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Mitsubishi Electric's Low-voltage Air Circuit Breaker Wins R&D 100 AwardContributes to Improved maintainability in buildings and factories


TOKYO, December 2, 2021 - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has received a 2021 R&D 100 Award from the U.S. publication R&D World for its low-voltage air circuit breaker(World Super AE V Series C-class), a switching device that protects low-voltage power-distribution systems in factories and buildings. Including this year's award, Mitsubishi Electric has now won 27 R&D 100 Awards.

World Super AE V Series C-class
low-voltage air circuit breaker

Key Features

  1. Industry's first electromagnetic operating mechanism cuts maintenance costs and energy consumption
    • A new high-power electromagnet uses both tapered* and magnetic latch** structures in its movable iron core, realizing the industry's first*** electromagnetic operating mechanism, which requires only the same amount of power as a motorized control.
    • Using electromagnetism instead of a spring for the operating mechanism reduces the number of components by 46% and maintenance requirements by 30% compared to conventional operating mechanisms that use a motor and spring, thereby improving maintainability.
    • Not having to charge a spring conserves energy by reducing the use of electric power to open/close the circuit breaker by 88%.
    1. *Movable and fixed iron cores, which face each other, are inclined to improve the initial force
    2. **Movable core is held in place until current in the coil is increased sufficiently, which improves the overall force
    3. ***Among low-voltage air circuit breakers (as of December 2, 2021, according to internal research)

Low-voltage power input/output facilities in buildings, factories and renewable-energy facilities must be remotely controllable for enhanced maintenance and operational efficiency. Conventionally, a spring mechanism is used to open and close air circuit breakers, which are a key part of low-voltage power-distribution equipment. To control the circuit breaker remotely the spring must be charged by the motor, which requires the motor drive unit to incorporate large numbers of parts, which greatly increases costs and maintenance requirements.

Mitsubishi Electric's new electromagnetically operated air circuit breaker with tapered and magnetic-latch structures in the movable iron core only requires about the same level of operating power as a motor control, but its operation mechanism contains 46% less components and maintenance requirements are reduced by 30%. In addition, operating the circuit breaker directly with an electromagnet eliminates the need to charge a motor spring, thereby slashing electric power needed to open and close the circuit by 88%.

Mitsubishi Electric, having now won another prestigious R&D 100 Award, is committed to driving the development of next-generation power switching devices in order to continue delivering products that customers can use safely and securely in their electrical facilities.


Note that the press releases are accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice.


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