Power Electronics

New AC Drive Line

ABB Inc. recently introduced the new ACH550 DriveIT low-voltage ac drive family. The drives were created from scratch, based on input from customers.

The ACH550 is the first ABB drive developed jointly between the United States and Finland. It was built using 3D design tools, with R&D and manufacturing engineers from ABB’s facilities sharing resources in a design effort “that combines simplicity, convenience, fieldbus connectivity, harmonic mitigation and programmability to a degree we’ve not seen in drives before,” said Joe Maloni, vice president—sales and marketing, ABB Inc., Drives. The drives’ 1-hp to 500-hp range and multiple modes of motor control provides users wide flexibility across the full range of HVAC applications.

The new control panel is similar in look, feel and functionality to a mobile phone and features two soft keys, the functions of which change according to the operating state of the panel. A built-in HELP button and a real-time clock assist in drive set-up and fault diagnostics. This enables fast set-up, simple configuration and rapid fault diagnosis.

Start-up Assistant software built in as a standard tool “means, literally, that the start up and tuning of these drives can be accomplished faster than ever before,” according to Jeff Miller, HVAC sales manager for ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Drives and Motors. Start-up Assistant provides guided start up, step by step; no need to worry about which parameters to set, and no need to access complex parameter lists.

Available for use in up to 16 languages (all resident in the control), the Assistant, via the control panel, asks users for motor nominal values, the I/O configuration and application-specific parameters (acceleration and deceleration). An on-line information system offers additional help at every step. Following this interaction, drives are ready for controlling the specified motor and process. Changed parameters are logged and available as well. A built-in real-time clock also logs actual date and time of faults (and all important operating data), easing diagnostics of drive performance. If a fault occurs, use of the Diagnostic Assistant will suggest ways to fix it.

The drive also monitors energy consumption, running hours or motor revolutions. Users can set their own limits for one of these items, so that the drive gives an alarm whenever these limits are reached. The keypad will then indicate when the drive, motor, or driven equipment should receive preventive maintenance.

Additional intuitive drive features available via the operator interface include audible noise optimization, and programming assistants such as a PID assistant. A controlled cooling fan operates only when necessary, further reducing audible drive noise, improving energy efficiency and extending fan life.

Both a digital interface card (115/230V) and/or field bus adapters are available as options and mount quickly into an option slot inside the ACH550 drives&!0151;providing connectivity to a variety of major automation systems. Modbus, Johnson Controls’ Metasys® and Siemens’ FLN serial communication are built in, with BACnet as a loadable option.

All programming of ABB’s ACH550 drives can be carried out using the standard control panel; no special hardware or software programming tools are needed. The panel’s multilingual plain-text, full-graphic display is easy to use with Start-up Assistant—as well as for drive monitoring and normal parameter setting.

A parameter copy feature also allows all drive features to be copied from one motor controller to another, to simplify start up. The copy feature is used regularly as a back up, in case of a drive failure, allowing the existing application—including all the motor data attained during start-up—to be downloaded to the replacement drive. This saves the need of a new start-up, and time spent repeating parameter settings.

Through ABB’s patent-pending “swinging choke” design, the ACH550 drive dramatically reduces harmonics and gives the drives the industry’s lowest input current THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) for 6-pulse VFDs. The drive reduces harmonics at full and partial loads by up to 30%, when compared to conventional choke designs. The built-in choke, equivalent to a 5% line reactor, reduces harmonics at both full and partial loads, and satisfies virtually all harmonic mitigation requirements for commercial applications, according to the company.

For more information, visit www.abb-drives.com.

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