Patent Issued for Trip Unit Providing Remote Electrical Signal to Remotely Indicate That an Arc Reduction Maintenance Mode Is Remotely Enabled, and Electrical Switching Apparatus Including the Same
The assignee for this patent, patent number 8508891, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The disclosed concept pertains generally to electrical switching apparatus and, more particularly, to electrical switching apparatus, such as circuit breakers, including a trip mechanism. The disclosed concept also relates to trip mechanisms, such as trip units, for circuit interrupters.
"Electrical switching apparatus include, for example, circuit switching devices; circuit interrupters, such as circuit breakers; network protectors; contactors; motor starters; motor controllers; and other load controllers. Electrical switching apparatus such as circuit interrupters and, in particular, circuit breakers of the molded case variety, are well known in the art. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,341,191.
"Circuit breakers are used to protect electrical circuitry from damage due to an overcurrent condition, such as an overload condition or a relatively high level short circuit or fault condition. Molded case circuit breakers typically include a pair of separable contacts per phase. The separable contacts may be operated either manually by way of a handle disposed on the outside of the case or automatically in response to an overcurrent condition. Typically, such circuit breakers include an operating mechanism, which is designed to rapidly open and close the separable contacts, and a trip unit, which senses overcurrent conditions in an automatic mode of operation. Upon sensing an overcurrent condition, the trip unit trips the operating mechanism to a trip state, which moves the separable contacts to their open position.
"Industrial circuit breakers often use a circuit breaker frame, which houses a trip unit. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,910,760; and 6,144,271. The trip unit may be modular and may be replaced, in order to alter the electrical properties of the circuit breaker.
"It is well known to employ trip units which utilize a microprocessor to detect various types of overcurrent trip conditions and provide various protection functions, such as, for example, a long delay trip, a short delay trip, an instantaneous trip, and/or a ground fault trip. The long delay trip function protects the load served by the protected electrical system from overloads and/or overcurrents. The short delay trip function can be used to coordinate tripping of downstream circuit breakers in a hierarchy of circuit breakers. The instantaneous trip function protects the electrical conductors to which the circuit breaker is connected from damaging overcurrent conditions, such as short circuits. As implied, the ground fault trip function protects the electrical system from faults to ground.
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