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DC drives have an AC feel

01 April, 2006

DC drives have an AC feel

ABB has launched a range of DC drives which share many features with its AC ranges - giving an instant familiarity for users who have both AC and DC drives on site. The DCS800 drives, which span ratings from 25-5,200A, have been designed for ease of installation and use. For example, they incorporate "guided commissioning" which, ABB claims, will allow end-users to install the drive without referring to a manual, in most cases.

The drives (shown above) are also said to be easy to connect, with just three cables in, and four out. The drive detects the phase sequence automatically, so users do not need to worry about in-phase connections. The ease of installation is expected to be a particular boon for retrofits where time is often limited because the drives need to be installed over a weekend.

The new drives were first seen at the SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, last November. They are aimed primarily at demanding applications in the paper and metals industries, and as power supplies in battery-charging and electrolysis applications. The modules can be connected in parallel to deliver up to 20kA.

Each drive contains a PLC which can handle local control tasks. They are programmed using the CoDeSys tool which supports all of the IEC 61131 languages. As well as standard building blocks, users are provided with drive-specific functions such as PID controllers, winders and tensile force algorithms. The source files can be stored with the application on a memory card in the drive, with the option of password protection.

Fast peer-to-peer communications are built in, allowing data to be exchanged between drives.

The drives will operate from 230-525V AC supplies, and support eight different languages, including Russian and Chinese, allowing them to be used almost anywhere in the world.

Up to 25A, field converters are built in. For ratings up to 520A, these are external. The drives` I/O is backwardly compatible with those of the earlier DCS500 and DCS600 ranges.

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