Fuse vs Circuit Breaker, what’s the difference?

Fuse vs Circuit Breaker

Fuse vs Circuit Breaker – In electrical circuits, we recognize two types of circuit safety, namely Fuse and Circuit Breaker.

These two components are designed as very current sensitive devices and are placed in the path of the current.

If the current through this component is below the maximum current limit of this component, then this component functions as a closed switch that can conduct current.

When the current exceeds the maximum limit of the fuse and circuit breaker, then both will function as an open switch, so that current does not flow into the circuit.

Fuse vs Circuit Breaker, what's the difference?
Symbol of Fuse and Circuit Breaker

3 Basic Differences

There are three basic differences between Fuse and Circuit Breaker:

  1. Fuse if the current through it is equal to or exceeds the maximum current of the fuse, the fuse will break and must be replaced.

    While the circuit breaker if the current through it is equal to or exceeds the maximum current of the circuit breaker, the circuit breaker contact will open so that it is like an open switch position.

    However, the circuit breaker can be reset manually to change the position like a closed switch or can be used repeatedly without must be replaced.
  2. Fuse is generally used for small currents, while circuit breakers are used at high currents.
  3. Most of the physical size of Fuse is smaller than Circuit Breaker.

Examples of using Fuse are in audio systems such as amplifiers both on active speakers to car amplifiers, voltage stabilizers, car electrical systems, televisions, radios and many more.

However, as technology advances, now Fuse has a feature to automatically disconnect and connect circuits known as PolyFuse fuses.

What is PolyFuse?

PolyFuse is a type of fuse used in electronic circuits that can be disconnected and reconnected automatically.

Besides Polyfuse, names that are often used are polymeric PTC (positive temperature coefficient), multiFuse, or polySwitch.

The way a polyfuse works is if the polyfuse used is to have a maximum current limit of 2A, and the current through it is 2A or more, then the fuse is automatically cut off. And when the current from 2A decreases, the polyFuse will automatically reconnect.

With these advantages, polyFuse has been widely used in electronic devices to automotive as a very important component for circuit security.

Its use is good with low to high current to prevent over current. The most common example of using polyFuse is on Arduino Board.

If you are someone who likes Arduino or is making a project with it, when you connect or accidentally connect Power VCC to GND, the Arduino board will turn off automatically and when the connection is disconnected, Arduino will be active again.

If this polyfuse is not used, then when you connect VCC and GND, it could be that the microcontroller and other components will be damaged and burned.

Thus a brief explanation of Fuse and Circuit Breaker, hopefully the article “Differences of Fuse and Circuit Breaker” can add to your insight in the field of electronics and electricity.

Thank you for visiting the Chip Piko website and I hope it is useful.

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