Schneider Electric ACB Communications settings.

Setting up communication for a Schneider Electric Air Circuit Breaker (ACB) involves configuring various parameters to ensure proper integration with your monitoring and control systems. This guide will provide a detailed step-by-step process to configure communication settings for Schneider ACBs, particularly focusing on the Masterpact series, which is commonly used in industrial and commercial applications.

1. Introduction to Schneider ACB Communication

Schneider Electric’s Masterpact ACBs can be equipped with communication capabilities to integrate with building management systems (BMS), energy management systems (EMS), and other supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. These capabilities allow for remote monitoring, control, and data logging.

2. Prerequisites

Hardware Requirements

  • Schneider Electric Masterpact ACB with a communication module (e.g., Modbus, Ethernet)
  • Communication cables (e.g., RS485 cables for Modbus)
  • A computer with the necessary software installed (e.g., Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Power Commission)

Software Requirements

  • EcoStruxure Power Commission or other relevant configuration software
  • Drivers and firmware updates (if necessary)

3. Communication Protocols

Schneider ACBs support various communication protocols, including:

  • Modbus RTU: A serial communication protocol used over RS485.
  • Modbus TCP: A network protocol used over Ethernet.
  • Ethernet/IP: Commonly used in industrial settings for networked communication.
  • IEC 61850: A protocol for electrical substation automation.

4. Configuring Communication Settings

Step-by-Step Configuration for Modbus RTU

Step 1: Connect the Communication Module
  • Connect the Modbus communication module to the ACB as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure the RS485 cable is properly connected to the communication module and the monitoring system or network.
Step 2: Configure the Modbus Address
  • Using the EcoStruxure Power Commission software or the front display panel of the ACB, navigate to the communication settings menu.
  • Set the Modbus address (slave ID) for the ACB. This is a unique identifier for each device on the Modbus network. Commonly, addresses range from 1 to 247.
    • Example: Set Modbus address to 1.
Step 3: Set the Baud Rate
  • Set the communication baud rate, which defines the speed of data transmission. Common baud rates are 9600, 19200, and 38400.
    • Example: Set baud rate to 19200.
Step 4: Configure the Parity
  • Choose the parity setting, which can be none (N), even (E), or odd (O).
    • Example: Set parity to Even.
Step 5: Set the Stop Bits
  • Set the number of stop bits, usually 1 or 2.
    • Example: Set stop bits to 1.
Step 6: Save and Apply Settings
  • Save the settings and apply them. The ACB should now be ready to communicate over the Modbus RTU network.

Step-by-Step Configuration for Modbus TCP

Step 1: Connect the Ethernet Module
  • Connect the Ethernet communication module to the ACB and the network switch or router using Ethernet cables.
Step 2: Configure the IP Address
  • Access the communication settings menu via EcoStruxure Power Commission or the ACB’s front display.
  • Set a static IP address for the ACB. Ensure it is within the same subnet as the network to which it is connected.
    • Example: Set IP address to
Step 3: Set the Subnet Mask
  • Configure the subnet mask to define the network segment.
    • Example: Set subnet mask to
Step 4: Configure the Gateway Address
  • If the ACB needs to communicate outside the local network, set the gateway address.
    • Example: Set gateway to
Step 5: Save and Apply Settings
  • Save the settings and apply them. The ACB should now be configured for communication over Modbus TCP.

5. Verifying Communication

Using EcoStruxure Power Commission

  • Open EcoStruxure Power Commission on your computer.
  • Add the ACB to your project by entering its communication parameters (e.g., IP address for Modbus TCP or Modbus address for Modbus RTU).
  • Test the connection to ensure the ACB is communicating correctly. The software should be able to read data from the ACB and control it if necessary.

Network Analyzer Tools

  • Use network analyzer tools (e.g., Wireshark for Ethernet-based protocols) to monitor the communication and troubleshoot any issues.

6. Advanced Configuration

Configuring Ethernet/IP

Step 1: Connect the Ethernet/IP Module
  • Connect the Ethernet/IP communication module to the ACB and the network.
Step 2: Set IP Configuration
  • Configure the IP settings as described for Modbus TCP (static IP, subnet mask, gateway).
Step 3: Configure the Assembly Instances
  • Use the EcoStruxure Power Commission to configure the assembly instances for Ethernet/IP communication, defining input and output assemblies for the device.
Step 4: Configure RPI (Requested Packet Interval)
  • Set the RPI, which determines how frequently data packets are sent over the network.
    • Example: Set RPI to 100ms.
Step 5: Save and Apply Settings
  • Save and apply the settings to enable communication over Ethernet/IP.

7. Troubleshooting Common Issues

No Communication

  • Check Connections: Ensure all physical connections are secure.
  • Verify Settings: Double-check all communication settings (address, baud rate, parity, stop bits, IP configuration).
  • Test with Known Good Device: Use a known good device to test the network and isolate the issue.

Intermittent Communication

  • Check Network Load: High network traffic can cause intermittent communication issues.
  • Check Cables: Faulty or damaged cables can cause intermittent issues.
  • Update Firmware: Ensure the latest firmware is installed on the ACB.

Incorrect Data

  • Verify Data Mapping: Ensure that the data registers are correctly mapped and configured.
  • Check Protocol Compatibility: Ensure the monitoring system is compatible with the communication protocol and settings used by the ACB.

8. Documentation and Support

Manufacturer Documentation

  • Refer to the Schneider Electric manuals and technical documentation for detailed instructions and specifications.

Technical Support

  • Contact Schneider Electric’s technical support for assistance with complex issues or advanced configurations.

9. Best Practices

Regular Maintenance

  • Perform regular maintenance and checks on communication settings to ensure continuous and reliable operation.

Backup Configuration

  • Backup the configuration settings periodically to avoid loss of data and simplify recovery in case of system failure.

Training and Knowledge Sharing

  • Train personnel on the communication settings and troubleshooting techniques to ensure they can handle issues effectively.

10. Conclusion

Configuring communication settings for Schneider Electric ACBs, such as the Masterpact series, is essential for integrating them into modern monitoring and control systems. By following the detailed steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure proper setup and reliable communication, enhancing the overall efficiency and safety of your electrical distribution system. Regular maintenance, adherence to best practices, and leveraging manufacturer support will further contribute to the successful operation of your ACB communication network.