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ABB unveils new energy saving control gear family

06 September 2010

ABB has released a new generation of control gear, including contactors, coupling energy saving technology with simplified specification and ordering. A key feature of the new range is the use of groundbreaking ac/dc electronic coil technology. Covering both ac and dc voltages between 24 to 500V 50 and 60Hz and 20 to 500Vdc, the coil has reduced the number of contactor types by 90%, from 2,500 to just 250 parts. This makes the range both easier to specify and stock. With its reduced ac pull-in coil consumption from 30% (for AF) to 80% (for AF…Z), the contactors deliver less losses per phase and generate less heat, enabling users to improve the energy efficiency of their installations.

The extent of these efficiency improvements can be highlighted by comparing the new 4KW AF09 contactor, with its reduced holding power of 2.2VA (a typical older generation 4KW device offers a holding power of 8VA). If both contactors are energised for 14 hours everyday over the course of one year at £0.07p/kWh, the AF09 would offer an energy cost of 71 pence compared with more than £2.58 for the older generation device.

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. Around 33% narrower than other products on the market, the range helps save space, enabling operators to reduce both the overall size and cost of their panels. With no need for mounting plates, the cost and time of installing reversing or star-delta starters can now be reduced, with installation times typically cut by over 50%.

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, eliminating the need for an extra surge suppressor and providing 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 groundbreaking flexibility during installation, by removing the disruption caused by incompatible or wrongly sized products.

The new contactors are part of a wider family of new modular motor control and protection devices, which also encompasses manual motor starters, softstarters and relays.

ABB’s MS132 manual motor starters, rated from 0.1 to 32A are used to manually activate and deactivate motors up to 15kW / 400 V. Fuse-less protection against short-circuits, overloads and phase failures reduce maintenance time in the event of a failure and enable a compact switchgear cabinet layout, helping 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 ON/OFF and TRIP status. Further protection is afforded by the inclusion of an optical signal for magnetic tripping, with fault separation to distinguish between a magnetic or thermal trip condition.

These are joined by ABB’s PSR9, PSR25 and PSR37 softstarters for motor currents from 3.9A up to 45A and motor voltages from 208 to 600 V AC. Ideal 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 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 ideal 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 15 kW / 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 to 45 A, 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 1, 2 and 4-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 distributor network. For more information, email or call 02476 368500 reference ‘new control gear range’.

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