Circuit breakers are the most widely used distribution management equipment in industrial production and daily life. Almost all areas of electricity use can’t leave with circuit breakers. For circuit breakers, an extremely important piece of electrical equipment, their intelligent implementation is of great importance. Circuit breakers have become an important development direction for electrical switchgear, relay protection of energy systems, industrial supply, distribution and control network technology.
How do Circuit Breakers Evolve?
Circuit breakers are divided into high-voltage circuit breakers and low-voltage circuit breakers according to their range of use. High-voltage circuit breakers are used in industrial settings and are designed to handle voltages above 3kV. Low-voltage circuit breakers, on the other hand, are commonly used in everyday life.
The world's earliest circuit breakers were produced in 1885 as a combination of knife switches and overcurrent detonators. In 1905, the air circuit breaker with a free detonation device was created. After 1930, the arc principle and various arc-extinguishing devices enabled the circuit breaker to gradually take the form it has today. At the end of the 1950s, the rise of electronic components led to the creation of electronic decouplers. Since the new century, with the development of AI, IoT, ICT and other technologies, intelligent miniature circuit breakers have been introduced.
What is the Market for Smart Breakers?
Low-voltage circuit breakers are an important part of the electrical industry. More than 80% of the electricity generated by power generation equipment is distributed for use through low-voltage circuit breakers. For every 10,000kW of additional power generation equipment, around 20,000 low-voltage circuit breakers are required.
Key industry players in the global circuit breaker market include General Electric-Alstom, Schneider Electric, Siemens, ABB and others. Global Market Insights reports that the global circuit breaker market will exceed US$13.5 billion by 2024.
Smart grid layout has become an important strategic measure to seize the high ground of the future low-carbon economy. It is also an important part of promoting the future carbon peak and carbon-neutral goals. Smart breakers are a widely used device in the smart grid layout process.
Smart circuit breakers are a new blue ocean market under the integration of IoT and vertical industries. Older devices need to be gradually replaced and upgraded, implying a big stock market. These stock and incremental circuit breakers will gradually complete intelligent transformation in the future. Such a huge market size and growth potential mean that there is huge room for market enhancement.
What is the Importance of Smart Breakers?
As intelligent technology develops, people will be able to check data like electricity consumption, tariffs, and energy consumption at any time. The circuit system can have a remote control in real time through the mobile internet– a basic need for the new generation.
As the economy develops and technology advances, both industrial production and daily life require increasingly stable, reliable, and safe electricity supplies. Economic development is interlinked and the energy supply needs to be uninterrupted. Even if there is a power outage, it should be as short and limited as possible.
This requires a relatively high degree of automation and intelligence in the power supply system. When a power system fault occurs, the intelligent protection equipment can quickly identify the type of fault. Then, it can quickly disconnect the faulty part of the system to prevent further expansion of the fault. It must be able to quickly and reliably break the relevant system short-circuit fault current when the system fails. And it must not appear to overstep or refuse to move.
Smart circuit breakers integrate the functions of metering, control and communication, making it possible to simplify and systematize power equipment. The continuous development of micro-controller technology helps to improve the reliability and performance of intelligent circuit breakers. Smart breaker technology is used in conjunction with intelligent circuit breaker monitoring and control technology to improve engineering outcomes.
What are the Limits of Smart Breakers?
Although intelligent circuit breakers have many excellent properties, they also face a number of problems that need to be improved. Firstly, the switch from a traditional to an electronic operating mechanism exposes the control circuit to aging and interference from strong electromagnetic fields. Complex electronic equipment has a much shorter service life than primary equipment, which will severely hamper the development of intelligent circuit breakers. Many manufacturers are cautious when developing intelligent circuit breaker products because of the way the circuit breaker acts.
Secondly, more complex controllers will make intelligent circuit breakers more expensive, which could limit their popularity. Insulation monitoring equipment occupies an important position in intelligent circuit breakers, but its development and production costs remain high. Circuit breaker intelligence is a new generation. The development of new technologies requires significant investment and effort. Areas of technological progress and innovation include sensor technology, computer technology, and information technology.
What are the Development Trends of Smart Breakers?
The technological development of intelligent circuit breakers has the following main trends. New sensors are developing in a more sensitive and miniaturized direction. Microprocessors are changing to large storage capacity and peripheral integration. This will lay the foundation for the optimization of smart circuit breaker performance.
Besides, bus technology will be applied to intelligent circuit breakers. The use of serial communication will achieve two-way communication between field devices and the main controller. These features can improve the system's data transmission and accuracy, as well as make it more stable and reliable.
What's more, the smart breaker will use new and better communication protocols for standardized and open development. They pay more attention to connectivity network interface products and the compatibility of the products between them. Additionally, Smart circuit breakers that monitor the harmonic component of the power grid, power factor and waveform distortion.
Smart breakers can record changes in the grid's power waveform and observe its real-time activity. Also, the use of artificial intelligence technology for smart circuit breakers can improve the accuracy of intelligent controllers. It provides more accurate support for data management, while making production and life faster and easier.
The replacement of traditional circuit breakers by smart circuit breakers is an inevitable trend of the times. AT-ELE was established in 2020 to focus on the development and production of smart circuit breakers. The smart breakers developed by AT-ELE allow for better monitoring of electricity consumption and can help save on energy costs. The smart breaker industry is thriving and steadily advancing as an emerging industry. It incorporates new technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, big data and mobile internet.