GlobalSpec has asked its users about the latest design trends and features related to Circuit Breakers. They have also shared their product applications and tips on how to buy and use these products.
See the entire survey


Q:
What new technologies are influencing circuit breaker design?
80 answers
Answers:
Circuit breaker design for low voltage - according to me, nothing much has revolutionized in the last few decades except that the size has been reduced. Trip units have become digital or microprocessor based, but the arc quenching technology for LV still remains very much the same. In medium voltage also vacuum, SF6 have come quite sometime back, so there is no real revolution. The researchers are only looking into the tripping units.
~Technical Support, Singapore
Materials that the breakers are being made from. With the emphasis on safety being the hot topic of late, breakers can be made more safe so as not to blow apart into a million little pieces upon a overload or short circuit, and hurting a maintenance person or an electrician.
~Warren C, Senior Electrical Designer, Columbus, OH
Hybrid vehicles and high voltage, high current applications in heavy vehicles, load monitoring and reporting via data bus communication. Software settable devices for multiple applications.
~Degory H, Senior Project Engineeer, Dallas, TX
Electronic digital control of the tripping characteristics that is selectable depending on the objective's control system. (Examples Low Arc Flash Values, High reliability of service, selectivity)
~David P, Engineering Consultant, Pickens, SC
Arc flash mitigation, communication capabilities, solid state retrofit applications. Planned obsolescence and throw away or disposable units.
~Larry L, Manufacturer, Plant City, FL
SF6 based Breakers, Permanent Magnet Solenoid Based Circuit Breakers changing the mechanism of the Breakers to reduce the breaker parts.
~Viral J, Engineer, Jamnagar, India
Modular type enclosed within the MCCB casing, with good arc chute fixtures inside the breaker preventing a lot of vibration caused problems.
~Engineering Consultant, Beirut, Lebanon
Mechatronics and hybrid technologies that give a degree of 'intelligence' to breakers, especially in the telecom sector.
~Mark P., General Management, Sevilla, Spain
1) Vacuum Circuit Breakers 2) On wave closing of CB which eliminates need of PIR's 3) Better controlled CB
~Trupti A, Engineer, Pune, India
Intelligent independent operation, user-friendly like ease of specific settings, ease of physical handling.
~Murty Y, Project Manager, Secunderabad, India
Smart grid technologies . . . for example, wireless Bluetooth communication, measurement.
~Mike B., Engineering Consultant, Los Angeles, CA
PMA for control mechanism Compact Size Environmental friendly
~Yook YK, Engineer, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Contact physics, arching, controlled arching, repeatability, compact sizing.
~Milind A, General Management, Pune, India
Integration of RCD features into MCB's. RCBO's are becoming more popular.
~Steve C, Research & Development, Sydney, Australia
Computer electronics I believe are the thing pushing this industry ahead.
~Corey M, Builder/Contractor, Tionesta, PA
Arc Flash Protection, smaller foot prints with higher interrupt ratings.
~Colin K, Sales, Design and Production, Houston, TX
Among others, large frequency converters like marine propulsion systems.
~Ole S, Engineering Consultant, Sandefjord, Norway
Automated re-closing in circuit breakers Use of Nitrogen instead of SF6
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Richmond, VA
The interrupting capacity updating and operating mechanism integration.
~HSU Wanpau, Engineering Consultant, Taoyuan/Guanyin, Taiwan,ROC
I think there would be low and high voltage protection built in a MCB.
~Technical Support/Services, Lahore, Pakistan
More responsive trip units with a wider range of set point selection.
~Bob P, Faculty/Staff, Idaho Falls, ID
Rotating arc technology in MV circuit breaker, vacuum interrupters.
~Noorudeen K, Engineer, Dubai, UAE
Electronics that require faster switching, arc fault technology.
~Technical Support/Services, McCook, IL
Integration of trip unit into medium voltage circuit breakers.
~Mike V, Marketing/Sales, Tampa, FL
Solid state / Electronics for circuit monitoring and control.
~Engineering, Design, Toronto, Canada
Rogowski coil electronic trip units arc resistant gears
~Geetu D, Design Engineer, Belle Chase, LA
Electronic trips, integral metering, integral controls.
