New arc fault detection device set to improve safety in residential and commercial buildings

New arc fault detection device set to improve safety in residential and commercial buildings

ABB launches new DS-ARC1 arc fault detection device (AFDD), with integrated residual current circuit breaker with overcurrent protection, aimed at bridging the gap in circuit protection.

ABB has entered the ongoing arc fault detection debate with the launch of a new “belt and braces” arc fault detection device (AFDD).

Following the passing of new regulations in Germany last year, making it a legal requirement to install AFDDs in the electrical switchboard of certain types of buildings, including kindergartens and homes for the elderly, consideration is now being given as to whether this should be extended to cover all buildings.

Current protection devices installed in most domestic consumer units do not provide complete protection against all types of arc faults. Residual current devices (RCDs) can only detect earth arc faults, where there is current leakage to ground, whereas miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) can detect parallel arc faults, but only according to their intervention time curves. Series arc faults, on the other hand, will remain undetected by both MCBs and RCDs. This gap can be closed by installing an AFDD.

In response, the new DS-ARC1 device from ABB offers protection against all arc faults, including series arc faults, which could otherwise go undetected by traditional MCBs and RCDs.

Daniele Pandolfo, ABB’s Global Product manager for AFDDs explained: “At ABB, we are dedicated to providing smarter solutions for a building’s electrical installation. Our new AFDD with integrated residual current circuit breaker with overcurrent protection further extends our range of arc fault detection devices, offering added peace of mind when it comes to protecting people, buildings and assets.”

Completing the existing S-ARC1 range, DS-ARC1 is a new 1P+N device with integrated RCBO. It is available in 6 kA and 10 kA breaking capacity and integrates with ABB’s System pro M compact® range, reducing the risk of fire by providing complete protection against arc faults, over-voltages, overcurrent and earth fault currents.

Other key features include: easy cross-wiring and installation; the option to feed cables or busbars either from the top or bottom for hassle-free installation; a useful LED to troubleshoot network issues, monitor the device’s operation and reduce downtime in the event of tripping; and a handy memory recall function.


Daniele added: “Considering the health and safety risks involved in the event of any type of arc fault, it is hard to ignore the potentially life-saving benefits of an AFDD. They are cost effective to install and provide ‘belt and braces’ circuit protection to safeguard buildings and their users.”

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.


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