Applications, Electronics & Scientific Guide

How Do Motor Starters Work

No matter where in the world a control cabinet is located, it contains numerous components that ensure the protection and reliable operation of the respective machine. But the burden of wiring is excellent. To simplify this, there is a solution for the 400 V load side, which enables the tool and cable-free snapping of the components and securely connects them electrically to the three phases – in one work step.

The design of control cabinets has remained the same for many years: most often there is a 400 V level, which is made up of protective components and a 24 V DC control side. To supply all parts with power, each device is still expensive to wire individually. This not only costs time and money but also makes commissioning quick and straightforward.

With the Cross Power System three-phase power distribution board, Phoenix Contact now provides a solution for the 400 V load side. The out-of-the-box system enables one-click tool-free locking of the components and their secure electrical connection to the three phases – all in one step.

Easy commissioning via plug-and-play

The board is available in widths of 225 and 405 millimeters. All-around contact-protected, it distributes currents up to a maximum of 125 A, which is why the system is suitable for mechanical and plant engineering. The integrated polarity reversal protection also prevents faulty plugging of the devices and thus simplifies commissioning. In addition to the tool-free installation on DIN mounting rails, the board can also be screwed onto mounting plates. Due to the complete pre-assembly, it is ready to use, so it implements the plug-and-play idea. With these advantages, the solution is intended to create a new standard in control cabinets, which reliably distributes the energy to the connected components.

Users can already snap the Contactron hybrid motor starters onto the power distribution board. These hybrid motor starters combine up to five functions in one housing: motor start, reversing function, motor protection against overload, short-circuit protection and emergency stop. The devices combine the functions of a classic reversing contactor circuit, including functional safety, in a small space. With the built-in fuses, they meet the assignment type 2 according to IEC / EN 60947-4-2, so that in addition to the personal and device protection is given.

Tool-free direct mounting of motor starters

Apart from the direct plug-in and short-circuit-proof hybrid motor starters, other variants of the Contactron product family can also be snapped onto the power distribution board via device adapters. This proves to be useful if the machine requires a reduced range of functions – for example, a direct start instead of an integrated reversing function. Another option for direct mounting on the board is the new version of Contactron modules that can be networked via the IO-Link interface. They enable continuous communication between the field and control level. In this way, additional engine-relevant data for plant monitoring can be generated.

The Contactron series hybrid motor starters are used in reversing and protecting three-phase asynchronous motors from 50 W to 3.5 kW. The maximum adjustable motor protection with bimetallic function is 9 A. For motors that require up to 45 A; there are various contactor adapters for direct mounting on the power distribution board.

Power supply with the integrated fuse

In addition to the hybrid motor starters, the power supply of the Trio Cross Power product family can also be snapped onto the power distribution board. This also requires only one step for tool-free installation and automatic contacting. The power supply with a rated current of 5 A, starts with the dynamic boost even tricky loads. Like the Contactron motor starters, the power supply also combines different functions in one device: Upstream fuses can be eliminated because they are built into the power supply on the load side. Also, no additional electronic circuit breaker is required on the output side of the 24 VDC control side because a UI characteristic curve protects the devices. In this way, the user saves further wiring effort.

The power supply can be used to supply all hybrid motor starters on the board with the control voltage. It is also possible to provide other components installed in the control cabinet with an additional 24 V DC direct power supply or to go into the field environment outside the control cabinet. No matter which of the described variants are implemented or combined: the products of the Trio Cross Power family distribute the energy.

Flexible adaptation to challenges

With the power distribution board Cross Power System, the user can not only set up motor starters – modular and functional concepts can also be implemented. Should new requirements arise, the solution can be easily rebuilt or extended. Against this background, the power distribution board proves to be the basis for the control cabinet of the future: The components installed there are no longer complicated to wire up, but simply snapped onto the board. Furthermore, it is possible to prepare modular and functional assemblies ready for use and flexible exchange or change them if necessary. In addition to comfortable commissioning, this ensures high system availability. Not to mention that ultimately saves costs.

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