~Engineering Consultant, Cincinnati, OH
Trip devices and interrupting time to cover 70E market.
~Engineering Consultant, Carol Stream, IL
New electronic trip units and communication features.
~Jaime L, Manufacturer, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Smart electronics and data gathering and transmittal.
~NEIL T, Estimaing Manager, Melbourne, Australia
Compactness Added accessories Higher amp ratings
~JAYARAM K, Design Engineer, Seremban, Malaysia
Arc Flash Prevention Insulated Case trip units
~Raymond W, Engineer, Boston, Suffolk
A) Arc quenching medium b) Protective elements
~Engineer, Kajang, Malaysia
Vacuum technology, new sensing, microprocessor.
~Jean Bozonat, Project Manager, St Hubert, Canada
End user Design has no bearing: installer
~Project Management, Worcester, MA
Use of vacuum and SF6 interrupting medium.
~Engineering, Consulting, Al Khore, Qatar
More use of electronics for controls.
~Tom M, Engineer, Honolulu, HI
Remote racking, Minimize Arc Flash.
~Associate Engineer, Knoxville, TN
I-C Circuit protection Trip Design.
~Ted B, Design Engineer, Orlando, FL
SF6, Vacuum, Solenoid Operated
~Engineering, Process/Production, Nanticoke, Canada
Microprocessor based protections.
~Vijay B, Engineering Consultant, Surat, India
Sensors and speed photovoltaics.
~Phillip Serna, Project Manager, Hayward, CA
Computer controlled circuitry.
~Bob D, Marketing/Sales, Highland, IA
Gas Insulated circuit breakers.
~General Corporate Mgmt, VADODARA, India
Go green, energy use, & com.
~Lou P, Research & Development, Moon Twp., PA
EFU 3 phase DC motor control
~Elliott E, Process Engineer, Didcot, Engaland
Making and breaking capacity.
~Abhay K, Engineer, Begusarai, India
Arc rupturing and duty cycle.
~Kariyalil Radhakrishnan, Engineering Consultant, Conakry, Rep. Of Guinea
Less tolerant new equipment.
~Energy Engineer, Mount Prospect, IL
Solid state breakers for DC.
~Trent B, Field Applications Engineer, Ottawa, Canada
Volume & breaking capacity
~Engineering, Other, AL FAISALYA, Saudi Arabia
Arc-Flash, Arc prevention.
~Jody P, Builder/Contractor, San Diego, CA
Gas insulated switchgear.
~Mohammed Jahir H, Engineering Consultant, Kuala Belait, Brunei
Vacuum circuit breaker.
~Senthilkumar Dhanavelu, ELECTRICIAN, Rasal khaimah, UAE
Down sizing of panels.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Debary, FL
SF6 isolation system.
~Khalid Al-Zelaibani A, Engineer, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
LED lighting, VFD's
~Other, Huntsville, AL
Solid state systems
~Lester Morales, Technical Support, Hahnville, LA
Vacuum Solid state
~Ian M, Engineering Consultant, Durban, South Africa
Size & portability
~Marketing/Sales, Edmonton, Canada
Size and materials
~Mike M, Technical Support, Atlanta, GA
Contact materials
~Charles W, Retired engineering /sales V.P., San Digo, CA
Electro magnetic
~Manufacturing, Whitesboro, TX
Din Rail Mounted
~Jeff M, Design Engineer, Findlay, OH
EMP, GFCI, LEDs
~Mark B, Design Engineer, American Fork, UT
Vacuum, Gas etc
~Dayananda S, Project Manager, Doha, VI
RCCB'S ELCB'S
~Engineering, Design, New Delhi, India
Response time
~Ralph P, Estimator, Gloucester, VA
Compactness
~Joven D, Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
All Phases
~Engineering, Design, New Johnsonville, TN
Trip time
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Couva, Trinidad
Arc Flash
~Jose S, System Manager, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
Trip off
~Purchasing, LAGOS, Nigeria
Magnetic
~Technical Support/Services, Sherbrooke, Canada
Metering
~Purchasing, Corroios, Portugal
Digital
~Gene, Design Engineer, Columbia, MD
Battery
~Technical Support, Tulsa, OK
The NEC
~Steve H, Marketing/Sales, Paducah, KY
Size
~Steven E, N FL and S GA Engineering Manager, Jacksonville, FL
PLC
~Syed Moheed ALi SMA, Design Engineer, Jubail, KSA

Top
Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative circuit breakers?
