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`Unique` breaker protects production lines
Published:  01 February, 2001

`Unique` breaker protects production lines

E-T-A has launched what it describes as a "revolutionary" and "unique" electronic circuit breaker designed to offer selective disconnection of loads attached to 24V DC switched mode power supplies (SMPSs). In the event of an overload or short circuit in one load circuit, the ESS1 breaker will disconnect and isolate that circuit while maintaining voltages above 18V in the other load circuits.

Usually, if there is an overload or short-circuit in any of an SMPS`s output circuits, all of the circuits are lost. Installing single, series-connected breakers in each circuit does not necessarilly solve the problem because they may not trip if an overload occurs. The current-limiting action of the SMPS, and the consequent drop in voltage, may prevent the breakers` rated current being reached.

The new breaker is said to be suitable for resistive, capacitive or inductive loads. It offers particular protection against in-rush currents for high capacitive loads, thus minimising the danger of premature tripping.

The breaker can be set for 3A or 6A current ratings and incorporates an LED indication of the current, shown as a percentage, to help in fault-finding. An on/off control button also acts as a manual reset, and a potential-free output is provided for monitoring failures remotely.

The ESS1 is designed to plug into a DIN-rail-mounting modular distribution system. Up to 16 can be mounted side-by-side, with the power connection from the SMPS being routed automatically to the required number of protected channels.

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