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General information

What is the duty cycle?

The duty cycle is defined according to NF EN 60034-1 standard. It concerns the rotating electric machines, that means every machine which uses an electric motor. This standard describes the using conditions to prevent motor deteriorating.

Valpes actuators are corresponding to a category which name is S4 service: periodic intermittent running with start-up. The functioning corresponds to a succession of cycles including a start-up period, an operating time with constant load and a non-powered rest time.

Phase 1: the start-up period is corresponding to the motor acceleration time, until striking the “speed / constrain” balance. During this period, it will produce a significant starting current (see the topic "What are the starting currents" in this FAQ).

Phase 2: the operating time corresponds to the normal using of the apparatus. During this period, the motor temperature will increase but must remains below the temperature defined by the insulation class of the motor (see topic in this FAQ).
N.B. : a periodic service includes that the motor will not reach its thermal balance during the operating time.

Phase 3: to get lower temperature, the motor needs a rest time. This duration is calculated according to the duty cycle (expressed as a percentage) as per the formula:

Example with an ER PREMIER 20Nm :

The operating time is 9s and the duty cycle is 30%.
The rest time is: (9 - (0,3*9))/0,3 = 21 seconds. The total duration of the operation is 9 + 21 = 30 seconds.

What are the insulation classes of the motors used in valpes actuators?
The CEI85 standard defines the insulation classes. It classifies the motors according to the heating capacities of their insulators.

The temperature reached by the insulators limits the lifetime of an electric apparatus. The insulation class is defined by the insulator with the lowest temperature.

There are three criteria:

• The maximum ambient temperature
• The maximum permissible heating
• The thermal reserve

Also, we can distinguish the classes:

The kelvin (K) is a temperature unit. It corresponds to a differential of 1°C and the zero value is -273.15°C (absolute zero).

For its actuators, Valpes uses class B (400V) and class F (other) motors.

Actuators installation

What is the protection factor (IP)?
The protection factor is defined by the EN 60529 European standard. It indicates the protection against solid and liquid parts intrusion of an apparatus and determines the conditions and the location of its installation.

The protection of Valpes actuators housing are IP65 (ER PREMIER), IP66 (ER PLUS) and IP68 (other models).

Protection against solid parts Protection against liquid parts  
Protection against intrusion of
solid parts bigger than 50mm
  1 1   IPX1
Protection against vertically dripping water
Protection against intrusion of
solid parts bigger than 12mm
  2 2   IPX2
Protection against dripping water when
tilted up to 15°.
Protection against intrusion of
solid parts bigger than 2.5mm
  3 3   IPX3
as a spray at any angle up to 60°
from the vertical
Protection against intrusion of
solid parts bigger than 1mm
  4 4   IPX4
Protection against water splashing
from any direction
Protection against dusts
(no harmful residues)
  5 5   IPX5
Protection against water projected in
water jets from any direction (6.3mm nozzle,
distance 2.5m-3m, 12.5l/min flow)
Full protection from dusts
  6 6   IPX6
Protection against water projected in powerful
water jets from any direction (12.5mm nozzle,
distance 2.5m-3m, 100l/min flow).
  7   IPX7
Protection against temporary submersion
effects (15cm up to 1m)
  8   IPX8
Protection against prolonged submersion
effects (min. 1m/30min.)

How must be tightened a cable gland to guarantee a correct actuator tightness?

The standard actuator cable glands provide an IP68 tightness (see topic in this FAQ) but to guarantee this tightness, they must be used under specific conditions.

They are composed of the following parts:

The dust cap DO NOT GUARANTEE an IP68 tightness. To be IP68, the cable glands must be crossed by electric cables (from 7 to 12mm). If a cable gland is not used, it must be replaced by an ISO M20 IP68 cap. To correctly tight the cable gland, the gland nut must carry out a 360° rotation after the contact between the packing elastomer and the cable.


What are the starting current of Valpes actuators (EN 60 898)?

When it starts, an asynchronous motor generates a current peaks, named starting current or inrush current due to the conductive material of the rotor cage, immediately shortcircuited.
The principle is: a low rotor speed generates a high current consumption because of the lack of counter-electromotive force.
When the motor turns at its nominal speed, it emits electric pulses, which prevent the over-consumption.

