Circuit Protection Devices

Electricity, like fire, can be either helpful or harmful to those who use it. A fire can keep people warm and comfortable when it is confined in a campfire or a furnace. It can be dangerous and destructive if it is on the loose and uncontrolled in the woods or in a building. Electricity can provide people with the light to read by or, in a blinding flash, destroy their eyesight. It can help save people’s lives, or it can kill them. While we take advantage of the tremendous benefits electricity can provide, we must be careful to protect the people and systems that use it.

It is necessary then, that the mighty force of electricity be kept under control at all times. If for some reason it should get out of control, there must be a method of protecting people and equipment. Devices have been developed to protect people and electrical circuits from currents and voltages outside their normal operating ranges. Some examples of these devices are discussed in this course.

While you study this course, it should be kept in mind that a circuit protection device is used to keep an undesirably large current, voltage, or power surge out of a given part of an electrical circuit.

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