Oil circuit breaker is just such kind of electric circuit breaker that used pure oil as a conductive dielectric to break the circuit. In oil circuit breaker, the contact of the circuit breaker with the heat of the lightning is created, and then the contacts to separate in an insulated oil. When the fault takes place in the electrical system, then the contacts of this circuit breaker are closed under the thin-oil, and a small arc is produced between them and the high voltage of the circuit. But due to the insulation of oil it keeps the high voltage away from the connecting wire.
Basically the two main types of oil circuit breakers are the magnetic and thermal types. The thermal type is very much similar to the solenoid as it uses a coil spring that holds a thin metal strip in a cup. As the coil is pulled by the weight of the metal strip, the magnetic field lines are also pushed by the metal strip so that the circuit breaker is able to work. This process of the magnetic breakers works even better when the weight of the metal strip is a little more than the weight of the spring.
On the other hand, the thermal breakers are quite similar to the standard solenoids. However, the difference can be seen in the way they are installed. The thermal breakers are built in the same manner as the standard solenoids and use the same type of releasing mechanism like the relief spring. Therefore, these devices are usually placed inside of Distribution Boards. For example, in power distribution systems, these devices are often installed on the over-current detection circuit boards to detect over-current situations.
These devices do have some differences however; mainly depending on the materials used to make them. The spring has a fixed contact plate and a fixed armature, while the magnetic component is mobile. Depending on the voltage across the circuit breaker, the armature would move up or down to regulate the voltage. When the current motion is not too fast, the moving contact plate will be damaged due to the friction between the two, which causes the current to flow in the reverse direction. Thus, this then results in an arc formation and when the current speed is high the arc will be cut short.
Before you buy any type of Oil Circuit Breaker, you must ensure that it will be suited for your working principle. For instance, an oil seal should be used with a standard circuit breaker. However, if the wire feed is normal operation, the oil seal should be suitable for normal operation. Another important factor to consider is the terminal connections. It is advised that terminals compatible with each other are selected.
High Voltage Circuit Breakers: Oil can also be used in conjunction with high-voltage circuit breakers. High Voltage circuit breakers are designed to handle higher currents and so are more suited to heavy duty applications. This is because they normally handle greater voltages.
The main advantages of using oil for Oil Circuit Breakers are that there are no mechanical parts that may get worn out and disconnected, thereby leading to loss of electrical current. Also, the oil contact plate will not get damaged due to friction, as in the case with most of the other types of circuit breakers. This means that the residual current will not cause any short circuit problems. Another benefit of using an oil-sealed circuit breaker is that the operation is safe, clean and reliable.
There are many more advantages than these however. For instance, oil-sealed circuit breakers provide protection against shock or arc damage. These protectors are also flame resistant. This ensures that the circuits are safe from fire and sparks even when there is intense heat. Oil based circuit breakers are very low maintenance, which is why they are usually found in offices, hospitals, computer rooms, welding stations, power looms and more.