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Can this black box help prevent blackouts? It can. And then some.

"This is not just a circuit breaker, it’s also a power manager"

ABB’s new low-voltage circuit breaker, the Emax2, is the only one to both protect electrical circuits, and also reduce energy consumption based on our needs, thereby leading to massive reductions in energy waste and a lower carbon footprint.

But what makes it truly exceptional, is that it is all of that within a single device. And these breakers are used in everything from supermarkets and malls, to hospitals, ships and even data centers.

This is a huge breakthrough for circuit breakers. Whereas they have always served an important purpose in the prevention of short circuits and overloads, they are now intelligent, too. And that means it can do so much more.

This is not just a circuit breaker, it’s also a power manager. And it is the first of its kind. But what does that mean to you and what is exactly is it capable of? More than you can imagine. And here’s why you should care:

1) It saves a huge amount of energy – Think about this staggering fact: within ONE YEAR you save about as much energy as is consumed by all homes in the city of Berlin (population: above 3 million)!

2) It puts more money in your pocket – Installation* of the Emax2 breaker pays for itself in just one year. If only all investments had that kind of guarantee.

3) It can avoid power outages – Most power outages occur at peak consumption, as with recent blackouts in the U.S. or South Korea. The Emax2 can help to prevent an overload situation.

Finally, a way to consume nothing more than the energy we ACTUALLY need. Who would have thought that the power to consume LESS power was all inside of that box?

That’ll teach you to judge a book by its cover.

Infographic:

*Editor’s note: Correction - The EMAX2 breaker can be programmed in minutes.

 

27 Comments

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  • http://www.facebook.com/balancr Derek Norfield

    This is an interesting product. The fact that it is possible to save an incredible amount of energy leads one to the conclusion that this is only for very large installations. Most plants don't use as much energy as the city of Berlin. My question is "How much power does one have to save per year to make this affordable - ROI under 2 years"

    • Pietro Esposto

      Hello, The first saving you can get is the reduction of installed
      power and the consequent delta fixed cost: if you can reduce by 15% the
      installed power you save:

      1) the fixed cost for the power available. This already can
      pay the cost of ABB Power Controller in few months.

      2) the sizing of components (transformers, cables...),

      3) you manage the power getting the best usage of it and
      avoiding wastage (eg. ligthing of not used areas,)

      Let me make another comment: It is possible to save a large
      amount of energy all over the world, ut only summing contribution of several
      plants. Making a very easy example form the domestic world: switching off the
      standby TVs can lead to a very small savings. But if all the TVs in the world
      are switched off tonight, we reach a very large saving. An Air Circuit-breaker
      is aimed to installations with currents from 630 to 6.300 Ampère @440V,
      therefore we aim to plants with installed power from some hundreds of kW to
      6+MW.

      • http://twitter.com/lj11111 david

        correct me if i am wrong: so this acb saves energy by cutting off power??
        i smell an over-claim. its the equivalent of selling slimming pills that say you need to starve.

        • Pietro Esposto

          It saves energy cutting off unused or low efficency power, yes. Increasing then the overall efficiency of the installation. The key point is that the ACB made this with its automated embedded logic. It is the equivalent of saying that if you walk to work you loose weight.

          • http://twitter.com/lj11111 david

            how is it different from the existing solution of using normal circuit breaker+plc or scada?
            furthermore, does it mean the downstream breakers need to be compatible? or simply a dry contact will do?

            • Alessandro De Danieli

              Hello David, let me answer this point. The difference is between using a circuit breaker or a circuit breaker and a plc or a scada. So, in case, you can save a PLC (or a scada). Furthermore, the difference is between programming a PLC or having a software already embedded. For the downstream breakers, you use an output contact from the Emax 2. So every kind of breaker (contactor) is compatible.

      • Liam McCafferty

        Also would i be accurate in saying that another cost saving factor of the Emax 2 which has not been mentioned above, which may be beneficial to smaller installations, is the the fact you can do everything with a single product eliminating the need and maintenance (cost) for external components to measure, act and communicate back to now the circuit breakers of the past?

    • Pietro Esposto

      The first saving you can get is the reduction of installed
      power and the consequent delta fixed cost: if you can reduce by 15% the
      installed power you save:
      1) the fixed cost for the power available. This already can
      pay the cost of ABB Power Controller in few months.
      2) the sizing of components (transformers, cables...),
      3) you manage the power getting the best usage of it and
      avoiding wastage (eg. ligthing of not used areas,)

      Let me make another comment: It is possible to save a large
      amount of energy all over the world, ut only summing contribution of several
      plants. Making a very easy example form the domestic world: switching off the
      standby TVs can lead to a very small savings. But if all the TVs in the world
      are switched off tonight, we reach a very large saving. An Air Circuit-breaker
      is aimed to installations with currents from 630 to 6.300 Ampère @440V,
      therefore we aim to plants with installed power from some hundreds of kW to
      6+MW.

  • rajeev.jha@iaew.rwth-aachen.de

    How it control and save energy consumed? Can you please write briefly?

  • rajeev.jha@iaew.rwth-aachen.de

    How it can save energy? Can you please tell in brief?

    • Pietro Esposto

      Ekip Power Controller helps improving the efficiency of several kind of installations. In buildings can shed loads with low priorities or with low efficiency. In industrial processing can shed interruptible process not being used at a given time. Possible examples are HVAC and lighting loads in building and industrial ovens in standby for industries.

  • Liam McCafferty

    Pietro can I ask, the statement "money back within a year" is there an equation to calculate this lets say based on average power consumption for first 3 months or previous year, anything like that? To be able to give customers a more or less exact cost benefit vs time of product in use?

  • Janet Roadway

    I read in the technical catalogue that Emax2 has a comms module for IEC61850, does this mean it can send & receive GOOSE messaging?

    • Alessandro De Danieli

      We will have GOOSE messaging enabled. Which kind of GOOSE messaging can't be disclosed at this time...

  • Liam McCafferty

    Hi Guys,

    Can you confirm what message would be shown on an integrator's system when a breaker is racked out, as the comms and IP are kept on the fix portion will an alarm be shown across the system or will it communicate to show it knows breaker has been withdrawn?

    • Pietro Esposto

      The Communication device will just show the breaker is withdrawn. It is not an alarm, but a status

  • Liam McCafferty

    Can we accept BACNet comms? If not is there a plan to incorporate this?

    • Pietro Esposto

      BACNet is currently not required from our customers. We are open to evaluate it if needed

  • Liam McCafferty

    Can you bring a signal from an external source such as an over temperature signal from a transformer and use it to identify the reason for a shunt trip on the breaker and communicate this via comms (programmable I/O). In other words identify the reason for CB opening under external control?

    • Pietro Esposto

      Dear Liam,
      this option is available, and it is already available with previous Emax generation

  • Liam McCafferty

    Can the I/O be programmed to signal if the breaker has failed to open due to protection, as in a breaker fail signal?

    • Pietro Esposto

      Dear Liam,
      this setting is available

  • Liam McCafferty

    Can we transmit serial number of the breaker via comms?

    • Pietro Esposto

      Yes, it is in the dataset

  • Liam McCafferty

    Does the Ekip link need software to be able to be able to change settings on the breaker, view trip history etc, or can it be accessed via a web browser by using the IP address?

    • Pietro Esposto

      DearLiam,
      Ekip Link is the network (Hardware) and the protocol. The Ekip link network can be supervised from Ekip control panel. Ekip control Panel can then be accessed via internet, acting as a web server
      Pietro

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