Incorporating an Eaton contactor into a soft starter for a bow thruster enabled SAF Drives Inc., New Hamburg, ON to successfully meet issues of limited space for an application on a 673-foot-long naval ship.
Previously, SAF, one of North Americaís leading manufacturers of drive solutions and solid-state starters, had been using a competitorís products for the application, but it had become dissatisfied with the manufacturerís ability to provide products, technical assistance and inability to mount its product within a soft starter.
After viewing the Eaton demonstration trailer, SAF Drives, Inc. learned that the Eaton XT IEC contactor could be incorporated directly into a soft starter for a 1000 hp 480V bow thruster. This compacted contactor would allow SAF to meet the space constraints on a 673-foot-long naval ship and eliminate additional installation costs.
SAF President Kedric Foster said, "We were able to incorporate the Eaton contactor, which is 30% smaller than any competitive offering, directly into the soft starter for increased space and cost savings. This was particularly important for this installation, because we needed to build a split cabinet design as the cabinets are actually disassembled into two sections on site allowing them to fit below the deck on the ship.
"Without this capability, major plumbing and construction costs would have been added to the project for retrofitting the ship with a larger entrance door for below deck access."
Using the Eaton XT IEC contactor for the application led to an estimated savings of $2,000 per installation for the soft starter alone. If SAF had used the competitorís offering, it would have had to mount the contactor on the bottom of the breaker cabinet, which would have required additional bus work.
"On normal applications, we see a space savings of typically one cabinet size on enclosed soft starters with bypass," Foster said.
"For example, a 400 hp 600V soft starter in a NEMA 12 cabinet with bypass would typically be installed in a 48 x 36 x 16-inch cabinet. With the integrated design, we are able to construct in a 36 x 30 x 16-inch cabinet."
The Eaton XT IEC contactor provides highly effective control for a variety of loads, including motors, inverters and UPS systems. Configured with vacuum technology above 580A and electronic coil interface design, the XT IEC contactor allows for efficient, safe and reliable switching at high amperage. Further, the three switching tubes and electromechanical drive system are arranged in an extremely compact design, making the XT IEC contactor a space-saving solution for multiple applications.
The XT IEC series includes non-reversing and reversing contactors and starters as well as overload relays and accessories. Enclosed control options include metallic and non-metallic enclosures with circuit breakers, and North American or European fuses.
The Eaton XT IEC contactor offers a number of unique features. For example, an electronic coil controller which allows contactors to reduce power consumption and generate less heat, resulting in lower cooling requirements, the ability to mount more contactors/starters per cabinet, and an extended life on pilot devices that carry control signals.
As well, AC and DC devices with the same dimensions achieved with an electronically controlled coil system allow for space savings and reduced engineering design time.
Other features include integrated suppressors in DC controlled contactors offer reductions in total logistics and inventory costs by limiting the number of products ordered and stocked; wiring is not required, therefore increasing installation and maintenance efficiency; expanded range of DC coil control voltages, allows reliable operation through fluctuations in control voltages; and twin terminals with separate sockets in the contactors up to 400A offer installation and application flexibility when using different size wires. The improved integrity of the connections reduces cabling faults.
This story was supplied by Eaton Corporation.