Introduction and Survey: Physical and Network Phenomena

  • K. Ragaller
  • K. Reichert
Part of the Earlier Brown Boveri Symposia book series (EBBS)


The task of a circuit breaker is to interrupt short-circuit currents in a network. Two basic types of fault are discussed: the terminal fault and the short-line fault. Failure of the breaker may occur if the transient recovery voltage, which stresses the breaker, is too high. Two types of failure can be distinguished: dielectric failure, which is usually coupled with the terminal fault, and thermal failure which is associated with the short-line fault.

The most effective arrangement with which to interrupt the current is an electric arc burning in a gas at high pressure and with a strong axial pressure gradient. The high axial flow velocity of the arc plasma produced thereby results in a very thin arc channel at current zero. This conducting path is interrupted by flow turbulence. After current interruption a thin channel of hot gas continues to exist in the circuit breaker, thus limiting the allowable peak of the transient recovery voltage. For both the thermal and the dielectric interruption modes, limiting curves can be derived which together determine the range of application of a given circuit breaker.


Circuit Breaker Peak Voltage Nozzle Throat Current Zero Differential Interferogram 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Ragaller
    • 1
  • K. Reichert
    • 1
  1. 1.Brown Boveri & Company Ltd.BadenSwitzerland

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