Low voltage systems offer optimum safety and operational reliability

Paul Boughton

Power management company Eaton has launched a new addition to its Capitole 40 low voltage systems range, designed to provide higher level of personal safety and system reliability.

The Capitole 40 MTP is equipped with a Mechanical Test Position (MTP) that allows operators to safely insert or remove the withdrawable units while the system is live. All of the functional components are kept safely behind closed doors protecting personnel from the potential hazards of an arc flash.

The Capitole 40 series is Eaton's switchgear and controlgear solution for up to 6,300A and 690V. It comes with a full range of fixed, plug-in and withdrawable functional units comprised of feeders, bus couplers, motor starters and distribution feeders. The system has been designed to meet the requirements of the highest international safety standards, as well as the increasing demand for equipment requiring little or no maintenance with guaranteed operational reliability. Thus, the switchgear is suited for the most challenging applications including chemical and process industries, oil and gas exploration, power stations and data centres.

As part of the new MTP design, each withdrawable Capitole 40 unit has a lever that can be operated from the front panel and controls three positions: disconnected, test and connected.

When inserting the unit, which is only possible in the disconnected position, it remains partly withdrawn from the distribution bars, and the main disconnect, as well as the main and control circuits, are disconnected. This setting provides a safe maintenance environment.

Once the compartment door has been closed, the operator can move the lever to the test position and only the auxiliary contacts are closed. This allows users to safely test the control loop from the Distributed Control System (DCS) to the functional unit and back to the DCS.

When selecting the connected position, there are two options: connected/off and connected/on. In connected/off mode, the main disconnect remains open, but the main and control circuits are connected and the operator has the option to padlock the device in this position for added safety. In the ‘connected/on’ position, all contacts are connected. There are no tools required for the entire installation and removal of the units.

The Capitole 40 MTP has been tested to meet criteria one through seven of IEC/TR 61641, and offers a protection rating of IP31 in the ‘disconnected’ and ‘test’ positions and IP41 in the ‘connected’ position. The new switchgear feature has also surpassed the requirements of the IEC 61439 test, having achieved 500 inserts and withdrawals without any maintenance when the test only requires 200.

For more information, visit www.eaton.eu