Portable Control System For Load Banks

ASCO Power Technologies has released the new ASCO Sigma LT portable control system for load banks.

The new handheld controller, which incorporates a 4.3 in. color touch screen, is designed to enhance convenience, versatility and flexibility when testing. Like the Sigma LT local control, the handheld unit offers unparalleled, best-in-class operation and control of load banks during testing.

The new system will be shown at the Power-Gen International trade show in Orlando, Fla. in December. ASCO is at booth 3639.

The ASCO Sigma LT hand-held remote controller networks up to 25 load banks using industry-standard CAN bus communications protocol. Operators can monitor and control all networked load banks or a single unit in the network, up to 800 ft. away. This capability to vary, accept or reject load on a single unit within a network from a remote controller allows data centers to easily simulate hot zones to determine how an HVAC system reacts to temperature changes at specific server rack locations, the company said. The ability to network is advantageous because a series or mix of smaller load banks can provide larger, more flexible test capacity, especially for rental fleets, the company said. Smaller load banks also make it easier to get test capacity into restricted areas, eliminating the need for long cable runs from large, street-based load banks. Networking multiple units provides redundancy during 24-hour commissioning tests.

The sleekly designed color touch screen on the remote controller has electronically controlled push buttons for simple load selection. The screen displays three-phase voltage, power, current and frequency readings, and selected load. It also provides true, derated loading when the working voltage is less than load bank nominal voltage. Data logging and statistical data can be downloaded to a USB flash. A robust, aluminum case protects controller components.

“I like that Sigma allows the flexibility of networking load banks with different kW capacities,” says Joseph Stonestreet, vice president, Operations at Comrent, a provider of load bank rental solutions for construction professionals and facility engineers to help them test mission critical power systems. And, he noted, “Sigma allows me to configure fan operation for unique applications.”

In local mode, the Sigma LT incorporates a digital toggle switch control with LED display, which combines the simple operation of traditional toggle switches with the accuracy and precision of full digital monitoring, overcoming the typical block loading deficiency of standard toggle switches. Individual load step LEDs and an integrated, one-second delay synchronize load step changes, producing clean load changes not possible with conventional toggle switch technology. The on-board controller features toggling for three-phase voltage and load selection, metering, local and remote operation and operational mode, and a connection for the remote controller and other load banks.