Remotely switched home circuit breaker (toggled with simple pulsed signal)?

Thread Starter

RogueRose

Joined Oct 10, 2014
374
I'm looking at a project that measures how much energy each circuit uses and I'm wondering if they make circuit breakers that I can turn on/off with a signal from a control module, like a simple on-off controller from a microcontroller - you select the breaker and it sends the appropriate signal to the breaker that will turn it on or off. I'm thinking obviously the breaker would have an additional input besides the power wire, maybe 2-3 signal wires to control the breaker.

I've searched for something like this and haven't really seen what I'm looking for, I've seen wireless ones but they don't seem like normal breakers and many of them are VERY low amperage like 2-3A, which doesn't seem useful for a household breaker unless you are running 480V, but even then, that ain't much power.

So does anyone know of anything like this?
 

mcgyvr

Joined Oct 15, 2009
5,394
Yes they make them..
I've used these ones below and they have a little motor module that just looks like another breaker next to the breaker that can turn it on/off..
http://www.carlingtech.com/hm-cb-c-series-remote
I used them for a "load shedding" application where we wanted to shut loads off during specific demand periods,etc...

You can also use contactors/relays after the breaker..

There are also TONS of modules out there now that simply plug into a wall outlet and give you remote power monitoring and control.. "Smart plugs" ..."Smart outlets" ... "Smart wall switch" ,etc...
I'm not sure what you are doing specifically but I'd bet that "smart" devices are best for a household/consumer application..
Breaker control would be for some specific industrial applications..
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,600
You remotely can turn any breaker off quickly by installing a button that shorts the hot to the neutral! .... Ok that's a joke for those who didn't get it. ;)
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
19,387
So does anyone know of anything like this?
If wishing to install it in the service panel, you will need the name of the panel Manuf. and then either find a local electrical distrubutor that carries them or go onto the manuf. on line web site.
They are not standard across makes.
Max.
 

Thread Starter

RogueRose

Joined Oct 10, 2014
374
Thanks for the replies. I'm looking at installing a power/energy monitor that can monitor 6-8 circuits at a time (for current usage). I think the device would be capable of adding a switch/trigger for each circuit (the unit has a network connection and can be remotely monitored/controlled) and I thought it might be interesting and useful to be able to switch a breaker if needed.

One of those links shows a motorized unit (hydraulic) that moves the switch up and down, that seems like a novel way to do this but I can't believe that that is the only way, aren't breakers basically just relays that have a current sensor?

Would another option be to use something like a solenoid that completed a circuit? And then just open/close the solenoid when you want the circuit on/off. If a solenoid were used I envision something insulating at the end of the actuator/rod and then the contact/leed attached to the insulator - then extend the contact to touch the receiving terminal to close the circuit.
 

ArakelTheDragon

Joined Nov 18, 2016
1,314
You can do the above, in addition if you intend to wire/buy/use it by yourself, keep in mind that turning off the breaker will turn off the refrigirator, heating, the wifi health monitoring system(example a persons bypass is monitored) and others. It would be better to buy several brakers(2-3A each), which will turn off only some of your devices.
 
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