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March 2011 Volume 244 No 3


Inside this issue:

I Arresting developments I Smart meters: finding the right network I System enclosures to save energy I Computing power
Page 26 Design software Page 31

Switchgear Page 12 Surge protection Page 22 Enclosures


ACAL Energy and its development partners have put the ground work in place to install the worlds first FlowCath fuel cell technology system to be used in a practical application at Solvay Interox, Warrington site. ACAL Energy is a developer of fuel cell engines based on a platinum free cathode technology that will be a clean and economically sensible alternative to diesel and gasoline generators. The field trial system is planned for installation in summer 2011, and will provide back-up power for an environmental remediation plant at Solvays Warrington plant. The installation is designed to help ACAL Energy and its partners to understand exactly how a back-up power system powered by its FlowCath fuel cell engine power module will operate in a real application. The technology is expected significantly to reduce the balance of plant costs by eliminating the need for hydration, pressurisation, separate cooling and other mechanical sub-systems commonly required when using conventional PEM fuel cells. In the meantime, ACAL Energy is completing the low cost design and validation activity in its new laboratory testing facilities, with the support of partners including Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, UPS Systems, the University of Southampton and the Manufacturing Engineering Centre at Cardiff University, which is essential to meet the cost and performance targets for a commercially viable system. This is the latest stage of a project announced last year and partly funded by the Technology Strategy Board. Progress on the project to date has been rapid and as a result, Solvay Interox took the opportunity over last summer to put in place the hydrogen fuel supply and infrastructure ready for installation of the back-up power unit. Were well on track for this important next stage, said Bob Longman, VP Engineering at ACAL Energy. Our progress in the laboratory stages has exceeded our expectations and we are increasingly confident in the performance of the whole system. Bob McDonald, engineering manager at Solvay Interox agrees: We are looking forward to supporting the installation to supply back up power for the remediation plant, which for Solvay Interox is seen as an opportunity to assess the technology for its value as a cost effective, sustainable back up power source. Legrand has seen products from its wiring devices and cable management divisions used extensively throughout the newly reopened Savoy, London. The 220m project saw The Savoy restored to its former glory over three years, with its two main design aesthetics, Edwardian and Art Deco, being carefully brought back to life under the direction of worldrenowned designer Pierre Yves Rochon. More than 1,000 craftsmen and women, artists and artisans worked to create interiors that were in keeping with the original and muchloved spirit of The Savoy, which was established in 1889 Legrand supplied bespoke chrome and brass roped edge wiring devices from its Synergy range for use in all guestrooms and public areas, while its Swifts cable tray and ladder was used to carry power and data cables through the hotel.


Sentec, a smart grid specialist and product development company, has won the Green Enterprise Award at the inaugural 2011 Entrepreneur Country awards. Held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on 1 February, the winners were selected by a panel of expert industry judges. The awards were created to recognise the success, innovation, and achievements of UK businesses and the leadership behind them. The Green Enterprise Award was awarded to Sentec following a nomination from Greenbang editor, Dan Ilett, in recognition of the companys contribution to the development of green sector technologies.

