Electronic motor protection relays manufacturer NewElec will launch a multiprotocol interface in the second quarter, which will enable its NewCode relay to be more competitive, says NewElec MD Stuart Loudon.
NewElec’s NewCode relay is an ISO 9001: 2000-compliant, three-phase motor-protection and control relay, designed for the low-voltage market, he says.
It is a micro-controller-based precision instru-ment, with many user-friendly attributes and advanced protection and control features, as well as starter logic software, he explains.
The NewCode relay is designed and manufac-tured at the company’s factory, in Pretoria West.
Loudon highlights that the relay can be attached to external current transformers and software can also be calibrated for the application. NewCode offers Profibus, Modbus and Canbus communications protocols, making the relay an appropriate solution for plant protection and automation.
It provides comprehensive motor protection, with time- and date-stamped event and fault records, as well as integrated user-configurable control logic functions and standard starter control blocks.
The front-end data recorder and spectrum analyser can be used to monitor motor per- formance or to detect up to the ninth har- monic of any three-phase current, Loudon adds.
The relay can also detect earth leakage cur-rents with the aid of the external core-balance current transformer and is configurable to operate in inverse definite minimum time or instantaneous definite time mode.
The relay’s simulation function can be used for personnel training or relay functionality testing.
The company also offers an expansion module for additional input and output of 4 mA to 20 mA, as well as real-time dispatching inputs that support four different sensor types, says Loudon.
An optional memory module, mounted on the side of the relay, stores all user settings and addresses to easily facilitate relay replacements.
The relays have successfully been used on coal conveyors, stacker reclaimers and pumps, as well as compressor and fan motors. Some of the sites at which the relays are being used include mining company Exxaro’s Groote-geluk Medupi expansion project, in Limpopo; energy and chemical major Sasol’s nitrates plant, and mining major Anglo American’s Greenside colliery, both in Mpumalanga.
NewElec’s future development into cavitation detection and the detection of cracked and broken rotor bars will enable an end-of-life or pending failure notification for broken rotor bars, he adds.
Further, Loudon says the company’s future plans are also to expand and specialise in pump protection, as pumps tend toward component failure.
Operation of pumps is often in an unattended environment. When low flow or cavitation conditions occur, these are damaging to the impeller and bearings of the pump motor.
This condition can be identified by the New-Code relay and the pump is removed from service to prevent damage. The control logic within the NewCode relay can return the pump to operation after preset time, enabling for efficient unattended operation of pumps to continue without the damaging consequences of running for protracted periods in low flow (cavitation), dry run or dead heading (running with closed delivery valve) conditions.
Loudon notes that there is a shortage of skills in the industry and it is difficult to retain skilled staff, as South Africa loses many of its engineers to emigration.
However, ongoing training and mentoring of the company’s development team, and alliances with other companies that have the required skills set, assist NewElec in tackling challenges presented by the industry, says Loudon.