Residual Current Device (RCD)
Definition - What does Residual Current Device (RCD) mean?
A residual current device (RCD) is designed to shut off the electrical supply in the event of a fault. It is more advanced than a standard circuit breaker and works by monitoring the flow of electrical current between live and neutral conductors. Faults including damage to cables or short circuits will result in an inequality in the flow of energy and will trigger the circuit breaker immediately. It is an additional protection device required by law in many workplaces and does not replace other safety features like fuses.
These devices are also referred to as ground fault circuit interrupters.
Safeopedia explains Residual Current Device (RCD)
RCDs are designed to protect employees from electrical shock. An additional variant for the protection of equipment is known as an equipment protection device (EPD) and is set to higher tolerances than an RCD.
In the United States, the application of RCDs is specified in the National Electrical Code and similar legislation toward electrical safety compliance exists in most countries around the world. Norwegian legislation has required the use of RCDs on all power sources since 2006.
RCDs are equipped with a test button and should be tested regularly. Provided RCDs are regularly tested, they are highly effective in safeguarding against electrical hazards.