87 answers
Answers:
There is not a lot of innovation in the world of CBE manufacturers, as critical masses are seldom achieved with new products and companies are reluctant to commit to major investments. Today's strongest global players are without a doubt Sensata Technologies and Carling Technologies.
~Mark P., General Management, Sevilla, Spain
I can not talk about innovation as - in the nuclear industry - that is secondary to reliability and safety. My systems includes breakers from ABB and Schneiders (and their predecessor companies like ITE, Federal Pioneer, Merlin Gerin etc..)
~Thomas U., System Engineer, Clarington, Ontario, Canada
We find ABB switch gear is reasonably good.
~Milind A, General Management, Pune, India
ABB, Siemens, Schneider, and other big companies. But I prefer to choose the most innovative products from medium and small company.
~Yook YK, Engineer, Seoul, Republic of Korea
The established European manufacturers' of transmission and distribution switchgear.
~Engineering, Consulting, Al Khore, Qatar
L&T, Siemens breakers are most suitable breakers for the control operation.
~Siva Chandran, Design Engineer, Bangalore, India
We have circuit breaker westcanadian (wescan) is very good circuit breaker.
~Iskandar I, Trouble shooter( electrical technician, Indonesia, Palembang
Merlin Gerin, Schneider seem to provide a very comprehensive range.
~Tom R, Builder/Contractor, Princes Risborough, England
ABB is the topmost according to me . Then maybe Schneider, Siemens.
~Technical Support, Singapore
Cuttler & Hammer, Schneider electrical, Carling Switch Inc.
~Pallavi, Research & Development, Beverly, AL
Low voltage circuit breakers: ABB, Schneider Electric, GE
~Mike B., Engineering Consultant, Los Angeles, CA
Siemens in general, but in high end versions: ABB and Areva
~Kariyalil Radhakrishnan, Engineering Consultant, Conakry, Rep. Of Guinea
ABB Ltd Siemens Ltd GE Ltd Areva Ltd Schneider Ltd
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Richmond, VA
Eaton, Square D, Siemens, Hager, Mouller, ABB
~Lou P, Research & Development, Moon Twp., PA
Siemens, ABB, GE, Schneider, Areva, Legrand
~Vijay B, Engineering Consultant, Surat, India
Schneider Electric Merlin Gerin, ABB Sace
~Jean Bozonat, Project Manager, St Hubert, Canada
ABB, Siemens, Areva, Schneider Electric.
~Noorudeen K, Engineer, Dubai, UAE
Legrand, terasaki, merlingerrin abb
~Technical Support/Services, Lahore, Pakistan
Japan AE Power and Toshiba Company
~HSU Wanpau, Engineering Consultant, Taoyuan/Guanyin, Taiwan,ROC
Schneider Electric (Merlin Gerin)
~Steve C, Research & Development, Sydney, Australia
Square-d siemens cutler hammer
~Geetu D, Design Engineer, Belle Chase, LA
Square D, Siemens, Cutler Hammer
~Jody P, Builder/Contractor, San Diego, CA
Square D and Cutler Hammer Eaton
~Raymond W, Engineer, Boston, Suffolk
Cutler Hammer (Medium voltage)
~Technical Support/Services, Sherbrooke, Canada
Merlin Gerin Crabtree Hagar
~Engineering, Other, Cheshunt, Great Britain
A) Siemens b) ABB c) Alsthom
~Engineer, Kajang, Malaysia
Schneider Electric, Eaton, GE
~Warren C, Senior Electrical Designer, Columbus, OH
ABB, Schnieder, L&T Siemens
~Dayananda S, Project Manager, Doha, VI
1) Areva 2) ABB pvt ltd
~Trupti A, Engineer, Pune, India
Marlin Gerin, ABB, Siemens
~Engineering, Other, AL FAISALYA, Saudi Arabia
Siemens, GE and Schneider
~Murty Y, Project Manager, Secunderabad, India
SIEMENS Schneider ABB
