Monthly Archives: September 2017

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Staying Ahead of the Electrical Trends and Standards

Last month, at our St. Louis branch, we offered customers the chance to learn about the latest trends and standards within the electrical industry at our Trends and Standards Update. Attendees gained knowledge on the latest innovative products that can help customers stay compliant with standards and the latest trends to help drive safety, technology and efficiency.

These high-level presentations offered cutting edge solutions to help customers stay ahead of the electrical trends and standards.  The seminar offered updates from Mersen, SolaHD, Thomas & Betts, Hubbell Wiring Device- Kellems and LUTZE.

These presentations covered the following:

Mersen covered SCCR codes and standards, including UL 508A standards. The UL 508A marking confirms that the industrial control panel has been certified by inspection. If the UL 508A’s construction requirements are followed, then a panel builder is eligible to have their panel listed by UL. Mersen also explained short circuit current rating (SSCR) and the importance of properly labeling panels for Arc Flash compliance.

SolaHD has updated its SDU Series DIN rail AC UPS. Their A Series still combines an industry leading compact design with a wide operation temperature range and unique installation options. The SDU provides protection from impulses and power interruptions that could be potentially damaging. This updated product also offers a new interchangeable optional “COMM Card” accessory, that allows communication between fieldbus protocols and industrial Ethernet. SolaHD has also introduced a new CF Relay Card option that has replaced the RELAYCARDSDU option.

Thomas & Betts has created an evolution of compression tools. Their Color-Keyed coding system allows high quality UL-compliant connections at a low installed cost. Thomas & Betts covered the basics on how to properly prepare cable, determine the proper connector, choose the correct tool/die and crimp inspection. They covered how the Thomas & Betts Blackburn Color-Keyed® compression connector system can make inspections and certified installations easier.

Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems recently released the first UL Listed pop-up receptacle for countertops. To protect against spills, the receptacle assembly is sealed with patent pending silicone gaskets to repel liquids in both the down and up positions. The countertop receptacle is UL Listed to 498 Section 146 to be water resistant to a half gallon of liquid spilled on the device.

Hubbell also recently introduced both their Advantage Pin & Sleeve product line to promote safety and provide line of site disconnect and their inSIGHT Circuit-Lock™ Disconnects with LED indicators to promote workplace safety and improve troubleshooting time.

LUTZE covered the evolving NFPA 79 standard. The recent changes to this standard aligns with IEC 60204-1. A change to Section 6.6 states that an arc flash hazard warning requires “warning qualified individuals of a potential arc flash hazard” pertaining to emergency stop or emergency off situations. New work space rules for enclosures with feeder conductors have been revised to align with section 110.26 of the NEC. To help users avoid dangerous errors the requirement for “width of working space” has been revised to specify the required opening and clearance into the control cabinet. LUTZE has a variety of cable offerings that meet the NFPA 79 standard.

Be sure to check out our website for information on upcoming events.  If you have questions or would like more information on products or concepts covered in this recent event, please contact your French Gerleman account manager or e-mail info@frenchgerleman.com.

 


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New Teal Ethernet Cat5e Cable from LUTZE

Reliability is one of the most important features any product can have, especially in a manufacturing environment. Reliability in data transmission has become increasingly critical. LUTZE has come out with a new Ethernet cable to help provide the reliability you need. LUTZE’s new flexible teal Cat5e Ethernet Cable is specially engineered to provide long-term protection and uninterrupted data transmission.

This new Cat5e AWM 600V Ethernet cable (part#104349) introduces a teal-colored PVC jacket (RAL 5021). This teal jacket has a matte, adhesion-free surface for ease of use. The Ethernet cable has maximum flexibility due to its 22/7 copper stranding. Its small outer diameter (OD) also aids flexibility and accommodates applications where easy routing is a requirement.

With Lutze’s new cable, there is no need to separate wires internally in machinery and electrical panels, thanks to its AWM 600V rating. This makes installation safer, easier and less expensive. The cable features 100% foil and 85% braid shielding for protection from harmful electrical interference, is capable of speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second and has a bandwidth of 100MHz per Cat5e. This cable can also go directly into the power limited section of a cable tray because of its PLTC listing.

