Failure in circuit design, improper installation or insulation failure results in current leakage. This current leakage should be detected otherwise it may led to electric shocks if someone touches it unknowingly. Safety and security comes first especially in production processes, infrastructure and services which require no or less maintenance. Earth leakage circuit breaker (ELCB) is a safety device to prevent shock and used to detect earths leakage current. ELCB is an intelligent automatic reclosing protection device. When current of the circuit increases or dangerous voltage is detected, the ELCB will automatically cut off power. ELCB are voltage sensing electrical devices and protects circuits, instruments and operators. ELCB’s is used in domestic, industries, supermarkets, shops, refrigerating chambers, offices, industrial farms and others.
There are two types of ELCB’s: Voltage Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (VELCB) and Current Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (CELCB). VELCB consists of coils of relay which is connected to a metal body at one end and connected to ground wire at the other end. VELCB operates on the basis of voltage fluctuations. It functions when current passes through ELCB’s and senses voltage to decide the earth leakage. VELCB consists of six terminals. Neutral in and out, Line in and out, Earth and Fault. They operate at a voltage potential of 50 volts in order to open the main breaker and isolate the supply from the protected premises. If more than allowed voltage is detected across the sensor coil, it will cut off the power and will remain off until manually reset.
CELCB are now known as Residual Current Devices (RCD) or Residua Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) to avoid confusion in electrical industry. RCD consists of three transformers with two primary windings and one secondary windings. Neutral and live wires are on primary windings side. A coiled wire serves the secondary winding. During any fault small current travels the ground. This creates unbalance between the neutral and live phase current and forms a unbalanced magnetic field. This results in induction of current from the secondary windings which is connected to a sensor which in turn sends signals to the tripping system.
China is the leader in cheap manufacturing of ELCB’s and captures a huge market share in this segment. Indonesia and Vietnam are one of the fastest growing markets for ELCB’s and would attract more suppliers in this segment. Infrastructure development and industrialization will favor high demand for ELCB’s in developing countries. Developed countries such US, Russia, Germany, China will never compromise on safety issues and the demand for ELCB’s would increase in these countries. Asia and Africa are considered emerging markets and would favor the highest demand for this product in near future. Both industrial and domestic demand of ELCB’s would be high in the coming years due rapid infrastructure and industrial development.
Some of the manufacturers and suppliers of ELCB are Schneider Electric, Siemens AG, Crabtree, Havells, Shanghai Kangma Electric Co. Ltd, Fuji Electric, Camsco, Bryant, Ericson, Teco, Carling Technologies, Circutor, Shihlin, Solanki Industries, BVM Technologies Private Limited, Anchor Electrical and others.
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