What Is Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB)

A Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) is a type of electrical protection device used in power distribution and control systems. It is designed to protect the electrical system from overcurrent, short circuit, and other types of electrical faults.

The MCCB consists of a molded case that encloses the current-carrying components and the trip mechanism. The case is made of a thermoset or thermoplastic material and is designed to withstand the heat and pressure generated during a fault condition.

mccb-moulded-case-circuit-breaker

The trip mechanism of an Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) is designed to open the circuit automatically when it senses an overload or short circuit condition. The trip mechanism is typically a thermal-magnetic device that uses a bimetallic strip to sense the heat generated by the current flowing through the circuit. When the heat exceeds a certain threshold, the bimetallic strip bends, causing the trip mechanism to open the circuit.

MCCBs are available in a wide range of current ratings and are used in a variety of applications, from residential and commercial to industrial and utility settings. They are popular because of their ability to provide reliable protection for electrical systems and equipment.

Difference between MCB and MCCB

difference between mcb and mccb

MCB and MCCB are both types of circuit breakers, but they have some differences in their design, ratings, and applications.

Design: MCBs are miniature circuit breakers, which means they have a smaller size and lower current ratings compared to MCCBs. They are designed for use in low voltage applications and are typically rated up to 125 amps. MCCBs, on the other hand, are larger in size and can handle higher current ratings, typically up to 2500 amps.

Protection: MCBs are designed to protect against overload and short circuit conditions in low voltage applications, such as homes and offices. MCCBs, on the other hand, are used in industrial and commercial applications where higher currents and fault levels are present, and are designed to protect against more severe faults like short circuits and earth faults.

Tripping Mechanism: MCBs usually have a thermal-magnetic trip mechanism, which means they have a bimetallic strip that senses the heat generated by the current flow, and a magnetic coil that trips the circuit in case of a short circuit. MCCBs, on the other hand, can have a variety of tripping mechanisms, including thermal-magnetic, electronic, and microprocessor-based.

Price: MCBs are generally less expensive than MCCBs due to their smaller size and lower current ratings.

MCBs are designed for use in low voltage applications, while MCCBs are used in industrial and commercial applications with higher current ratings and more severe fault conditions.

What is the principle of MCCB?

The principle of operation of a Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) is based on the thermal-magnetic trip mechanism. The trip mechanism is designed to sense both the thermal and magnetic effects of an overcurrent or short circuit fault.

The thermal trip element is made up of a bimetallic strip that bends when it is heated by the current flowing through the circuit. The degree of bending is proportional to the amount of heat generated by the current. If the current exceeds a predetermined level for a specific time, the bimetallic strip will bend enough to activate the trip mechanism, which will open the contacts of the Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB).

The magnetic trip element is made up of a solenoid that produces a magnetic field when the current flowing through the circuit exceeds a certain level. The magnetic field generated by the solenoid will cause the trip mechanism to activate, which will open the contacts of the MCCB.

The thermal-magnetic trip mechanism of an MCCB provides reliable protection against both overload and short circuit faults. The thermal element provides protection against overload conditions, where the current in the circuit is too high for an extended period of time. The magnetic element provides protection against short circuit conditions, where the current in the circuit is extremely high for a short period of time.

In summary, the principle of operation of an Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) is based on the thermal-magnetic trip mechanism, which provides reliable protection against overcurrent, short circuit, and other types of electrical faults.

How Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCBs) Work?

Molded Case Circuit Breakers (MCCBs) work on the principle of thermal-magnetic tripping. The MCCB comprises two main parts: the operating mechanism and the trip unit. The operating mechanism is responsible for opening and closing the circuit breaker, while the trip unit is responsible for sensing and tripping the circuit breaker in case of an electrical fault.

When the Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) is in the closed position, electrical current flows through the circuit. The trip unit continuously monitors the current flow and compares it with the preset current ratings. If the current exceeds the preset ratings, the trip unit will initiate the tripping mechanism.

There are two types of trip mechanisms used in MCCBs:

Thermal tripping: In thermal tripping, the trip unit senses the heat generated by the current flowing through the circuit. If the current exceeds the preset rating for a certain amount of time, the heat generated will cause a bimetallic strip inside the MCCB to bend and trip the circuit.

