When UK supplier of motor control centres (MCCs) Boulting Technology identified a trend in industry power management needs, it teamed up with ABB to design and manufacture its first 100kA low voltage (LV) switchboard.
The Boulting Power Centre (BPC) is fully BS EN 61439-compliant and the company designed it to match exactly the needs of industrial and commercial buildings' power applications, which require high fault tolerance levels. To make the product flexible, future-proof, and reduce its footprint, Boulting Technology used the world’s first smart grid compatible low voltage circuit breaker, ABB’s SACE Emax 2.
The gradual move towards ‘smart’ technologies, in factories, homes, buildings, cities and energy grids, has created new industry demands in terms of power generation, usage, quality and protection.
Many buildings now use multiple energy sources, complementing traditional grid power with renewable energy including solar photovoltaic panels or wind energy. Building and industrial automation advancements have also created the need for more flexibility in terms of device connectivity and power management. All these factors, combined with advanced industry standards for higher safety and energy efficiency, have led to the development of a new generation of safer, more flexible and more powerful switchboards.
Boulting Technology quickly reacted to the industry trend by designing and manufacturing a new range of low voltage switchboards that would accommodate heavy electrical loads in commercial buildings. The product responds to increased energy efficiency demands and growing energy costs and is suitable for applications with current rating up to 6300 Amp and 100kA fault rating.
Smart circuit breaker
A close-knit collaboration between ABB and Boulting was at the very heart of the project and accounted for the quality of the new LV switchboard range. ABB provided its latest generation of circuit breakers, while Boulting designed and tested the new future-proof, fully compliant low voltage switchboard.
In fact, Boulting Technology was the first supplier of low voltage switchboards to see the potential of ABB’s new SACE Emax 2 circuit breaker. The breaker ensures protection from abnormal voltage and frequency loads, monitors power flow and offers greater levels of performance than previous generations of switchgear.
Because ABB embedded the wiring and software in the breaker, it requires no external relays, current, voltage sensors or multimeters, which results in significant cost savings for both panel builders and users. Furthermore, less wiring also means fewer potential errors and easier troubleshooting.
The software specifications of ABB’s SACE Emax 2 allow the breaker to monitor the network and make data available on demand. Remote data access and control are extremely useful for service engineers and can save users significant maintenance and downtime costs. The integrated IEC 61850-communication module enables connection to automation systems and intelligent networks such as smart grids.
Finally, the built-in load manager also allows the breaker to switch off a maximum of 15 non-critical loads in case of an emergency. In a hotel, for example, non-critical loads like swimming pool heating can be turned off when energy demands are high and reinitiated when the demand drops.