A Sneak Peek to Electric Fuses and Some Must-Have Features
Households are full of electric appliances that might cause accidents in case of excessive current flow. An electric fuse is a great element that can be used to protect the household circuits since they open in case of any faults. Using electric fuses in circuits has many advantages like zero maintenance and cost-effectiveness, making them a reliable option to choose.
Electric fuses are one of the most integral elements of almost all electric circuits present in our homes and appliances. And with the current remotely working schedules, there has been an upsurge in electricity consumption, thus uplifting the global electric fuse market. As per a report by Research Dive, the electric fuse market is predicted to register a revenue of $7,848.9 million in the 2021-2028 timeframe at a healthy CAGR of 8.2%.
Electric fuses are thin conductors that provide protection to electrical circuits by meting in case a fault causes the flow of excessive current. These are intentionally placed in circuits to give up is life to avoid any mishaps due to electric current.
Why Not Circuit Breakers?
A circuit breaker acts like an electric fuse by opening to restrict the flow of electricity in case of any fault. However, these are not as sensitive as electric fuses and are slightly expensive. In addition, fuses trip faster than circuit breakers and don’t require regular maintenance. Also, since a fuse is replaced every time in case of overcurrent trip, the same level of circuit protection mechanism is ensured. Whereas as a circuit breaker is more likely to wear out if it trips more often.
Advantages of Electric Fuses
While circuit breakers, polyswitches, protective relays, and thermistors are considered as great alternatives for fuses, there are some reasons why you might just want to opt for fusing instead. Here are a few of them.
Comparatively, fuses are the most cost-effective elements to provide protection against overcurrent flow. Electric fuses can be used where high fault current exists or where smaller components like DC power supplies or control transformers require protection.
- Safety and Reliability
Electromechanical devices don’t have the capacity to open safely after a few faults, whereas a fuse is replaced after every fault or trip. Therefore, the protection level of the complete circuit is not hampered by any of the previous faults.
Moreover, fuses don’t have any moving parts to wear out, thus offering more reliability at times of overcurrent flow.
- Minimal Maintenance
Unlike other electromechanical protective devices, electric fuses do not require regular recalibration since they are replaced every time they are opened.
- Long Lasting
As the fuse ages, its ability to provide protection from overcurrent flow does not slow down or get adversely affected, thus being a sustainable alternative as compared to circuit breakers and protective relays.
Must-Have Features of Fuses
What are the standard factors one must consider before buying an electric fuse? Go through some must-have features below for a better purchase.
- Opt for Higher Voltage
Make sure to choose a fuse with higher rated voltage than the voltage of the electric circuit. If the circuit’s voltage is higher than that of the fuse, there are chances it might get destroyed instead of providing protection.
- DC or AC Circuit?
Only choose DC rated fuses for DC circuits and AC fuses for AC circuits. Circuit characteristics for both the circuits are very different and mistaking using a DC fuse for an AC circuit or vice versa can cause accidents.
- Right Size
Choosing a right sized electric fuse is crucial since an undersized one might stop the circuit from operating by restricting the power at low currents. Whereas, an oversized fuse can allow excessive current to flow, contradicting the purpose of using a fuse.
Ensuring the safety of electric circuits in households is extremely important and putting a fuse will never hurt. Its zero maintenance and cost-effectiveness are the prime reasons why many rely on electric fuses. One should consider the above-mentioned benefits over other protective elements, like circuit breakers and polyswitches, when in a dilemma.
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