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Article Date: 24th July 2014

ABB’s Intelligent Low-Voltage Circuit Breaker to Provide Smart Solution for Data Centres

Circuit Breakers - Energy Management - LV Switchgear - Electrical Distribution

ABB Emax 2

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group launch Emax 2, the first low-voltage circuit breaker with integrated energy management functions. Replacing existing traditional breakers with the Emax 2 breaker has the potential to achieve annual savings of 5.8 million megawatt-hours (MWh), which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 1.4 million EU households per year.

These energy savings would reduce CO2 emissions by 4 million tonnes per year, which is the same as the annual emissions from one million cars. By installing the new Emax 2 in place of traditional breakers, a typical building installation can expect reduction in peak power of up to 15 percent.

The Emax 2 is ideally suited to applications where protection and control of large amounts of energy are used in a low-voltage environment. Data centres as well as industrial and commercial buildings are all well suited to the new switchgear.

Replacing an existing circuit breaker with the new Emax 2 is technically simple and energy savings will typically pay for the new equipment within one year.

Central to the operation of the Emax 2 is a protection trip relay with an integrated power controller that measures and evaluates energy consumption, then manages the loads to maintain or reduce the peak power usage as determined by the user. This will also help to reduce blackouts, the root cause of which is often that peak power demand exceeds supply.

To manage energy, the Emax 2 switches off the power to non-essential equipment, returning it as soon as acceptable power levels are reached. A built in controller and software used complex algorithms to deliver intelligent decision making by deciding when it is appropriate to switch the power while maintaining the overall functionality or productivity of the connected equipment.

The breaker also has a communication module that allows it to share vital consumption and system reliability data directly with smart grid and other protocols.

The development of the new Emax 2 breaker took several years and was led by ABB’s development centre in Bergamo, Italy.

“Breakers provide one of the largest untapped opportunities in the electric system to achieve energy savings. They have been used to increase safety and protect electric circuits but now for the first time we can use them to save energy too,” said Tarak Mehta, Head of ABB’s Low Voltage products division.

“Because breakers are all around us, the total energy saving s potential is massive. It’s a great example of how we can use smart technology to reduce energy wastage. This is good news for the environment and for our customers who can achieve significant cost savings by switching to our new device,” added Tarak.

With more than a century of experience providing equipment, systems and expertise to utilities and industries, ABB provides a wide range of products, integrated solutions and expertise that ensure data centres operate with optimum reliability and efficiency.

From AC and DC electric distribution systems, enterprise management and grid connections, ABB provides savings in installation, energy, space and maintenance. Customers include data centre designers and developers, owners and operators IT equipment manufacturers and utilities.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.

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