A utility fuse protects equipment from being damaged. When an overcurrent event happens, equipment can be at risk for serious impairment or destruction. In this situation, a fuse will stop the flow of electricity providing a designated level of protection. When a fuse detects an overcurrent (fault) that is higher than its designated rating, it will operate and open.
Utility fuses are a necessity for applications such as the protecting equipment against violent failures, enhancing power quality, extending equipment life and limiting outages on the system. Fuses save users considerable amounts of time from having to replace expensive, long lead time equipment by operating when an overcurrent happens.
Fuses are widely used and are present in overhead and underground applications. The range of fuses vary between very low current protection (protection on a street light) all the way to very high current protection (solar farm transformer). Environmental initiatives have put the spotlight on the importance of protecting distribution equipment against failures without the emittance generated from operation. Innovation and expansion within the industry is broadening the spectrum of coverage. This is leading toward larger fuses, environment and fire-safe fuses, and dual protection fuses.