Magnetic tripping: In magnetic tripping, the trip unit senses the magnetic field generated by the current flowing through the circuit. If the current exceeds the preset rating for a very short period, a solenoid inside the MCCB will produce a magnetic field that will attract the tripping mechanism, causing it to trip the circuit.

The combination of thermal and magnetic tripping mechanisms provides an accurate and reliable protection mechanism for electrical systems and equipment. The MCCB can be manually reset after the fault has been cleared, and the circuit breaker can be closed again.

What is the range of MCCB?

The range of Molded Case Circuit Breakers MCCBs available in the market varies depending on the manufacturer and specific model. However, generally, the range of MCCBs can be classified into the following categories:

Current Rating: MCCBs are available in a wide range of current ratings, typically from 15 amps to 2500 amps.

Breaking Capacity: The breaking capacity of an MCCB refers to the maximum fault current that the MCCB can interrupt safely without damaging the contacts. MCCBs are available in various breaking capacities, ranging from a few kilo-amperes (kA) to several hundred kA.

Number of Poles: MCCBs are available in different numbers of poles, ranging from single-pole to four-pole MCCBs. The number of poles depends on the specific application and the number of phases of the electrical system.

Operating Voltage: MCCBs are designed for use in different voltage levels, ranging from low voltage (up to 1000V) to medium voltage (up to 15kV).

Accessories: Manufacturers offer various accessories for MCCBs, including auxiliary contacts, shunt trips, under-voltage releases, and more.

In summary, the range of MCCBs varies depending on the current rating, breaking capacity, number of poles, operating voltage, and accessories offered by the manufacturer. The selection of an MCCB should be based on the specific application and the electrical system requirements.

What are the types of Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB)?

There are different types of MCCBs available in the market, which are designed for specific applications and requirements. The most common types of MCCBs are:

Standard MCCBs: These are the most basic type of MCCBs, designed to protect electrical circuits against overcurrent, short circuit, and other types of electrical faults.

High Breaking Capacity (HBC) MCCBs: These are MCCBs with higher breaking capacity than standard MCCBs, designed to protect against higher fault currents.

Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers (ELCBs): These are MCCBs that detect small currents flowing to earth and trip the circuit in case of a leakage or fault. They are commonly used in applications where electrical safety is critical, such as hospitals and data centers.

Residual Current Circuit Breakers (RCCBs): These are MCCBs that detect and trip the circuit in case of a residual current flow, which can occur due to a fault or electrical leakage. They are commonly used in residential and commercial applications.

Motor Protection Circuit Breakers (MPCBs): These are MCCBs designed specifically for motor protection, and can protect motors against overloads, short circuits, and other types of electrical faults.

DC MCCBs: These are MCCBs designed for use in DC (direct current) circuits, and can protect against overcurrent and short circuits in DC systems.

Air Circuit Breakers (ACBs): These are large-sized MCCBs, typically used in high current applications such as power plants and large industries. They are designed to handle higher currents and have higher breaking capacities than standard MCCBs.

The types of MCCBs available in the market include standard MCCBs, HBC MCCBs, ELCBs, RCCBs, MPCBs, DC MCCBs, and ACBs. The selection of an MCCB should be based on the specific application and requirements of the electrical system.

What are the applications of MCCB?

MCCBs have a wide range of applications in different industries and electrical systems. Some of the common applications of MCCBs are:

Commercial Buildings: MCCBs are commonly used in commercial buildings to protect electrical circuits against overloads, short circuits, and other types of electrical faults.

Industrial Plants: MCCBs are extensively used in industrial plants, including manufacturing facilities, power plants, and oil refineries, to protect electrical equipment and machinery against electrical faults.

Data Centers: MCCBs are used in data centers to protect against electrical faults that can cause data loss or damage to the equipment.

Hospitals: MCCBs are used in hospitals to ensure electrical safety and protect against electrical faults that can cause injury or harm to patients and staff.

Mining Operations: MCCBs are used in mining operations to protect electrical equipment against harsh environmental conditions and electrical faults.

