Eaton: Frequency control even in tight spaces
Eaton is further expanding its PowerXL product family: With the PowerXL DB1 frequency drive, the energy management company is launching a powerful device in the smallest IEC-compatible class. Despite its small size, the DB1 comes with all the functionalities of the established DC1 Enhanced series. Eaton thus offers an ideal solution for OEMs seeking to integrate frequency drives into existing systems, for example, in which there is neither any circulation of air nor any space for an additional heat sink or ventilation system.
The reduced size has been achieved by removing the display, keypad and heat sink. The DB1 was developed as a cold plate unit and relies on the metal enclosure of the surrounding machine for heat removal. After heat-conducting paste has been applied, the frequency drive is screwed directly onto the metallic partition, using the thermal conductivity of the latter for heat removal.
Since the DB1 is compatible with Eaton’s external keypads, no integrated display or keypad is required. “This reduction of components epitomizes the efficiency of the DB1. Via speed control, machines with existing enclosures can reduce the energy required in the process”, according to Andreas Miessen, Product Manager for Drives at Eaton. “As a result, the DB1 will be particularly attractive for OEMs lookiong for a versatile frequency drive that can be integrated seamlessly into existing pumps, compressors or other systems where space is tight.” The DB1 is fully compatible with the drivesConnect parameter configuration software, as well as with the drivesConnect app that will become available in spring 2018.
The smallest frame size (1), which will be launched by the end of the year, has been designed for motor outputs of up to 1.5 kilowatt, at either 230 or 400 volt. In spring 2018, Eaton will also launch a larger size for up to 4 kilowatt at 400 volt, which will cover the majority of motors available on the market.
The DB1 consists of a power section and a detachable control section. The control section contains several I/O interfaces as well as ports for CANopen and Modbus-RTU communication. Apart from the COM interface (RJ45), the Modbus protocol is also served by data cables that are routed via two control signal terminals, with wiring made simple thanks to Eaton’s push-in technology. In addition, the control section of the DB1 also features safe cage-clamp connectors. “If required, and provided that the order volume is sufficiently large, the control section can also be adapted to customer needs”, says Miessen, who also offers customers an application-specific consultation services regarding use of the DB1. “Customers who are unsure about the heat removal via the cold plate unit can come to us for advice.” Such a consultation would also include a discussion on the precise thermal conductivity of the alloy used in the enclosure in question. However, Miessen excludes the possibility of the device being damage through overheating: “All PowerXL devices have a self-protection mechanism that prevents damage even in the improbable event of a fault.”