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What is the IEC standard for circuit breakers?

In the world of electrical engineering, circuit breakers play a crucial role in protecting electrical systems from overload or short circuits. To ensure their reliability and safety, circuit breakers need to meet certain standards. One of the most widely recognized standards for circuit breakers is set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

IEC standard: IEC 60947

The IEC 60947 standard specifically addresses low-voltage switchgear and controlgear - including circuit breakers. This standard provides guidelines for the construction, performance, testing, and rating of circuit breakers to guarantee their proper functioning under various conditions.

Key criteria covered in IEC 60947

The IEC 60947 standard covers several important criteria that circuit breakers must meet:

Electrical endurance: The standard defines the number of operations a circuit breaker should be able to handle without failure, ensuring its long-term reliability.

Breaking capacity: It sets the minimum level of fault current that the circuit breaker should be capable of interrupting to prevent damage to the electrical system.

Tripping characteristics: IEC 60947 specifies the time-current curve of the circuit breaker's tripping mechanism, ensuring proper response and protection under different fault conditions.

Clearances and creepage distances: The standard outlines the minimum requirements for insulation distances within the circuit breaker to prevent electrical arcing and ensure safety.

Compliance with IEC standard

To demonstrate compliance with the IEC 60947 standard, circuit breakers undergo thorough testing and certification processes. Manufacturers provide test reports and relevant documentation, which prove that their products meet the required criteria. Moreover, these circuit breakers are marked with the IEC 60947 symbol, making it easy to identify those that comply with the standard.

In conclusion, the IEC 60947 standard is essential in ensuring the reliability and safety of circuit breakers. By providing guidelines for various aspects of design, performance, and testing, this standard plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of electrical systems and protecting users from potential hazards.


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