Product Announcement from Satin American, LLC
BASICS OF POWER BREAKER LIFE EXTENSION
Low-voltage "air" power circuit breakers were designed in the late 1930's. For the past seventy five years, and even today, they have been used in virtually every industrial application. Between the 1930's and 1960's, these breakers utilized series overload devices to sense current and provide time delays. While the series overload is a robust and reliable design, it has several limitations. Specifically, overloads do not offer the precision and selectivity available with modern electronics, and certain protective functions, such as ground fault, are simply not available.
Despite these limitations, some new breaker designs used overloads into the 1980's. Around this time, numerous failures began to manifest due to the fact that many of the existing overloads were reaching the end of their useful life. Some of the biggest problems involved oil leaking from dashpots, and oil changing viscosity, affecting the time delay feature of the dashpots.
Because the old power breakers were well made and expected to have a long service life, they were frequently employed in critical applications that require continuous
operation. Replacing a failed overload or older generation solid-state trip is often problematic because most OEMs no longer provide support for these systems.
Commonly, OEMs recommend replacing the old breakers with the current production model. Not only is this approach expensive, it often requires significant downtime as switchgear needs to be replaced along with the breakers.
To address these issues, Satin American developed the etc-12 system. Using this system, a qualified breaker service shop can quickly and economically upgrade any US manufactured breaker made since before WWII. A properly remanufactured breaker is mechanically superior to those currently in production. etc-12 allows these old breakers to be updated with advanced electronic controls and ensures that they will continue to function reliably for decades.
Although most power circuit breakers that are presently in use have already been retrofitted with older generation solid state trip units, many users are choosing to upgrade these breakers with the state of the art etc-12 system. This is because etc-12 provides more accurate metering and advanced selectivity, as well as, many features that are unavailable on lesser units. Most importantly, upgrading with the etc-12 significantly improves operator safety with features such as the remote mountable display, flashSAFE arc-flash reducing maintenance mode, and mechanical automatic reset actuators.
etc-12 upgrades are specifically designed for each low voltage air circuit breaker manufactured from the 1930's to the present. A typical upgrade includes an
electronic trip unit with display module, current sensors, automatic reset actuator, wiring harness and any required mounting brackets or copper shunts. While
complete systems for each breaker type are available, it is sometimes possible to
utilize existing components to reduce cost. All major components are manufactured in the United States under exacting quality requirements.
The following is an overview of the key components used in a typical upgrade:
- Electronic Trip Unit and Display:
- The etc-12 trip unit is unique because it is constructed as a two-piece design, with a digital breaker control module (DBC) and a breaker display module (BDM). These two modules can be nested together and mounted on the breaker as the functional equivalent of a traditional one piece trip unit, or the display can be mounted remotely for increased safety and convenience.
- Multi-Tapped Current Transformers:
- Multi-tapped current transformers are standard with all etc-12 upgrades. This, coupled with the fact that the trip unit has the widest range of settings of any on the market, make a breaker outfitted with etc-12 extremely versatile. All upgrades are equipped with full LSIG protection plus phase imbalance and flashSAFE maintenance mode, any of which can be defeated if not needed.
- Mechanical Auto-Reset Actuator:
- All etc-12 upgrades include a mechanical automatic reset actuator as a standard feature. These actuators are the best in the industry and do not require an operator to reach near energized bus or even open the cubicle door to reset.
SAFETY AND NFPA70E
- An "electrically safe work condition" used to mean that a work area was free from shock and electrocution hazards. This traditional thinking ignores the fact that more than 80% of electrical workplace accidents are burns or injuries caused by the intense heat and blast associated with an arc-flash. Industry trends including the ever-increasing of loads, heightened reliance on on-site generation and further demands for continuous operation have increased the risk factor.
Statically, five arc-flash events occur daily in the United states. These incidents result in injury or death to personnel, unexpected downtime, damage to equipment as well as fines and legal fees. A 1999 EPRI study estimated that the cost of a single Flash event averages $15.75 MILLION dollars.
Moreover, legal extend from the property owner to contractors, subcontractors and even individual engineers and managers.
OSHA recognizes NFPA-70E as an accepted industry standard and, under the general duties clause, requires that all employers provide a safe work environment.
This means that every commercial facility that uses electric power must assess electrical safety hazards and take steps to mitigate these risks. Often, solutions for addressing high hazard categories involve reducing clearing time or adding distance between the operator and the live bus. Standard features in all etc-12 upgrades such as the remote mountable display, auto reset actuator and flashSAFE maintenance mode provide a simple and effective way to accomplish these tasks.
The etc-12 is the first tripping system specifically designed around operator safety. Every retrofit kit is supplied with a remote mountable display and a fully functional flashSAFE maintenance mode. These features, coupled with the auto-reset actuator make the etc-12 an effective choice for NFPA-70E compliance.
- Remote Mountable Display:
- The remote mountable display that is included with all etc-12 upgrades can be installed in a safe location outside of the switchgear so that workers no longer needs to suit up to view loads, settings and trip history. The backlight display functions as an accurate 3-phase ammeter with the ability to display ground fault current in real time. Unlike other remote units, the etc-12 leaves no controls, redundant displays or batteries inside of the cubicle. This and the fact that all etc-12 upgrades are supplied with mechanical auto-reset actuators eliminates most of the instances where workers would need to open the door on racked-in breakers.
- flashSAFE Maintenance Mode:
- NFPA-70E states that the amount of destructive heat energy contained in an arc-flash is directly proportional to the time duration of the fault. The built-in flashSAFE feature available on all etc-12 units can reduce the severity of an arc-flash by reducing the time that the upstream breaker takes to clear the fault. This is achieved by allowing the activation of temporary pick-up points for the instantaneous and / or ground fault bands. These temporary settings can be much lower than the operational pick-ups an can be employed even if these bands are defeated during normal operation. flashSAFE can be activated through the remote mounted BDM, the optional lockout toggle or through the MODBUS interface.
AVAILABLE SETTINGS AND RANGES
- For a complete list of features and settings ranges, please click here.
ADVANCED FEATURES AND OPTIONS
Several accessory modules are available for the etc-12. All etc-12 units are preconfigured to accept these modules so that accessories can be added at any time without the necessity of changing major kit components or updating firmware. The following are brief descriptions of available accessories.
- MODBUS Communications:
- The etc-12 communicates on a MODBUS RTU protocol. A comprehensive list of addresses and commands is available from the factory which allows the end-user to easily integrate any etc-12 equipped breaker into any MMI or SCADA system that can address a MODBUS device.
- Latching Relay Contacts:
- Provides two sets of NO and NC relay contacts that change state and latch when the breaker trips. The relay is reset by pressing the "clear" button on the display, or by simply closing the breaker on a three phase circuit.
- flashSAFE Lockout Box:
- Adds the ability to activate flashSAFE by operating a toggle that can be locked in either the ON or OFF position. The lockout box also provides a flashing LED to indicate flashSAFE activation, as well as a set of contacts that indicate flashSAFE status.
- Remote Trip Contacts:
- Causes a breaker to trip when an external contact closes. This accessory may be employed in load shedding applications or other control applications.
- fuseSAFE Upgrade:
- Allows non-fused 225A through 1600A frame breakers to be upgraded with fuses without the need to modify the switchgear. Under normal conditions, the breaker will trip for low level overloads with fuses clearing only higher magnitude faults. When open phase condition. FUSEsafe can more than triple the interrupting capacity of a breaker and reduce arc-flash incident energy by 500 times.
For more information, please visit www.etc-12.com or call one of our helpful sales engineers toll free 877-356-5050.