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 would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
70 answers
Answers:
Low cost bus bar connection system. Something that makes it easy and cost effective to connect between a breaker terminals and transformer low voltage bushing spades. A standard flexible connector offering may work well.
~Design Engineer, Waukesha, WI
Very reliable operation, superb arc quenching characteristics, designed for remote control, mutual "supervision" of remote and local controls (i.e. any fault in local controls & indications be observable in remote control panels and vice versa).
~Thomas U., System Engineer, Clarington, Ontario, Canada
Better instantaneous trips for easier selective coordination and to put the fuse guys in their place. Get the instantaneous trips to coordinate better at the 0.01 sec at higher amperages.
~Warren C, Senior Electrical Designer, Columbus, OH
Part#s should be easy to build reference of relay class cts that would fit in the breaker cell. External power supply not required for trip units max. aux contacts available for connect and disconnect position.
~Geetu D, Design Engineer, Belle Chase, LA
Low Cost adjustable breakers. Available aux contact, Available Adjustable Ground Fault, Adjustable Over Current and Inst. trip,100 % rated Breakers, All with wide range.
~Ted B, Design Engineer, Orlando, FL
A) Explosion free design b) Cheap and reliable remote controlled racking in and out facility.(for CB truck) c) Affordable Arc flash protection as a standard feature
~Engineer, Kajang, Malaysia
For LSIG type circuit breaker, a good range of dial set points in short time pick up and short time delay region - this helps out "selective" coordination issues.
~Raymond W, Engineer, Boston, Suffolk
Molded Case circuit breakers that have specifications like ANSI rated circuit breakers. ANSI rated circuit breakers with a smaller form factor and lower cost.
~David P, Engineering Consultant, Pickens, SC
Ease for converting the same breaker for different purposes like breaker for motor starting can be used for isolation or for some other protection purpose.
~Murty Y, Project Manager, Secunderabad, India
Single modular case for each pole, made of plastic material and a well designed arc chute compartment to avoid components damage due to vibration.
~Engineering Consultant, Beirut, Lebanon
Complete history of an event trip duration. Condition at initiation of the trip let through current and energy fault level and duration. Time to clear fault inductive or capacitive fault and power factor harmonic arc energy level and duration earth leakage imbalance positive, negative and zero sequence currents system impedance at time of fault distance to fault if on a line or cable.
~Ian M, Engineering Consultant, Durban, South Africa
Smart breakers that can recognize surge currents, short circuit faults and steady state loading of the breaker and reportable on the data bus.
~Degory H, Senior Project Engineeer, Dallas, TX
A built in amp meter or indicating light on the breaker so that you would have easy identification as to whether the circuit was overloaded.
~Corey M, Builder/Contractor, Tionesta, PA
Compact, standard mounting features, selection of part numbers from catalogs with all accessories, accessories' pricing (always too high).
~Milind A, General Management, Pune, India
Accurate trip mechanism for over current, Short circuit and Earth fault. This should be cost effective for residential use.
~Vijay B, Engineering Consultant, Surat, India
A circuit breaker designed as per DFA/ DMFA techniques. Suitable to most consumers. FMEA done on protype stage itself.
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Richmond, VA
Only metal exposed through mounting panel, DC as well as AC ratings for every feature, high interrupt amps rating.
~Mark B, Design Engineer, American Fork, UT
Increased degree of protection Coordination selectivity Safety interlocking Remote opening for various needs
~Mike B., Engineering Consultant, Los Angeles, CA
Assembling switchgear and cubicle with the environmental friendly and compact circuit breaker(dimension).
~Yook YK, Engineer, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Be able to buy a fix mounted breaker with parts, like primary contacts, contact arms, MOC's & TOC's, etc.
~Technical Support/Services, Sherbrooke, Canada
Maybe a way that the circuit breaker can indicate if it has tripped on over current or temperature.
~Other, Huntsville, AL
Communication Facility as IED directly build in to the Circuit Breakers of High Voltage ratings.
~Viral J, Engineer, Jamnagar, India
Ease of maintenance. A simple diagnostic test to determine the condition of the breaker.
~Jeff G, Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
High Arc Flash Withstand Solenoid Operation Remote Rackable MV Metalclad Breakers
~Engineering, Process/Production, Nanticoke, Canada
Complete specifications for the product with relay and arc flash studies in mind.
~Tom M, Engineer, Honolulu, HI
Trip Indicators & a better mounting design on some of the larger frame breakers.
~Marketing/Sales, Edmonton, Canada
Be a lot more generic, not for specific applications, specially in low-voltage.
~Dirk B, Builder/Contractor, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
An equipment which would eliminate arching in CB which will increase its life.
~Trupti A, Engineer, Pune, India
Developing maintenance free vacuum CB's for all voltage levels with less cost.
