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Circuit Switcher

By Aleen Mohammed / Last Updated on 

Figure 1: Circuit switcher

Purpose of circuit switcher

  • A circuit switcher is a switching device like a circuit breaker. It interrupts the power flow.
  • It is typically installed on the high voltage side of the transformer.
  • Historically the fault interruption capability was lower (~5kA) and therefore was only operated for faults occurring on the load side of the transformer. New-generation switchers can interrupt up to 40kA, making it comparable to a circuit breaker and therefore can be operated for faults occurring on the source and load side.

Figure 2: Circuit switcher for transformer protection, installed on high voltage side

Figure 3: Another instance of a circuit switcher for transformer protection. Image credit: First Energy, Penelec Power.
  • Circuit switchers may also be installed at the transmission line terminal. Normally, motor-operated disconnects are installed. However, when opening, the line charging current magnitude can overwhelm the interruption capabilities of the whip of a disconnect. A switcher when sized correctly, using its SF6 chamber, can safely interrupt the line charging current.

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