MCBs

MCBs, or miniature circuit breakers, are a type of switch used to automatically turn off electrical circuits during abnormal conditions. MCBs often replace fuses in low voltage electrical circuits as they can be more reliable, much more sensitive and are resettable.

How an MCB Works

When continuous overcurrent flows through an MCB, a bimetallic strip is heated and causes it to bend. This bending of the bimetallic strip releases a mechanical latch opening the contacts and turning off the MCB, thereby stopping the current to flow in the circuit. To restart the flow of current the MCB must be manually turned on. This mechanism protects the MCB from faults arising due to overcurrent or overload and is intended to prevent the accidental overloading of the cable in a no-fault situation. The speed of the MCB tripping will vary with the degree of the overload. This is usually achieved by the use of a thermal device in the MCB. The second characteristic is the magnetic fault protection, which is intended to operate when the fault reaches a predetermined level and to trip the MCB within one-tenth of a second. The level of this magnetic trip gives the MCB its type characteristic.

MCBs are used to perform many functions such as local control switches, isolating switches against faults and overload protection devices for installation or specific equipment or appliances.

MCB Types

MCBs have three common types for circuit protection in residential, commercial and industrial applications. The use is classified by a type, which determines the tripping characteristics of the MCB:

Type B - trips between 3 and 5 times the load current

This type will trip instantly at a rate of three to five times its rated current. These are normally used for resistive or small inductive loads where switching surges are very small. Therefore, these are suitable for residential or light commercial installations.

Type C - trips between 5 and 10 times the full load current

This type will trip instantly at a rate of five to ten times its rated current. These are normally used for high inductive loads where switching surges are high such as small motors and fluorescent lighting. In such cases, type C MCBs are preferred to handle higher value of short circuit currents. Therefore, these are suitable for highly inductive commercial and industrial installations.

Type D - trips between 10 and 20 times the full load current

This type will trip instantly at a rate of ten to twenty-five times its rated current. These are normally used for very high inductive loads where high inrush current is very frequent. These are suitable for specific industrial and commercial applications. The common examples of such applications include x-ray machines, UPS systems, industrial welding equipment, large winding motors, etc.

How to select a suitable MCB for the application?

Focus on 3 main points to choose the right MCB for the electrical circuit

  1. Ampere rating
  2. Short circuit breaking capacity
  3. Application type

...
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Description Price Number of Poles Current Rating Model Number Range Series Rated AC Voltage Tripping Characteristics Breaking Capacity Mounting Style Rated DC Voltage Length Width Depth Application
RS Stock No. 791-3164
Mfr. Part No.A9F53116
$49.59
Each
units
1 16 A - Acti 9 iC60H 100 → 133 V, 12 → 60 V, 220 → 240 V Type B 10 kA DIN Rail 72 V, 12 → 48 V 85mm 18mm 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 791-3451
Mfr. Part No.A9F55101
$63.56
Each
units
1 1 A - Acti 9 iC60H 100 → 133 V, 12 → 60 V, 220 → 240 V Type D 10 kA DIN Rail 72 V, 12 → 48 V 85mm 18mm 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 825-5879
Mfr. Part No.P1MB3PD06
BrandLovato
$100.71
Each
units
3 6 A - ModuLo P1MB 230 V, 400 V Type D 10 kA - - 86.5mm 54mm 79.52mm -
RS Stock No. 825-5602
Mfr. Part No.P1MB1PC20
BrandLovato
$22.38
Each
units
1 20 A - ModuLo P1MB 230 V Type C 10 kA - 60V 86.5mm 18mm 79.52mm -
RS Stock No. 849-6478
Mfr. Part No.EUC1P32B
BrandEuropa
$14.39
Each
units
1 32 A - EU EUB 230/400 V Type B 10 kA - - 18mm 78mm 87mm -
RS Stock No. 825-5564
Mfr. Part No.P1MB1PB32
BrandLovato
$22.38
Each
units
1 32 A - ModuLo P1MB 230 V Type B 10 kA - 60V 86.5mm 18mm 79.52mm -
RS Stock No. 849-6462
Mfr. Part No.EUC1P16B
BrandEuropa
$14.39
Each
units
1 16 A - EU EUB 230/400 V Type B 10 kA - - 18mm 78mm 87mm -
RS Stock No. 849-6585
Mfr. Part No.EUC3P16C
BrandEuropa
$40.30
Each
units
3 16 A - EU EUC 230/400 V Type C 10 kA - - 54mm 78mm 87mm -
RS Stock No. 791-3571
Mfr. Part No.A9F55325
$194.77
Each
units
3 25 A - Acti 9 iC60H 440 V, 12 → 133 V, 220 → 240 V, 380 → 415 V Type D 10 kA DIN Rail 100 → 133V 85mm 54mm 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 746-7659
Mfr. Part No.S201-C8
BrandABB
$29.20
Each
units
1 8 A - System M Pro S200 230 V Type C 6 kA - - 88mm 17.5mm 69mm -
RS Stock No. 849-6581
Mfr. Part No.EUC3P10C
BrandEuropa
$44.77
Each
units
3 10 A - EU EUC 230/400 V Type C 10 kA - - 54mm 78mm 87mm -
RS Stock No. 772-1366
Mfr. Part No.5SY4306-7
BrandSiemens
$151.49
Each
units
3 6 A - Sentron 5SY4 400 V Type C 10 kA - - 89.8mm 52.8mm 76mm -
RS Stock No. 791-3467
Mfr. Part No.A9F55104
$55.37
Each
units
1 4 A - Acti 9 iC60H 100 → 133 V, 12 → 60 V, 220 → 240 V Type D 10 kA DIN Rail 72 V, 12 → 48 V 85mm 18mm 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 791-3565
Mfr. Part No.A9F55310
$200.70
Each
units
3 10 A - Acti 9 iC60H 440 V, 12 → 133 V, 220 → 240 V, 380 → 415 V Type D 10 kA DIN Rail 100 → 133V 85mm 54mm 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 622-0115
Mfr. Part No.5SY4305-7
BrandSiemens
$160.71
Each
units
3 500 mA - Sentron 5SY4 400 V Type C 10 kA - - 89.8mm 52.8mm 76mm -
RS Stock No. 825-5542
Mfr. Part No.P1MB1PB04
BrandLovato
$34.88
Each
units
1 4 A - ModuLo P1MB 230 V Type B 10 kA - 60V 86.5mm 18mm 79.52mm -
RS Stock No. 790-8869
Mfr. Part No.A9F44125
$41.84
Each
units
1 25 A - Acti 9 iC60N 100 → 133 V, 12 → 60 V, 220 → 240 V Type C 6 kA - 12 → 48 V, 72 V - - 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 791-3568
Mfr. Part No.A9F55316
$200.70
Each
units
3 16 A - Acti 9 iC60H 440 V, 12 → 133 V, 220 → 240 V, 380 → 415 V Type D 10 kA DIN Rail 100 → 133V 85mm 54mm 78.5mm -
RS Stock No. 746-7700
Mfr. Part No.S202-C8
BrandABB
$79.69
Each
units
2 8 A - System M Pro S200 400 V Type C 6 kA - - 88mm 35mm 69mm -
RS Stock No. 361-2139
Mfr. Part No.AHB101
BrandEaton
$24.35
Each
units
1 10 A - Memera AHB 240 V Type B 10 kA - - - - - -
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