Extra-low voltage is a low voltage range and is defined as a maximum 120 V DC voltage or a maximum of 50 V AC. Although extra-low voltage is not harmless for humans and animals, it is definitely not life-threatening. And extra-low voltage in the surrounding area can also be useful for sensitive devices. 24 or 48 V DC are standard for industrial drives from ebm-papst. Of course, this does not mean that the motors have to be connected to exactly this voltage. In fact, rectifiers and transformers in power supply units ensure safety and customers can use supply connections or batteries in most cases.
A surgeon with calm hands
But what voltage is now considered a separated extra-low voltage? There are no general answers to this question, only specific answers. Because there is no classic definition for separated extra-low voltage, just the idea that the voltage must be completely safe, which simply depends on the application in question. An electrically operated operating table, for example, has to fulfill particularly high requirements to protect the patient. Although 120 V DC voltage is considered to be (almost harmless) low voltage on paper, even small muscle reflexes caused by electricity could be fatal for patients or surgeons. The safety concept and device design in place are also decisive to choosing the right voltage: with a suitable isolation concept, the drives from the modular drive system from ebm-papst suit any application.
Perfect for self-driving systems
Extra-low voltage is not associated with a reduction in performance, as you might think. ebm-papst drives with extra-low voltage are used, among other things, to drive automated guided vehicles (AGV) in intralogistics and are still powerful, efficient and compact. With AGVs, customers do not need to make any compromises on performance and nevertheless can be sure that the vehicles pose no risk of electric shock.
Less risk = less effort
If customers can easily rely on extra-low voltage drives for their applications, they can also benefit in other ways that are not obvious at first glance: for example, personnel without qualifications in dealing with low voltage may also carry out commissioning if this is permitted by the safety and risk assessment. And more simple system and factory concepts are possible for assembly robots, for example. Therefore, extra-low voltage proves itself several times over, and the right separated extra-low voltage even more so.