~Noorudeen K, Engineer, Dubai, UAE
Retrofit circuit breaker (install new technology without power shutdown).
~Jean Bozonat, Project Manager, St Hubert, Canada
Easier discrimination with other devices, one frame does all fault levels.
~NEIL T, Estimaing Manager, Melbourne, Australia
Reliability, physical size, connection terminal access and guarding.
~John B, Construction manager, Brisbane, Australia
Automatic detection of HV fault and back blast explosion.
~Jose S, System Manager, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
No contact failure and all makes to be interchangeable.
~Kariyalil Radhakrishnan, Engineering Consultant, Conakry, Rep. Of Guinea
Suitably stepped ratings across the range of a type.
~Charles W, Retired engineering /sales V.P., San Digo, CA
Automatic reclosing scheme for low voltage circuits.
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Couva, Trinidad
Intelligent switchgear communicating without wires.
~Mohammed Jahir H, Engineering Consultant, Kuala Belait, Brunei
Electronic trip units with wireless communications.
~Jaime L, Manufacturer, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Modularity and the ability to adjust trip curves.
~Mark P., General Management, Sevilla, Spain
Reasonable price din rail mounted for PLC panels.
~Jeff M, Design Engineer, Findlay, OH
New breaking technology for low voltage breakers.
~Technical Support, Singapore
Interchangeability and retro fill capabilities.
~Larry L, Manufacturer, Plant City, FL
Smaller size for higher capacity Remote reset
~Trent B, Field Applications Engineer, Ottawa, Canada
Standardize AIC ratings between manufacturers.
~Project Management, Worcester, MA
Smaller branch circuit protection devices.
~Ken P, Design Engineer, Tampa, FL
Adjustable trip points on smaller breakers.
~Technical Support/Services, McCook, IL
Reliability and safety with space saving.
~Gene, Design Engineer, Columbia, MD
Measurement capacities. Motor command.
~Purchasing, Corroios, Portugal
Best match for trouble free operation.
~Energy Engineer, Mount Prospect, IL
Compact design and easy maintenance.
~HSU Wanpau, Engineering Consultant, Taoyuan/Guanyin, Taiwan,ROC
Led indication on smaller breakers.
~Mike M, Technical Support, Atlanta, GA
Replacing stored energy mechanisms
~Mike V, Marketing/Sales, Tampa, FL
Built in locking device or option
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Debary, FL
Interchangeable with all brands
~Engineering, Design, New Johnsonville, TN
Ease of maintenance and testing
~Bob P, Faculty/Staff, Idaho Falls, ID
Diagnostic on breaker failure
~Engineering Consultant, Carol Stream, IL
Reliable and ease of testing
~Lester Morales, Technical Support, Hahnville, LA
RCBO in small form factor.
~Steve C, Research & Development, Sydney, Australia
Ease of use for end user
~Colin K, Sales, Design and Production, Houston, TX
Dial a phone if tripped.
~Technical Support, Tulsa, OK
Fast acting and reliable.
~Electrician, Castle Rock, CO
Trip indicator "light"
~Lou P, Research & Development, Moon Twp., PA
Technical information
~Joven D, Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Easy to commission
~Engineering, Other, Kharir, Yemen
Arc Flash sensing
~Phillip Serna, Project Manager, Hayward, CA
Lighter Weight
~Steven E, N FL and S GA Engineering Manager, Jacksonville, FL
Auto reset
~Engineering, Process/Production, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Bus temp
~Ralph P, Estimator, Gloucester, VA
1000VDC
~Karl L, General Management, Schliersee, Germany
GIS
~Dayananda S, Project Manager, Doha, VI

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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of a circuit breaker?
41 answers
Answers:
Not all manufacturers' breakers are equal. Even if they say they are, they aren't. Look at the time current curves. Do your math and size the breaker correctly. Verify with an equipment manufacturer's specification for the minimum overcurrent protective device, be it a circuit breaker or a fuse.
~Warren C, Senior Electrical Designer, Columbus, OH
Do not allow electrical contractors to select circuit breakers. Circuit breakers should be specified by an engineer knowledgeable about electrical distribution systems. Industrial facilities should specify minimum 65ka interrupting rating circuit breakers for all 460 volt 3 phase and above applications. End users should verify breakers installed by electrical contractors meet specifications.
~David P, Engineering Consultant, Pickens, SC
Always cross check dimensions with supplier if you are using a new breaker. Heat dissipation for bus bar joints and routing of the bus bar in compact size cabinet is best done on 3D platform.
~Milind A, General Management, Pune, India
Try to make sure that the manufacturer has (in its regular product line) a size larger capacity CB than the one you need right now. You may need to upgrade the capacity of the CB in the future....
