Early last year, element14 published a spotlight article ( Are You Ready To Use an IoT Enabled Power Circuit Breaker? ) on an interesting product by Eaton called the Power Defense Circuit Breaker. In the article, we said it was an IOT-enabled CB because it not only provides the typical functions of a molded case circuit breaker, it also has the ability of connecting to the Internet in order to report on "breaker health" or can be customized to transmit a variety of sensor data to the cloud. Given the fact that circuit breakers are often spread all over manufacturing facilities, a universities, office buildings, etc., these capabilities allow you to understand the state of the electrical power system through the facility.
We wanted to get element14 involved in experimenting with this circuit breaker, and Eaton agreed to provide a couple of units. But remember what happened a year ago? You said it: COVID-19. The pandemic made us truncate our plans, but we did get R. Scott Coppersmith( rsc ) to install a power defense circuit breaker on a tank application and report back to us his experience. He has done that with three blogs.
So, this summary blog summarizes the three blogs and gives links back to the original blog-reports.
The existing breaker would be swapped out with the Power Defense Breaker. But the Power Defense breaker was larger than the existing breaker. So, he had to rearrange some of the existing components and wires. This blog walks you through that (with images) process.
As was stated in the tech spotlight, the Power Defense breaker has a lot of functionality. To utilize the features, you need to set up the breaker's "trip unit." As stated in the spotlight article, the trip unit simplifies communications and protection, as well as supports energy metering. It needs to be configured which can include changing set points, setting up energy metering, or gathering power system information. The trip unit has a visual interface for performance metrics such as metering, battery life, zone selective interlock settings, and circuit breaker health. In this blog, he walks you through what he did to connect the trip unit, as well as figuring out how to use its features. The breaker was being used in a 1500 gal hydrodynamic water tunnel (flume). He describes the application this way: "We fill the tank to a specified height and seed the water with PIV particles. Then we shine a laser sheet in the area of interest and measure the flow around the test article using video capture software. The flow is controlled by a LabView script by changing the motor/pump speed. The motor is 20HP, and uses a marine propeller to move the water through the system." He was still experimenting with the product and how to set it up at the end of the blog.
At the start of this blog, he filled the water tunnel to see how the Eaton breaker was doing, and set up the controls to run a typical experiment. The first observation is that the Eaton breaker didn't register any current draw on the meter below 1 amp. The breaker is rated at 60A, and he only measured 2 or 3A. He concluded, "If you were monitoring critical equipment and needed to determine maintenance times based on changes in current draw, this breaker would be very helpful. I think my machine might be too simple to be able to fully utilize the features of this breaker." He may set up an experiment again at a later date.
To learn more about the Power Defense Circuit Breaker, click the link to the spotlight article or any of the individual blogs.