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SCiBreak signs a SEK 38 million contract with the Swedish Transport Administration

April 3, 2020

The Swedish start-up will develop and supply equipment to upgrade the Swedish rail network.

SCiBreak AB has been selected by Trafikverket – the Swedish Transport Administration – to upgrade the Swedish rail network by providing ultra-fast circuit breakers. The total order amounts to SEK 38 million (approx. €3.5M), which includes development, delivery and commissioning of ten circuit breakers.

With an increasing number of passengers, the Swedish railway traffic intensifies. The power supply system has therefore to be upgraded, thus requiring an additional need to protect the network from short-circuit currents in case of faults, which can cause expensive damage. SCiBreak’s ultra-fast circuit breakers can interrupt fault currents in a few milliseconds and limits them before dangerous levels are reached, preventing from disturbances and equipment damage.

SCiBreak AB, founded in 2014 as a spinoff from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, has brought together the right team to successfully build business operations. The company has won the trust of several funding partners, receiving for instance early stage support from EIT InnoEnergy via its Highway® business creation programme in combination with project financing for product development.

“We are proud of the trust that the Swedish Transport Administration has shown to us and in our technology. It’s a big milestone for us. The support we have received from EIT InnoEnergy, not only financially but also in terms of access to network and advisors with many decades of experience, has been extremely valuable for getting us where we are today,” says Staffan Norrga, one of the founders of SCiBreak and senior lecturer at KTH.

Kenneth Johansson, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy Scandinavia, comments: We are very happy for having supported SCiBreak at an early stage in their journey and realised early that their invention had a great potential. Through our Highway® programme, we help start-ups and entrepreneurs create successful and sustainable businesses that bring valuable solutions to a global market.”

The new contract is most likely just the beginning for SCiBreak. The Swedish company has developed a core technology for breaking power that can be used in several other applications where reliable power transmission grids with more capacity and wider reach are needed. The potential, not least globally, is significant.

SCiBreak develops ultra-fast circuit breakers for medium to high voltage based on an innovative concept that enables the interruption of fault currents in both AC and DC grids in a few milliseconds. This limits the disturbances and equipment damage associated with today’s slow AC breakers, or the high cost of existing DC breakers. By employing a combination of power electronics and mechanical interrupting elements, the use of expensive power semiconductors (the costliest part of a hybrid breaker) can be reduced tenfold.