GE announced that it plans to start delivery of the first Arc Vault system in the third quarter of 2010 — months earlier than originally planned — due to feedback received from customers and the expected demand. A new option will allow the Arc Vault system to be retrofitted onto both GE and non-GE low-voltage switchboards, switchgear and motor-control centers to expand its application for most existing facilities. The first release of the Arc Vault system will feature an activation switch that can be used during routine maintenance to put the low-voltage equipment into a high-protection mode. When an arc-flash event occurs, the system will send a signal to the arc containment device. The arc is then diverted to the containment system in less than one-half cycle or eight milliseconds. At the same time the decision to divert the arc is made, the system will also make a decision to open an upstream circuit breaker. This will turn off the system in approximately three cycles, at which point the arc in the containment system will terminate.
GE Energy Electrical Distribution Division