When it comes to a range of different commercial and industrial applications, it is common for several electric motors to be required - and being able to control some or all of the motors from a single central location makes operations a whole lot more efficient and convenient.
This is where the motor control center (MCC) comes in. The MCC was designed for just that - to allow for control of multiple motors from a central location, which has (for good reason) become a very attractive option for these industries.
Simply put, motor control centers are material groupings of combination starters in one single assembly.
A combination starter is a single enclosure that contains the motor starter, fuses or circuit breaker, in addition to a device for power disconnection. There are also other devices, i.e. such as pushbuttons and indicator lights, that may also be included in this combination starter.
When it comes to power systems in large commercial and industrial applications (including lighting, heating, cooling and machine operation), the power may be distributed via switchgears, switchboards, panelboards and transformers.
The bottom line is, wherever there are motors in such operations, there must be a way to control these motors.
For example, the most basic or fundamental type of AC motor control necessitates simply switching the motor on and off, typically using a motor starter consisting of a contactor and overload relay - with the contactor’s contacts closed in order to run the motor, and opened in order to halt the motor, typically through start and stop pushbuttons or alternative pilot devices wired for contactor control.
Through disconnecting power to the motor when an instance of overload occurs, the overload relay serves as motor protection. And while it can protect from overloads, it cannot provide protection from short circuits regarding the wiring providing power to the motor. This is why a circuit breaker or fuses are utilized, as well.
Generally speaking, one motor starter will control just one motor. If there are only a few individually dispersed AC motors being used, the components for control and circuit protection may be contained in a panel close to the motor.
Interested in MCCs for your commercial or industrial applications?
Our team of power generation and motor control solution experts at T&T Power Group are here to help. Reach out to us today to get started.