A new solid-state circuit breaker – called the SACE Infinitus – is to be launched by technology company ABB to enable safe and energy-efficient next-generation direct current (DC) power systems.
DC power distribution is increasingly being used to aid in making the maritime sector a more sustainable and energy-efficient industry as it has the capability to improve fuel efficiency by up to 20%. ABB’s new SACE Infinitus circuit breaker has been designed as an all-in-one device to enable the easier integration, protection and control of new DC network architectures for a wide range of vessel types.
The SACE Infinitus is claimed to be the world’s first IEC 60947-2 certified circuit breaker with semiconductor technology and has been optimized by ABB for low losses. It will be available with a DNV certification for low voltage maritime applications and will provide protection for new DC network architectures.
ABB’s circuit breaker works by detecting and responding to short circuit faults at a speed which is 100 times faster than conventional mechanical circuit breakers. Working as a vessel’s bus-tie breaker, the SACE Infinitus solid-state circuit breaker enables fault zones to be isolated – even when extremely high short circuit currents are detected – to maximize system availability.
The device is also capable of interrupting fault currents without an electric arc, reducing arc flash risk to virtually zero. New technology used within the device means the SACE Infinitus benefits from an ultra-long electrical life which is 100 times longer than that of traditional circuit breakers. Cost of ownership is also said to be low.
The solution includes protection, switching, isolator, energy meter, network analyzer and a smart connectivity module. For ease of installation, ABB’s device can be fitted in a standard 600mm electrical cabinet and can also be integrated with the company’s Ekip and EPiC software tools. The selected switching technology results in power losses up to 70% lower than those of other power electronics solutions.
“SMM is an ideal platform to showcase this innovative new technology, which will support the energy transition within the marine sector,” said Thorsten Strassel, global product manager, solid-state circuit breaker, ABB. “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.”