HRC fuses in electrical circuits

When it comes to electrical circuits, fuses are of great importance. HRC fuse stands for the high rupturing capacity fuse that provides protection against overloading and short-circuiting. One of the most prominent fuses is the HRC fuse which is low-maintenance. Their easy design and high breaking capacity have also made them popular. They are quite cheaper than any other variety of fuse.

Let’s learn more about HRC fuses and their specialities.

Actions of the fuse element of HRC fuses:

The fuse element of an HRC fuse is no different from a regular fuse. It is manufactured from silver that is designed to melt at a predefined temperature. 

For the normal current range, the fuse operates rightly by dissipating the heat generated while keeping the circuit intact. As soon as the current flow exceeds the normal range, the fuse element overheats and melts down leading to an open circuit. Since the circuit opens up, the excessive current no longer passes through the fuse which saves the circuit from any damage.

Different speeds of HRC fuse elements: 

Electrical characteristics of HRC fuse like opening speed, fault tolerance and voltage handling capabilities are solely determined by the design of the fuse element.

There are two kinds of speeds available for HRC fuse elements. One is the fast-acting fuse meant for semiconductor protection, while the other is a slow-acting fuse ideal for motor protection. The following list illustrates the variety of fuse speeds available for HRC fuses. They are:

  • aR, gR, gS:

These fuses cover a partial to a full range of breaking capacities that are useful for short-circuit protection. These are ideal for protecting semiconductors like diodes and thyristors.

  • gG, gL, gF:

These are the general purpose fuse speeds designed to control both overloading and short-circuiting. Their fuse elements have full-range breaking capacities.   

  • aM, gM:

These are fuses that act quite slowly and are used to protect motor circuits from short-circuiting and overload.

  • gPV, gB, gTr:

These are HRC fuses that are meant to provide safety from solar photovoltaic arrays. They also provide great protection in mining applications and the use of transformers.

Application of HRC fuses and MCCBs in low voltage distribution network:

Though HRC and MCCB are powerful devices to prevent the unrestrained flow of current, MCCBs are not economically viable for rampant faults due to short circuits. MCCBs and HRC fuses can be an effective combination for protecting distribution transformers. 

The application of HRC fuses and MCCBs in low voltage distribution networks is mostly dependent on their operational characteristics. Judging the performance of MCCBs under a specific condition shows that they are technically prohibitive in areas with a high incidence of fault interruptions. Thus, a suitable combination of MCCBs and HRC fuses is recommended that can be effective in protecting distribution transformers.

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