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What is an Auto Recloser?

The recloser is an abbreviation for the AC automated recloser. It is switchgear with its control (that is, it has fault current detection and operation sequence control and execution functions without providing additional relay protection and operating devices) and protection functions. It can automatically detect the current passing through the recloser’s primary circuit, automatically break the fault current according to the inverse time protection in the event of a fault, and perform multiple recloses accuracies.

Auto recloser working mode diagram:

auto closer mode diagram
Working mode diagram of an Auto closer

What are circuit breakers?

circuit breaker is a low-voltage electrical equipment that is extremely simple. The circuit breaker protects the circuit and the power supply by providing overload, short circuit, and under-voltage protection.

 

The difference:

 

1. Different functions

The recloser’s job is to work in tandem with other high-voltage electrical equipment. We can use a miniature circuit breaker only for open and short circuit faults. Still, the line has a broad power outage area because of its circuit breaking, reclose operation sequence, reset and lock, identify the location of the fault, and reduce the power outage area limit.

GRD9L-C diagram
GRD9L-C diagram

2. Different structures 

A recloser consists of an arc extinguishing chamber, an operational mechanism, and a control system. You can include an arc extinguishing chamber and a functional mechanism in a circuit breaker. The working mechanism of a domestic advanced auto recloser mob is a permanent magnet mechanism, whereas a circuit breaker’s operating mechanism is usually a spring mechanism. The permanent magnet mechanism has many fewer parts than the spring mechanism. Furthermore, it is maintenance-free and has a high level of dependability.

 

3. Different control methods

The circuit breaker’s development and control system happen individually, and the automatic circuit recloser has its control equipment and self-contained detection, control, and operating systems.

 

4. Different breaking characteristics 

The recloser’s breaking features dual time characteristics as well as inverse time characteristics. Circuit breakers often utilize quick-break and overcurrent protection.

 

5. Different operation sequence 

The recloser’s number of operations is “four points and three times”, and there are “two fast and two slow”, “one fast and three slow”, and so on. It also depends on the location of usage and the front and rear matching switch equipment. 

 

Benefits of an Auto Recloser

The usage of auto-reclosers has several advantages for network operators. It reduces the amount of time when there is any interruption in power due to problems. It helps network operators to meet SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index), SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index), and MAIFI (Momentary Average Interruption Frequency Index) criteria. As a result, there will be fewer revenue losses. While the United States developed the SAIDI, SAIFI, and MAIFI standards, analogous network performance standards exist in Europe and other regions. Other advantages of adopting auto-reclosers include improved system stability and lower staffing requirements. The breaker does not need to be reset at the fault location and enhanced customer satisfaction due to fewer power outages. Furthermore, employing auto-reclosers makes it easier to run substations without being there.

You can find auto-reclosers in overhead cable networks. They are beneficial because only around 7% of failures in such networks are permanent. In reality, the most majority of faults – about 80% – are temporary. It results from lightning strikes and arcing and will vanish in less than a second. Animals or branches spanning electricity lines are responsible for the other 13% of faults, which are semi-permanent. Even these flaws, on the other hand, usually burn away and disappear in a short period.

2 GRD9L RGYL9 4P MCB Auto Recloser
GRD9L RGYL9 4P MCB Auto Recloser

An auto-recloser works on the same premise as a circuit breaker. The breaker trips when it finds a fault. After that, the controller waits a specified amount of time before reclosing the breaker. If all goes smoothly, the operation is complete; however, if the problem continues, check for the persistence of the fault. Also, if the breaker trips again, the controller recloses it for a second time after a short wait; check for the same. If the problem persists after this second recloses, the breaker will trip once again.

The type of recloser to use depends on the application. It is worth mentioning that the primary goal of utilizing reclosers in medium-voltage distribution and high-voltage transmission applications is frequently different. In the first situation, the central focus is likely to guarantee power supply continuity. Hence companies and people mostly use three-phase reclosers. However, the focus switches to assuring stability and synchronization in the second scenario, making single-phase reclosers more suited. 

 

Benefits of a circuit breaker: 

  • You can upgrade them to include more circuits. 
  • They have both 120- and 240-volt circuits more safely. 
  • Unlike fuses, you can replace them when they are overloaded and reset the circuit breakers. 

 

Conclusion

A GEYA GYM9 miniature circuit breaker had 100-amp service for many years. However, circuit breaker panels with 200-amp service are standard in newer residences. It allows for more branch circuits and doubles the electrical capacity of 100-amp service. 

However, The recloser is an automated device, making it unique from a breaker. The recloser’s integral control scheme defines the standards and specifies the capabilities within the features of the recloser’s vital control scheme. It must determine a breaker must and rate it for various relay/control sequences. The design of the breaker justifies it to use with a separate relay/control scheme. Thus, the breaker standard recognizes that the breaker’s construction permits a range of allowed values for maximum tripping delays, reclosing intervals, and short-time current. You can establish these capabilities by the recloser’s predefined time-current characteristics and reclosing settings in terms of a recloser.