MCB vs RCCB vs RCBOs: Choosing the best option
|Back in the 70s and 80s, circuit protection generally boiled down to one component – the fuse. But over the last few decades, circuit protection has evolved leaps and bounces. Today, products like the Schneider 9 Acti RCBOs give you some of the best circuit protection technology in the industry.
Depending on when your home was built and what electrical settings you chose, it will have an MCB, RCCB, RCBO, or any combination of the three.
So, what does each device do? And which product should you go for? Here’s a brief but insightful take on the matter.
MCB: Miniature Circuit Breaker
As we all know, all fuses need to be replaced with the MCB for safety and control purposes. MCBs are electromechanical devices that are used to protect an electrical circuit from an overcurrent. It can be reclosed without any hand-operated restoration. MCB is used as an option for the fuse switch in most of the circuits. Unlike a fuse, MCB does not have to be replaced every time after a failure as it can be reused. Another huge advantage of MCBs is that the detection of a problem is easy. Whenever there is a fault in the circuit, the switch comes down automatically and we are hereby informed that there was a fault. We can then manually go and put the MCB back up and the electricity will start flowing again.
RCCB: Residual Current Circuit Breaker
As the name suggests, the basic principle of this circuit breaker is to operate on Residual current. How does it work? RCCB is designed to detect the current difference between Phase (Live) and Neutral. This current is also known as Residual Current. As in normal operating conditions, Phase and Neutral will always have a balanced current, however, when there is a fault or potential hazard residual current will occur. For a healthy circuit, always amount of current flows through the Phase should return through Neutral. If there is any mismatch it will be detected by RCCB. In other words, RCCB will operate when there is an earth fault. RCCB is a very useful device to protect individuals from electric Shock. RCCBs will detect current as low as 30mA, which is very small to detect by other means of the device. However, RCCB is always used in conjunction with another protective device like MCB. As RCCBs are only designed to detect residual current and not to trip on overload/short circuit. RCCB is shown for rated current, however, that rating only indicates the average operation current that RCCB can carry. The most widely used RCCB is 30mA and 100 mA
RCBO (Residual Current Breaker with Overload)
As the name suggests the operating fundamental of RCBO is to operate on residual as well as overload current. RCBO is a combination of MCB and ELCB (RCCB). When a current imbalance occurs, the residual current circuit (RCCB) will operate and the circuit breaker (MCB) will operate when there is an overload in the course.