Power panel, outside view The rat's nest mentioned in the operator station description has been cleaned up and moved around the corner to the left, into the separate, water-resistant NEMA 4 panel shown here, mounted at a convenient working height on the cat walk.

The handle shown operates the power breaker, and serves as a lock for the panel, as well.

Power panel, interior viewHere's what that panel looks like inside. Gone are the three starters used to start the old 30 HP Worthington-Simpson pump, replaced by a single starter, replaced by a single starter for the newer, more efficient 20 HP pump. Optionally, this starter can be replaced by an energy-saving reduced-voltage "soft start" control, which mounts external to the power panel (they're huge). 

Also missing is the starter for the main drive motor, replaced by a "Variable Frequency Drive", which allows us to provide a ten-second acceleration time on start-up. This reduces surge tension (and breakage) on the towels, while also allowing for setting slower speeds during operator training.

The rest of the panel is laid out with NEC compliance in mind. Note the use of Allen-Bradley starters, overloads, and circuit breakers (Westinghouse for the main breaker). Most of this is attached with standard DIN rail mounting, for easy replacement of parts. This panel is designed for serviceability, and the ability to get parts locally. Yes, it costs us some potential business in replacement parts, but that wasn't as important to us as getting rid of the CRT machine's old reputation of being hard to get parts for.

In the lower left, there are two pressure switches. One protects the pump against running dry, by not allowing the pump to be started with less than 10 inches of water in the tank, or shutting it off if the water level drops below that. The other is part of the interlock system for the manual release valves for the rinse and stacker assemblies.

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