~Khalid Al-Zelaibani A, Engineer, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
Square-D, Cutler Hammer
~Engineering, Design, Phoenix, AZ
Square D (telemeniques)
~Bob D, Marketing/Sales, Highland, IA
Schneider, Siemens, ABB
~Purchasing, Corroios, Portugal
Cutler Hammer, GE, ABB
~Engineering Consultant, Carol Stream, IL
Siemens, Allen-Bradley
~Mark P, Engineer, Bloomington, MN
Legrand Havels L & T
~Engineering, Design, New Delhi, India
Eaton / Cutler Hammer
~Steve H, Marketing/Sales, Paducah, KY
Zinsco, Murray, Siemens
~Elliott E, Process Engineer, Didcot, Engaland
Cost driven companies
~Ian M, Engineering Consultant, Durban, South Africa
Schneider/Sq D, Eaton
~Engineering Consultant, Cincinnati, OH
Areva, ABB & Siemens
~Mohammed Jahir H, Engineering Consultant, Kuala Belait, Brunei
Square D, ITE,A & B
~Engineering, Design, New Johnsonville, TN
Schneider Electric
~Marketing/Sales, Edmonton, Canada
Schneider Electric
~Engineering, Design, Toronto, Canada
GE, Cutler Hammer
~Larry L, Manufacturer, Plant City, FL
ABB, Tmax series.
~Engineering Consultant, Beirut, Lebanon
Eaton Corporation
~Steven E, N FL and S GA Engineering Manager, Jacksonville, FL
GE, Siemens, SqD
~Jaime L, Manufacturer, San Juan, Puerto Rico
ETA and Carling
~Trent B, Field Applications Engineer, Ottawa, Canada
Eaton, Square D
~Design Engineer, Waukesha, WI
CBS, Powell, GE
~Manufacturing, Whitesboro, TX
Siemens, Eaton
~Ted B, Design Engineer, Orlando, FL
Merlin Gerin
~Purchasing, LAGOS, Nigeria
Siemens, Eaton
~Gene, Design Engineer, Columbia, MD
ABB & Siemens
~Syed Moheed ALi SMA, Design Engineer, Jubail, KSA
MG, Mitsubishi
~Joven D, Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Schneider, ABB
~NEIL T, Estimaing Manager, Melbourne, Australia
Jyoti, Siemens
~Abhay K, Engineer, Begusarai, India
Telemecanique
~John B, Construction manager, Brisbane, Australia
GE, SQ D, ABB
~Ralph P, Estimator, Gloucester, VA
Cutler Hammer
~Lester Morales, Technical Support, Hahnville, LA
Siemens, ABB
~Dirk B, Builder/Contractor, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
Square d, GE
~Technical Support/Services, McCook, IL
ABB, Siemens
~Jeff G, Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
ABB, Siemens
~Viral J, Engineer, Jamnagar, India
Square D, GE
~Other, Huntsville, AL
ABB & Eaton
~Mike V, Marketing/Sales, Tampa, FL
GE and ABB
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Couva, Trinidad
GE and ABB
~Colin K, Sales, Design and Production, Houston, TX
Schneider
~JAYARAM K, Design Engineer, Seremban, Malaysia
Schneider
~Engineering, Other, Kharir, Yemen
Square d
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Debary, FL
Square D
~Engineering, Design, Ambler, PA
Square D
~David P, Engineering Consultant, Pickens, SC
Siemens
~Technical Support, Tulsa, OK
SQ D GE
~Project Management, Worcester, MA
Siemens
~Purchasing, Charleston, SC
Siemens
~Phillip Serna, Project Manager, Hayward, CA
Airpax
~Mark B, Design Engineer, American Fork, UT
Areva
~General Corporate Mgmt, VADODARA, India
ABB
~Senthilkumar Dhanavelu, ELECTRICIAN, Rasal khaimah, UAE
ABB
~Engineering, Process/Production, Nanticoke, Canada
ABB
~Jose S, System Manager, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
Abb
~Engineering, Process/Production, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
ABB
~Corey M, Builder/Contractor, Tionesta, PA

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