protection against overload and short-circuit currents.
The wheel is turning
The trend of replacing fuses by circuit breakers has slowed down and fuse protection in many cases has returned as the preferred solution, especially in heavy industry, motor protection, DC current applications…
For example most of the utilities in the world use fuses to protect their distribution networks.
Fuse operation is based on a physical rule
A fuse consists of a metal strip fuse element, of smaller cross-section than the circuit conductors, mounted between a pair of electrical terminals, and enclosed in a non-combustible housing. The resistance of the element generates heat due to the current flow. The size and construction of the element are determined so that the heat produced for a normal load current does not cause the element to attain a high temperature. In overcurrent conditions, the internal temperature of the fuse elevates; fuse thermal dissipation capacity is lower than the thermal energy generated by the overcurrent) and a fuse element either directly melts, or else melts a soldered joint within the fuse, thus opening the circuit.
Fuses must be replaced after a fault unlike a circuit breaker which can be reset. Nevertheless when new fuses are in place the performance of the protective device is restored to its original value. The replacement is very easy. Replace the fuses and retain 100% of protection efficiency and safety
To find out more about Socomec’s full range of fuses at http://www.socomec.co.uk/fuse-protection_en.html