2007 Volume 127 Issue 2 Pages 397-402
A new type of vacuum circuit breaker (VCB) has been developed, which needs a minimum of maintenance. This VCB is characterized by the following: (a) a significantly simplified driving mechanism, (b) no need for grease, and (c) a new electromagnetic actuator called a hybrid-type electromagnet. The number of movable parts is decreased to 15% of that of our conventional product with a spring drive. Solid lubricant is adopted instead of grease for almost all of the linkages, which helps to eliminate periodical lubricating maintenance. The hybrid-type electromagnet has an attractive force suitable for the spring force characteristics of the VCB through its combination of conventional plunger-type and plate-armature-type electromagnet. The VCB is held in the closed position by the attractive force of the permanent magnet without using a coil current. Its core structure is optimized to prevent the permanent magnet from demagnetization and to secure long-term reliability. To assess the solid lubricant reliability, some special tests were performed such as a rare operation test. Dynamic characteristics were measured for three specimens at intervals of a month, a year, and two years, respectively. It was confirmed that variation of the armature speed is small and the influence of the non-operation interval is negligible.