ABB’s new smart circuit breaker helps backup gensets work longer

ABB Emax2Emax 2 provides advanced protection, programmable logic, full connectivity, easy integration and comprehensive microgrid energy management – all in one device. (Image source: ABB)A European central bank has installed Emax 2, ABB’s groundbreaking smart circuit breaker, to upgrade the backup power at its Rome headquarters, increasing security and system resilience

The ABB all-in-one circuit breaker technology, which controls, protects and coordinates microgrids, has enabled the bank, which cannot be named for confidentiality reasons, to downsize its backup power investment while reinforcing its energy security strategy.

Banks use backup generators to ensure they can operate as a standalone low-voltage microgrid if the utility power should fail for any reason. Having several layers of redundancy in their power supply guarantees that security systems stay online and that transactions can still proceed as normal. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems provide backup as the very last resort.

Giuseppe Scali, global product management manager for ABB’s low-voltage circuit breakers business, said, “Banks trust ABB technology to keep their systems up and running in an emergency. Emax 2 simplifies the control and protection coordination of microgrids. For critical power applications like banks, Emax 2 is the smartest way to give their energy supply an extra layer of resilience without additional genset investments or complex programming.”

Emax 2 provides advanced protection, programmable logic, full connectivity, easy integration and comprehensive microgrid energy management – all in one device. If ever the bank needs to switch to its streamlined backup power, designed only for essential loads, the Emax 2’s embedded software delivers a load shedding strategy based on power and frequency measurements. According to pre-set priorities, non-critical loads are quickly disconnected while essential operations stay up and running.  When utility power is restored, ABB’s breaker safely reconnects these loads automatically.

Emax 2 is not only a circuit breaker with two complete sets of protection for power distribution and generation but also a plant controller that guarantees coordination in both on-grid or off-grid situations. Thanks to patented embedded software, Emax 2 learns the power system’s behaviour and adapts the plant load and generation configuration to electrical grid changes.

“From a power perspective, a bank is a plant that must never shut down,” added Fabio Monachesi, global product manager in ABB’s Protection and Connection business. “Remaining online at all times requires several layers of resilience to be built into the power strategy. In consultation with Quadricom, the bank’s facility managers decided to install two back-up power generators, using the load shedding technology in ABB’s Emax 2 circuit breaker avoids catastrophic blackout conditions and satisfies 24/7/365 banking operations.”

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