For the latest news, products and event information visit



Building energy management system (BEMS) manufacturer Trend Controls Systems and vocational training provider Apprenticeship Training (ATL) have developed and are now jointly delivering the UKs first ever qualification for building controls technicians. The level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Building Energy Management Systems is awarded by EAL and endorsed by SummitSkills the sector skills council for the building services engineering industry. It is the only nationally recognised award specifically designed for those wishing to embark on a career in BEMS design, installation and commissioning. The BEMS Diploma became available at the start of this year and complies with the regulatory arrangements laid down in the governments newly introduced Qualifications & Credit Framework (QCF). Involving a combination of on- and off-the-job training it requires completion of a series of knowledge and performance units. The former are done at college and are the equivalent of the old technical certificate element of an apprenticeship. The performance units are carried out in the workplace and require the learner to demonstrate that they have the practical skills to apply the knowledge they have gained. Trends learning and development manager, Phil Prosser, is in no doubt about the significance of the new BEMS Diploma: The previous lack of a proper qualification in building controls has deterred people from entering the industry, which has led to skill shortages. Until now the only study options available to them have been general courses leading to technical certificates in electrical or building services technology, parts of which had no relevance to our sector. In contrast, the college course element of the new diploma has been precisely tailored to aid subsequent workplace learning by focusing on the underpinning knowledge required by a BEMS engineer. This was made possible through close cooperation between Trend and ATL and, in particular, by ATLs willingness to listen to the needs of our industry. The first people to gain the diploma are likely to come from the latest group to join Trends award-winning Attitude Advanced Apprenticeship scheme. They have already started their college studies at two of ATLs regional centres, where they will spend all of the first ten weeks. Their on-the-job training and assessment will be done either with Trend or one of its system suppliers, with the whole of the diploma programme completed in around 30 months.


There is no legal requirement to replace oil filled switchgear with modern vacuum types, the fact is, most switchgear, of any age, if properly maintained is both safe and reliable


In a world seemingly obsessed by risk assessment and analysis, it is ironic the topic of surge or overvoltage protection seems to be underplayed and, at times, misunderstood


ABB has won an order worth around $180m (112m), from utilities Statnett of Norway and of Denmark, to supply an HVDC Light (high-voltage direct current) converter solution to support the interconnection of the Norwegian and Danish power grids.The 500 kV (kilovolt) link is a new record in transmission voltage using this technology. The underwater link will boost transmission capacity between the mainly hydroelectric-based Norwegian system and the wind and thermal powerbased Danish system. It will enable both networks to add more renewable energy to their energy mix, and to use electricity more efficiently. ABB will design, supply and commission two 700 MW (megawatt) converter stations based on the companys HVDC Light technology.

Insurance offered online

Wilts, the independent electrical wholesaler, has teamed up with to offer its customers business insurance at a discounted rate. Customers applying for a quote via the link, can benefit from 5% off their vehicle insurance and 10% off their tradesman insurance, suitable for a range of trades including one man companies through to larger contractors. Kevin Burns, Wilts commercial director said: We felt it made good business sense to help our customers find a low cost business insurance. Weve had great feedback on this, its all about working out what our customers needs are and helping to provide peace of mind at a competitive rate.

Green IT is not only concerned with saving energy, but involves other factors, such as the use of non-toxic and recyclable components. nevertheless, the key issue remains saving energy, which is unlikely to change




I The Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) has frozen its membership fees for the coming year. Steve Bratt, ECA Group CEO said: The ECA exists to help our members and provide them with the support they need to grow, and in these difficult times it's not just a case of growth, but for many, survival. Therefore, we took the decision not to add to our members' financial pressures and to freeze our membership subscriptions for 2011. Despite keeping fees at 2010 levels, we will continue to invest in existing and new resources that we believe will help members - whether that is around tactics to improve cashflow, contract negotiation, employee relations, upskilling or future growth opportunities. I German solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer, Solarwatt AG, has signed an installation and supply agreement with UK-based Enexos. Established in 2009 to serve the emerging UK solar PV market, Enexos will represent Solarwatt in the large scale and middle SME business sectors of the market, and at the lower-end domestic and small commercial applications through a new distribution and installation network currently being assembled.


