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ABB’s Emax 2 breaker wins Red Dot 2014 product design award

The Emax 2 is the world’s first low voltage circuit breaker with integrated power management.

The Red Dot Product Design Award ( has recognized international excellence in product design since 1954.

Launched in 2013, ABB’s innovation, the Emax 2 circuit breaker, replaces existing traditional breakers and has the potential to achieve annual savings that are equivalent to the electric consumption of 1.4 million EU households per year - or 5.8 million megawatt-hours (MWh).

Breakers are used where protection and control of large amounts of energy is needed in a low-voltage environment like industrial and commercial buildings, data centers or ships. The breaker contains a protection trip relay with an integrated power controller that measures and evaluates energy consumption, then manages the loads to maintain or reduce the peak power usage as determined by the user.

“We are proud of our ground-breaking technology and the Red Dot Product Design Award recognizes the team’s achievement,” said Giampiero Frisio, head of ABB’s Breakers and Switches business unit. “Breakers are all around us and now they can not only break power when required, but also manage this power.”

The Emax 2 is the only breaker of its kind to both protect electrical circuits, and also reduce energy consumption based on our needs, thereby leading to massive reductions in energy waste and a lower carbon footprint. What makes it truly exceptional, is that it achieves all of that within a single device.

“For example, in a manufacturing plant, all lines are being used and then an additional piece of equipment with a high power load is needed, which would exceed the maximum power use, the Emax 2 would stop the electricity supply to a non-essential source such as the air-conditioning in the canteen, which is empty because lunch is over,” Mr. Frisio explained. “The building manager can determine how it is set to meet the specific requirements of the plant and ensure optimum energy efficiency.”

The development of the new Emax 2 breaker took several years and was led by ABB’s development center in Bergamo, Italy.

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