Cummins unveils new transfer switch line

By Jack Burke18 May 2021

Cummins, Inc. has introduced its next generation of reliable power transfer equipment for mission-critical and life-saving applications, the PowerCommand X-Series transfer switches. Available in automatic and non-automatic configurations, Cummins said the new switches are designed for versatility and currently offer current ratings from 40 to 3000 amps. They are suitable for a broad range of applications, everything from commercial retail facilities, to health care centers to large data centers.

“The power market is more dynamic than ever, featuring stringent codes and standards, emerging technologies, and more fragmented and complex ecosystems, translating to increased demand for reliable solutions, digitization and integrability, and one-stop customer support,” said Gino Butera, vice president of Cummins Power Systems, Shoreview, Minn. “The PowerCommand X-Series is designed to meet and exceed such market demands. The superior capability of the X-Series, backed by the Cummins brand, offers unrivaled value for our customers.”

One of the key aspects to the new switch line is a newly designed High Endurance Mechanism (HEM) engineered to accommodate very large fault currents for extended periods. The HEM is designed to minimize the contact damage during a fault condition thus, retaining its capability to carry up to 100 % of its rated load.

“It is really state of the art in terms of the mechanism itself and the brains that are on it to control it,” said Hassan Obeid, global technical advisor, Systems and Controls at Cummins. “So we believe it’s a game-changing product.”

PowerCommand X-Series transfer switches Cummins’ new PowerCommand X-Series transfer switches are designed for mission-critical applications.

When faults occur, switch contacts can be blown open by the magnetic force of the fault, which can result in destructive arcing, which can cause extensive internal damage to the switch that requires the contacts, arc chutes and potentially even the controller to be replaced. The blow-on technology utilized by the Cummins HEM uses the same electromagnetic energy to hold the contacts closed during a fault, which the company said essentially eliminates arcing, contact damage and performance degradation.

Cummins said the HEM incorporates a simplified stacked cassette design that reduces the number of parts, as well as more capable solenoids and springs that enable extremely fast opening and closing, resulting in a smoother transfer.

The new PowerCommand X-Series transfer switches incorporate a newly designed high endurance mechanism (HEM) engineered to accommodate very large current loads for extended periods with no failure or loss of control.

“If there is a fault and you get an ungodly amount of current going through that switch because of that fault, the transfer switch contacts must stay closed. If they move one fraction of a micron, it will basically explode.

“We’re using both mechanical force and electromagnetic force that is the result of the shape of the contacts which our engineers have designed. These two forces holds the contacts closed during a fault. What that gives us is a very high short circuit capability.”

Obeid said that while most switches can accommodate fault currents as high as 50,000 amps, the Cummins X-Series switches can go as high as 150,000 amps in some cases. “And because it’s so robust,” Obeid said, “It can withstand that fault for half a second.

“To you and me, a half a second is nothing but in the world of a fault, a half second is like infinity. What that means is that it really helps us in terms of the selective coordination process, which is what a lot of consulting engineers are looking for.”

In addition, with the high withstand and closing ratings (WCR), Cummins said the X-Series transfer switches offer power system designers and consulting specifying engineers the freedom to select any generic UL listed overcurrent protection device to protect the transfer switch, simplifying electrical distribution designs.

The X-Series is equipped with the Cummins PowerCommand 80 control, which Cummins said provides high accuracy power quality metering, load management, power sensing and networking solutions without the need for any add-on modules. The configurable control is designed to work in a variety of applications with a simple colored human-machine interface (HMI) that displays all critical information such as voltage, current, load, harmonic analysis and faults and alarms.

The X-Series complies with the latest applicable codes and standards, such as NFPA70 (NEC), NFPA110, NFP99, is seismic-certified to IBC requirements, and pre-approved for OSHPD, Cummins said.

“With increased grid instability and increased power outages due to inclement weather and natural disasters, it is vital that life-saving applications are backed by robust and reliable power systems and the transfer of power is seamless,” said Butera. “From generator set paralleling to system-level controls, transfer switches, and digital solutions Cummins Power Generation experts draw from over 100 years of providing power, and fully understand the power systems space.”

For more information about the next generation of PowerCommand X-Series transfer switches, and the wide range of automatic and non-automatic transfer switches, click here.

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