The power supply is typically the largest processor of power in the cabinet and therefore power efficiency is an important factor.
Low-efficiency power supplies translate into extra heat in a control cabinet, which necessitates the need for a larger cooling system, resulting in higher energy consumption.
Engineers need to be aware of the efficiencies of the power supplies they design into their control systems.
Power Supply Efficiency
The typical temperature within a control cabinet operating at 80% nominal power measures approximately 30°C; assuming the power supply is 92% efficient. However, if the power supply is 2% less efficient (90%), it may increase the temperature in the cabinet by as much as 10°C.
Most power supplies today have an efficiency rating above 90% but there is still room for improvement in terms of energy efficiency by the way we load our power supplies.
The best practice is to ensure that the power supply has only 50% loading.
If your project requires 5A of power, choose an efficient power supply that is able to offer 10A. This ensures that at the maximum operating capacity of the design, you are always running at 50% loading (assuming no additional loads were added to the system). But how do you know if your power supply is supplying 50% to the load? You can always use the tried and tested way of using the multimeter.
QUINT 4 LED Display
Phoenix Contact’s new QUINT 4 power supplies have onboard power LEDs displays that will let you know at what level of output your power supply is performing. The LEDs will let you now if the DC supply is “On“, performing at “>50%“, “>75%” or “>100%“. Even without a multimeter, you will be able to determine the current loading of your power supplies in real time.
In my next article, I will show you how to create a redundant, balanced power supply system that will provide you with adequate power efficiently and also extend the life of your power supply.
Click Here to find out more about Phoenix Contact’s QUINT 4 Power Supply.
Photovoltaic (PV) Monitoring System With Visualisation
The Photovoltaic (PV) monitoring system was designed to monitor the performance of the PV panels’ output versus the temperature on the PV panel. There were two different types of PV panels used for monitoring, namely the mono-crystalline and amorphous silicone (Thin Film). The data that was collected were the DC output and the temperature on the PV panels.
In the course of my work, I deal with Power Supply which is the heart of the whole electrical operation. While not all operations are the same, they cannot function without electricity, which is what makes Power Supply units indispensable.
The new Phoenix Contact’s Quint 4th Generation Power Supplies feature an integrated NFC interface for parameterization via mobile devices or PCs. This allows the commissioning engineer to closely match signaling thresholds and characteristic curves to the plant’s requirements. More than 40 parameters can be configured on an individual basis. Once the power supply has been parameterized, it is a simple task to transfer the settings to other devices via the app or other software, which will save effort and time for the user. Moreover, the front-panel buttons for adjusting the output voltage, as well as all other configured parameters, can be protected with a password to prevent unauthorized access and tampering.
The power supply offers preventive function monitoring to allow the plant operator to run remote diagnostics on the unit to optimize plant availability. The power supply permanently monitors the output voltage and current. Critical situations are visualized using front-panel LEDs, floating relay contacts, and active signal outputs; the monitoring data is signaled to the control system before a fault actually occurs.
When the power supply unit is supplying more than the specified rated current, it is operating in boost mode. The power supply and the connected loads continue to operate normally, and the output voltage remains at 24 V DC. Preventive signaling allows early detection before a fault like this actually occurs. For instance, once a motor with a mechanical problem has been identified, it can be repaired before other loads are subjected to voltage dips.
Such preventive capabilities of our power supply units work just like how we manage our heart health to ensure we can function smoothly in our everyday operations. It is thus pivotal to ensure that we have a reliable and intelligent “heart” in the form of our trusted power supply units for our businesses.
In keeping with the Uno Power power supply range, the UnoUPS uninterruptible power supply is now available with a 60 W output power and integrated power storage in a compact housing.
The UPS operates flexibly at input voltages of 23 to 30 V DC. The integrated lead AGM power storage ensures long buffer times of 45 minutes at 0.5 A, for example. When combined with a Uno Power power supply from the 100 W performance class, the overall dimensions are just 160 x 90 x 90 mm. This means that this space-saving APS is also suitable for small control and distributor boxes.
The high MTBF (mean time between failure) value of over 1.9 million hours and the large temperature range of -15 to +50°C are superb features for a device of this performance class. The device also has LED status indicators for signaling and function monitoring, as well as active 24 V DC switch outputs for forwarding to a higher-level control system.
The Quint Power product range from Phoenix Contact has been extended to include six new DC/DC converters, which cover additional voltage levels with increased functionality.
In addition to the new devices for voltage levels 12 and 48 V DC, there are now two more devices on offer with wide range input. These convert input voltages in the range between 42 to 96 V DC and 67 to 154 V DC into an electrically isolated, adjustable 24 V DC output voltage. This means that the nominal voltage levels 60 and 110 V DC, such as those that arise in the energy sector, can be covered. Thanks to the electrical isolation between the input and output voltage, independent supply systems can be established, and monitored in a preventative manner. Two additional devices which are specially designed for the input voltage range for railway applications complete the product range. They satisfy railway standard EN 50155 with their protective coating. They can also be used in other demanding environments.
All DC/DC converters support Power Boost, which permanently supplies 1.25 times the nominal current. What’s more, the devices feature Selective Fuse Breaking Technology (SFB), which supplies six times the nominal current for 12 ms, thereby reliably tripping standard circuit breakers. Comprehensive diagnostics are provided through constant monitoring of the input and output voltage and output current. Preventive function monitoring visualizes critical operating states and reports them to the controller before errors can occur.
Today, I visited a Maintenance Engineer from one of the plant in Jurong Island and by chance he asked me if I have any active power supply redundancy modules that have diagnosis feature to monitor the availability of the internal redundancy.
I was very happy to hear this question and told him that the answer is YES! Phoenix Contact has the QUINT Oring module for you!
Push-In Technology was developed by Phoenix Contact in 1978. The very first modular terminal block, the FK 1,5 with a direct plug-in spring connection, designed to offer installation engineers an easy and safe conductor connection method used this technology.
Due to its handling and compact design, the FK 1,5 is still found in elevator engineering, machine and system construction even today! Just like the FK 1,5, the concept of Push in Technology still exists and is going strong today – because it improves the way we do things…. even in our daily lives!
Uno Power power supply units, now available in 15 different modules, offer output voltages from 5 to 48 V DC. Their high power density and compact control cabinets speak for themselves, and they can reliably handle loads of up to 100 W.
Uno Power has also significantly reduced energy consumption as compared to other commercial products, with low no-load losses of under 0.3 Watts and a degree of efficiency optimized at over 90%. Continue reading →