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© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 1 - 4/26/2015 Insert image here Fuses vs Fuseless Technology
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 2 - The Great Debate ACB MCCB MCB Switch + Relay Fuse Fuse Switch Switch fuse
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 3 - The Great Debate Lets go back to basics……… Question: Why do we use protection devices???? Common Ans: To prevent Faults Wrong! Protection whether by fuse, circuit breaker or relay cannot prevent faults from happening. Only good design, high quality components, careful installation, preventative maintenance along with good working practices can prevent major faults However, protection devices can limit the damage and inconvenience caused if faults occur.
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 4 - The Great Debate What do we mean by a fault? Overload Operating condition in an electrically undamaged circuit which causes an current to flow in excess of the full load current Example: Starting condition during DOL start If this type of fault continues indefinitely because of an anomolous operating condition., damage begins to occur creating……….
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 5 - The Great Debate What do we mean by a fault? Short Circuit Operating condition in an electrically damaged circuit where there is an accidental or intentional connection by a relatively low resistance between two points of a circuit which are normally at different voltages This type of fault can generate high current flows, arcing and fire if not cleared quickly
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 6 - The Great Debate So back to the debate……. Which technology is best? The answer is not simply a matter of one being superior to the other Lets look at the technology more closely
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 7 - Typical fuse Current (A) Time (s) Ultra Reliable Standard Characteristic High current limitation effects High threshold on low overloads ( clears overloads at approx 1.45x rated FLC)
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 8 - Fuses & their associated switches Advantages Lower cost than comparative MCCB up to approx 400A Fuses readily interchangeable between switches of different manufacture hence low stocking costs for protective element Test Position for auxiliary contact testing Easier discrimination/selectivity due to non-adjustment of protective element Disadvantages Expensive to automate (motorise) Limited data extraction (ON/OFF, Fuse intact/Blown) Single shot protection before manual intervention Deterioration of protection with age and current stress System protection can be compromised by use of increased fuse size or by defeating fuse ( the old copper wire trick!!) Non-adjustment capability leads to potential oversizing of cables to achieve discrimination
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 9 - Fuseless technology Two main types:- Thermomagnetic protection- MCB and lower rated MCCB plus older type protection relays Electronic protection – Microprocessor based relays fed from CTs either external to switches or integral within a circuit breaker
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 10 - Thermomagnetic Thermal curve (adjustable) Time (s) Current (A) Magnetic curve (fixed) Offer thermal longtime overcurrent protection using Bi- metal technology ( operates at 1.3x FLC) Uses the magnetic effect of short circuit currents to offer shorttime short circuit protection
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 11 - Thermomagnetic MCB & MCCBs Advantages Small size at low current ratings ( MCB) Easily automated – shunt trip/ UVR/ Motor operator (MCCB) Difficult to compromise system protection Multishot protection before manual intervention ( at least 2 shots) Non-deterioration of protection element with age or current stress Better overload protection leads to optimisation of cable sizing Disadvantages Limited data extraction ON/OFF, Tripped (MCCB) Expensive replacement of protection element as switch contacts are used in arc clearance More complex discrimination Poorer current limitation than equivalent fuse
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 12 - Electronic Relays Time (s) Current (A) Overcurrent functions such as:- Long time overcurrent Short time instantaneous protection Short time time delayed protection Ground fault or Earth fault protection
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 13 - Electronic ACB & MCCBs Advantages Lower cost at 630A and above than fuse equivalent Easily automated – shunt trip/ UVR/ Motor operator Difficult to compromise system protection Multishot protection before manual intervention ( at least 2 shots) Non-deterioration of protection element with age or current stress Better overload protection leads to optimisation of cable sizing Complex functionality Wide ranging data extraction Disadvantages Expensive replacement of protection element as switch contacts are used in arc clearance More complex discrimination due to complexity of protective functions Poorer current limitation than equivalent fuse
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 14 - Relay functionality STANDARD RANGE OF PROTECTION FUNCTIONS : Overload Short Circuit ( with or without time delay) Earth fault High complexity protection functions: Minumum / Maximum / Residual voltage protection Phase imbalance Inverse power flow Directional Protection Restricted earth fault Standby earth fault Zone Discrimination
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 15 - Measurements Amps Volts Power Trip information ( Phase/ current/ date/time) Data logging Maintenance indication No. of operations Settings Harmonic content All capable of being transmitted either visually or by data stream
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 16 - Conclusions The choice of protective device needs to be considered taking the requirements of the installation and the end client into consideration Examples:- Within a remote installation, the automation capabilty to restore power remotely after a fault condition without human intervention may be critical to the needs of the end client requiring the use of circuit breakers capable of transmitting information on the level of fault current cleared When protecting particular equipment, such as inverter drives for example, the high current limiting effect of fuses may be critical to sucessful protection of the thyristor circuits.
© ABB Ltd - ATLV - 17 - Conclusions These examples are extreme and generally both fuse or fuseless technology can be used sucessfully within the majority of installations. The choice is yours…. The secret is to be aware of the capability of the technology you are using and to design your installation within the limits of the protection you have chosen ABB has been manufacturing both circuit breakers and switchfuses for many years, research and development within both technologies continues to increase the capabilities of the products we supply to make sure that whatever technology you choose, there is a suitable product within the range to meet your protection requirements.
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