~Thomas U., System Engineer, Clarington, Ontario, Canada
Verify the application, have all of the nameplate and wiring diagram information available for replacement units and deal with someone you trust to provide the support and service after the sale.
~Larry L, Manufacturer, Plant City, FL
When upgrading trip units, be sure to address all relative conditions. If using a 4 wire hookup, ensure that the neutral CT is matched to the Phase CTs in rating. This is often overlooked.
~Bob P, Faculty/Staff, Idaho Falls, ID
Temperature curves and derating curves should be made more available. Instead rate the device at the worse case and show improvements at lower temperatures and other conditions.
~Degory H, Senior Project Engineeer, Dallas, TX
Arc flash hazard recommendations are very important. You can save much more on operation and maintenance than the initial difference in cost between circuit breakers.
~Mike B., Engineering Consultant, Los Angeles, CA
Think about the future (next 10 years), if the facility will be upgraded such as communication/monitoring of breaker status: current, PF, voltage, or other information.
~Steven E, N FL and S GA Engineering Manager, Jacksonville, FL
Make sure they meet the expected AIC rating of the systems being designed. Make sure the settings can be configured to meet Arc Flash design and coordination.
~Phillip Serna, Project Manager, Hayward, CA
Understand the basics concerning type and category of circuit breaker. For example: realize why there is a need to use a type C or D MCB.
~Tom R, Builder/Contractor, Princes Risborough, England
Before selecting a CB, he ought to know the network in the country, since any circuit breaker is coordinated with the network source.
~Yook YK, Engineer, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Don't select the breakers according to the vendor advice. Select the suitable breakers according to your needs or contact consultants.
~Siva Chandran, Design Engineer, Bangalore, India
Speak with the experts, give them the information they need for helping you choose the best breaker for your application.
~Mark P., General Management, Sevilla, Spain
Proper selection of electrical contractors will prevent damage to the equipment and possible distribution faults.
~Jose S, System Manager, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
Always go to the field to check the application. Not always the field needed information is collected properly.
~Engineering Consultant, Carol Stream, IL
Placement of the breaker should be selected not only for the particular purpose but for the other co-ordination because under rating or higher rating of any kind of operating parameters not only spoils the hardware but effects in higher orkays.
~Murty Y, Project Manager, Secunderabad, India
Understand the meaning of ultimate breaking capacity, service breaking capacity and short time withstand.
~Technical Support, Singapore
Cheap products have a lot of compromises; heavy on maintenance cost and sometimes carry safety hazards.
~Engineer, Kajang, Malaysia
Make sure the main circuit breaker will grade with the upstream HV supply protection.
~NEIL T, Estimaing Manager, Melbourne, Australia
Always add a 30% to 50% margin on the current values of the system (Amperage).
~Technical Support/Services, Sherbrooke, Canada
Make sure the breaker is designed for the type of load it will be supplying.
~Jeff G, Engineer, Phoenix, AZ
1) Use correct rating CB 2) Proper tested CB 3) Proper erection on site
~Trupti A, Engineer, Pune, India
Ensure spare parts availability for long term for MV/HV circuit breaker.
~Khalid Al-Zelaibani A, Engineer, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
Make sure you need lugs or bus connections in a circuit breaker.
~Geetu D, Design Engineer, Belle Chase, LA
Make sure in the future a replacement is available.
~Technical Support, Tulsa, OK
Select the proper voltage and short circuit rating.
~Gene, Design Engineer, Columbia, MD
Check voltage rating, trip unit, and frame size.
~Jaime L, Manufacturer, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ask for assistance when sizing the breaker.
~Corey M, Builder/Contractor, Tionesta, PA
Do a short circuit study before selecting.
~Mohammed Jahir H, Engineering Consultant, Kuala Belait, Brunei
Always check the interrupting rating.
~Steve H, Marketing/Sales, Paducah, KY
Properly size for proper protection.
~Energy Engineer, Mount Prospect, IL
Understanding the breaker curves.
~Lester Morales, Technical Support, Hahnville, LA
Follow Tech Spec's and not cost.
~Kariyalil Radhakrishnan, Engineering Consultant, Conakry, Rep. Of Guinea
Education of crews concerning.
~HSU Wanpau, Engineering Consultant, Taoyuan/Guanyin, Taiwan,ROC
Read requirements carefully.
~Ralph P, Estimator, Gloucester, VA
Don't over think the usage.
~Engineering, Design, New Johnsonville, TN
Always go for branded make.
~Noorudeen K, Engineer, Dubai, UAE
Be aware of AIC ratings.
~Raymond W, Engineer, Boston, Suffolk
Nameplate details
~Mike V, Marketing/Sales, Tampa, FL
Do your research.
~Lou P, Research & Development, Moon Twp., PA

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