February saw the relaunch of the Call for Energy Innovators initiative which invited inventors to come forward with their ideas for making the power networks more efficient. Funding and product testing support is available to assist innovators developing these products and services. The Call for Energy Innovators, led by Cheshires Energy Innovation Centre, is backed by four UK energy firms; distribution network operators CE Electric UK, Electricity North West, ScottishPower Energy Networks and Scottish & Southern Energy. With rising energy demand and ambitious decarbonising targets, innovation has an increasingly important role to play in enhancing the way power is transported, monitored and stored. The aim of the Call for Energy Innovators initiative is to seek out technologies and processes with the potential to revolutionise existing power networks. It is an opportunity for innovators to get their ideas before the decision makers and make a real difference to future energy provision in the UK and beyond. Industry expert and chairman of the Energy Innovation Centres Investment Forum, Clive Deadman, predicts this emerging market for innovative energy related products and services will be worth over 1bn per year in the UK alone by 2016. The Energy Innovation Centre, launched in 2008, is a specialist business incubator dedicated to fostering innovation and accelerating cutting-edge energy products to market. Denise Massey, director of the Energy Innovation Centre, said: When we launched the Call for Energy Innovators in conjunction with our industry partners in October 2010 we saw a 50% increase in enquiries to the Centre. As a direct result of these enquiries we are now assisting a number of individuals and SMEs in the development of some exciting early stage technologies. The Energy Innovation Centre was created specifically to help innovators navigate the complex route to commercialisation and we hope the new Call for Energy Innovators 2011 campaign will encourage even more innovators to come forward with their ideas for improving the energy industry. The Call for Energy Innovators 2011 is open to both early stage development and existing technologies with the potential for deployment within the energy industry. It could even be a technology already operational in another industry, such as telecoms or retail. Distribution network operators have a number of roles including maintaining the performance and safe condition of the networks, restoring supply quickly should a fault occur, operating telephone systems in relation to network faults and providing new connections to the network. Lawrence Fletcher, head of performance and innovation for CE Electric UK, said: The Call for Energy Innovators 2011 provides the perfect platform in which innovators or SMEs can bring their innovations to fruition and optimise their commercial opportunities. The Energy Innovation Centre offers a complete range of services including product development, funding assistance, business support and access to power experts, and is committed to turning energy saving ideas into commercial reality. For more information about the Call for Energy Innovators 2011 visit


Electrical Review March 2011


I Following the success of the LIF Seminars last year Lumicom, in collaboration with Recolight, is again sponsoring a series of seminars that are being organised and presented by the Lighting Industry Federation (LIF) on the following subjects: Latest developments in LEDS/OLEDS Lighting controls and systems Latest legislation and standards as they affect sustainability The free seminars will be held throughout March in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Edinburgh. For more details on times and venues visit I An advertisement feature in the Jan/Feb issue of Electrical Review from Wilson Power Solutions carried the incorrect telephone number for the company. The correct number is 0113 271 7588. I Due to continued escalations in key raw materials costs, DSM Engineering Plastics has increased prices for its Stanyl product range on top of 2010 price increases. DSM will increase its prices for flame retardant grades by 300/tonne or $450 tonne and non flame retardant grades by a minimum 200/tonne or $270/tonne by 1 March 2011.


Fiera Milano this year launches E.TECH Experience, a biennial international exhibition for the energy, electrical systems and lighting sectors, taking place at Fiera Milano (Rho), 16-19 November 2011. The new event is organised in cooperation with Federazione ANIE (Italian Federation of the electrotechnical and electronics companies). E.TECH Experience is an exhibition of energy-related products, but also of services and solutions related to generating power and bringing it into living and working human spaces, helping us live in a sustainable, safe, and efficient way. E.TECH Experience, explains CEO. of Fiera Milano Enrico Pazzali, is an exhibition for the energy sector that show innovative technology and meets the increasingly sophisticated and complex requirements of its end-users. This new trade fair is Fiera Milanos answer to the requests of the market we, and ANIEs Strategic Marketing Committee, discovered during the design phase of the expo. E.TECH Experience is an event that joins product specialisation with the integration of the different sectors in the field. A multi-target exhibition which addresses both the operator interested in a single product and those searching for system solutions. I am sure this exhibition represents another opportunity for our sector, adds Guidalberto Guidi, president of Confindustria ANIE. E.TECH Experience will give added visibility to an important part of the Italian economy, an industrial sector with earnings of 25bn in 2009, and with prospects of medium term growth stronger than the average in the manufacturing area. Our companies are an excellent example of Made in Italy. E.TECH Experience is based on three major merchandising sectors: Generation and distribution of electricity (E.TECH Experience Energy); Components and electrical systems (E.TECH Experience Building); Light sources and devices (E.TECH Experience Lighting). Special attention will be given to energy production from renewable sources, a section of the exhibition organised in collaboration with Enersolar+ e Greenergy. E.TECH Experience is intended to be a multi-target event, suitable for every professional in the energy field: including installers and maintenance staff, system engineers and distributors. But also construction companies, engineering and contracting firms, architects, surveyors, large private end users (facility managers, manufacturing industry, communities) and public administration. For further details visit


