In an electric power system, overcurrent or excess current is a situation where a larger than intended electric current exists through a conductor, leading to excessive generation of heat, and the risk of fire or damage to equipment. Possible causes for overcurrent include short circuits, excessive load, incorrect design, or a ground fault. Fuses, circuit breakers, and current limiters are commonly used overcurrent protection (OCP) mechanisms to control the risks. An overcurrent can be caused by overloading the circuit or by a short circuit, a ground fault, or an arc fault. Circuit breakers and fuses protect circuit wiring from damage caused by overcurrent.
- IEC 60364-4-43: Electrical installations of buildings – Part 4-43: Protection for safety – Protection against overcurrent
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