Benchmark Tests of Single-Break and Double-Break Design Principles

Wolfgang Hauer, Peter Zeller, Xin Zhou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper test results of low voltage Molded Case Circuit Breakers (MCCB) are discussed with respect to two basic design principles: single-break design and double-break design. Experiment were carried out using a discharge bank test system at three different prospective fault current levels 10kA, 24kA, and 37kA. Test results show that the two basic design principles have different influences on characteristic switching parameters such as arc voltage, arc current, I2t, VIdt, and pressure. At low current levels, the single-break design has advantages over the double-break design because the double-break design re-closes during short circuit events. The contact re-closing causes higher I2t and VIdt in comparison with those of the single-break design. While strong interaction between arc and chamber material in a small arc chamber volume as well as two arcs generated by the double-break design leads to effective current limiting with fast rise of arc voltage to a high arc voltage level, but it also causes strong material evaporation and high pressure. Test results also indicate that MCCB performance can vary significantly even though using the same design principle due to other design variations. In order to fully evaluate performances of these two design principles, power tests such as high fault current interruption, overload, and temperature rise tests required by UL or IEC standards need to be carried out.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectrical Contacts 2007
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 53rd IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)1424408385, 9781424408382
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventHolm 2007 53rd IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: 17 Sept 200719 Sept 2007

Publication series

NameElectrical Contacts, Proceedings of the Annual Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts
ISSN (Print)0361-4395


ConferenceHolm 2007 53rd IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA
Internet address


  • Arc chamber pressure
  • Arc energy
  • Circuit breaker
  • Double-break design
  • I t
  • MCCB
  • Single-break design
  • VI dt


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