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Next generation trip unit makes it easy to test circuit breakers

17 January 2017

Eaton launched its next generation trip unit for the global market – the Power Xpert Release (PXR) platform – which enables engineers to test and configure circuit breakers from a PC via a USB port.

It is integrated into the company’s IZMX air circuit breakers. As a result, it is easier for users to interact with the trip unit and store test data, thereby improving control and maintenance regimes.

High current circuit breakers – for example those used in high power distribution systems in industry – are configured and periodically tested by end users to ensure they continue to work reliably in the case of over-currents, and therefore prevent expensive downtime. This new unit allows technicians to simulate short circuits and overloads using Eaton’s Power Xpert Protection Manager (PXPM) software tool, which can be downloaded at no charge. 

“The unit has been developed in response to user demand for an easy-to-use system.  Previously test data had to be written down, but with the upgraded software a three page professional test report with date/time stamp, customised information, individual settings/tripping curves and secondary injection test result, can be generated and stored electronically in a pdf format,” said Ralf Nikolic, Product Manager ACB at Eaton. “This enables technicians to significantly reduce the time it takes for testing, making it much easier for them to carry out their maintenance, and receive a test report for documentation.”

While the PXR technology presently supports testing and configuration of Eaton’s IZMX air circuit breakers, the new electronic trip unit is the platform for the future and will be integrated into all Eaton’s moulded case circuit breaker ranges and medium voltage circuit breakers, to set a new high standard for testing in all circuit breakers. Testers no longer require specialised test tools thanks to the integrated secondary injection test hardware.

New features of PXR technology-equipped IZMX devices include the ability to capture current and optional voltage waveforms along with minimum and maximum values for the phase and neutral conductors. In addition, the waveform can give an indication of the overall quality caused by harmonics, and metering accuracy is now one percent. The higher resolution dot matrix display has been enhanced to be always active, constantly displaying the status of zone selectivity (ZSI), battery condition and rated current. All data can be transferred via Modbus, Profibus or Ethernet communication function and for security, a password can be added to avoid unauthorised changes. In addition, a QR code has been added for easier identification and to access additional information.

“At Eaton we are dedicated to helping users increasing safety of personnel and reliability of their equipment, so we provide a high level of safety functions with ZSI protection now integrated in circuit breakers to reduce tripping time and energy in case of selective short circuit tripping,” continued Nikolic. “Our optional Arcflash Reduction Maintenance System (ARMS) function also reduces the tripping time and energy to further protect maintenance personal. Moreover, the Arcon system controls an arc within 2ms before it reaches the maximum current and the Diagnose System enables permanent thermal monitoring of the low-voltage main switch boards. Together these systems enable any emerging errors to be detected as they originate so they can easily be dealt with before they pose a risk to operators or equipment.”

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