CBI Electric | The Peerless Preference

Ed Combs
By Ed Combs
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For over 70 years, Peerless Electronics has supplied professionals with top-rated electrical components used in the military, aerospace, industrial, transportation, and medical sectors. As an employee-owned company, we are unrelenting in our pursuit of excellence in all areas, which is why we pledge to only stock top-rated quality products from the world’s leading manufacturers. 

One such manufacturer is CBi-electric low voltage; a Peerless Electronics preferred and trusted supplier for electrical protection components.CBi-electric has been a global supplier of products and solutions that enable the safe and effective use of electrical energy for over 70 years. Manufacturing is CBI's core business, and proficiency in this area garnered the company's majority market share in all operating regions. With one of the most extensive tooling and design manufacturing facilities in South Africa, CBi-electric low voltage designs, manufactures and calibrates all jigs, fixtures, and test equipment for product assembly and testing in-house under stringent quality standards. CBI's testing facilities, the only private testing facility in the Southern Hemisphere, include a state-of-the-art control room with two 10 kA and one 65 kA fully computerized test bays. This allows testing of circuit breakers up to 65 kA against local and international standards for overload, endurance, and vibration, thereby reducing the time required to develop a product from inception to completion. Over the years, CBi-electric low voltage has built a diversified group of highly vertically integrated companies with a significant footprint in different sectors of the electrical and telecommunication industries. For example, the CBI Electric Low Voltage subsidiary specializes in precision protection products - namely circuit breakers. Peerless Electronics proudly carries the completeCBi-electric low voltage circuit breakers offering, including the product featured in this article: the hydraulic magnetic miniature circuit breaker.

CBI Electric Hydraulic Magnetic Miniature Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are critical to protecting electrical systems from damage. As a safety feature built into electrical systems, a circuit breaker is a mechanical switching device that interrupts the flow of fault currents in overload or short circuit situations. So, what are miniature circuit breakers, and how are they used? Based on the same current interrupting principles, miniature circuit breakers are designed for use in low voltage applications, such as homes and small-scale industrial buildings. These days, miniature circuit breakers are used in place of fuses because they can be (literally) switched back on to restore the current flow - unlike a fuse, which must be replaced to restore and fix the electrical supply.

Hydraulic-Magnetic Principle

The hydraulic magnetic miniature circuit breaker is a specialized type of electrical protection device that’s unique because it combines overload protection and fault protection into a single mechanism. To understand how hydraulic magnetic circuit breakers work, let’s look at the design and working principle. 

Hydraulic magnetic circuit breakers include a series-connected solenoid coil wound around a hermetically sealed tube containing an iron core, a spring, and a damping fluid (i.e., “hydraulic”). The solenoid coil has a conductive core with a hollow center that creates an electromagnet when electricity passes through it, hence the “magnetic” part. When an overload occurs, i.e., the current is greater than the circuit breaker’s rating, the magnetic flux in the solenoid coil produces sufficient pull on the core to initiate movement toward the tube. The dampening fluid regulates the core's travel speed during this movement, thereby creating a controlled current time delay. The combined hydraulic-magnetic protection mechanism enables this circuit breaker to function independently of temperature, one of the many features we’ll discuss next.


One of the hydraulic-magnetic circuit breaker's best features is that the trip point is unaffected by ambient temperature. Depending on the product specification, the breaker will always trip at 125% or 30% of rated current, regardless of the temperature surrounding the unit. Also, the hydraulic-magnetic circuit breaker can be immediately reset after opening. No cooling time is needed, so the breaker can be reclosed immediately after tripping. Another positive feature of breakers using the hydraulic-magnetic principle is that they are available with a large variety of tripping characteristics. And finally, the hydraulic-magnetic principle of operation allows for any current rating possible and an extensive range of time delays.

CBI Electric Miniature Circuit Breakers We Carry

Popular due to their ingenious design and small size, CBI Miniature circuit breakers are roughly half the size of a regular circuit breaker, making them a favorable choice for professionals looking to save space in applications. We carry the complete CBi-electric: low voltage offering at Peerless Electrics. Following are the CBI Electric miniature circuit breakers available online, 24/7: 

We make it simple to shop by category, type, or price within this category. If you have more questions about CBI Electric circuit breakers or hydraulic magnetic circuit breakers operation, our team of Peerless Electronics experts is standing by to help. Contact us today.