Software is being used more and more in the field of optimal selection of switchgear. Each circuit is considered one at a time, and a list is drawn up of the required protection functions and exploitation of the installation, among those mentioned in Figure H22 and summarized in Figure H1. A number of switchgear combinations are studied and compared with each other against relevant criteria, with the aim of achieving: b Satisfactory performance b Compatibility among the individual items; from the rated current In to the fault-level rating Icu b Compatibility with upstream switchgear or taking into account its contribution b Conformity with all regulations and specifications concerning safe and reliable circuit performance In order to determine the number of poles for an item of switchgear, reference is made to chapter G, clause 7 Fig. G64. Multifunction switchgear, initially more costly, reduces installation costs and problems of installation or exploitation. It is often found that such switchgear provides the best solution.
Remote control switch : This device is extensively used in the control of lighting circuits where the depression of a pushbutton (at a remote control position) will open an already-closed switch or close an opened switch in a bistable sequence. Typical applications are: b Two-way switching on stairways of large buildings b Stage-lighting schemes b Factory illumination, etc. Auxiliary devices are available to provide: b Remote indication of its state at any instant b Time-delay functions b Maintained-contact features
Contactor: The contactor is a solenoid-operated switching device which is generally held closed by (a reduced) current through the closing solenoid (although various mechanically-latched types exist for specific duties). Contactors are designed to carry out numerous close/open cycles and are commonly controlled remotely by on-off pushbuttons. The large number of repetitive operating cycles is standardized in table VIII of IEC 60947-4-1 by: b The operating duration: 8 hours; uninterrupted; intermittent; temporary of 3, 10, 30, 60 and 90 minutes b Utilization category: for example, a contactor of category AC3 can be used for the starting and stopping of a cage motor b The start-stop cycles (1 to 1,200 cyles per hour) b Mechanical endurance (number of off-load manœuvres) b Electrical endurance (number of on-load manœuvres) b A rated current making and breaking performance according to the category of utilization concerned