Marine Applications: MCCBs are used in marine applications to protect electrical systems and equipment against saltwater corrosion and electrical faults.

Renewable Energy Systems: MCCBs are used in renewable energy systems, such as solar and wind power plants, to protect against electrical faults that can damage the equipment and affect power generation.

MCCBs have a wide range of applications in different industries and electrical systems, including commercial buildings, industrial plants, data centers, hospitals, mining operations, marine applications, and renewable energy systems. The selection of an MCCB should be based on the specific application and requirements of the electrical system.

What are trip units for MCCB?

A trip unit is an electronic device that is used in molded case circuit breakers (MCCBs) to sense and respond to electrical faults. The trip unit is responsible for monitoring the current flowing through the circuit breaker and tripping the circuit in case of an overload, short circuit, or other electrical fault.

There are different types of trip units available for MCCBs, each with specific features and capabilities. Some of the common types of trip units for MCCBs are:

Thermal Magnetic Trip Unit: This type of trip unit uses both thermal and magnetic sensing mechanisms to detect and respond to overcurrent and short-circuit conditions. The thermal mechanism senses overloads, and the magnetic mechanism senses short circuits. This trip unit is commonly used in commercial and industrial applications.

Electronic Trip Unit: This type of trip unit uses electronic sensors to detect overcurrent and short-circuit conditions. It offers greater accuracy and precision compared to the thermal magnetic trip unit, and is commonly used in applications that require high levels of reliability and accuracy.

Microprocessor-Based Trip Unit: This type of trip unit uses a microprocessor to provide advanced protection and monitoring features, such as ground fault protection, phase unbalance protection, and more. It is commonly used in applications that require advanced protection features and precise monitoring.

Trip units are electronic devices that are used in MCCBs to detect and respond to electrical faults. The most common types of trip units are thermal magnetic trip units, electronic trip units, and microprocessor-based trip units, each with specific features and capabilities. The selection of a trip unit should be based on the specific application and requirements of the electrical system.

How do you calculate MCCB size?

Calculating the correct size of an MCCB involves considering various factors such as the type of load, the expected current, the voltage, the ambient temperature, and the breaking capacity. Here are the general steps to calculate the MCCB size:

Determine the load type: Identify the type of load that the MCCB will be protecting. Loads can be resistive, inductive, or capacitive, and the type of load affects the current rating of the MCCB.

Calculate the expected current: Determine the expected current that the MCCB will need to carry. This can be calculated by dividing the load’s power rating by the system voltage. For three-phase loads, multiply the current by the square root of three.

Determine the breaking capacity: Determine the maximum fault current that the MCCB will need to interrupt. This can be calculated by using the available fault current at the installation point.

Consider ambient temperature: The temperature around the MCCB can affect its performance. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that the MCCB can operate correctly at the expected temperature.

Select the MCCB: Choose an MCCB with a current rating equal to or greater than the expected current and a breaking capacity equal to or greater than the maximum fault current.

It is essential to note that the calculation of MCCB size is a complex process, and consulting an electrical engineer or an MCCB manufacturer’s technical support team is recommended to ensure proper selection and safe operation.

Maintenance of Molded Case Circuit Breaker

Maintaining molded case circuit breakers (MCCBs) is essential to ensure their proper functioning and reliability.
Some general guidelines for the maintenance of MCCBs:

Regular Inspection:

Conduct regular visual inspections to check for any signs of damage, overheating, or corrosion.
Ensure that there are no loose or missing parts, and that all connections are tight.

Cleanliness:

Keep the MCCB and its surroundings clean to prevent dust, dirt, or other contaminants from affecting its performance.
Use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to remove accumulated dirt.

Tightness of Connections:

Check and tighten all electrical connections to prevent overheating.
Ensure that the terminal screws are properly torqued according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Operational Tests:

Periodically test the MCCB to ensure proper operation. This may include manually tripping and resetting the breaker.
Conduct simulated load tests to verify that the MCCB can handle the specified current without tripping.

Calibration:

If the MCCB has adjustable settings, such as trip settings, perform regular calibrations to ensure that they are set correctly.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for calibration procedures.