These features make this Teal Ethernet Cat5e Cable perfect for anyone installing Ethernet cable industrially who are looking for functionality and ease of use. LUTZE’s new Teal Ethernet Cat5e Cable cuts costs in both material and labor, and is quick and easy to install.

Other features include:

  • UL AWM 2570 600V external use allows for installation alongside 600V power cables in accordance with NFPA 79 and UL508A, Clause 29.5.1A
  • Per NEC article 800, UL listed Type CMG allows for installation in communications cable trays
  • Per NEC article 725, UL listed Type PLTC allows for installation in power limited cable trays

If you need an Ethernet cable that provides flexibility, reliability and is easy to route, the LUTZE Cat5e AWM 600V Ethernet cable may just be the perfect fit for you. Contact your French Gerleman Account Manager to learn more about this capable Cat5e Cable.


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Are You Correctly Applying Line & Load Reactors on VFDs?

Today’s electronic equipment requires clean, consistent power for optimal performance.  The presence of power distortions between VFDs and motors can damage equipment, jeopardize productivity, and decrease profitability.

We see line and load reactors are often applied on AC variable frequency drives (VFD) without a solid understanding of when and why they should be used. VFDs solve a host of industrial motor control issues, but can introduce power quality problems to the electric grid and/or the VFD-controlled motor.

Eliminate the worry and headaches caused by poor power quality from VFDs by using solutions from MTE. Their products are designed to absorb everyday power line disturbances that can damage or shut down VFDs and other sensitive equipment.

What is a Reactor?

Essentially a reactor is an inductor. Physically, it is simply a coil of wire that allows a magnetic field to form around the coil when electrical current flows through it. More loops give a higher inductance rating. Typically, a ferrous material such as iron is added as a core to the winding. This concentrates the lines of magnetic flux making a more effective inductor. Reactors can be applied to both a VFD’s input and output, but the reasons for application differs.

Harmonic Distortion

VFDs create waveforms that contain harmonic distortion. Harmonics can cause many problems such as: increasing the utility current required to power the system resulting in the need for larger wires, transformers and circuit breakers; increases the motor’s operation costs; causes the overheating of components; inaccurate power measurements; nuisance trips; and telecommunication interference.

Adding an input line reactor helps reduce the creation of harmonics by smoothing out the input waveform. Another reason to add an input line reactor is to help protect the input semi-conductors from transient voltage spikes. This is very important on drive systems that do not utilize an isolation transformer. Compared to the overall cost of a VFD installation, an input line reactor is a small investment to help protect a VFD and provide a reduction in total harmonic distortion.

Peak Voltages & Rise Time

On the output side of a VFD, reactors are used for very different reasons. VFDs vary the speed of a motor by simulating a sinusoidal waveform with pulse width modulation (PWM). The PWM waveform is essentially a square wave created by fast switching on/off of the output semi-conductors (IGBTs). With every on/off transition there is a momentary voltage spike of up to 1400 volts. These spikes can create issues such as reflected wave, corona, and capacitive coupling. Applying an output reactor helps to smooth out the PWM waveform, reduce the voltage spikes and reduce common mode voltage. A reduction in voltage spikes and common mode voltage can help to reduce motor insulating heating and the creation of bearing currents.

Common Mode

Another issue that VFDs can create is common mode voltage which can cause a motor to break down over time. Common mode is created due to an imbalance of voltage in the three-phase output with respect to ground. This voltage seeks a path back to ground or the source it was created (in the case of a VFD, the DC bus). Many times this path to ground is through the motor bearings which can cause arcing and pitting in the bearing raceways and ultimately bearing failure. Applying an output reactor, or dV/dT filter, helps to balance the three-phase output thus reducing the common mode voltage.

The dV Sentry™ Filter from MTE is a revolutionary solution for motor protection. With its unique all-in-one design, the dV Sentry provides common mode reduction, peak voltage protection and rise time reduction. Its small footprint and easy terminations make installation faster and easier. It runs quietly and radiates less heat than previous filters.

French Gerleman stocks MTE line and load reactors. If you have further VFD related questions, please contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.