Explain the working principle of fuse and MCB.

10 a]Explain the working principle of fuse and MCB.

Solution :



An Electric Fuse is a protective device which interrupts the flow of excessive current in an Electric circuit. This works on the principle of heating effect of the Electric Current

A Fuse consists of conducting wire, which has high resistivity and low melting point. The thickness of the Fuse wire is determined based on the amount of current flow in the circuit. If a fault causes a flow of excess Current then a Conductor break the Circuit by melting or separating it, the thin Conductor used is known as an Electric Fuse. The wire inside the Fuse melts if there is an occurrence of high Current due to a short Circuit or an overloaded Circuit. As a result of which the Current stops flowing since the wire has broken. In order to stop the flow of Electricity. Once a Fuse melts, it can be changed or replaced with a new Fuse. A Fuse is normally made up of elements like zinc, copper, aluminum and silver.

Miniature circuit breaker (MCB) :

An MCB – miniature circuit breaker is an electromagnetic device that embodies complete enclosure in a molded insulating material.

Miniature circuit breaker (MCB) :
Miniature circuit breaker (MCB) :

The main function of an MCB is to open the circuit automatically when the current passing through MCB exceeds the value for which it is set. It can be manually switched ON and OFF as similar to normal switch if necessary. An MCB is a simple, easily operable device and is maintenance-free too. It can be easily replaced.
The trip unit is the key part of the MCB on which the unit operates. The bi-metal present in the MCB circuit protects against overload current and the electromagnet in the circuit protects against short-circuit current.


When the overflow of current takes place through MCB , the bimetallic strip gets heated and it deflects by bending. The deflection of the bi-metallic strip or trip bar releases a latch. The latch causes the MCB to turn off by stopping the flow of the current in the circuit. This process helps to safeguard the appliances or devices from the hazards happening due to overload or overcurrent. To restart the flow of current, MCB must be turned ON manually.
In the case of short circuit conditions, the current rises suddenly in an unpredictable way, leading to the electromechanical displacement of the plunger associated with a solenoid.
The plunger hits the trip lever, it causes the automatic release of the latch mechanism by opening the circuit breaker contacts.

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