While electricity has become an indispensible part of our lives, the reality remains that it poses a number of risks to human life as well as to property under certain circumstances. Because electrocution and fire are two of the most serious threats linked with electricity, it is impossible to be careless when it comes to insulating equipment and other electrical components.
Electrical circuit protection with a Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) is a critical safety measure when it comes to protecting electrical circuits. When a defect develops in the connected circuit or when the current exceeds the device’s rated sensitivity, it can automatically measure and disconnect the circuit, which is what this device is designed to do.
RCCBs, which are designed to protect people from the risk of electric shocks, electrocution, and fires, are particularly useful in situations where there is a rapid earth fault. A RCCB assures that in such instances the circuit will be tripped instantly and that the individual is thus shielded against an electrical shock.
The RCCB is based on a fundamental principle.
The RCCB is based on Kirchhoff’s law, which stipulates that the entering and outgoing currents in a circuit must be equal. Using this criterion, RCCB evaluates the voltage drop across a pair of live and neutral wires. It is ideal that the current flowing in from the live wire is equal to the current flowing in from the neutral wire. In the event of a fault, the neutral wire’s current drops, resulting in a decrease in Residual Current. When the RCCB detects a residual current, it trips the circuit.
The reliability of the RCCB is ensured by the inclusion of a test circuit. In order for the test circuit to function, the test button must be pressed. The RCCB trips and supply is disconnected as a result of an imbalance being created on the neutral coil of the device.
The benefits of RCCB
An earth fault as well as any leaking current are protected by this device.
When the rated sensitivity is surpassed, the circuit is automatically disconnected.
Dual termination for both cable and busbar connectors is possible.
A filtering device protects against transient voltage levels, ensuring that the voltage is stable.
The RCCB’s Sensitivity
A human being is capable of withstanding an electric shock up to a current of 30 milliamps. While currents up to 10 milliamps may just provide a prickling sensation, currents greater than 10 milliamps may cause muscular contraction, which may progress to respiratory paralysis at around 30 milliamps. As a result, RCCBs are intended to detect even the smallest variations in residual current. The use of residual current control circuit breakers (RCCBs) to track higher fluctuations in residual current (up to 300mA) is also common in fire defense applications.
While RCCB offers numerous benefits, it also has drawbacks:
RCCB may not work if loads produce non-standard waveforms. RCCB is designed to work with standard supply waveforms.
RCCB may trip inadvertently. It’s because, especially in older appliances, tiny currents might travel to earth when electrical demand changes suddenly.
Insufficient protection from RCCB. It only protects when the live and neutral currents are different. But a current excess is undetectable.
Not protected from line-neutral shocks. It’s because their current is balanced. The current is balanced by connecting both terminals.
RCCB does not guard against overheating caused by improperly screwed conductors.
There are two varieties of RCCB: 2 pole and 4 pole.
RCCB with two poles: This is utilized in the case of a single-phase supply connection that has just two wires, one for live and one for neutral.
RCCB with four poles: This is utilized in the case of a three-phase power supply connection.
Ratings ranging from 10 Amp to 100 Amp
30, 100, and 300 m Amps of sensitivity