Electricity is a useful energy resource both in the industrial and residential setting. However, this resource would be largely useless if there was no way to control its distribution and usage. The common electrical automation devices used to regulate electricity include:
All in one controller
An all in one controller handles pre-determined electrical load management tasks associated with devices/machines such as electric motors, conveyor belts, lifts, and automatic dispensers. The majority of all in one controllers come with programmable memory modules, which means you can program one to undertake repetitive tasks without continuous input from a human operator. These devices are particularly handy because they reduce the number of control wiring connections, which translates to space savings on switchboards or control panels. Moreover, fewer electrical wiring connections on control panels and switchboards reduces the likelihood of electrical faults developing at these points.
A surge protector is a device designed to protect electrical appliances from damage whenever voltage spikes occur. This means it blocks transmission of voltages that exceed a pre-set safe threshold to end-user electrical appliances. Without a surge protector in place to act as a buffer, appliances exposed to voltage spikes would sustain damage rendering them inoperable. Nevertheless, surge protectors cannot absorb or block an infinite amount of excess electrical energy over and above a given threshold. In fact, they come with specifications showing how much excess electrical energy they can block/absorb without failing when power spikes occur. As such, these devices are categorized in terms of their clamping voltage, response time and joules rating.
Unlike a surge protector, a circuit breaker is a device that protects an electrical circuit from overloading or short circuit damage. Depending on factors like current/voltage levels and electrical circuit protection specifications, one can install a low voltage, medium voltage, high voltage, earth leakage, disconnecting, common trip, magnetic, thermal magnetic, or carbon dioxide high voltage circuit breaker.
When shopping for a circuit breaker, select one that can safely handle your maximum current interruption requirements. In addition, choose one designed and manufactured in compliance with international standards like ANSI/IEEE. It should also have the relevant current/voltage rating labels.
The ability to control electrical energy flow and distribution underpins the usefulness of this energy resource. Some of the main automation devices used to regulate electricity include all in one controllers, surge protectors, and circuit breakers. Each of these devices has a distinct and important role to play in the electrical distribution and consumption cycle.