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How the SF6 Circuit Breaker work?

Jan 22, 2017

We may all hear high voltage switch, but do you know the working principle of sulfur hexafluoride breaker?

sulfur hexafluoride breaker

In the normal operating conditions, the contacts of the breaker are closed. When the fault occurs in the system, the contacts are pulled apart, and an arc is struck between them. The displacement of the moving contacts is synchronised with the valve which enters the high-pressure SF6 gas in the arc interrupting chamber at a pressure of about 16kg/cm^2.

The SF6 gas absorbs the free electrons in the arc path and forms ions which do not act as a charge carrier. These ions increase the dielectric strength of the gas and hence the arc is extinguished. This process reduces the pressure of the SF6 gas up to 3kg/cm^2 thus; it is stored in the low-pressure reservoir. This low-pressure gas is pulled back to the high-pressure reservoir for re-use.

Now a day puffer piston pressure is used for generating arc quenching pressure during an opening operation by mean of a piston attached to the moving contacts.

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