New inverter range launches in the UK

Hyundai is a new name in the drives market which has come to these shores courtesy of Softstart UK, the Norfolk-based specialist supplier of motor control and automation equipment. Automation looks at what this new range has to offer the now mature UK variable speed drive market.

There may not be many in the UK who would associate Hyundai with variable speed drives, and yet across Asia this is one of the biggest names in the business. Now these products are available to engineers in this country via Softstart UK. The company’s portfolio includes Hyundai low and medium voltage inverters which complements Softstart UK’s ranges of AC motors, servo drives and motors, soft starters, DC injection brakes, motor protection relays, control equipment, panel PCs, switchgear, harmonic filters and more.

Softstart UK managing director Stuart Harvey comments: “When you think of the name Hyundai, you probably think first of cars and then of ships. Cars aside, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is a massive global business, with a 15 per cent market share of the ship-building industry. But perhaps even more impressive is the Electro Electric Systems Division of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) which manufactures switchgear, circuit breakers, rotating machinery, inverters and complete systems in sectors such as general industry power plants, locomotives and ships.”

HHI introduced its electrical business as the Electrical Engineering Division in 1977, opening two factories in the following two years, and four more factories through the 1980s. It formally became the Electro Electric Systems Division in 2001. Strategic acquisitions along the way have seen the Electro Electric Systems Division grow to become world leader in low, medium and high voltage switchgear, although the brand is hardly known in the UK.

Softstart UK is stocking the full range of Hyundai N-series inverters in powers from 0.4kW all the way up to 1.8MW, and in models suited to general purpose tasks right up to versions targeted at precision motion applications.

The smallest model in the Hyundai N-series is the N50 – a compact, high starting torque inverter drive suitable for applications such as conveyors, automatic doors and more. This single phase vector inverter covers power ranges from 0.75-2.2kW, offering high end performance at an affordable price, with features such as 200 per cent torque or higher at speeds as low as 1Hz. Slightly larger, with powers from 0.4-4kW, the N100 inverter is a sensorless vector design with high starting torque, suitable for applications such as fans, pumps, conveyors and wood working machinery. The auto-tuning function automatically measures the motor parameters and sets it into the drive, saving users the time and effort of having to enter parameters manually.

Next up in the range is the N300 inverter offering powers from 5.5-132kW, which has the same sensorless vector control and auto-tuning functions, and provides enough power to drive two motors at the same time. Alongside it is the N300P – a dedicated fan and pump inverter in powers from 5.5-160kW.

In the same power range, the N700 brings more sophisticated speed control thanks to improved tuning technology for motors. Compensating for the motor time constant while motor tuning, this technology minimises speed changes to give more stable motor operation. PID functionality and regenerative braking capability are both standard, and the drive offers enhanced flexibility to work with a wider range of loads.

Covering powers from 155kW to 3.5MW, the Hyundai N5000 is a medium voltage sensorless vector inverter, combining high performance and efficiency with a small footprint. It offers a power factor of over 0.95 so there is no need for power factor correction capacitors, and system efficiency is rated at over 96 per cent.

“This range of inverters will sit nicely alongside our successful high power soft starters,” concludes Harvey. “We’ll also be offering a wide range of very cost-effective Hyundai MV switchgear, along with miniature contactors, moulded case circuit breakers, vacuum contactors and VCBs to supplement our existing motor control gear offerings.”

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