Fuse and circuit breakers are one of the critical components of an electrical system. While both circuit breakers and fuse perform the same job that is to prevent overloads. Fuse as well as circuit breakers are used for interrupting the flow of electricity. However, there are some key differences in the way they function.
One of the basic difference between fuse and circuit breaker is that fuse is a metal piece which melts when there is overload while circuit breaker has an internal switch which gets tripped when the amount of electricity flowing through is way too much.
What is a Fuse?
We can define fuse as an electrical safety device that removes electrical current from an electrical circuit when the current in the electrical circuit is too high.
What is Circuit Breaker?
We can define a circuit breaker as an automatically operated electrical switch which is designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by an excess amount of current from an overload or short circuit. The basic function of a circuit breaker is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected.
Fuse finds application in electronic equipment that requires very low current while the circuit breakers find application in heavy machines or electronic equipment that requires large amount of current.
Fuse vs Circuit Breakers
|Works on the thermal and electrical properties of the conducting materials||Works on the switching principle and electromagnetism|
|It doesn’t give any indication of overloads||It gives an indication of overloads|
|Fuse can only be used once||A circuit breaker can be used many numbers of times|
|Provides protection against power overloads||Provides protection against power overloads and short circuits|
|It detects and interrupts faulty circuit conditions||It performs the interruption process only. Faults are detected by a relay system.|
|Low breaking capacity compared to the circuit breaker||High breaking capacity|
|Automatic operation||Can either be automatic or manually operated|
|Operating time of fuse is 0.002 seconds||Operating time of the circuit breaker is 0.02 – 0.05 seconds|
|Low Cost||High Cost|
So these were some key fuse and circuit breakers differences. Most houses use breakers nowadays due to their many advantages. Fuses, though, are used widely in cars and in some appliances because of their simplicity and small size.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand that fuse and circuit breakers cannot be interchanged when it comes to their applications. For example, a fuse cannot be used in place of circuit breakers in GFCI.
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