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Selection of 3P-TPN-4P MCB & Distribution Board | Electrical Notes...

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Electrical Notes & Articles

Sharing Abstracts,Notes on various Electrical Engineering Topics.

Selection of 3P-TPN-4P MCB & Distribution Board

NOVEMBER 1, 2013


Type of breakers based on number of pole:

Based on the number of poles, the breakers are classied as
1. SP Single Pole
2. SPN Single Pole and Neutral
3. DP Double pole
4. TP Triple Pole
5. TPN Triple Pole and Neutral
6. 4P Four Pole

SP ( Single Pole ) MCB:

In Single Pole MCCB, switching & protection is aected in only one phase.
Application: Single Phase Supply to break the Phase only.


DP ( Double Pole ) MCB:

In Two Pole MCCB, switching & protection is aected in phases and the neutral.
Application: Single Phase Supply to break the Phase and Neutral.


TP ( Triple Pole) MCB:

In Three Pole MCB, switching & protection is aected in only three phases and the neutral is not part of the MCB.
3pole MCCB signies for the connection of three wires for three phase system (R-Y-B Phase).
Application: Three Phase Supply only (Without Neutral).



In TPN MCB, Neutral is part of the MCB as a separate pole but without any protective given in the neutral pole (i.e.) neutral is only switched
but has no protective element incorporated.
TPN for Y (or star) the connection between ground and neutral is in many countries not allowed. Therefore the N is also switches.
Application: Three Phase Supply with Neutral


4 Pole MCB:
4pole MCCB for 4 wires connections, the one additional 4th pole for neutral wire connection so that between neutral and any of the other
three will supply.
In 4-Pole MCCBs the neutral pole is also having protective release as in the phase poles.
Application: Three Phase Supply with Neutral

Difference between TPN and 4P (or SPN and DP):

TPN means a 4 Pole device with 4th Pole as Neutral. In TPN opening & closing will open & close the Neutral.
For TPN, protection applies to the current ows through only 3 poles (Three Phase) only; there is no protection for the current ow through
the neutral pole. Neutral is just an isolating pole.
TP MCB is used in 3phase 4wire system. It is denoted as TP+N which will mean a three pole device with external neutral link which can be
isolated if required.
For the 4 pole breakers, protection applies to current ow through all poles. However when breaker trips or manually opened, all poles are
Same type of dierence also applies for SPN and DP.

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Where to Use TP, TPN and 4P in Distribution panel:

For any Distribution board, the protection system (MCB) must be used in the incomer. For a three phase distribution panel either TP or TPN
or 4P can be used as the incoming protection.
TP MCB: It is most commonly used type in all ordinary three phase supply.
TPN MCB: It is generally used where there are dual sources of incomer to the panel (utility source and emergency generator source).
4P MCB: It is used where is the possibility of high neutral current (due to unbalance loads and /or 3rd and multiple of 3rd harmonics current
etc) and Neutral / Earth Protection is provided on Neutral.

Where to use 4 Pole or TPN MCB instead of 3 Pole (TP) MCB.

Multiple Incoming Power System:
When we have a transformer or a stand-by generator feeding to a bus, it is mandatory that at least either of the Incomers or the bus coupler
must be TPN or 4-Pole Breaker please refers IS 3043.
In multi incomer power feeding systems, we cannot mix up the neutrals of incoming powers to other Power Source so we can use TPN or 4P
breakers or MCB instead of TP MCB to isolate the Neutral of other power sources from the Neutral of incomer power in use.
We can use 4 Pole ACB instead of TP for safety reasons .If there is power failure and DG sets are in running condition to feed the loads, if
there is some unbalance in loads(which is practically unavoidable in L.V. distribution system ), depending of quantum of unbalance, there
will be ow of current through Neutral. During this time, if Power Supply Utility Technicians are working, and if they touch the neutral
conductors(which is earthed at their point ) they will likely to get electric shock depending on the potential rise in common neutral due ow
of current through Neutral conductor as stated above. Even fatal accident may occur due the above reason. As such, it is a mandatory
practice to isolate the two Neutrals.
We can use 4-pole breakers or TPN Breakers when the system has two alternative sources and, in the event of power failure from the mains,
change-over to the standby generator is done. In such a case, it is a good practice to isolate the neutral also.
4 pole circuit breakers have advantages in the case when one of the poles of the device will get damage, and it also provides isolation from
neutral voltage.
Normally, Neutral is not allowed to break in any conditions, (except special applications) for human & equipment safety. So for single
incomer power fed systems, 3P breaker is used, where only phases are isolated during breaking operations.
Where We have dual Power like in DG & other electricity supply sources ,it is required to isolate neutral, where neutral needs to be isolated
in internal network TPN MCB or 4P MCB can be used.

