Circuit breaker wins product design award

25th April 2014

Automation technology company ABB’s Emax 2, which is the first low voltage circuit breaker with integrated power management, has been awarded the Red Dot Product Design Award for 2014.

The Emax 2 circuit breaker replaces existing traditional breakers and has the potential to achieve yearly savings that are equivalent to the electricity consumption of 1.4-million households a year, or 5.8-million megawatt hours..

Breakers are used where protection and control of large amounts of energy is needed in low-voltage environments, such as industrial and commercial buildings, data centres or ships.

The breaker contains a protection trip relay with an integrated power controller that measures and evaluates energy consumption, then manages the loads to maintain or decrease the peak power use, as determined by the user.

“We are proud of our ground-breaking technology and the Red Dot Product Design Award recognises the team’s achievement,” says ABB breakers and switches business unit head Giampiero Frisio.

“Breakers are all around us and now they can not only break power when required, but also manage this power,” he adds.

The Emax 2 can protect electrical circuits and also decrease energy consumption based on our needs, thereby, leading to massive reductions in energy waste and a lower carbon footprint.

Frisio explains that “in a manufacturing plant, all power lines are being used and then an additional piece of equipment with a high power load is needed, which would exceed the maximum power use, the Emax 2 would stop the electricity supply to a nonessential source, such as the air-conditioning in the canteen, which is empty as lunch is over.

“The building manager can determine how it is set to meet the specific requirements of the plant and ensure optimum energy efficiency,” he adds.

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

According to the Red Dot website, “the Red Dot is the prize for high design quality. The international jury only awards this sought-after seal of quality to projects that set themselves apart significantly from comparable projects, thanks to their excellent design”