Electrical Review March 2011



to manufacture the products and the move will put Wandsworths 150-strong team behind the drive and enable both companies to exploit the synergies between their product ranges. Gary Stevens, sales and marketing director at Wandsworth, said: There are many similarities between the two companies, both have been around since the beginning of the 20th century, both are still family run businesses, both are at the quality end of the market and are focused on driving product development with innovative, solutions-led ideas. By joining forces with Jung, we instantly open up our existing range, at the same time, were also adding wiring accessories and door entry systems that match our existing range for quality but complement it in terms of design, enabling us to offer customers even greater choice.
Martyn Corcoran Clive Bould Ian Weakford

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A trade partnership agreement between Jung and The Wandsworth Group has recently been put in motion. Signed in February, the agreement gives Wandsworth exclusive sales rights in the UK for the ranges of wiring accessories and door communications products manufactured by Albrecht Jung. German-based Jung will continue

Klaxon Signals has announced the appointment of two new business development managers. Martyn Corcoran has been appointed business development manager for Klaxon Fire and Industrial. Corcoran has over 20 years of experience in the electronics industry, 10 of which have been dedicated to providing technical knowledge to customers. With responsibility for all fire and industrial markets, Corcoran s expertise in signalling solutions will prove vital in providing professional support to customers around the world. Clive Bould has been appointed business development manager for Klaxon Warning Systems. Specialising in wide-area notification and warning systems, Bould has eight years of experience in project development and health and safety management. Commenting on his new role, Bould said: I m looking forward to expanding and developing

Electrical Review is published by Laurence Pountney Hill London EC4R 0BL 020 7933 8999

Klaxon s presence in the wide-area notification market as we have the products, knowledge and know-how to improve the safety of sites in a variety of industries. Greenwood Air Management has appointed Ian Weakford as its new commercial director. Weakford comes to the role with a wealth of experience in the building products sector and has held senior positions within the Saint Gobain Group, most recently as sales director for Isover. Concentrating on the key drivers of energy efficiency, Building Regulations and G.I.P Guaranteed Installed Performance , Weakford will be promoting Greenwood s next generation products and firmly positioning them within the marketplace.

PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Chris Cooke PRINTING BY Pensord Press Ltd Any article in this journal represents the opinions of the author. This does not necessarily reflect the views of Electrical Review or its publisher St John Patrick Publishers

ISSN 0013-4384 All editorial contents Saint John Patrick Publishers Ltd 2011. Jan-Dec 2009 6,484


Unions the true CONSERVATIVES?

Hats off to Redditch Council. The Conservative-run authority wants to use surplus heat from furnaces at the local crematorium to help keep nearby Abbey Stadium swimming pool warm. A brilliant idea, regularly found in Scandinavia. Judging by responses in local papers, pretty well received too by most residents, particularly as the Council think it will reduce overall fuel expenditure by 14,000 a year. I suppose it is inevitable it is the unions that object. Listen to Roger Mackenzie, Unisons West Midlands regional secretary who lambastes the idea as sick, insensitive and an insult to local residents. He claims it demonstrates yet again that the Conservatives know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Actually, it is cynics at whom that jibe is usually made. Far from being cynical, I think this is an excellent example of sensible, lateral thinking. So there. Trust the unions to be the true conservatives.

