Date: July 16, 2007
Eaton Announces Extension Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Product Line
PITTSBURGH … Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today announced a product line extension of its Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) that meets National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements. AFCIs are electrical safety devices designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in residential electrical wiring.
Eaton has received the Underwriters Laboratories®1699 designation (including UL®1998 and UL®489) for its Combination Type AFCI product line. The UL mark will be applied to single pole 1” BR and ¾” CH type with 15 ampere and 20 ampere rated residential circuit breakers.
Arc faults generally can occur, for example, in wiring behind drywalls and can go undetected until a fire breaks out. Existing branch feeder AFCIs protect only against line-to-ground and line-to-neutral arcs, known as high-energy or parallel arcs. The new Combination AFCIs are designed to protect against those parallel arcs and, in addition, against series arcs resulting in increased protection. Series arc faults can be caused by broken conductors, loose connections, and other faults in series to the circuit load.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the National Electrical Code mandates the expansion of AFCIs beyond bedrooms to protect more of the circuits in a residence resulting in increased protection of property and lives. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (www.esfi.org/) and NEMA (http://www.afcisafety.org/) support AFCI technology, its expansion, and the resulting safety improvements.
The new Eaton Combination AFCIs contain highly sophisticated electronics which significantly increase arc fault detection, providing improved protection for consumers. Additional features were developed for the AFCI line to reduce power consumption, improve ease of installation and provide diagnostic indicators.
“Arc faults are a cause of home fires across the U.S.,” says Dr. Engelbert Hetzmannseder, AFCI program director. “The AFCI technology uses unique sensing circuitry to detect hazardous and unwanted arcing conditions, ultimately aiding in the prevention of residential fires.”
According to the United States Fire Administration, home electrical problems are responsible for an estimated 67,800 fires every year, resulting in 485 deaths, 2,300 injuries and more than $868 million in residential property loss. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates AFCI protection in homes nationwide could prevent more than 50 percent of these fires.
“Eaton is the market leader in AFCI technology, developing products and technology for residential, industrial, aerospace and transportation markets,” says Dave Tallman, vice president and general manager of Eaton’s Residential Products Division. “A global team of scientists, development and manufacturing engineers developed advanced Combination AFCI technology and continue to conduct ongoing research. The product launch will begin before the Jan. 2008 start of the NEC Expansion Code to require the Combination AFCI use in most areas of a home.”
Eaton has developed arc fault detection technology and products for more than 20 years and has more than 200 core patents today. It was the first company in the electrical industry to file a patent on arc fault detection in 1984 and the first to release Residential AFCI products for sale in 2000.
Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader in electrical control, power distribution, uninterruptible power supply and industrial automation products and services. Eaton’s global electrical brands, including Cutler-Hammer®, Powerware®, Holec® and MEM®, provide customer-driven PowerChainTM Management solutions to serve the power system needs of the industrial, institutional, government, utility, commercial, residential, IT, mission critical and OEM markets worldwide.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2006 sales of $12.4 billion. Eaton is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 62,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 125 countries.
Scott Diesel (412) 893-3563
Leslie Swiantek (412) 402-0199