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ABB has launched a new generation of control gear, including contactors that combine energy-saving technology with simplified specification and ordering for OEMs and distributors.

A key feature of the range is the use of ABB’s AC/DC electronic coil technology.

Covering both AC and DC voltages between 24-50V 50/60Hz and 20-500VDC, the coil has reduced the number of contactor types by 90 per cent – from 2,500 to 250 parts.

With its reduced AC pull-in coil assumption from 30 per cent (for AF) to 80 per cent (for AF…Z), the contactors deliver less losses per phase and generate less heat, enabling users to improve the energy efficiency of their panel systems.

ABB said the extent of these efficiency improvements can be highlighted by comparing the 4kW AF09 contactor, with its reduced holding power of 2.2VA, with a typical older-generation 4kW device offering a holding power of 8VA.

If both contactors are energised for 14 hours every day over the course of one year at GBP0.07/kWh, the AF09 would offer an energy cost of GBP0.71 compared with more than GBP2.58 for the older-generation device.

ABB said even greater savings can be achieved where the AF…X low-consumption coil contactor is used.

Designed for direct connection to PLC outputs (24VDC 500mA) in process applications, the AF…Z contactor offers a holding power of 1.7VA.

Based on the above comparison, the device offers an energy cost saving of around GBP2.04 per contactor.

By eliminating the need for additional interface relay, the AF…Z also reduces the time, cost and space previously required for connecting to a PLC.

For installers, the range’s standardised 45nm housing also enables it to be easily integrated into an existing installation.

Around 33 per cent 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 more than 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 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 flexibility during installation, by removing the disruption caused by incompatible or wrongly sized products.

The contactors are part of a wider family of modular motor control and protection devices, which also includes manual motor starters, soft-starters and relays.

ABB’s MS132 manual motor starters, rated from 0.1-32A are used to manually activate and deactivate motors up to 15kW/400V.

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 soft-starters for motor currents from 3.9A up to 45A and motor voltages from 208-600VAC.

The soft-starters are ideal for pump, fan, mixer and conveyor applications and 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 soft-starters 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 soft-starters’ 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 soft-starters – 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/400V and provide reliable and fast protection in the event of overload and phase failures.

Simplified selection is enabled by 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.

ABB Automation Technologies

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