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Monday, August 17, 2015

Get to know about the advanced control panel

It has been largely seen that rapid progression in technology has simplified our lives and things around us. It has changed the way we live, the way we purchase products, the way we use different products, the way we communicate and so on. One of the biggest cause of rapid changes is the  technological advancements. This blog primarily focuses on one of the widest field of technological advancement that has totally changed the lives of people is Electronics. This field promises a new future to the mankind by redefining all the aspects of things being used like Mobiles, electric appliances and of course the latest and advanced control panel.

An overview

A Control panel is a type of cabinet that contains numerous controlling equipment, which are responsible to provide the controlled and regulated power supply in a particular area, where heavy motors or other high power consuming electrical devices/machines are installed. Basically, the components like Bus Bar, MCB, MCCB, Circuit Breaker, Timer, Overload relay contractor, Panel transformers, indicators, relays etc are enclosed in cabinet made of strengthen quality and rust proof material to form a control panel. Moreover, for its noteworthy performance, it is designed by following a systematic procedure and standards; specifically UL listed such as UL 864, UL698, UL845, UL 1640, and many more. Each standard is required for its efficient & desired working in a particular location such as:

1) The equipment which are intended for use in hazardous locations are covered by standard of UL 698

2) The assemblies of electric control units for fire protective signaling systems are covered by UL 864 (control units and accessories for fire alarm systems)

3) Portable control panels that contain switches, over current protection and plugs are covered by the UL 1640 (Standard for portable power distribution)

4) The standard for motor control centers, UL 845 covers the motor center sections and units, or the equipment which are intended for field installation in motor control panel.

Besides the standards, which are necessary in the construction of an electric panel, engineers follow two fabrication procedure that distinguish the device type. This mounting procedure is generally completed in two ways--

1) In an enclosure as "enclosed type" device

2) Arranged as a mounting panel as "open type"


Types of control panel

Since, a control panel is responsible for the proper distribution of electricity to the entire area and maintains the continuity of the flow of electricity, these are designed in four types to serve the respective needs. These are PCC (Power control center), MCC (motor control center), LT panel (Low tension panel/ Low voltage panel), and HT panel (High Tension Panel). This classification is based on sharing of loads and power sources that vary in application areas such as industries, factories, residential areas, office buildings, power plants, ships, aircraft, complexes, and the likes. Each control panel is built to meet the unique needs of a specific application and satisfy the rigorous demands of that application.

Things required for the proper operation of the system:

1) The electric control panel and its entire system shall be properly wired internally and assembled in a NEMA type 3R enclosure.

2) The instruments enclosed in the panel shall be adequately sized that can function easily and can be well maintained.

3) All high and low voltage wires should be separated from each other in the enclosure.

4) The panel shall include a main switch for disconnection, individual branch circuit protection, power distribution, terminal strip for termination of all wiring points and a control transformer with primary and secondary fusing.

5) Each branch shall be provided with a across the line magnetic contractor, thermal overload and short circuit protection, pilot light(s) and Hand-Off-Auto (HOA) switch(es) for efficient operation of the system.

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