Classification of high voltage circuit breakers

High voltage circuit breakers - Classification of circuit breakers

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What are high voltage switches?

Among the switching devices, the high voltage switch is the most important device in terms of the operation of the energy system.

High voltage switch can be defined as a device designed to close and open electrical circuits when they are traversed, by normal working currents, either by overload or short circuit currents.

The main problem with these switches is extinguishing the electric arc that is formed between contacts.

The interruption of a current and the extinction of the arc in alternating current is achieved by forming a sufficient dielectric rigidity of the space between the contacts, immediately after their opening, in order to prevent the electric arc to re-ignite after the current passes through zero.

Classification of circuit breakers

The classification of circuit breakers can be done according to different criteria:

a) According to the type of installation

  • Switches for indoor installations
  • Outdoor switches
  • Switches for encapsulated installations

b) According to the level of insulation

  • Switches with normal insulation
  • Reinforced insulation switches for high pollution regimes

c) By the number of phases

  • phase
  • phase

d) After the actuator

  • with common actuator for all three phases
  • with a separate device for each phase

Course structure

  • General considerations
  • Classification of switches
  • Oil switches
  • High oil switches
  • IUM without extinguishing chamber
  • Switches with a little oil
  • Medium voltage IUM-M switches
  • High voltage switches, type IUP-110
  • IO switch - 110, 220, 400 kV, 1600A
  • Oleopneumatic actuator type MOP-1
  • IOTM-123 KV switches, 1250-1600A
  • Compressed air switches
  • Sulfur hexachloride switches
  • Switches with SF6 insulation type HF24N
  • Magnetic blown switches for medium voltage
  • Vacuum switches
  • Spring actuators
  • MR actuators
  • MRL type actuators
  • DAM actuators
  • Compressed air actuators
  • DSI dip actuators



  1. Usually there are more special devices, made of high quality materials, and of a special construction, which makes it interrupt and diminish the effects of the electric arc that appears when this type of voltage is interrupted.

  2. Where does high voltage start?
    Because I see here great confusions regarding the high voltage equipment
    Explainably, it has little to do with electronics but with electrical engineering…
    low voltage, medium voltage,
    high voltage….

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