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Low-voltage vacuum contactors: a good alternative to air break?

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1 Author(s)
S. K. Zimmermann ; Johnson Controls Inc., Milwaukee, WI, USA

The technical and commercial potential for vacuum contactors is evident. Advances in the science of vacuum-sealing techniques and contact metallurgy have provided reliable high-performance products. This opportunity for vacuum control in mining and pumping applications is mainly due to the voltage utilization level. Vacuum contactors are inherently better suited for switching voltages above 600 V. In addition, the product's smaller size and competitive price at higher voltage proves vacuum to be an effective alternative to the air-break devices in these and other process industries. The issue, however, is not nearly as clear on applications involving voltage levels of 600 V and less. Air-break and vacuum devices have their own place at these voltage levels, and the optimum choice in a given situation is dependent on several factors, not the least of which are the application and the horsepower of the motor being switched

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 2 )