Volume 5/ Issue 2/ August 2018
The core elements of a condensate handling unit include the collection tank, the pumps and the controls. Domestic Pump’s factory-built, tested and warrantied “Consolitrol” control panel helps these elements work in harmony and communicate effectively with users.
The “Consolitrol” panel handles an array of applications to power the pumps, configure the controls and communicate the status of the unit. It’s a valuable option that brings life and versatility to the unit. Here’s a look at all that it brings together.
Motor starters are required for any 3-phase power supply application, and with single-phase motors 3 HP and larger. A starter delivers safe, smooth startup as well as overload protection. Auxiliary contacts can be attached to the starters and wired to a building management system for remote “on” or “off” pump status indication.
Fused disconnects or circuit breakers protect the starters against power supply issues like short circuits. While fused disconnects are more budget-friendly up front, circuit breakers save money long-term, because there’s no cost for replacement fuses. The protectors are the points of power entry to the panel. Each pump or starter has its own protector; for a unit with two or more pumps, you can add an optional single point power connection.
Picture a typical unit with two pumps and the two dedicated disconnects with their handles on the outside of the control panel door. Those two handles are able to cut the power supply to the motors and the controls, making it safe to open the door and service the panel’s electrical parts, or the unit’s pumps and float switches. A power control switching relay makes it possible to keep the unit running while servicing just one of the two pumps. This relay is wired to both power supply paths that follow the disconnects. If the path that powers the controls is interrupted by its dedicated handle, the relay switches to the alternative power source and keeps the controls running.
Now let’s move from the power supply to the control loop. Code requires a power transformer when the power supply is more than 250 volts, and one is recommended when the supply exceeds 130 volts. The transformer delivers lower-voltage, single-phase power for delicate control options – such as pilot lights, float switches, alarms, alternators, selector switches, control relays, time meters, etc.
About those control options: Pilot lights on the control panel door indicate whether a pump is running. Float switches are generally a must – inserted into the unit’s condensate tank and wired to the control panel. They turn the pump on or off based on the tank’s water level, and can signal high or low level issues. Alarm options include buzzers, silencing relays, alarm lights, dry contacts for connection to remote building management systems – whatever combination is right for the customer. The optional alternator is available as either a double float switch (a “mechanical alternator”) inserted into the tank, or an electrical alternating relay mounted into the control panel. Its job is to change each pump’s lead-lag role for more even operation. Time meters track operating hours for each pump, a handy way to monitor servicing needs or calculate energy consumption. Selector switches let you manually set the pump’s operating mode – on or off, auto mode, lead or lag, continuously running, allocated to a certain signal from a dedicated boiler, etc. The type of selector switch depends on the unit type and features.
Domestic Hoffman Consolitrol Control Panel
Domestic Pump condensate handling units fall into two main categories – condensate return units and boiler feed units. Condensate return units are controlled by the water level in the tank; boiler feed units are controlled by the water level in a boiler. Control relays are essential for boiler feed units in scenarios such as multiboiler – multipump combinations with automatic pump standby; control of boiler feed valves; and communicating with the field.
Domestic Pump control panels are a hassle-free control solution for the condensate handling units. The panels are NEC and JIC compliant, and use IEC components of high quality, properly sized and wired to the application. The panels are available in various NEMA enclosures for indoor or outdoor application, NEMA2 being the standard. They can be unit or wall mounted. The most common control configurations are standardized. Customers can choose control options for their application, confident it will be the best fit. Any questions? Let us know.
Bozhidar “Boz” Ivanov