In the world of electronics and engineering, you will hear the words “isolator switches” very frequently. Used in most of the machinery and circuits you see, isolation switches are a significant safety measure. Electricity is a very dangerous force that if not handled carefully, can prove to be fatal and/or a hefty dent in your pocket. An isolator switch prevents exactly that.
An isolation switch is a device that separates a circuit from devices to prevent undesired current to pass through. It is a manually operated mechanical switch that ensures a seamless electric isolation and disruption of main power. Isolator switches are made up of plastic to serve as an insulator as it will be operated by hands. They are used for repairs or maintenance but it is not unusual to find them on power lines and grids. Isolator switches can be used for small-scale purposes such as home appliances. Mostly, isolation switches are used in high voltage apparatuses when they are due for maintenance.
Functionsof Isolation Switches.
The workingof an isolator switch has been discussed before. An isolation switch blocks a large amount of electricity from passing to an appliance. Moreover, electric current can pass through humans as well as human bodies have 70% water. As the human body serves as a conductor, it is very important to have full safety measures when handling electrical appliances or circuits.
Typesof Isolator Switches.
There are several types of isolator switches. In factories, a safety switch is used to protect workers from any type of electric shock. However, there are four main types of isolator switches.
- Single break isolator.
In a single break isolator, only one terminal connects or disconnects.
- Double break isolator.
In a double break isolator, there are two terminals on each side of the switch. The central terminal is movable. The two terminals on the sides connect and disconnect. This type of isolator is used in high pressure or high-density urban situations.
- Pantograph isolator.
This type of isolator are mounted on a post isolator. They are operated through an operating rod insulator. Pantograph isolators are single break and vertical reach types. Pantograph isolators are used in electric trains.
- MCB Isolator.
Designed in small compact cases, the open contact of an MCB isolator is not visible from the outside. This type of isolator is usually used for miniature and small-scale wiring systems such as homes or offices.
- Battery isolator switches.
This type of isolatoreliminates the problem of battery drainage as it allows the alternator to assist with charging the primary battery while blocking other types of loads. Battery isolator switches are usually used in recreational vehicles like boats, trucks, air plains, utility vehicles, etc.
- Fused isolator switch.
Mounted after the switch blades, a fused isolator switch is used in power plants, power stations, production plants, buildings and in telecommunications companies.
Depending on their placement in the power system, Isolators can be further categorizedinto the following types:
- Bus side isolator.
- Transfer side isolator.
- Lineside isolator.