circuit current to a non-destructivelevel. Most circuit breakers can notprovide Type II"No Damage" protec-tion. While no device can prevent aninitial fault from occurring, the protec-tion provided to components by prop-erly sized fuses will insure that thecomponents will remain functional af-ter the fault. “No Damage” protectionhas already been embraced as thestandard (SAE HS1734) for the pro-tection of both IEC and NEMA rateddevices by the automotive industryand is quickly becoming the standardin other industries.
When a fault occurs, fuses will openwithin 1/4 and 1/2 cycles (0.00833seconds). Depending on the applica-tion, some breakers can take as longas 17 cycles (0.28322 seconds) toopen. As an example, an uninsulatedten gauge wire with 30,000 amperesof current applied to it will reach wellin excess of 1000
F in approximately3/4 of a cycle. Under this moderate
At the inception of a fault, a branch circuit can reach peak available current (Ip) without a current-limitingprotector. The heat produced reaches temperatures that melt conductors as well as insulation, and themagnetic forces bend conductors and supports. When protected with a current-limiting fuse, however, thelet-through current is only a fraction if Ip, usually opening the fuse in less than one-half cycle. Type 2coordination assures that no harm to people or damage to equipment results from short-circuit currents.
do not exist because they do not re-quire maintenance and must be re-placed after they operate.Because most fuses have a standard200,000 AIR (300,000 AIR in somecases), fuse changes are not requiredduring service upgrades. In compari-son, standard breakers have relativelylow AIC (10,000 to 42,000 AIC) andthus become obsolete and must be re-placed when the available fault currentfrom the utility rises.The city of Chicago is a prime ex-ample of the importance of interrupt-ing ratings. For years, the availablefault current supplied from the utilityin Chicago was approximately 39,000amperes. Construction of skyscrap-ers began and the local utilitychanged the power supply to accom-modate these new buildings. This re-sulted in a new available fault currentof 107,000 amperes. The local utility,however, is not required to and didnot inform any of its customers (whowere using 42,000 AIC circuit break-ers) of the change. This dangeroussituation is avoided if a fuse with a200,000 AIR is used.
While no device can prevent or elimi-nate single phasing, an overcurrent pro-tection device must be able to safelyand effectively disable power to the re-maining active legs of the circuit. Dueto the design of a circuit breaker, whenone phase is opened, all of the phasesare physically opened. This inherentlyprevents extended single-phase opera-tion. A properly sized fused system,although operating in a different man-ner, will achieve the same result.When one of the phases opens, theremaining two will always experienceovercurrents. This will cause the othertwo fuses to open, preventing powerfrom reaching the device.
Fuse opens within 1/4 to 1/2 cycleCurrentPointof faultTimeNormalloadcurrentHeat EnergyBreaker operates herePeak available current (Ip)FusesBreakers
amplitude of short circuit a fuse willprotect the wire, a circuit breaker willnot.
Circuit breakers, like fuses are onlyrated to safely interrupt their maximumcurrent once. Once a breaker has op-erated at or near its interrupting rating,the breaker may not adequately pro-tect the circuit again without theproper maintenance or repair. Ifproper maintenance and repair is ne-glected, extensive equipment dam-age and possible injury to personnelcan occur. With fuses, these issues