The electrification of cranes has taken huge steps with the power of automation, making it a great aspect of crane modernization. The overhead crane electrification engages in giving more power to the cranes, which triggers efficiency and makes sure it reduces the environmental consequences. Though there are various electrification methods for different applications, you might be confused while deciding on the ideal method which suits the condition of your crane. This blog focuses on the comparison of Bus bar Vs Festoon crane electrification systems and their uses to give you a comprehensive understanding of which solution to use.
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How Crane Electrification Systems Work?
Transferring the power from the supply source to the control panel can be of two types:
- Bus bar electrification system
- Cable Festoons electrification system
They are utilized to establish power for the hoist trolley within the crane bridge. An operator makes sure that the crane motion is flawless while the hoist can be controlled via either push button pendants or the radio remote control mechanism. Electrification elements combined help the hoist and bridge hover over to the position of the load.
Once the load gets lifted, you can enable the procedure of moving the bridge crane to the destination and lower the load using push button pendants or the remote control. Let’s get to know more about crane bus bars and festoon systems in the coming sections of this blog post.
Crane Bus Bars for Electrification
Popularly known as Conductor bars, bus bars is a type of crane electrification system you can utilize in both indoor and outdoor cranes or tracks. These are widely used when the cranes have multiple bridges acting on them. This type uses a power supply for electrification to the crane and hoists through a sliding shoe collector system. This completely removes the safety risks associated with the conductor and delivers high-end amperage power quality when compared with any other system.
Components of Bus Bars
Bus bars consist of the components listed below:
- Conductor bar, to manage the power supply along the runway /bridge;
- Power feed, to provide the power input attachment to the conductor bars;
- Collector, to gather the current from bus bars and pass it to the machine;
- Brackets, to support the multiple hangers attached to the runway/bridge;
- Hangers, to link the brackets with the conductor bar;
- End cover, which is an insulation cover to provide safety at the end of the system;
- An anchor clamp is a device that supports the motion of conductors during both thermal contraction and thermal expansion.
There are many types of crane bus bars for various applications and the major ones are unipolar pairing bus bars, I-beam cable pulley, multistage pipe safety systems, cable crane bus bars, sturdy body bus bars, integrated crane bus bars etc.
Significant Advantages of Conductor Bars
You can use bus bars in both indoor and outdoor cranes, which is a great advantage. Nevertheless, they can be installed along the runway system or the monorail cranes. Another benefit is that you can deploy them on the runways while you have multiple bridges to operate. Since they are easy to install and cost-effective, they are ideal to be implemented in systems that use track switches. They are ideal in the low headroom light cranes in which the cables can’t hang down. Bus bars are excellent to set up the cranes you should consider for upgrades and expansions in the future. You can also extend the runway system easily without the burden of cost and connect the bus bars for installation seamlessly. Bus bars offer the best solution for an undisturbed power supply, especially in interlocking crane systems.
Festoon System for Electrification
The cable festoon system provides electricity with the help of a compact round cable or a flat cable. The cable gets connected to the trolleys which enables it to move across either a track or a beam. They fit in many applications, among which the more significant are the outdoor and high-heat conditions for a flawless process.
Festoon systems use cables that travel along a C-track, square rail or an I-beam. This offers benefits to system components like smart electrification, direct contact, and large wear resistance.
Though festoon systems can be used both indoors and outdoors, they function the best when used in highly demanding environments like port facilities, mills, etc. They are also a great addition to the power and control applications in explosion-proof cranes.
Festoon crane electrification systems let you effectively manage the operations of jib cranes, and overhead cranes like gantry cranes, bridge cranes, and monorail cranes. But festoon track is not advisable to use in the monorail cranes which have curves along the rail.
Different types of Festoon Systems
1. Track-mounted festoon system:
This system allows you to manage and transfer the hoses/cables to the respective control circuits. They work great in applications that range from cable management for light to applications with moderate duty.
2. Square rail festoon system:
It runs along a square-shaped or a diamond-shaped track usually suitable for dirty and dusty environments. This can be implemented indoors, outdoors and in many applications which require an explosion-proof design.
3. I-Beam Cable Festoon System:
This system is the best for moderate to high-duty applications. These function best in challenging industrial conditions like steel mills, ship-to-shore cranes, and plants.
Significant Advantages of using Festoon System
Festoon systems enable the cable to stack up rather than get twisted. The crane trolleys can also include multiple layers of the cable. Since they utilize a simple operation and design, they are easy and efficient to manage. Festoon systems can be operated in even high-end temperatures and environmental conditions since they are hard-wired. The system configuration with economic patterns helps you to customize the entire setup with huge cable sets for heavy-duty projects or use a few light cables for others. You can implement unique applications with the cable and the encoder moved to the hoist motor while the control panel is managed on the bridge crane. It also drives the electrical connections with ‘plug and play’, which makes it easy to install.
The Parting Shot
Numerous factors influence your decision behind the choice of electrification system for your crane. These range from duty cycle, operating ecosystem, usage, crane type, etc. Overhead crane manufacturers let you decide on the ideal electrification system that suits your requirements. Ocean offers the best solutions for the installation and maintenance of crane electrification systems based on your budget and operating needs. Contact our field experts today for your much-awaited crane electrification solutions.