What Are Medium Voltage Circuit Breaker Types?

Circuit breakers play a crucial role when it comes to electric components. Medium voltage circuit breakers are one of such important elements of these breakers. Medium voltage circuit breakers have their own types. This enables the individual to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to choose the best potential for them.  This blog will aid in exploring medium voltage circuit breakers, and their types. For the best circuit breakers/medium circuit breakers, Liyond can be visited.

What is a medium voltage circuit breaker?


Medium voltage circuit breaker operates on an approximate voltage of 10KV to 35kV. Low voltage is not suitable for them to operate properly. In the case of ht circuit breaker, the voltage would be very high, therefore, it would not work in these conditions. Therefore, medium voltage breaker types are the best option to operate on. Unlike other types of breakers, medium voltage circuit breakers types can be operated on a manual level as well. Because they can operate on levels below 600 volts, it gives them the opportunity to operate manually as the level. However, medium voltage circuit breakers can also be electrically operated. This can happen with some solenoid or other energy storing method. Medium voltage breakers are environmentally friendly, carry friendly operation, have automatic alignment, easy mechanism, and control, installation-friendly, reliable, safe, and affordable.

Medium voltage circuit breaker types


The mv breakers are crucial. There are four types of medium voltage circuit breakers. They are:

Air Circuit Breakers

Air circuit breakers are used commonly in the world of types of circuit breakers. They cost low and the age of these mv circuit breakers are good. Therefore, they are used extensively in industrial environments. They have operating mechanisms that are surrounded by the environment. The cool air that is derived from the convection helps them work at a reasonable temperature. They have mechanisms such as blowout coils and puffer tubes to help them function better. The circuit breaker design includes blowout coils that can be used to extinguish the arc by using a magnetic blast.  Puffer tubes follow the mechanism of blowing a puff of air from a tube to a nozzle of each contact assembly.

Vacuum Circuit Breakers

Vacuum circuit breakers are arguably the most popular type of medium voltage vacuum circuit breaker. Vacuum circuit breakers are qualitative equipment because of their compact size, and reliability. In compassion to air circuit breakers, not only do they have better reliability but they are also housed in a vacuum bottle. They have longer life because contact erosion can be controlled by the vacuum bottle.

The maintenance for the mv vacuum circuit breaker is hassle-free because it is conducted on a free operation. The contacts of these breakers have sealed housing. Because they contain hard contact materials, they have better reliability. On a virtual basis, medium voltage vacuum circuit breakers have no atmospheric contact contamination. This helps in reducing oxides and corrosion. The presence of the arching in the vacuum bottles assures quiet operation. The mv circuit breakers are important in the electrical industry.

SF6 Circuit Breakers in Gas Circuit Breakers

SF6 indicates sulfur hexafluoride.  Pressurized SF6 is filled in the chamber.  The arc generated is extinguished through the means of the chamber with pressurized SF6. These medium voltage circuit breakers are seen in gas circuit breakers. SF6 circuit breakers are similar to vacuum circuit breakers. The prominent difference between them is the contact of the assembly that is present in a pressurized bottle. As the mechanism works, the highly compressed gas is released from the arc in the breaker. Further, this is collected in a low-pressure container and then transferred back to the high-pressure container for reusing purposes.


However, SF6 can be harmful because they are a potent greenhouse gas. If they are released, this can particularly have negative effects on the atmosphere. But technology has been adopted to make sure that there is no SF6 leakage in this kind of circuit breaker.

Oil Circuit Breaker

Another one of the mv circuit breakers is the oil circuit breaker. This circuit breaker is normally located outdoors. However, now they are becoming less present in the industrial environment. Their biggest competitor is the vacuum circuit breakers. All assemblies are placed in an oil-filled tank. This can provide insulation and an arc quenching mechanism. In an industrial environment, the oil circuit breaker can stand

Medium voltage circuit breaker application


The medium voltage circuit breakers have their own sense of application. On the basis of their application, circuit breakers can be categorized into low voltage circuit breakers, medium voltage circuit breakers, and high voltage circuit breakers. Low voltage circuit breakers would include MCCB, ACB, MCB, and RCCB. Medium voltage circuit breakers would include VCB, SF6, OCB, and ABCB.

Medium circuit breakers can be connected into a circuit that is bolted by connections to wires or bus bars. This can especially take place in outdoor switchyards. Mv circuit breakers can allow removal of the break without creating problems for power circuit connection. 

Below are key applications of medium voltage circuit breakers:

How does medium voltage circuit breaker work

VCB circuit breaker

When it comes to their operating mechanism, medium voltage circuit breakers can be operated in two ways: manual and electrical. In the case of manual operation, manual breakers have an operating handle that is present on the breaker’s physical body. This can normally be noticed at the front. When the handle moves, it provides motion to the closing spring. Bimetallic contacts are also attached to it. They also move and close in this process. With this process, a closed path is formed for the flow of current. When in its normal condition, the current cannot flow because the path is open. Also, when it comes to manual operation, only circuit breakers that are operated on voltage below 600 volts can be manually operated. 


However, in the circuit breaker operating mechanism medium voltage circuit breakers can also be operated through electrical response. This can be done with the help of an energy-storing method or a solenoid. The mv breakers can use a solenoid method where a coil can give an electrical signal to the solenoid.  This will help in the opening and closing of the contacts with regard to the signals. 

On the other hand, the circuit breakers design contains an energy storing mechanism, where  the charging motor would be used to charge the spring. This can close the contacts as soon as the signal is provided. When any of the contacts close, the circuit breaker’s operation will remain the same. It will conduct the current and flow of the current will to the external circuit.

Table of Contents


Voltage breakers have a crucial role to play. Medium voltage circuit breakers can include SF6 and vacuum medium voltage circuit breaker types. They can operate on both manual and electrical levels. However, the voltage should be given consideration in order to get a manual operation to work. Vacuum circuit breakers are one of the most popular mv vacuum circuit breakers in comparison to the other types. There are also air circuit breakers, oil circuit breakers, and gas circuit breaker/SF6 circuit breakers. Therefore, medium voltage circuit breaker types are important as well. For further information, Liyond can be visited.

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