Marine Link
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

ABB Unveils New Solid State Circuit Breaker

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 6, 2022

(Image: ABB)

(Image: ABB)

ABB is launching a new solid state circuit breaker to enable the next generation of safe, energy-efficient direct current (DC) power systems. DC power distribution is at the forefront of strategies to make shipping and marine vessels more sustainable and energy efficient – the SACE Infinitus circuit breaker makes it simpler to integrate, protect and control these new DC network architectures for ships of all types and sizes.

DC power systems improve fuel efficiency by up to 20 per cent. Removing AC power’s losses and limitations, DC networks enable ships to match the electrical output of onboard diesel-electric gensets with the power required for propulsion and other loads. DC electrical architectures also simplify the integration of battery storage and hydrogen fuel cell systems into the ship’s electrical system and help maximize their efficiency.

SACE Infinitus is the world’s first IEC 60947-2 certified circuit breaker with semiconductor technology, optimized for low losses, providing an all-in-one device for DC power protection and control. The device will be available with DNV certification for low voltage maritime applications, providing ultrafast protection to enable new DC network architectures, making them safe and easy to integrate for vessels.

The SACE Infinitus detects and responds to short circuit faults 100 times faster than traditional mechanical circuit breakers. As the vessel’s all-important, bus-tie breaker, the solid-state circuit breaker allows fault zones to be isolated, even in cases with extremely high short circuit currents, maximizing system availability. The ultrafast device also interrupts fault currents without an electric arc, reducing arc flash risk to almost zero. In addition to the speed, the new technology also gives the device an ultra-long electrical life; 100 times longer than standard circuit breakers.

The device’s compact, all-in-one design makes integration simple and cost of ownership low. The SACE Infinitus includes protection, switching, isolator, energy meter, network analyzer and smart connectivity module – it fits in standard 600mm electrical cabinets and integrates seamlessly with ABB’s Ekip and EPIC software tools for easy configuration. ABB’s selected switching technology means power losses are also up to 70 percent lower than other power electronics solutions.

Thorsten Strassel, Global Product Manager, Solid State Circuit Breaker, ABB, said, “SMM is an ideal platform to showcase this innovative new technology, which will support the energy transition within the marine sector. Renewables, battery storage and smart grids are integral to making the marine and shipping industry more sustainable. DC networks deliver significant energy savings and fuel cost reductions, and with the launch of SACE Infinitus we can provide marine operators with the ultimate power protection they need to introduce DC safely and efficiently into their vessels.”

ABB’s revolutionary solid state technology concept was first unveiled in 2019. Development teams have refined and validated the technology, embedding the core technology into a product design that meets the strict IEC 60947-2 certification requirements. Pilot schemes are underway with customers ahead of series production in Q1 2023.

The SACE Infinitus can also be utilized for other DC distribution applications on industrial sites, in commercial buildings, and for electric vehicle charging, using renewable energy and battery storage systems to achieve energy savings and carbon footprint reductions.

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