What are the Ring Circuit and Radial Circuit?

What Is Radial and Ring Circuit?

Think a simple Circle what has radius and periphery. The electrical circuit in your wiring system which is look like radius is called Radial circuit and which one is look like periphery or ring is called Ring circuit. Oh! this definition seems to layman, not professional; lets know detail-  

A radial circuit is an electrical circuit where the feeders to each socket is taken directly from the consumer unit or distribution board (DB) or circuit Breaker (CB) like a 20A MCB. 

A ring circuit is an electrical circuit which has two feeders both come from the same 32A MCB or RBCO in the consumer unit, and head off to different ends of a loop circuit. Ring circuit also known as Ring Main circuit.

What Is the Advantages of Ring Circuit?

Ring and Radial Circuit
Ring and Radial Circuit
In a ring circuit simply put it, the wiring is connected at both ends of the circuit. The main advantage of ring main circuit is if any single connector is broken or disconnected at any point in the circuit all the other sockets will still work because they will be being act as radial circuit and fed from the other end of the circuit. 

  1. Generally ring circuit require less cable as there are two parallel routes back to the circuit breaker (CB) at distribution board (DB) which allows thinner cable to be used for the same load what works like two radial circuit, or other way we can say one ring circuit may replace by two radial circuits. 
  2. If in ring main circuit broken or disconnect any point though it still works but there is slightly vulnerable to certain sorts of breaks in ground protection.
  3. In a ring main circuit, a bigger like 32A circuit is much more flexible in terms of usage than two smaller 16A radials; means no need worry about which socket to plug them into for two large load.

What Is the Disadvantages of Ring Circuit?

  1. A ring-main circuit installation and testing is  more rigorous than radial circuit.
  2. In a ring-main circuit if not break or disconnect in load middle point, then there is a possibility of an overload the wire and breaker.
  3.  During break or disconnect the ring circuit is vulnerable in ground protection.

What is the Advantages and Disadvantages of Radial Circuit?

Radial circuit wiring material cost is more less than ring main circuit. Due to safety, a typical ring main circuit use for a 230V ring main 32A circuit breaker (CB) and 2.5mm cable what is double rating compare to radial circuit. 
If same rated wire is used in both ring and Radial circuit, the Ring circuit has more current capacity than radial circuit because there are two paths to any load. Ring circuit also has lower loss but disadvantage is that if an open circuit occurs in the ring, you will probably not realize or don't care to fix the circuit because power is not cut-off, so circuit may goes overloaded; there is no possibility in radial circuit for the same.

What is the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ring and Radial Distribution Network?

Now we will discuss with the ring and radial feeder system in energy distribution network system. Each system has some advantages and same way some limitation also. Lt's find advantages and disadvantages of Ring and Radial network:

Advantages of the radial distribution network 

  1.  Simplest as fed at only one end;
  2.  The initial cost is low;
  3.  It is useful when the generating is at low voltage;
  4.  Preferred when the station is located at the center of the load;
  5.  More economical for some areas which have a low load requirement;
  6.  Require less amount of cables; &
  7.  It has a low maintenance.

 Disadvantages of the radial distribution network 

  1.  The end of distributor near to the substation gets heavily loaded;
  2.  When load on the distributor changes, the clients at the distant end of the distributor face serious voltage fluctuations; &
  3.  As users are dependent on single feeder and distributor, a fault on any of these two causes interruption in supply to all the users connected to that distributor.

 Advantages of the ring distribution network

  1. In ring power is supplied from both ends as compared to radial;
  2.  In case of a fault in the radial circuit the entire system goes off unlike in ring where by in case one end gets a fault the other end still keeps on supplying power;
  3.  Compared to the radial system, the voltage drop is less along the distribution line;
  4.  More subscribers can be installed to the system than the radial system; &
  5.  Less voltage fluctuations can be seen at client’s terminals. Voltage fluctuations in high loaded areas can be reduced using a tie line.

 Disadvantages of the ring distribution network

  1.  Ring is very expensive n requires more materials than radial;
  2.  Radial circuit is more economical;
  3.  High maintenance cost; &
  4.  It is not usable when the client is located at the center of the load.


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