Top 10 Differences Between Isolators and Circuit Breakers

Isolators and circuit breakers are two electrical devices that are commonly found in industrial installations.

  1. The isolator is an offload device, while circuit breaker is on load device.
  2. The isolator is used for isolating a portion of the power system. The circuit breaker is used for switching purposes.
  3. Isolator should be operated after switching off the circuit breaker.
  4. The isolator is provided on both sides of the circuit breaker, while a CB is installed within the circuit.
  5. Isolators are not designed for automatic switching, while a circuit breaker automatically switches off.
  6. Isolators are used in industrial applications while CB’s find their applications in industrial as well as domestic applications.
  7. Isolators are never used to make or break load and fault currents while CB is designed to make or break load and fault currents.
  8. The isolator is not built with arc quenching methods, while a CB is always provided with some arc quenching techniques.
  9. Isolator always operates after CB, a CB should operate before isolator.
  10. Summarizing all, the isolator is isolation device, CB is a protection device.

Isolator – The practical Explanation

An isolator is actually a type of switch that is used for isolating a part of the power system from other portion. The video below briefly illustrates the practical working:

Circuit breaker

A circuit breaker is a protection element that is employed for protection against fault currents. They can be found in industries as well as in our homes. Domestic installations often use MCBs, while industrial applications use MCCB. SF6 breakers are often employed in Switchyards and other HV applications. The video below illustrates the working of circuit breakers.

Also, download Whitepaper on Moden Industrial circuit breakers.

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