ABB is launching its next-generation motor control gear, including contactors, manual motor starters and softstarters. Notable characteristics of the new control gear are improved performance and safety, energy savings, simplified ordering and stock holding.
A key feature of the AF and AF...Z contactors is the use of ABB's innovative AC/DC electronic coil technology. Covering both AC and DC voltages between 24-500V, 50/60Hz and 20-500V DC, the coil reduces the number of contactor types by 90 per cent, from 2500 to just 250 parts. This is particularly helpful for OEMs and distributors because the range is both easier to specify and stock. With a reduction in AC pull-in coil consumption of from 30 per cent (for AF models) to 80 per cent (for AF...Z models), the contactors benefit from reduced losses per phase and less heat generation, enabling users to improve the energy efficiency of their panel systems.
ABB says the extent of these efficiency improvements can be highlighted by comparing the new 4KW AF09 contactor (with its reduced holding power of 2.2VA) with a typical older generation 4kW device (with a holding power of 8VA). If both contactors are energised for 14 hours every day over the course of one year at £0.07/kWh, the AF09 would offer an energy cost of 71 pence compared to over £2.58 for the older device. When multiplied by the estimated 10million 4-18.5kW contactors currently in use in the UK alone, the potential savings that could be achieved by introducing ABB's new contactor range quickly become apparent.
Even greater savings can be achieved where the new AF...Z low-consumption coil contactor is used. Designed for direct connection to PLC outputs (24V DC, 500mA) in process applications, the AF...Z contactor offers a holding power of just 1.7VA. Based on the above comparison, the device offers an energy cost saving of around £2.04 per contactor. By eliminating the need for an additional interface relay, the AF...Z also greatly reduces the time, cost and space previously required for connecting to a PLC.
For installers, the new range's standardised 45mm housing also enables it to be easily integrated into an existing installation. Claimed to be around 33 per cent slimmer than other products on the market, the range helps to save space, thereby enabling users to reduce both the overall size and cost of their panels. With no need for mounting plates, the cost required to install reversing or star-delta starters can now be reduced, with installation times typically cut by over 50 per cent.
A key benefit of the AF contactor range is its ability to manage the effects of unstable voltage conditions caused by poor network conditions, motor inrush current or voltage drops along cable lengths. As well as extended coil operating limits, the new AF contactors feature built-in surge protection, which eliminates the need for an extra surge suppressor and provides added reliability and safety in the event of voltage fluctuations.
With a choice of left-, right-, top- or bottom-mounting options, the AF contactor range also offers additional flexibility during installation by removing the disruption caused by incompatible or wrongly sized products.
The new contactors are just part of a wider family of new modular motor control and protection devices, which also encompasses manual motor starters, softstarters and relays.
Manual motor starters
ABB's MS132 manual motor starters, rated from 0.1 to 32A, are used to activate and deactivate motors up to 15kW/400 V. Fuseless protection against short-circuits, overloads and phase failures reduces maintenance time in the event of a failure and enables a compact switchgear cabinet layout to be designed, thereby helping to save time and money.
Other features include overload protection to trip class 10, with short circuit protection ICs up to 50kA at 400V for the MS116 and 100kA at 400V for the MS132. A key safety feature is the inclusion of a lockable rotary handle, with a clear switch position indication showing the ON, OFF and TRIP status. Further protection is afforded by the inclusion of an optical signal that differentiates between magnetic and thermal trip conditions.
ABB's new PSR9, PSR25 and PSR37 softstarters are suitable for motor currents from 3.9-45A and motor voltages from 208-600V AC. Typically used for pump, fan, mixer and conveyor applications, the softstarters are designed to minimise starting currents and reduce the risk of current spikes in small to medium-sized motors. Capable of handling 10 starts per hour, or 20 where a cooling fan is fitted, the softstarters help to minimise the impact of motor starting on the electrical network and prolong the life of mechanical components.
All available in a standard width of 45mm, the softstarters' compact design makes them suitable for use in confined spaces and/or where a simple assembly is necessary. To help simplify installation, the PSR can be either screw-fitted or mounted onto DIN rails.
All three types of devices - the contactors, manual motor starters and softstarters - are accompanied by a selection of accessories. These include the EF19 and EF45 electronic overload relays, which are used to set up motor starters up to 15kW/400 V and provide reliable and fast protection in the event of overload and phase failures. Simplified selection is enabled by just seven options covering a rated operational current from 0.10-45A, with a choice of trip classes spanning 10E, 20E and 30E.
Other accessories available for the range include a large choice of common front- or side-mounted one-, two and four-pole auxiliary contact blocks, plus interlocks and connection links to help ensure faster and safer installation.
The new range is available through both ABB and its strategic industrial partner distributors. For more information, email or call +44 (0)2476 368500 (reference new control gear range).