Where to use 4 Pole MCB instead of TPN MCB

Any Protection Relay used on Neutral (Ground Fault Protection of Double ended System):
The use of four poles or three poles CB will depend on system protection and system conguration.
Normally in 3phase with neutral we just use 3pole CB and Neutral is connected on common Neutral Link but if application of 3pole will
aect the operation of protective relay then we must use 4pole CB.
System evaluation has to be required to decide whether three-pole circuit breakers plus neutral link can be used or four-pole breakers are
If unrestricted ground fault protection is Ged to the transformer neutral, then the bus section circuit breaker should have 4-poles and
preferably incomer circuit breakers should also have 4-poles because un cleared ground fault located at the load side of a feeder have two
return paths. As shown in g a ground fault on a feeder at the bus section A will have a current return path in both the incomers, thus
tripping both Bus. The sensitivity of the unrestricted ground fault relay is reduced due to the split current paths.

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For System Stability :
In an unbalanced 3phase system or a system with non-linear loads, the neutral gives the safety to the unbalanced loads in the system and
therefore It must not be neglected. In perfectly balanced conditions the neutral functions as a safety conductor in the unforeseen short-circuit
and fault conditions. Therefore by using 4-pole MCB will enhance the system stability.
4 Poles will be decided after knowing the Earthing Systems (TT, TN-S, TN-C, IT).
(1) IT (with distributed neutral) System:
The Neutral should be switched on & o with phases.
Required MCB: TPN or 4P MCB.
(2) IT (without distributed neutral) System:
There is no neutral.
Required MCB: TP MCB.
(3) TN-S System:
Required MCB: TP MCB because even when neutral is cut o system remains connected with Ground.
(4) TN-C System:
Required MCB: TPN or 4P only, because we cannot aord to cut neutral doing so will result in system loosing contact with Ground.
(5) TN-C-S System:
Neutral and Ground cable are separate
Required MCB: TP MCB Because Neutral and Ground cable are separate.
(6) TT System:
Ground is provided locally
Required MCB: TP MCB because ground is provided locally.
Conclusion: Its compulsory to use TPN in TN-C system rest everywhere you can use MCB.

Nomenclature of Distribution Board:

Distribution Box can be decided by way means how many how many single phase (single pole) distribution. Circuit and Neutral are used.


SPN Distribution Board (Incoming+ Outgoing)

4way (Row) SPN = 4 X 1SP= 4Nos (Module) of single pole MCB as outgoing feeders.
6way (Row) SPN = 6 X 1SP= 6Nos (Module) of single pole MCB as outgoing feeders.
8way (Row) SPN = 8 X 1SP= 8Nos (Module) of single pole MCB as outgoing feeders.
10way (Row) SPN = 10 X 1SP= 10Nos (Module) of single pole MCB as outgoing feeders.
12way (Row) SPN = 12 X 1SP= 12Nos (Module) of single pole MCB as outgoing feeders.
Normally single phase distribution is mainly used for small single phase loads at house wiring or industrial lighting wiring.


