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I need to be able to remotely trip a circuit using a signal. The circuit can and regularly does carry around 80A or more @12VDC, but the trip would not be expected to (actually would be designed specifically NOT to) open or close when any significant current flows...at switching it will be 1A or so, max. Ideally I would have the trip-off happen digitally, but the reset should be manual, hence why I say a trip switch, not a relay. Also, for that kind of current, trip switches seem far cheaper than relays.

To be clear, I don't need the trip to happen on overcurrent as per usual, only on a signal, but I could spec it to trip far higher than would ever happen. But is there such a thing as a remote-control tripswitch? I can't seem to find one on Farnell. Or is there another alternative component that would do the job satisfactorily?

Another alternative would be a servo or solenoid and a standard trip, I guess, but I'd rather not do much mechanical engineering if avoidable!

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I believe what you want is a "Shunt Trip" Circuit Breaker. If you do a search on the Newark.com website for "Circuit Breaker Shunt Trip" you will come up with some options.

http://www.newark.com/eaton-cutler-hammer/faz-xaa-c-12-110vac/shunt-trip/dp/58M6526?in_merch=Popular Circuit Breakers

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  • \$\begingroup\$ AutomationDirect.com is also a good source, though whatever you get there will probably be intended for three phase use. But they stock pretty much everything and are easy to buy from. One rated for 80A is BW125JAGU-3P080SB, but it's $182 and the shunt trip accessory adds another $50. \$\endgroup\$ – Doug McClean Dec 15 '13 at 0:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ A single phase one is a lot cheaper, WMZS1B63, only $9 + $34 for the shunt trip, but it is only rated for 63A. \$\endgroup\$ – Doug McClean Dec 15 '13 at 0:32

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