Valpes actuators generate a starting current during some milliseconds. That why we recommend a D curve circuit-breaker.

Which voltage range is tolerated by a 3-phase 400V VR or VS actuator?

The 3-phase 400V VR and VS can operate with a 50 or 60Hz current and tolerate a voltage up to 480V.

These values refer to maximum voltages, respecting a using at nominal torque and S4-50% duty cycle (see topic in this FAQ). Beyond this voltage, it will be impossible to maintain the thermal balance and to prevent an irretrievable motor breakdown.

Which voltage range is tolerated by a 3-phase 400V VT actuator?

The 3-phase 400V VT can only operate with a 50Hz current and tolerate a voltage up to 440V.

These values refer to maximum voltages, respecting a using at nominal torque and S4-50% duty cycle (see topic in this FAQ). Beyond this voltage, it will be impossible to maintain the thermal balance and to prevent an irretrievable motor breakdown.

Actuator with positioning system

What is the difference between the setpoint and the power wiring?

A Valpes POSI actuator (GP5 or GP6) can run to a specific position proportionately with a setpoint signal (terminals 15 & 16) and send a feedback signal about its position (terminals 13 & 14)

There are two kinds of positioning signals (setpoint and feedback):
Voltage signal: 0 to 10V
Current signal: 4 to 20mA

Those signals can’t rotate the actuator without a power connection (terminal 1 and 2) according the following diagram:

Can I change the type of setpoint and feedback signals (0-10V and 4-20mA)?

It’s possible to modify the type of the signals but it implies a new positioning card configuration (see the tutorial video "GP6 (ER+) and GP5 (VR/VS) positioning card setting" available in this website).

Bluetooth® actuators

What is the difference between Smartimer and AXMART®?

Smartimer and AXMART® are the same program but AXMART® is more recent because it succeeds Smartimer.

There are some important differences:
• compatibility with Bluetooth® standard for Android versions from 6.0
• confirmation message for important changes
• management and control of new MT and VT+ series
• several additionally languages.

It’s possible to download d'AXMART® setup procedure here

Smartimer is installed but it doesn’t work (no detected actuator).

Smartimer doesn’t work if the version of Android is higher or equal than 6.0. In this case, you must uninstall Smartimer and install AXMART®, available on Google Play. This new software includes several enhancements.

N.B.: an actuator can communicate with only one device at the same time. The actuator is not listed because it may be already connected.

AXMART® is installed but it doesn’t work (no detected actuator).

To work properly, AXMART® needs two authorizations of the Android device: access to the position and access to the position.
In some cases, the device don’t ask for those two authorisations during the first execution, so close and re-open AXMART®. If this solution doesn’t work, the authorizations must be given manually:
"Apps & notifications / Permissions / Storage = on and Position = on"

Actuator behaviour

The actuator stops and performs a few degrees travel back.

The ER PLUS, VR and VS actuators have an electronic torque limiter with a possible feedback. The aim of this torque limitation is to protect the actuated valve in case of excessive torque.

In this case, if the actuator is not in an explosive area, open the cover and check the leds on the main board. If the red led is blinking, that means that the actuator has suffered an excessive torque.
To resolve the problem, check the coupling between the actuator and the valve and ensure that no solid part prevents the valve closing, then reset the actuator switching it off and switching it on.

N.B.: In order to optimize the installation, it’s strongly advised to connect the feedback relay (terminals D1 and D2).

The opening or closing feedback information doesn’t work.

The two motor control switches (2 lower normally closed switches) stop the actuator as soon they are open. In order to give an information, the feedback switches (2 upper normally open switches) must be already closed. They must anticipate the rotation.
To resolve the problem, turn the two upper cams 5° more than the lower cams (counter-clockwise for the white cam and clockwise for the black one).

N.B.: an incorrect motor control cams setup can damage the actuator.

It’s strongly advised to refer to video tutorials "Standard quarter-turn actuator cams setting".

My actuated valve doesn’t respond.

In order to cover the wide range of causes, we will proceed at a questionnaire. Please follow this link to start.

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Z.I. Centr'alp • 89 rue des étangs
38430 Moirans • France
Tél. +33 (0) 4 76 35 06 06 • Fax +33 (0) 4 76 35 14 34
valpes-info@wattswater.com • valpes-adv@wattswater.com (for orders)

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