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What is an Auto Recloser in Electricity?

2023/03/22 丨Technical

An auto recloser is a critical component in electrical distribution networks that helps maintain the reliability and continuity of the power supply. Also, it is an essential component of the power distribution system, especially in areas that experience frequent power outages due to adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, or equipment faults.


Introduction to Auto Reclosers


An auto recloser is a device used in electrical power systems to automatically detect and interrupt a fault, and then reclose the circuit after a predetermined time delay. It is designed to reduce the number of outages caused by short circuits and other faults. Auto reclosers help to minimize the disruption of electric power in the event of temporary faults.


Traditional protection systems, such as circuit breakers and fuses, would interrupt the power supply until a technician manually resets or replaces the device. By contrast, an auto recloser can automatically reclose the circuit after a predetermined time, restoring power if the fault has cleared.


Auto Reclosers Working Principle


Auto reclosers operate using a combination of current sensing, control logic, and switching mechanisms.



Fault detection: The auto recloser continuously monitors the electrical current flowing through the power line. If a fault is detected, such as an overcurrent or short circuit, the device's sensors send a signal to the control unit.


Opening the circuit: Upon receiving the fault signal, the control unit activates the switching mechanism, which opens the circuit and interrupts the current flow to isolate the fault.


Time-delayed reclosing: The control unit waits for a predetermined time interval, known as the "dead time," before attempting to reclose the circuit. This allows the temporary fault to clear, such as the ionized air from a lightning strike dissipating.


Circuit reclosure: After the dead time, the control unit instructs the switching mechanism to reclose the circuit. If the fault is still present, the auto recloser will detect it and repeat the process, typically a set number of times (usually three) before locking out and requiring manual intervention.


Lockout: If the fault persists after all the reclosing attempts, the auto recloser will enter a lockout state, and the circuit remains open until a technician investigates and resolves the issue.


Benefits of Auto Reclosers


Auto reclosers offer several advantages to electrical distribution networks:


Improved service reliability: By minimizing the duration of power outages and automatically restoring power after temporary faults, auto reclosers significantly enhance the reliability of the electrical distribution system.


Reduced operational costs: Auto reclosers decrease the need for manual interventions, reducing the number of field visits by maintenance crews and lowering operational costs.


Enhanced safety: By isolating faults quickly and automatically, auto reclosers help protect both the electrical infrastructure and the public from potential hazards.


Integration with smart grid technologies: Auto reclosers can be integrated with advanced communication and control systems, enabling remote monitoring, control, and diagnostics, further improving the overall efficiency and management of the power grid.


Applications of Auto Reclosers


Auto reclosers are widely used in various types of electrical distribution networks, including rural, urban, and industrial applications. They can be installed on overhead lines, underground cables, or even in substations to protect transformers and other equipment.


In conclusion, auto reclosers are an essential component in modern electrical distribution systems, providing efficient fault management and significantly improving the reliability and safety of the power supply. Also are an important asset for power distribution companies to enhance power quality and reliability. With the increasing integration of renewable energy sources and smart grid technologies, the role of auto reclosers is expected to become even more critical in the future.


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