TPN Distribution Board (Incoming, Outgoing)

4way (Row) TPN = 4 X TP= 4nos of 3pole MCB as outgoing feeders =12 No of single pole MCB.
6way (Row) TPN = 6 X TP= 6nos of 3pole MCB as outgoing feeders =18 No of single pole MCB.
8way (Row) TPN = 8 X TP= 8nos of 3pole MCB as outgoing feeders =24 No of single pole MCB.
10way (Row) TPN = 10 X TP= 10nos of 3pole MCB as outgoing feeders =30 No of single pole MCB.
12way (Row) TPN =12 X TP= 12nos of 3pole MCB as outgoing feeders =36 No of single pole MCB


About Jignesh.Parmar

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Jignesh Parmar has completed his B.E(Electrical) from Gujarat University. He has more than 11 years experience in Power Transmission-Power
Distribution-Electrical energy theft detection-Electrical Maintenance-Electrical Projects(Planning-Designing-coordination-Execution). He is
Presently associate with one of the leading business group as a Assistant Manager at Ahmedabad,India. He is Freelancer Programmer of
Advance Excel and design useful Excel Sheets of Electrical Engineering as per IS,NEC,IEC,IEEE codes. He is technical Author for Electrical
Mirror and Electrical India Magazines. He is Technical Blogger and Familiar with English, Hindi, Gujarati, French languages. He wants to
Share his experience & knowledge and help technical enthusiasts to nd suitable solutions and updating themselves on various Engineering

39 Responses to Selection of 3P-TPN-4P MCB & Distribution Board

Dan says:
November 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm
i am happy for you dear, please keep on updating technical enthusiast on electrical works and devices.I need more of your electrical
note.Thanks and remain blessed
Hemrajsinh Chudasama says:
November 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm
Very usefull guidLine for Electrical Persons working in industril/comm. eld.Thanks Jignesh Sir.
DK Sharma says:
November 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm
Very useful information.
when a changeover arrangement between Three Phase mains supply and Generating set is required, 4 pole MCCB is a must for the safety of
the persons working on dead lines.
In such cases separation of Mains Neutral and Generator Neutral is a must.
DK Sharma says:
November 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm
Please dierentiate between MCB and MCCB.
vimal kumar says:
November 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm
these notes are useful fo me, thanks
Rajesh Kumar says:
November 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm
yes its very useful
Please dierentiate between MCB and MCCB.usage
Jignesh.Parmar says:
November 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm
It is already given in the Blog..
saran says:
December 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm
Really a good information,
thank you
sheikh says:
November 3, 2013 at 12:00 am
Useful information regarding electrical installation
please also inform about SF6,OCB ,& VCB
mohd shamse alam says:
November 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Thanks Very useful to us , Please be continued
mukesh kumar chaurasia says:
November 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm
your information is really valuable
abdul khadeer says:

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November 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

thankx so much to increase my electrical knwoledge
vilas k says:
November 5, 2013 at 6:51 am
Thnax a lot dear sirji !! the info is of great help. It is well said that common things are uncommon.Thanx & regards pl once again request pl
throw some highlight on OC+EF IDMT relays seGing in EHV s/s with exercise.
hasan says:
November 11, 2013 at 7:39 am
rahul baishya says:
November 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Dear Jignesh.Parmar Sir, Those articles are very helpful for all electrical professionals specialyy for beginners.Thank you for your great
saurabh patel says:
November 21, 2013 at 12:21 am
Amit Kishore says:
December 5, 2013 at 1:59 am
interesting geGing some ideas about it thankz alot!!!
WinComp says:
December 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm
Respected Sir, i need to know about the working of Automatic Voltage Regulators/ Servo Voltage Regulators and series transformers but its
contents are less available on internet. Please Help
Mohamed Al Najjar says:
December 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Thanka a lot, you have put great eort on puGing these valuable informations on the hands of every electrical engineer specially for the
Tarun Hirpara says:
December 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Sir, I have one LV panel with 1 I/C feeder and 2 nos. O/G transformer feeder (I.e A and B).
A Tr. has 3P ACB & also B Tr. has 3P ACB and there is 1 bus coupler with 4P ACB type.
Now i want to shift the load of Tr. A to Tr. B with the use of Bus couple.
How can I do this? what is the procedure which i followed? Bcoz there is dierent type of coupler.
a.narayana says:
January 7, 2014 at 4:52 am
Thanks a lot. Your information is very valuable.
George says:
February 11, 2014 at 10:31 am
Great work here. Quite enlightening. Would you please get me more materials on electrical distribution and installation via the above email
address. Thank you.
kshirod dash says:
February 24, 2014 at 7:40 am
Sir kindly give a clarication abt what is 7 segment tpn double door db box
David says:
February 28, 2014 at 11:40 am
if I have 2 upstream power, genset and normal power supply to main switchboard. Then connected to UPS. Should use 4 pole or 3 pole
Jignesh.Parmar says:
February 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm
It is depend upon your distribution system i,e TT,TS..

