Overvoltage or Overcurrent?

Error codes give you insight into what might be wrong with your Rexroth motion control systems. It’s much better than having to stare at it blankly and hope for inspiration. But some error messages can be confusing. For example, these are two different Rexroth error messages:

  • F8025 Overvoltage in power section
  • F8028 Overcurrent in power section

When you’re looking at one of these numbers on your screen, you can ignore the other. But when you look at the two together, it can feel a bit surreal.

“Overvoltage” and “overcurrent” are both terms used in electrical engineering to describe different types of electrical issues that can occur in a circuit or system. Here’s a breakdown of each term:

  1. Overvoltage

  2. Overvoltage occurs when the voltage in an electrical circuit or system exceeds the normal or intended level. Voltage is the potential difference between two points in an electrical circuit, and it’s usually specified for safe and proper operation of devices. Overvoltage can occur due to various reasons, such as lightning strikes, faults in the power distribution network, or malfunctioning of voltage regulation systems.

Consequences of overvoltage include all these bad things:

  • Equipment Damage: Overvoltage can damage electrical equipment and components that are not designed to handle higher voltages. This damage can range from temporary malfunctions to permanent destruction of components.
  • Fire Hazard: In extreme cases, overvoltage can lead to electrical arcing or sparking, which can result in fires or explosions.
  • Data Loss: Overvoltage in electronic systems can lead to data loss or corruption, especially in sensitive equipment like computers and data storage devices.
  • Reduced Lifespan: Continuous exposure to overvoltage can reduce the lifespan of electrical equipment.

To prevent overvoltage, surge protectors, voltage regulators, and other protective devices are often used to divert or limit excessive voltage levels.

  1. Overcurrent

  2. Overcurrent refers to a situation where the current flowing through a circuit exceeds its designed or intended level. Current is the flow of electric charge in a circuit and is measured in amperes (amps). Overcurrent can occur due to short circuits, equipment failure, or an imbalance between supply and demand.

Consequences of overcurrent include a similar but not identical group of problems:

  • Equipment Damage: Overcurrent can cause damage to electrical components and devices. Excessive current can lead to overheating, melting, or burning of wires and components.
  • Fire Hazard: Overcurrent can lead to overheating and arcing, which can cause fires or electrical hazards.
  • Tripped Circuit Breakers/Fuses: Most electrical systems have circuit breakers or fuses that are designed to trip or blow when an overcurrent situation occurs. This is a protective measure to prevent further damage.
  • Loss of System Functionality: Overcurrent can cause devices to malfunction or shut down, leading to a loss of functionality.

To prevent overcurrent, circuit protection devices such as circuit breakers, fuses, and current limiters are used. These devices are designed to interrupt the circuit when the current exceeds a safe threshold.

In short, overvoltage and overcurrent are both electrical issues that can lead to equipment damage, hazards, and system failures. Overvoltage refers to excessive voltage levels, while overcurrent refers to excessive current levels in an electrical circuit or system.

Now what?

In both cases, your drive may shut down. If the fault message says it’s an overcurrent issue, it could be a short circuit, a grounding problem, or an arcing issue.

If it’s an overvoltage, you might be looking at a lightning strike or other unusual event. It’s not impossible for a short circuit to cause an overvoltage error, but that’s not your first thought.

If a clear idea of the difference doesn’t solve your problem, give us a call at (479) 422-0390. We’ll get you up and running fast.

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