How to handle starting current peaks with Inrush Current Limiter
Published : 05/06/2022 12:00:00
Inrush Current Limiters are essential components for the management of industrial applications and have the objective of limiting the input current during the start-up phases of capacitive and inductive loads. Their function is to safeguard the internal electrical components, avoiding damage that would lead to the replacement of the most sensitive parts in an industrial automation project.
How do Inrush Current Limiters work?
Electronic devices such as switching power supplies, when switched on, cause a peak in the electrical current absorbed by the system, known as inrush or start-up current; to avoid damage to the most sensitive parts of the system, it is essential that this energy peak is contained within certain safety limits, and it is at this point that the current limiter comes into play.
Thanks to the circuit breaker, it is possible to manage the limit of energy allowed to remain within the safety limits; if this limit is exceeded, the current is cut off and the entire system is forcibly shut down. It is clear that this is not a pleasant situation and the problem of exceeding the inrush current occurs especially when several devices or industrial power supplies are connected simultaneously, such as in shopping centres, large offices or hospitals.
How to choose the right Inrush Current Limiter?
Choosing the most appropriate current limiter for the needs of the system is one of the most delicate tasks in the design phase, and for a correct configuration it is important to know what is the maximum limit of devices that can be connected simultaneously.
Digimax offers Inrush Current Limiter from German brand Camtec high quality, small size and installable on standard DIN RAIL.
The offer is also supported by the current limiters Mean Well, also available in linear, automatic and adjustable versions.
How can the inrush current be prevented from exceeding the permitted safety limit?
There are three main ways to keep the system safe:
- Set the circuit breaker differently, raising the permissible limit; in this case the obvious risk is to be penalised in terms of safety.
- Sectioning the system, i.e. dividing it into several parts to which several electromagnetic switches can be associated, thus dividing the peak ignition current.
- Fit an Inrush Current Limiter to limit the starting current, blocking the energy peak to dilute it and use it more efficiently.