UKPCS Science: Electrical safety #25

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Oracle IAS, the best coaching institute for UPSC/IAS/PCS preparation in Dehradun brings to you UKPCS Science (paper #6).

Electricity can be hazardous. Insulation, earthing, fuses and circuit breakers help to protect us from electrical injury. Electrical energy is current multiplied by voltage and time.

  • Insulators are used in electrical equipment to support and separate electrical conductors without allowing current through themselves. Glass, plastic, rubber, air, and wood are used as insulator. They form part of covering of copper wire and restrict the appliance from becoming live.
  • Earthing: It is a part of electrical circuit which is done on initial level in order to connect the electrical system with mass of earth so as to have discharge the electrical energy.

Need for Earthing: To ensure safety from electric shocks. It’s an electrical connection between the exposed metallic parts of an electrical appliance or installation and the earth, regarded to have zero potential dangerous level of potential or voltage that endangers the user’s life

  • Fuse: An electric fuse is a device that is used to protect electric circuits and electric appliances against high current caused by short – circuiting or overloading due to withdrawal of large current. A fuse is a short piece of wire made of a material of high resistance and low melting point. Egs zinc, copper.
  • A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current, typically resulting from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.

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