Country Durham-based Seaward has unveiled an instrument for the safe discharge of stored energy in large capacitors and electrically charged equipment. The instrument is said to be the first of its type.
The SD300 is a portable, self-contained safe discharge device designed to protect the operator or test engineer from danger and the equipment under test from potential damage.
The device has achieved UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listing, a certification of product compliance. It is designed to enable engineers to safely discharge high power capacitors used for power factor correction and energy storage applications in the power generation, petrochemical, oil and gas, processing and motor drive control industries.
According to Seaward, no official or recognised means of safely discharging large capacitors in these applications existed prior to the SD300. The unit incorporates a number of features to counter the common but unauthorised and highly dangerous practice of discharging high power capacitors with wires or screwdrivers.
The SD300 incorporates a two-handed push button operation to initiate and maintain the energy discharge, ensuring that the operator cannot come into contact with the live circuit. The operator is totally isolated from the discharged energy by a fully insulated and robust instrument case.
Once activated, the stored energy is discharged in 30 seconds, with analogue meters and LEDs providing a visual indication of the state of the stored energy. The displays also indicate polarity and whether the discharged current is AC or DC.