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Sonny says:
March 12, 2014 at 3:12 am
Thanks for your info. For residential distribution board, only main switch needs to cut both phase and neutral. The mcb feeding outgoing
circuit needs only cut the phase. But I nd the regulations requiring to cut all live conductors. I could not nd where the outgoing circuits
need not to so. Could you help. Thanks
Karthik says:
April 7, 2014 at 10:32 am
Dear sir,
Thanking you for giving valuable information, Ive quires
1). What is the meaning of loose wire box in D.B,
2). What is the abbreviation of EB in Change over Switch connection
Thanking you
Abhra Pachal says:
April 15, 2014 at 6:41 am
what is the calculation of reactive power injection to the Bus bar?
mohamed ra says:
May 28, 2014 at 5:49 pm
hi sir,
i have a doubt,
where to use RCCb and where to use ELCB?
Thanks & regards
AH Mohamed Ra
J. Mohan says:
July 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm
my house load capacity is 5000 waGs ,which capacity of 3 phase MCB i may installed in my house .
Karthik says:
July 24, 2014 at 3:57 am
4 way TPNDB with 63Amps MCCB incomer and 20Amps MCB- Geyser, A.c, Fridge, rest of Mcb for circuits-switch boards,
Hemant Arora says:
July 28, 2014 at 7:42 am
Dear Jagnesh
We are executing a multi-billion industrial project where it is insisted to use 4 pole breaker through out the installation. (Incomers &
Local regulation call for the use TT & TN-S combined system. TN-S Utility Supply Neutral through cable armour, while incoming power feed
is 33KV-Primary substation. We think TT & TN-S shall not apply since utility supply is 33KV not 380/400/415 or 433V 3 Ph.
We understand the use of 4 Pole Breaker in the following situations.
1. Electrical Power input of TXR & Generator OR TXR & TXR to common LV MDB with auto- changeover through 4 ACBs to isolate the
neutral of two power sources.
2. Parallel Supply Systems with Restricted earth fault protection, as summarized by you.
3. Where 3rd Harmonic presence is established resulting in current in the neutral.
What if we use Harmonic Filters to neutralize Harmonics?
4.Hazardous (inammable/explosive) material areas where spark on Neutral is dangerous.
Do you have any document BS or NEC or NFPA or IEE which categorically state/ guide usage of 4 Pole Breakers in the electrical power
disruption system.
Earliest response shall be appreciated.
Hemant Arora.
Muruga says:
August 2, 2014 at 10:56 am
Dear sir,

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Whether 3Pole MCCB can be converted in to single pole + Neutral . if so

What about the protection
pushkar says:
September 22, 2014 at 9:06 am
what is cheng over in which capacity changeover are available were to use
what is nesacari to check?
adedayo alo says:
September 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm
Going through the notes, I now have beGer understanding of the mccb/mcb protection systems. Thank you so much for the notes. How I
wish you could send notes to me on earthing systems.
Dipesh says:
November 24, 2014 at 6:24 am
What is the meaning of 6way ( 8+18)TPN MCB DB
gaurav says:
March 8, 2015 at 7:28 pm
Sir, I had a query; we have a 4 pole ACB for DG. Now we are planning to get 2nd Dg & intend to synchronize both DGs. For this weve to
install separate neutral contactors. So can we use our existing 4 pole ACB on DG having only 3 phases going through it( N protection set to
o) & neutral through contactor. Kindly reply
Krishna says:
March 12, 2015 at 10:35 am
Jignesh.Parmar:) Sir how to design the MSB, DB, Sizes if i know the Total Connected Load.
Please tell me the whole process step by step.
Thank you
sumit says:
March 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm
thanks your note is useful

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