With ever increasing demands for electrical power the power generating companies are beginning to penalize customers with low Power Factors. Low PFs can be considered very inefficient use of electrical energy. A low PF can be corrected by the installation of PF Correction capacitors. Although this can be achieved at the main feeder most facilities, due to multiple varying loads, choose to install PF correction on individual pieces of equipment (like a large motor) or area of plant. When a load is switched off, unless the PF correction capacitors are removed, undesirable over-correction occurs. Sophisticated automatic control systems are available but are very expensive. A simple way to switch a PF correction capacitor bank is to use an NK Technologies’ Current Operated Switch. When the load goes down, for example at night when equipment is not used, the PF correction capacitor is switched out. Then when load returns it is switched back in.
As we become more aware of occupational health and safety so the need for protection against ground faults is growing. Industrial electrical equipment is fed via a distribution system which in turn is connected to a main feed. Ground fault protection may be installed, for instance at a main breaker, protecting the branch circuit but not necessarily a valuable or critical piece of equipment. Industrial Ground Fault Sensors from NK Technologies are designed to be installed in individual pieces of equipment or their electrical feed. The sensors provide an on/off output that may be used to operate a circuit interruption device like a shunt trip breaker or feed into an alarm system. With over 100 models to choose from, there’s sure to be one to fit your application.
High technology lamps have been developed for a variety of specialized industrial and commercial applications. These lamps are expensive and their useful life should be maximized. Installing an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer to measure the current draw of a lamp provides the information to determine the lamp’s condition by comparison to known characteristics. Intelligent control devices, like PLCs, are programmed to adjust the applied voltage or current to optimize the life of the lamp.
Heat trace cable is used to keep pipes or their contents from freezing, or to keep the contents at a constant temperature while being transferred from one location to another. The most common type of heat trace cable is the self-regulating type. Self regulating cable contains two conductors and is usually physically attached to the pipe and is therefore is subject to mechanical damage. NK Technologies’ Ground Fault Sensor are frequently installed to monitor heat trace circuits and systems. When a ground fault is detected, a circuit interruption device, like a contactor or shunt-trip circuit breaker, is used to automatically disconnect the faulty circuit. In many situations NEC and/or local electrical codes require the installation of ground fault interruption devices. However ground fault sensors are commonly installed, even if not required by code, in order to monitor the condition of the heat trace cable and installation and maintain safety. Faulty circuits can be identified and then repaired or replaced at a convenient time.
Industrial electrical heaters are prone to ground leakage due to the breakdown or contamination of insulators. The use of NK Technologies’ Ground Fault Sensors enables early detection of leakage Currents as small as 5mA. The on/off output of the sensor can be used to trigger a circuit interruption device (for example a shunt-trip breaker) or a monitoring device like a PLC to determine the required action. Latching and auto-reset models are available in both normally energized and normally de-energized configurations suitable for most applications.
The detection of a single phase heater failure by measuring the temperature is like measuring the effect rather than the cause. By installing an NK Technologies’ Current Operated Switch heater failure can be detected before cooling has had time to occur. The signal from the current sensor can be used to switch on a back-up heater, stop the equipment, alarm the equipment operator or trigger the appropriate action.
For 3-phase heaters installing an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer on each leg of a delta connected heating array is the best way to detect loss of one element. Unlike a typical induction motor, there will not be a substantial change in the current draw of the two adjacent phases when a heating element open circuits. The load has disappeared, and the work of heating will not be shared by the other elements. There will be a reduction in thermal output, which can take quite some time to detect with temperature sensors like thermocouples. A current transducer will identify the problem in milliseconds! Poor product quality can be prevented and large quantities of raw material can be saved by quick action.
As an electric heating element ages, its resistance also changes. Many high technology and extreme temperature applications employ exotic and expensive elements. Where the value of the products or materials being heated is high, the failure of a heater or heating element has a financial impact resulting from either reduced quality or scrapped materials. By measuring the current drawn by the element using an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer the resistance of the element can be determined and compared against a known ageing characteristic. When the element reaches a predetermined state it can be replaced prior to failure i.e. predictive maintenance. NK Technologies’ Current Transducers are used in conjunction with intelligent PLC systems when high power SCRs (also known as thyristors) or triacs are installed.
Vacuum pumps are used in a variety of applications in the semiconductor industry, heat treatment, plastics and packaging industries. By adding an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer over the lead feeding a vacuum pump, it can easily be determined when all the air has been removed from a vessel or envelope. The analog output can signal the vacuum or equipment controller that it is time for the next step in the process. In the case of an automated packaging machine, a drop in current will signal that the package is ready for sealing.
Pumps can become jammed due to foreign matter and cause damage to both the pump and the motor before thermal overloads are tripped. Additionally a blockage in the suction line of the pump can cause the pump to run dry, overheat and break a seal.
By simply installing an NK Technologies’ self-powered Current Operated Switch in one leg of the motor overload (pump jam), underload (suction loss) or underload & overload can be detected quickly before damage occurs.
Good engineering practice suggests that every control output should have a corresponding status input for verification. On fans and pumps a current operated switch can be snapped over one motor leg and the output fed to the automation system. NK Technologies’ self-powered Current Operated Switches will close when the motor turns on and open when the motor is off.
By adjusting the setpoint pump coupling or fan belt failure can be detected. This reliable solid-state solution eliminates the need for unreliable pressure current switches and their costly installation.