ABB News

ABB’s market-leading outdoor vacuum circuit breaker electrifying the grid with more resiliency against extreme weather

Natural disasters caused by extreme weather, including flooding, heat and drought continue to affect energy security and impact millions of people and businesses each year, costing billions.

ABB’s market-leading outdoor vacuum circuit breaker electrifying the grid with more resiliency against extreme weather
  • The National Electrical Manufacturer Association (NEMA) has given its coveted 4 rating to ABB’s new housing for the R-MAG® magnetic outdoor circuit breaker
  • Designed to withstand sleet, snow, dust storms and wind-driven rain at rates of up to 65Gal/min from any direction
  • Negligible maintenance with magnetic actuator and easy plug-and-play control board
  • Option for Internal Arc Resistant housing tested as per IEEE C37.20.7, Type 2B, 0.5s

In response to these challenges and to meet customer demand for power safety and reliability, ABB has designed a next generation extreme weather resistant housing cabinet for its R-MAG® magnetically actuated dead tank breaker for medium-voltage primary substations.

Available for 15, 27 and 38kV units, the housing has been designed to the stringent NEMA 4 rating standards, offering unparalleled protection against even the most severe water and dust ingress. Featuring seamless roof-to-wall joints and external self-sealing bolts that prevent any gaps, the housing is completely secure and watertight. A new roof overhang also helps limit water exposure, plus the bushings-to-roof interface is secured by a superior aerospace-grade UV-resistant and more robust gasket.

These technological improvements on the traditional NEMA 3R housing make this R-MAG® magnetic outdoor circuit breaker altogether safer and more reliable. Additionally, ABB is also releasing a new Arc Resistant housing variant for the R-MAG® breaker. This new enclosure ensures any fire and gases are expulsed in a controlled manner in the event of an internal arc fault; there is increased protection for substation personnel on all sides of the equipment, much lower risk of failure and downtime, plus faster overall restoration of the system.

Ivan Contreras, ABB’s Global Product Manager for MV Dead Tank Breakers, said: “With the severity and regularity of both rain and dust-based storms challenging installations even further, we’ve used our magnetic actuation and vacuum interrupter domain expertise to create the best performing housing against intrusion of the elements with internationally recognized NEMA 4 rating. Not only does this give our customers peace of mind in terms of safety, but also saves operational time and training and significantly reduces inspection and downtime costs.”

ABB’s market-leading outdoor vacuum circuit breaker electrifying the grid with more resiliency against extreme weather

Even better for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), a three-point latch and self-aligning hinges help ensure a smooth and uniform door fit, while the enhanced position indicator window design also repels excess water levels. The footprints of the R-MAG® 15 and 27kV units have even been reduced from 60 in. width down to 52 in. width, offering space and resource savings.

Since its launch in 2002, the R-MAG® breaker has been consistently tested in nearly 40,000 installations worldwide. Based on magnetic actuation, it has fewer moving parts and is mechanically simpler than breakers with traditional spring mechanisms.

“The magnetic actuator is that rare maintenance-free mechanism, because only one moving part makes for minimal wear and tear. This is pretty unique, as spring-based alternatives with open compartments expose technicians to the danger of mechanical components, plus multiple gears and chains require a lot of regular cleaning/lubrication and spare parts - and are far less reliable when it comes to maintaining critical power supply,” Ivan concluded.


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