Test disconnect terminal block might not be an alien term to you, especially if you are in the power industry and dealing with switchgears. This is the most common component you will see in a control relay panel, which allows you to do testing and short circuiting of current transformers. At Phoenix Contact, we incorporate different connection technology into our test disconnect terminal block series, namely the screw connection, spring cage connection and push-in connection. Of course, the changes to our test disconnect product series do not end there.
Figure 1: (From left to right) Screw connection, spring-cage connection and push-in connection
While test disconnect terminal blocks offer flexibility to the user, as well as the benefit of saving space because of its modular design, it still has a slight disadvantage when it comes to testing. During function testing of current transformers and voltage transducers, performing combine switching operations across several points is often a requirement, and thus there will be limitations when it comes to such situations when modular terminal blocks are used. With all the constraints and limitations that comes with using a modular test disconnect terminal block, it opens up greater possibilities for the product development team to explore creative designs to solve the problem while maintaining the benefits of the modular terminal block. With that, ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you FAME – Fast And Modular Energy System, a solution specifically designed to cater to the need for performing complex switching operations, all at once.
If you find any of the above foreign to you, no worries! I have got you covered with quality posts by our product specialist. In this post, you will learn the fundamentals behind the make-before-break principle of a CT testing, as well as the reason for using test disconnect terminal blocks in such applications. Next, we look at FAME in detail from its basic operation to the difference between FAME 1, 2 and 3. These few posts will lay down the foundation for your understanding of the field of test disconnect systems.
While FAME is created for CT testing, and several versions of FAME have been developed for the different requirements of relay testing in different countries, we came to realize that there is room for other applications that FAME is able to offer. One specific example that best illustrates this is our recent product approval in Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Malaysia’s national grid operator. It all started with a product presentation of FAME 1 to the product approval committee members of the Protection Department of Transmission Division, with the purpose of having Phoenix Contact to be specified in as the test plug. However, things started to side track from our original plan when FAME 1 was proposed to be adopted as a secondary safety check in their Control Relay Panel. This is part of the initiative of TNB in the implementation of live maintenance. In this new add-on design, our FAME 1 will be sitting in between the first isolation (terminal block) and the trip coil.
This secondary isolation, also known as the group isolation link is used to isolate trip contact in a group.
- It consists of two components, the power plug and the terminal strip.
- During normal operation, the power plug is inserted into the terminal strip, forming a closed contact between the terminal block and the trip coil
- When live maintenance is carried out, the power plug will be disconnected from the terminal strip, leaving an open contact.
Figure 4: (From left to right) Power Plug and Terminal Strip
This application in Malaysia is a good example and reference of how FAME can be adapted to serve different applications from its original design purpose. If you have a bright idea of how you can use FAME while reading this post, we welcome you to contact us. Who knows, your idea could be the next new application of our FAME!