Schneider Electric – Choosing the right motor control and protection components

By August 20, 2018Schneider Whitepaper

Amid mushrooming global demand for energy and increasing concern for the environment, countries around the world are implementing tighter environmental restrictions. Industrial motors, a major global consumer of electricity, are one of the prime targets of the new regulations and standards.

The transition to IE3 premium efficiency motors and IE4 super premium efficiency motors is underway, raising challenges for businesses. However, these challenges also bring opportunities for businesses to reduce energy costs and increase efficiency while lightening their impact on the environment.

To make the right motor starter choices and ensure maximum energy efficiency, it is important to be aware of how IE3 premium efficiency motors behave during starting and the impact this behavior can have on protective devices. Schneider Electric TeSys motor starter products (motor circuit breakers, overload thermal relays, and contactors) have undergone extensive laboratory testing with different motor brands to confirm their compatibility with IE3 and IE4 motors. Click here to find out more in the whitepaper.

Motor Starters:

The name “motor starters” clarifies the operation of the motor starters. The motor starters or simple starters are the components that provide the initial power to an appliance to start its operation. The use of the motor stator is seen in several appliances daily. The motor starters are not only used to start the motor as their name suggests but the motor starts are also used to reverse the operation of the motors, similarly a motor starter can also stop the motor operation. The main and the most important task of the motor starter is to protect the motor.

There are two blocks of the motor starters. One block is the contractor block and the other block is the overload protection block. Each block has its functionality in the motor circuit. The electric current to the motor is controlled with the help of the contractor block. The overload protection block of the motor starter is used to protect the motor from the extra current drainage. Sometimes a motor drains an extra current which is limited by the overload protection block. This block also protects the motor from the overheating and the burning out.

Motor Circuit Breaker:

A motor circuit breaker is a breaker which is used to protect the motor from different hazardous conditions and state. A motor circuit breaker is the same as the circuit breaker. The functionality of a circuit breaker is to break the circuit in case of overvoltage and other predefined parameters. Similarly, a motor circuit breaker is used to protect the motor from different fluctuations, overload conditions, and different unexpected interruptions. The use of the motor circuit breaker reduces the cost and space of the motor. Fuse-less protection is provided by the motor circuit breaker or the motor protection circuit. Due to the fuse less operation of the motor circuit breaker, a motor is quickly powered OFF in case of any scenario which can damage the motor. In the case of the short circuit, the motor circuit breaker can disconnect the flow of the current. The motor circuit breaker is linked with a thermal delay to allow the motor to cool down. Different motor circuit breakers are available with automatic reconnection.

Related topics: Differences between MCB, MCCB, ELCB, RCCB

Thermal Overload Relays:

Thermal overload relays are used as protective devices. The thermal overload relays are used to protect the motors from damage in case if the motor drains too much current. The overload relays work for the period, if the extra current is drawn by the motor for more than the predefined period than the relay works, and it breaks the circuit to protect the motor from further damage. The working operation of a thermal overload relay is accomplished by using another closed relay which is also called NC which means normally closed relay. The normally closed relays are used in different circuits due to their basic operation with accuracy. There are different types of relays. The thermal overload relay works on the temperature parameter. As soon as the temperature of the appliance or the motor exceeds the normal value due to any possibility the thermal overload relay senses the increased temperature and it becomes operational. Once it is operational it breaks the connection of the current with the appliance thus saving the appliance or motor.

Contactors:

A contactor is sometimes referred to as an electrical switch. The contactor is used in the motor to control the flow of current. In short, the motor flow is controlled with the help of the contactor. The contactor is also termed as a relay. The relays and the different contactors perform the basic operation which is called the switching. The contactors are commonly used with the big motors which are used in huge industries for several purposes. The contactor is used with the motors to protect the motors from different overload conditions. Similarly, a contactor protects a motor from the overcurrent in the motor.

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