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Auto Reclosers vs Circuit Breakers: What's the Difference?

2023/05/26 丨Technical

Protecting equipment and ensuring power system stability and reliability are very important in power distribution systems. Therefore, automatic reclosers and circuit breakers are important devices to prevent power failures in power distribution systems. Although they function similarly, but there are some important differences between reclosers and circuit breakers.


Automatic Reclosers


An automatic recloser is a device used to automatically restore power to a distribution line after a temporary outage. It is designed to automatically detect faults and interrupt the flow of power. Once the fault is cleared, the recloser automatically turns back on and restores power. Even if the fault still exists, the auto recloser is locked out to protect the system. This feature helps maintain the stability and reliability of distribution systems by quickly restoring power after temporary failures without human intervention.



Circuit Breakers


A circuit breaker is a device that interrupts the flow of electricity when an electrical fault is detected. This feature helps prevent equipment damage, fires, and other dangerous situations caused by electrical failures. Circuit breakers require human intervention to reset them after a fault has occurred and tripped them. Circuit breakers are typically used to protect against overloads, short circuits, and ground faults and are available in low, medium, and high-voltage types.



Key Differences Between Auto Reclosers and Circuit Breakers


Function: The main difference between a circuit breaker and an automatic recloser is the function. Circuit breakers are designed to interrupt the flow of current when an electrical fault is detected. In contrast, automatic reclosers are designed to automatically restore power flow to distribution lines after temporary failures. Reclosers are used for quick, temporary fault clearance, while circuit breakers permanently isolate the faulted area.


Reset: Circuit breakers must be manually reset and closed after a fault to isolate the fault. Auto-reclosers, on the other hand, are devices that operate automatically to restore power to the line after the fault has been cleared. Thus, the auto-reclose button resets automatically, while the circuit breaker must be reset manually.


Application: Applications for circuit breakers range from residential to industrial environments. Typically, they are used in power distribution systems to protect equipment such as transformers, motors, and generators from damage due to overloads or faults. The automatic recloser is used in the medium-voltage overhead line to prevent the distribution line from being affected or damaged by sudden faults.


Speed: The automatic recloser operates on the order of fractions of a second to quickly detect and clear transient faults. Circuit breakers are designed to permanently isolate faults rather than temporarily clear them, so processing is somewhat slower.


Difference Between Auto Reclosers and Circuit Breakers




Although the application scenarios and operation methods of automatic recloser and circuit breaker are different, both are important electrical protection devices. If you want to know more about the specifications and parameters of automatic reclosers and circuit breakers, you can browse the Matismart product page for more details. You can also send us a contact form or email to get in touch with our technical staff and learn more about technical content.

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