Thermal Imaging:

Use thermal imaging equipment to identify any hotspots or abnormal temperature patterns, which may indicate potential issues.

Replacement of Worn-out Parts:

Replace any worn-out or damaged components promptly.
Check the condition of contacts and replace them if necessary.

Environmental Considerations:

Ensure that the MCCB is installed in an environment within its specified temperature and humidity range.
Protect the MCCB from harsh environmental conditions that may affect its performance.

Documentation:

Keep detailed records of maintenance activities, including inspections, tests, and any replacements.
Document any abnormalities observed during maintenance for further analysis.

Training and Certification:

Ensure that personnel responsible for MCCB maintenance are trained and certified to perform the required tasks.
Follow safety procedures and use appropriate personal protective equipment.

Manufacturer’s Guidelines:

Always refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines and recommendations for specific instructions on maintaining the MCCB model in use.

Where is used Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCBs)?

MCCBs are commonly used in industrial and commercial applications where higher currents and fault levels are present. They are used to protect electrical systems and equipment against overcurrent, short circuit, and other types of electrical faults. Some common applications of MCCBs include:

Power distribution: MCCBs are used to protect main electrical panels and sub-panels in commercial and industrial buildings.

Motors: MCCBs are used to protect motors from overloads and short circuits.

Generators: MCCBs are used to protect generators and their control systems from faults.

Transformers: MCCBs are used to protect transformers from faults caused by overloading or short circuits.

UPS systems: MCCBs are used to protect uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems from faults.

Data centers: MCCBs are used to protect electrical equipment in data centers, where the availability of power is critical.

In summary, MCCBs are used in a wide range of applications where electrical protection is critical and higher current ratings are required.

What is the advantages and disadvantages of MCCB?

Advantages

High Breaking Capacity: MCCBs have a high breaking capacity that enables them to interrupt high fault currents, making them suitable for protecting electrical systems and equipment against short circuits and other electrical faults.

Adjustable Trip Settings: MCCBs have adjustable trip settings that allow for fine-tuning of the protection level, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

Compact Size: MCCBs are compact and have a small footprint, making them suitable for installations where space is limited.

Long Lifespan: MCCBs have a long lifespan and can last for many years with proper maintenance and care.

Easy Maintenance: MCCBs are easy to maintain, and replacement parts are readily available, making it easy to repair or replace damaged components.

Disadvantages

High Cost: MCCBs are generally more expensive than other types of circuit breakers, making them less attractive for small-scale applications.

Complexity: MCCBs are more complex than other types of circuit breakers, and their installation and maintenance require a higher level of technical knowledge and expertise.

Limited Tripping Speed: MCCBs have a limited tripping speed, which may not be suitable for applications that require fast tripping times.

Sensitivity to Environmental Conditions: MCCBs are sensitive to environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, and may not perform well in extreme conditions.

MCCBs offer several advantages, including high breaking capacity, adjustable trip settings, compact size, long lifespan, and easy maintenance. However, they also have some disadvantages, such as high cost, complexity, limited tripping speed, and sensitivity to environmental conditions. The selection of an MCCB should be based on the specific application and requirements of the electrical system.

FAQ

Is MCCB better than MCB?
If evaluated from their power capacities, the MCB is essentially used for low-current requirements, such as, home wiring or small electronic circuits; while the MCCB is better used for high-power requirements.

How many amps is a MCCB?
The rating current of an MCCB is 10 to 200 amps

What is the size of MCCB?
There are varieties current ratings MCCB for the same series frame Size. For example, DX100 Frame Size MCCB for rated current of 16A, 20A, 25A, 32A, 40A, 50A, 63A, 80A, 100A.

You may also like

By Aditya

Hi, I’m Aditya Sharma, a professional blogger from Gurgaon, India and I launched this blog called aadityacademy on July 2021. aadityacademy.com is a mechanical Project-oriented platform run by Aditya sharma and I got the motivation to start aadityacademy blog after seeing less technical education information available on google.

2 thoughts on “Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) – Function,Type, Rating”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *