|▲ Arcontek / CEO La Woong-jae|
(PowerKorea) September last year around the dawn, a spark broke out at a fruit store in Cheongnyangni Traditional Market. The fire spread in speed and many stores and facilities were burned down and it took a long time for firefighters to finally subdue the fire.
According to the Korean Electrical Safety Corporation, over 80% of fire breakout comes from a spark while only around 3% from short circuit which many people misconceived as the main cause of the fire. It is important to immediately cut off the power when a spark breaks out and it is the role of AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters).
In the US, installing AFCI is compulsory and a fire analysis report of the National Fire Protection Association shows a significant drop of fire breakout since the compulsory installation of AFCI: yearly 30,000 fire incidents dropped to 10,000, a 65% reduce.
In South Korea, the earth leakage breaker was used in houses and buildings from 40 years ago. But its functions were limited to a simple safety device without detecting the arc (spark). Seeing the urgent need of filling up this highly vital function, a South Korean AFCI developer Arcontek rolled up sleeves and introduced the Korea’s first arc-cutoff.
Arconteck AFCI detects and analyzes arc, short circuit and overload and cuts off the power in speed when a possible danger is found. It comes with a remote control system on which the controler can conveniently control on his or her smart phone whenever and wherever.
If the existing arc-cutoffs were big in size which made installation difficult, Arcontek’s innovative slim smart AFCI makes the job whole lot easier and hassle free. All you need to do is to change the existing earth leakage breaker in your home or office with Arcontek’s innovative slim smart AFCI. Tool-wise, it requires nothing but a screwdriver to do this.
Recognizing its excellence and simplicity, Seongbuk District Seoul has installed it in 6 traditional markets alongside remodeling the age-old wires. Considering the American government’s compulsory installation of AFCI, it seems that AFCI is no longer an option but a must in South Korea also. AFCI is installable anywhere due to its size from bedroom to living room, bathroom, washing room and even closet as it cuts off the fire in a second.
It is notable that the big fires of the sports center in Jecheon (2017), the hospital in Miryang (2018), the pig shed in Jindo (2018) and the sauna in Daegu (2019) were all caused by the arc (spark). According to a data, 339 people were injured or died by the fire in 2019 alone. Experts voice together that all of these fires and casualties were preventable.
Arcontek’s innovative AFCI, in this respect, is highly acclaimable as it has obtained numerous licenses and certificates home and abroad: KC, KFI, Q mark, V-Check, UL and ISO 9001. Loaded with a microprocessor and a state of the art software, Arcontek AFCI is offered in four lines to choose: AFCI-ELCB combo, protable AFCI, cord type and electric fire prevention system.
“We are installing our innovative Arcontek AFCI in the houses and buildings most vulnerable to the fire such as cattle shed and traditional markets and worn-out buildings at the moment. Then we will move on to large buildings of company and organization headquarters, public institutions, power plants and factories. AFCI is not yet that much activated as that of in the US but I predict the market will grow to be around 600 billion won ($538 million) in near future” says La Woong-jae, CEO of Arcontek.
Arcontek’s electric fire prevention system, in particular, is very effective to control overall fire control as it is loaded with IoT that builds organic communication system between each unit and the control center.
Arcontek’s excellence and innovation has been well recognized by winning a number of prizes and certificates: Venture Enterprise, INOBIZ, 2020 Korean Technology Innovation Awards and 2021 Green Energy Excellence Awards. The company also received T-4 (excellent grade) at the TCB appraisal carried out by the NICE Rating.
Last May, the MBC brought up the need of AFCI in its special news by pointing out the fact that a spark in the midnight can lead to a disaster and there were not yet immediate cut-off devices or systems in South Korea. Currently, a recommendation for AFCI installation standard has been submitted to the KS Standard by La and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards. It means that the way to compulsory installation is not that far now.
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