This section provides an overview for load switches as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 7 load switch manufacturers and their company rankings.
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A load switch is a device that opens or closes an electric circuit with a load current. Generally, it refers to a product that opens or closes a high-voltage AC load current.
Furthermore, LBS (Load Break Switch) is often referred to among them. Devices that open and close circuits in high-voltage electric lines include disconnectors, circuit breakers, and load switches.
A disconnector is a device that cannot open or close the load current and is used for safety control during maintenance work. A circuit breaker is a device capable of interrupting not only the load current but also the fault current at the time of a short circuit, and is widely used in main power receiving equipment and power distribution.
A load switch can open and close the load current, but cannot interrupt the short-circuit accident current. Generally, load switch is used in combination with current-limiting fuses to protect the upper circuits from accidental currents.
Load switches are widely used in high-voltage transmission and distribution circuits. The following are examples of applications of load switches:
The first type is often installed on poles, etc., and an air-load switches are used; the second and third types are often installed inside cubicles, etc., and an LBS is used; the fourth type is generally installed in factories and infrastructure facilities, etc., and a vacuum electromagnetic switch is used; and the fifth type is generally installed in a factory, etc., and a vacuum electromagnetic switch is used.
A typical load switches, LBS, consists of a main contact, an operating mechanism, and a current-limiting fuse.
The main contact is a metal part that allows current to flow through or through. The main contact of an LBS often consists of a blade and a blade holder, and is energized when the blade is inserted into the holder.
When the load current of a high-voltage circuit is interrupted, a phenomenon called arc discharge occurs. This is a phenomenon in which electric discharge occurs through fine airborne metal fragments, etc., breaking down the air insulation. If this arc occurs for a long period of time, the heat generated will cause peripheral equipment to break down, so in many cases, an arc-quenching component called an arc chute is installed in the blade receptacle of the LBS.
The operating mechanism is a structural component for opening and closing operations. The simplest structure is one in which the operating handle is attached to the blade, which is opened and closed by an operating rod made of insulating material. For those who want to provide interlocks, etc., electrically operated LBSs are also available.
Current-limiting fuses are components installed to interrupt a circuit in the event of a short circuit in the downstream wiring. Inside the fuse are a fuse element and silica sand. In the event of a short circuit, the fuse element breaks and the silica sand quenches the arc to provide protection.
Strictly speaking, current-limiting fuses are not part of the load switches, since they can interrupt fault currents, but in most cases they are installed together.
Load switches often refer to LBSs, but there are other types of load switches, such as air load switches and vacuum load switches.
Air-load switches are switches used to switch the load on and off in a high-voltage circuit, also called a PAS (Pole Air Switch). They are often installed at the point of demarcation between the transmission and distribution companies and the customer.
Since the PAS itself does not provide overload or ground fault protection, it is often installed together with a SOG (Storage Over Current Ground).
Vacuum load switches are load switches that quench arcs by creating a vacuum around the contacts. It is often equipped with a current-limiting fuse and is also called a high-voltage combination unit or VCS (Vacuum Circuit Switch).
The principle is similar to that of vacuum circuit breakers, and many products are driven by electromagnetic coils. Even if the load current is frequently switched on and off, arcing is unlikely to occur due to the principle, and the fuse melting speed is faster than that of circuit breakers.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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