Electrician Talk banner

Cutler-Hammer CH Compatible Smart Breakers

1791 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  eddy current
I currently have a Cutler Hammer breaker box in my home. I would like to upgrade the breakers to Smart breakers if possible. Are there any 3rd party options available to replace just the breakers? I would prefer to not have to go out and purchase a new breaker panel from Leviton in order to convert to a Leviton solution however that is the only option I am seeing right now. Thank everyone in advance for your assistance.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I'm an old-timer---so what exactly is a 'smart' breaker?
Well, picture a breaker but with wi-fi and other diagnostics built into each breaker. Essentially you can control the circuit breakers from your phone using an app. This enables you to shut down devices in your home during storms when away, cycle a breaker remotely when tripped, and check things like temperature of each breaker independently (or send threshold alarms) for high temperatures in your breaker box.
 

· Registered
Power distribution and controls
Joined
·
2,894 Posts
Using the breaker for a switch is inconsistent to its design.
For storms you could get a shunt trip breaker and shut down that way. Manual turn
it back on. There are motor operated breakers, never seen on for a residence branch breaker.

I do not believe that there is an electrical service panel in the world that will do what you considering.
There are plenty of control panels that can be added for your concept. Keeping protection and convenience separate is a good idea in my mind.
Monitor temps in a residential service, there is a concept of to much information.
 

· Band Member
DIYer Extrodinaire
Joined
·
9,318 Posts
cycle a breaker remotely when tripped
Well, I'd agree that it is better to do that remotely than when your standing in front of it 😂

Since you don't read what's on the screen in front of you, this is a professional electricians forum.

We like you, but it's kinda like bringing your family to a peeler bar for lunch ... you really shouldn't be here ;)
 

· Registered
Power distribution and controls
Joined
·
2,894 Posts
Yes I am aware of the switch rated breakers, just not ones that work with wifi

CH had a system that worked with blue tooth, could open and close breakers with it
Sure was fun in the demo room when they opened all of the breakers. The open and close settings in blue tooth were the same in all devices so it was all or nothing. Pretty sure we got that stopped from going to the public.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
That's why I like this forum.....Never knew there was such a thing as a 'smart ' breaker---probably in development-and I could believe it could be made----But what happens when your smart phone goes hay-wire and sends a open-close command every half second!!!...Nice light show.!....Keep us updated
 

· Chief Flunky
Field Service Engineer
Joined
·
4,089 Posts
Atom Power in Huntersville, NC, has a UL “smart” breaker. It has an LCD with the rating on it, WiFi, etc. works with their panels. It is solid state. It’s a continuous duty SCR style circuit but includes a reactor to slow down a fast current enough so the SCRs can open before they fail. There is a regular isolation switch for lockout purposes. Opening times are millisecond. I believe they use forced commutation or IGBTs to open. It can soft start, soft stop, dimming, and current limit faults.

Current limiting is huge because electronic devices have very little thermal mass...they burn up too easy. So they can’t stop a heavy fault or survive one. They have to respond and current limit before you ever get much above normal operating currents. So AIC is stupidly low but it’s meaningless because the device can’t let it get higher. AIC and current limit are the same.

The price is the killer. No way to come down.

New aircraft use a similar breaker but it’s DC only. But they are small and cheap and combine breaker and switch.

Still I believe there is a future. Right now motor controls always require at least two devices (control and protection). In its current size and pricing it eliminates a soft start. If nothing else it makes soft starts “contactor” size. Plus with NEC price and reliability don’t matter when it comes to safety even if it’s a totally false narrative (AFCI). So at say $1000 per breaker a new panel should cost a tiny $25,000 per house.

Just think the utility can now not only shut off your water heater but dim your lights to emergency levels, kill the teen video games at bed time, monitor and control hair dryer time, and of course it will be based on a government standard and only the government has the back door codes so you know it’s secure.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top