Plain sailing with specialized ABB smart circuit breakers

Plain sailing with specialized ABB smart circuit breakers

In a bid to provide critically important electrical systems for ships, ORTEC turned to ABB’s space-saving breakers, built with the highest resistance to shock, temperature and humidity

Marine vessels today are floating technology centers with highly advanced electronic equipment and they are fully dependent on their complex onboard electrical infrastructure to meet operational requirements. For more than 50 years, shipbuilders across the globe have bolstered the reliability of their electrical systems with shockproof equipment from ABB.

In the vanguard of these protection and connection devices are ABB’s air circuit breakers, with special features not available on the same series of equipment for general use, and the new Emax 2/ML family for marine applications is making waves that are carrying ships to higher levels of reliability. ABB’s solution is the only one available that uses both a communication bus and wiring cable connections to prevent, detect and isolate electrical faults. Moreover, it provides a redundancy in the communication that increases the reliability in the logic created between the circuit breakers.

ORTEC Industriale Srl, based in Genova, Italy, is one of the world’s most savvy providers of electrical systems and industrial panels for the shipbuilding industry. The company has demonstrated an ability to understand and often anticipate major changes in maritime industry trends, employing computer-aided design to study structures and design electric power plants and accessories.

Therefore, when ORTEC set out to build an electrical panel that would work reliably in critical situations, it naturally explored the latest advanced technology from ABB, focusing on the Emax 2/ML circuit breaker and the benefits that it offers.

A smart, rugged, compact solution

The Emax 2/ML, which has earned a RINAMIL certification, has the highest shock resistance level of any circuit breaker for applications at sea, with the ability to withstand impacts of up to 20g. It ensures service continuity with built-in redundant actuators and communication modules and is the only breaker that prevents, detects and isolates electrical faults on ships.

In addition to its remarkable shock resistance, the Emax 2/ML functions well in high temperatures and humidity in a saline atmosphere. Moreover, it is the most compact circuit breaker on the market, reducing the size of circuit boxes by up to 30 percent compared with previous versions, lessening the number of required shock absorbers and reducing overall weight.

“We chose the Emax 2/ML breaker because it’s a smart technology that supplies our customers with effective and simplified control for electrical systems,” said Franco De Ferrari, head of the Electrical Panel division at ORTEC. “The advanced functionalities present in Emax 2/ML lets customers tailor the protection and develop the best selectivity suitable for every kind of vessel. We count on ABB’s continuously advancing products to help ensure our success.”

ABB has delivered the Emax 2/ML to ORTEC with the same lead time as its standard product, resulting in an 88 percent reduction in delivery time compared with the previous ML family.

“Marine panel builders worldwide consistently look to ABB for the next generation of technology to protect and connect their electrical power,” said Carlo Collotta, global product manager, air circuit breakers, for ABB’s protection and connection business. “Emax 2/ML helps them meet crucial weight-reduction objectives while offering the highest level of confidence, reliability and adaptability. ABB is pleased to be the innovator of choice for developers of vessels that operate in many of the world’s challenging environments.”


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