ABB unveils lightweight DC circuit breaker for urban rail applications

17 June 2012 (Last Updated June 17th, 2012 18:30)

Swiss power and automation technology company ABB has unveiled a high-speed DC circuit breaker that is suitable for installation in light rail, urban and inter-city locomotives.

Swiss power and automation technology company ABB has unveiled a high-speed DC circuit breaker that is suitable for installation in light rail, urban and inter-city locomotives.

The company claims the circuit breaker requires half the space and weighs only two-thirds as much as similar circuit breakers available on the market.

The new circuit breaker has a self-tripping bidirectional operation and does not use cadmium, making it more environmentally friendly. Models DC Trac915 and DCTrac1815 are available with operating currents of 1500A and making-breaking capacities of up to 30kA.

ABB said the DC circuit breakers can perform over 200,000 operations without maintenance and operate safely in any climate whether frigid, warm or humid, while complying with EU directives on the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) for electrical equipment.

The company has installed the 900V DC variant, DCTrac915 circuit breaker on a BE4 / 8DUEWAG Vevey tram in Geneva's city centre in collaboration with TPG-Transports Publics Genevois (Geneva Public Transport) on a pilot basis in November 2010.

Swiss national rail operator SBB also installed a DCTrac pilot for its Bem 550 electric multiple unit (EMU), which is operating on the Geneva-Bellegarde line, while a similar pilot circuit breaker was installed on a tram on the French Lyon public transport network (TCL) in July 2011.

Earlier in 2012, the company had unveiled an electronic traction transformer (PETT) that uses power electronics to reduce size, weight and noise levels of trains, while increasing energy efficiency.