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UsingLatchedContactorstoSwitchTransformers

Siemensmediumvoltagevacuumcontactortype3TL

ControlCircuitConsiderations
Aconventionalmagneticallyheldcontactor,onceitisclosed,remainsclosedaslongasthemain
coilisenergized.Mostcommonly,thecontrolsupplyforthemaincoilcircuitisacontrolpower
transformersuppliedasanintegralpartofthecompletecontroller.Thus,formotorloads,themotor
isautomaticallydisconnectedwhensystemvoltagecollapses,thuspreventingdamagetothemotor.
Bycontrast,thelatchedcontactorremainsclosedwhenthesystemvoltagecollapses.

Thisisparticularlydesirablewhentheloadsareofatypewhereitisdesirablethatthe
loadbeautomaticallyreenergizedwhenthesystemvoltagereturns,suchaslighting
transformers.

Amagneticallyheldcontactoropenswhenacontactinthemaincoilcontrolcircuitopens.Onthe
otherhand,alatchedcontactorisunlatchedbytheclosingofacontactinthelatchcircuit,allowing
thecontactortoopen.Thus,thecontrolrequiredforalatchedcontactorsomewhatresemblesthat
ofamediumvoltagecircuitbreaker.
Thelatchedcontactorrequiresareliablesourceofcontrolpowerfortripping.Adc(battery)source
ispreferred,butiftheonlysourceofcontrolpowerisacontrolpowertransformerconnectedtothe
primaryvoltagesource,anaccapacitortripdeviceisappropriate.
Theclosecircuitshoulduseamomentarycontactpushbutton,sothatthemaincoilisenergized
onlyduringclosing.Similarly,thetrip(latchrelease)circuitshoulduseamomentarycontact
pushbutton.Forautomatictrippingfromtheprotectiverelays,anormallyopencontactshouldbe
connectedinthetrip(latchrelease)circuit,andanormallyclosedcontactfromtheprotectiverelay
shouldbeconnectedintheclosecircuit.

Thepurposeofthenormallyclosedrelaycontactintheclosecircuitistoassurethat
themaincoilcircuitisdeenergizedduringtripping.

Itisalsodesirabletoincludealockout(86)relayfunction,eitherbymeansofthe86function
incorporatedinsomemultifunctionmicroprocessorrelays,orbymeansofaseparatelockoutrelay.
Itisimportantthattheusersexternalcontrolcircuitnotincludeamaintainedcontactintheclose
circuit.Alatchedcontactoroperatesinthesamemannerasamagneticallyheldcontactor,andin
addition,includesamechanicallatch.
Ifthemaincoilcircuitiscontinuouslyenergized,thecontactorwillremainclosedevenifthetrip
latchisoperated.