ECS2100 to DECS-2100: Basler Introduces Easy Conversion Solution


Basler Electric Company announces an “Easy Upgrade” solution for ECS2100 Excitation Control Systems. The ECS2100 systems were released in the early 2000s by Cutler-Hammer. In 2006, the entire excitation product line was purchased by Basler Electric. Since then, Basler has continued to manufacture and support the ECS2100 systems. In addition, in 2011 Basler introduced its own DECS-2100 Digital Excitation Control System equipped with a powerful, compact, and feature-rich controller. The DECS-2100 is the most versatile excitation system supplied by Basler, with capabilities up to 10,000 Adc.

The upgraded controller for the DECS-2100 is the ECM-2 Excitation Control Module, which is also designed to be a retrofit option for the control modules in existing ECS2100 systems, replacing the ECM, FCIM, and SIM boards. The ECM-2 has a smaller footprint and an efficient, single-package design with a full board enclosure. It has all of the same functionality as the boards it replaces, plus numerous exciting new features such as an automatic tuning tool, automatic synchronizer, generator simulator feature, real-time chart recorder, and dynamic system analyzer.

For communications needs, the DECS-2100 system can be updated with BESTCOMS™Pro software, a combination of the original ccTool program used with the ECS2100 and the popular BESTCOMS™ program featured in the Digital Excitation Control System (DECS) product line. BESTCOMS™Pro provides “easy screens” to help users navigate through essential menus for setting up, testing, monitoring, and tuning the excitation system.

While the additional features and functionality provided by this new controller are exciting, a common question is how much time and labor are required to convert an ECS2100 system to a DECS-2100 system. The conversion process is designed to be reasonably quick and to require minimal labor to convert an ECS2100 to a DECS-2100. The retrofit kit comes fully equipped with an ECM-2 controller prewired on an “L” bracket. The “L” bracket is the same size and shape as the existing ECM board set in the ECS2100 system and utilizes the same mounting holes and connector locations. Once the existing boards are removed, the new ECM-2 is mounted and the connectors are reconnected in a relatively fast process. This makes changing controllers quick and easy.

Also included in the kit is a copy of BESTCOMS™Pro software, which facilitates communication with the ECM-2. Prior to beginning the conversion of the ECS2100 to DECS-2100, the current configuration file from the ECS2100 boards is sent to Basler Electric to be converted into a file that will be compatible with the ECM-2 and BESTCOMS™Pro. The new configuration file is then uploaded into the ECM-2 at Basler Electric before it is shipped to minimize changes during the upgrade. Finally, a new Human Machine Interface (HMI) is included as part of the retrofit kit. The IDP-1200 Interactive Display Panel features enhanced capabilities and communication connections compared to the previous PanelMate screen found on many existing ECS2100 units. Every other component of the ECS2100 remains in the cabinet.

For more information, visit the DECS-2100 section of the website and view the EX-ECM-2 application note.
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