MCCB and MCB are both protection devices. However, despite serving similar functions, they differ in many ways, as you’ll shortly find out in this MCCB vs. MCB comparison guide. We’ll also be seeing the applications that best suit each type of breaker and other helpful facts about them. First off, here’s the definition of each type of breaker.
What is MCCB Circuit Breaker?
MCCB stands for “Molded Case Circuit Breaker”- a type of circuit breaker that is capable of successfully managing overloads, short circuits, and other disturbances in electrical networks.
They fulfill the function of protecting an electrical network from the excess current by interrupting the path of the current when it exceeds its rated operating voltage.
What is MCB Circuit Breaker?
MCB is the short form of “Miniature Circuit Breaker”. It, too, is a type of circuit breaker. As its name directly implies, however, the MCB is much smaller than MCCB.
Apart from this MCCB MCB difference, there’s also the application difference. MCBs are typically used to protect small electrical networks such as lighting circuits, distribution systems, and appliances, from overloads and short circuits caused by excessive current.
MCCB Vs. MCB
Molded case breakers and miniature breakers are both fundamental components in electrical networks. But while they both offer protection from current overloads and short circuits, they differ in other ways. Check out these nine key differences between molded case circuit breaker vs. circuit breaker.
1. MCCB Vs. MCB: Size
An MCB, just as its name implies, is much smaller than an MCCB. This makes the MCB better suited for applications that require a smaller breaker. As you can see from the image above, the molded circuit breaker is the bulkier of the two.
Also, as you can expect, the heavier construction of an MCCB also makes it suitable for commercial and industrial electrical systems with configurations of up to 4 poles. This is in comparison to the MCB, which only available in 1-pole, 2-pole and 3-pole configurations.
2. MCCB Vs. MCB: Current Rating
Molded case circuit breaker ratings are practically higher than that of MCCBs, and that includes current rating. Current rating of a circuit breaker signifies the peak value at which the device is capable of carrying electrical current without getting damaged.
In terms of current rating, MCCBs are capable of carrying more amperes than MCBs. Typically, the highest current capacity for an MCB is around 100A whereas the maximum current rating of MCCB circuit breakers can be up to 200A.
3. MCCB Vs. MCB: Interrupt Current Rating
Just as the molded case circuit breaker is capable of higher amperage, it can also switch off or interrupting larger amounts of electrical current in the case of a fault.
The interrupt capacity for an MCB is usually around 100A on the higher end, while the interrupt capacity current rating of MCCB breakers can be up to 2500A. Some MCCB breakers can even go slightly higher than that.
4. MCCB Vs. MCB: Voltage Rating
Both MCCB and MCB circuit breakers ate used in low-voltage power systems. But when it comes to the voltage rating, molded case circuit breakers are best suited for higher voltages than miniature breakers.
Generally, MCBs are built for residential voltage levels, while MCCB circuit breakers can work in networks with voltages as high as 1100V. The higher MCCB circuit breaker rating for voltage means you can use them in heavy-duty applications.
5. MCCB Vs. MCB: Operating Characteristics
The operating characteristics of a circuit breaker refer to how it responds when its peak current rating is exceeded. While MCBs basically use the same mechanism to trip the breaker, MCCB types of circuit breakers can come with a wide range of different operating characteristics.
These MCCB operation characteristics include instantaneous trips, delayed trips, adjustable trippnng function, and others. Some molded circuit breaker types, such as those used to protect motors, may only use the magnetic trip function.
6. MCCB Vs. MCB: Maintenance
Molded circuit breaker maintenance needs are higher than miniature circuit breaker maintenance (unless the MCCB comes sealed for life). This is because the MCCB contains more complicated parts and mechanisms that can get damaged or malfunction over time.
MCBs, on the other hand, are much simpler in design and don’t require as much attention when it comes to maintenance. They also mostly interrupt smaller amounts of current and voltage levels, making them less prone to damage.
7. MCCB Vs. MCB: Installation
Because of their larger size, MCCB installation requirements are often more complex than those for an MCB. Most MCBs are plug-in or DIN rail mounted devices. On the other hand, molded case breakers may require different installation procedures given their higher capacities for current and voltage.
For example, some types of molded case circuit breakers must be installed in a metal enclosure. The molded circuit breaker enclosure protects the breaker from environmental factors such as dust, heat, and moisture which could potentially cause damage to the device.
8. MCCB Vs. MCB: Price
Due to their larger size and complexity of design, MCCB breakers are typically more expensive than MCBs. This is particularly true when you take into consideration that MCCBs come with flexibility features such as adjustable current settings, removable tripping units, and so on.
Depending on the device you buy, the MCCB price can cost up to five times more than a miniature breaker. The higher MCCB breaker price is also due to their higher current rating and voltage, which makes them particularly suitable for larger installations.
9. MCCB Vs. MCB: Application
As we have seen, MCCB and MCB circuit breakers have specific characteristics that make them ideal for different applications. MCCBs are mainly used in industrial and commercial settings, such as factories and office buildings or large residential complexes.
On the other hand, MCBs are best suited for smaller residential and light commercial settings. In these cases, the smaller size and lower cost of the MCB makes it a more attractive option.
MCCB or MCB?
The question of whether to use an MCCB or MCB for your electrical system depends on several factors such as the current and voltage ratings of the circuit, the installation requirements, and how .
If you intend to apply a breaker in an industrial setting, then it is likely that an MCCB will be the best choice. However, in some commercial and residential applications, an MCB should be sufficient.
Ultimately, it is important that the breaker you choose meets all the necessary safety requirements for your application and provides reliable protection for your electrical system.
To sum it up, both miniature and molded case circuit breakers are crucial devices when it comes to circuit protection. To choose between an MCCB vs. MCB, the differences in size, current rating, interrupting capacity, voltage rating, and operating characteristics all need to be taken into consideration. That way, the right device will be used in the appropriate application.
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