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ABB brings unprecedented safety to mission critical electrical systems

A small device protects electrical equipment, saving millions of dollars by preventing unplanned or unforeseen outages.

ABB has launched the next-generation QuickSafe® surge protection device (SPD). The device combines the company’s patented thermal disconnection technology with its groundbreaking new integrated safety backup system to ensure electrical equipment – including mission critical installations for data centers, hospitals, and banks – is continuously protected from damage, otherwise caused by surges in the power supply.

SPDs protect electrical equipment from transitory surges caused by operations on the grid or lightning. They are used in vast amounts in industrial and residential applications. Powerful surges literally melt solid-state circuits and components, but even small surges, repeated many times over, cause damage and can lead to the loss of priceless stored data.  

Usually SPDs provide repeated system protection over their lifetime, but with global warming threatening to increase lightning strikes by more than 50 percent by the end of the century - according to research from the University of California – the duration of their life span may be less than predicted.  For many installations, like the Empire State building in New York, already suffering about 100 lightning strikes a year and sometimes as many as 50 strikes on a single day, ABB’s QuickSafe offers a higher degree of safety.

The life span of a SPD varies according to the size and frequency of the surges it encounters, which makes the timing of its replacement unpredictable. Conventionally, if its lifetime ends before replacement, then the equipment it protects is left vulnerable.

Electrification Products Division President, Tarak Mehta, said: “Part of our Next Level Strategy is a focus on continuous innovation; for our business the focus is on how we can enhance the protection of people and equipment through technology. With our QuickSafe Surge Protection Device the innovation is a simple, yet ingenious, safety backup technology that features two electronic components per device compared to the standard of only one per device.”

In the new QuickSafe SPD an indicator shows which component needs replacing, enabling maintenance personnel to easily identify and safely replace the damaged component, while the second component continues to protect the equipment. With this reserve system the risk of a device being left unprotected is eliminated, allowing operators to plan necessary SPD replacements at convenient times with little, or no, disruption to operations and services.

“Power surges can be mighty or miniscule. Nature generates the most spectacular among them in the form of lightning, but the most likely surge damage you’ll encounter will be less obvious and may be generated by your power supplier, your own equipment, other equipment in your building, or from distant sources,” added Mehta. “No matter their size or source, with the ever increasing desire to shrink electronic devices, the impact of surges can be catastrophic.”

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

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