ABB launches low-voltage circuit breaker to prevent blackouts

11 April 2013 (Last Updated April 11th, 2013 03:30)

ABB has launched a new low-voltage circuit breaker, which the company says will save energy equivalent to the electric consumption of 1.4 million households in Europe and prevent blackouts.

ABB

ABB has launched a new low-voltage circuit breaker, which the company says will save energy equivalent to the electric consumption of 1.4 million households in Europe and prevent blackouts.

The circuit breaker, named Emax 2, has the ability to achieve annual savings of 5.8 million megawatt-hours (Mwh) and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by four million tonnes.

It is the first low-voltage circuit breaker with integrated energy management functions.

Emax 2 features a protection trip relay with a power controller, which will measure and calculate energy consumption.

The power controller will also manage the loads to maintain or reduce the peak power usage as determined by the user, in order to prevent blackouts.

Emax 2 also features a communication module, which will enable it to share important consumption and system reliability data directly with smart grid and other protocols.

ABB head of low voltage products division, Tarak Mehta, said that breakers provide one of the largest untapped opportunities in the electric system to achieve energy savings.

"Breakers have been used to increase safety and protect electric circuits, but now for the first time we use them to save energy too," Mehta added.

ABB's development centre in Bergamo, Italy led the development of Emax.


Image: ABB withdrawable air circuit breaker rated up to 1250A. Photo: Courtesy of Ali.

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