First developed in the 1920's, a circuit breakers function is to provide protection for a circuit from excess current in a similar way to a fuse, but it is a switch device that can be reset if it is tripped. They can be used in anything from small electronic devices to household breaker boxes or electrical substations. Their main advantages are that they're reusable and can react quickly in the event of a fault, making them ideal for applications such as the fault protection switches found in many houses.
There are many types of circuit breakers and they all work in a slightly different way. Essentially, when excess current is detected, theyre designed to trip a mechanism to break the circuit.
Circuit breaker designs differ depending on the amount of voltage it is required to work with. There are several different circuit breaker designs available, with most of them being designed for a specific use. Here is a brief overview:
Fuses are simple devices that no longer work once they are used however, a circuit breaker can be reset and reused many times, within the limitations specified by the manufacturer.