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Plug-in modules determine the starter`s role

01 May, 2002

Plug-in modules determine the starter`s role

Schneider has developed a compact motor starter which combines traditional power functions (such as isolating and switching) with control, protection and communications functions. The TeSys model U starter, which made its debut at last month`s Hanover Fair, is said to reduce wiring times and space requirements dramatically compared to traditional starters.

The device is designed to start motors up to 15kW and to provide a breaking capacity of up to 50kA, 400V (or 130kA with a limiter). It has a modular construction which allows functions to be added or changed easily after installation.

There is a choice of two power bases (0-12A or 0-32A) into which various control and communications modules are plugged to determine the starter`s functions. For example, motor currents and control voltages are chosen using one of six control modules which snap into the power base without needing any wiring. Similarly, there are communications modules for Modbus or AS-i buses, and gateway modules for systems including Profibus and DeviceNet.

As well as basic DOL starter modules, there are multifunctional versions which add functions such as motor load displays, pre-alarms, fault memories, and remote resetting. These functions can be set locally or remotely using software running on a PC or a handheld PocketPC.

Schneider says that one of the new 45-mm wide starters can replace equipment which would previously have required 135mm of rail space. It also claims that an installation which might have taken half an hour to wire up in the past, can now be completed in less than a minute. The new starters form part of Schneider`s TeSys family which Schneider describes as "the world`s most successful range of motor starters".

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