A criminal bonanza
Scoffers may not take the concept of trading carbon emissions seriously. But there is one lot of people who most certainly do. It is the international criminal fraternity. The European emissions trading scheme was created seven years ago. It was meant to achieve two policy objectives. These were to get heavy industry to use electricity more efciently. And to get the electricity industry to reduce the carbon intensity of its supply mix. Given that there have been a) far too many trading permits issued and b) most of these have been made available free and gratis, it is not surprising the number of scoffers regarding the schemes actual impact has continued to grow. But now a new set of sceptics can join them. The European scheme is proving a nice little earner for industrial companies selling on their surplus permits, usually at discount prices, to electricity generators. The generators then store these away, against two years time when they will have to start actually buying their permits. Meanwhile the generators have been making massive prots worth 50bn according to WWF from increasing their prices as if they had bought all their permits at the highest market rates. Rather than being given most free, and getting the rest on heavy discount. Now into the mix have stepped some sharp-eyed members of the criminal fraternity, exploiting the lax on-line security arrangements operating in many of the 27 participating countries. And simply breaking into existing carbon accounts, to transfer, and then selling on the carbon credits to innocent purchasers. As almost anybody can set up and then close down - a carbon registry, these intermediaries are proving very difcult to catch. At least three million credits are ofcially acknowledged to have been stolen from the large cement company Holcim, from the Austrian and Greek registries, from a bunch of Czech accounts. Consequently the entire system closed down for 16 days last month. The strong probability is this is just the tip of the iceberg. Even if a generator or an industrial company has bought any of these stolen permits in good faith, they are then in receipt of stolen goods. In the UK, these will be conscated, and returned to the original owner. The US House of Representatives has just passed a resolution not to permit the development of a nationwide carbon trading scheme. This has been done primarily because of dubiousness about the science of climate change. A much better justication might be that the one such scheme in existence is turning into a complete criminals bonanza. Green eeces, red faces.

Into the MINISTERIAL pot

For the past ten years, the Big Six electricity companies have been required by the government to help domestic consumers install energy saving measures. How they stimulate any installations to occur is entirely up to them, says the government. The companies simply have to show enough insulation or cs and so on have been installed. Otherwise OFGEM the regulator will levy enormous nes. The reason for this arcane arrangement is simple. Nowhere is it specied exactly how much needs to be spent to meet any ofcial targets. Therefore the scheme is not deemed to be a tax. And so does not get included within the Treasurys books. At least, up until now. All this changed in last Novembers Comprehensive Spending Review. The Treasury redened such obligations as mandatory expenditure. It made an estimate of what each of the Big Six needed to spend to persuade householders to install these measures. It then declared that such obligations to be putative public spending. This book-keeping alteration has signicant ramications. Not least for energy ministers, long fed up with all the kudos going to the electricity and gas companies. Now they think: if such schemes are henceforth going to be scored against their Departments total, why should we not take the credit, by taking full control of any funds raised? In 2013, a new scheme called the Energy Company Obligation will start. Ministers rather like the idea of simplifying this Obligation. The energy companies will continue to provide the money. But this time it will all go into a pot controlled by ministers. Who will determine how it is spent. And in that way will receive all the gratitude from the beneciaries themselves. Who just happen to be voters.

Resisting the urge to delete

Ping. A press release arrives from Friends of the Earth Europe. I resist the temptation to delete. Instead I nd it makes rather an interesting point. The European Union governments have signed up four energy-related targets for this decade. Targets which are binding upon, and therefore change policy, in all 27 countries. Three of these on climate change, on renewable energy, on bio-fuels are all legally binding. The fourth is on energy efciency. It is purely voluntary. And, as a result, it looks as though the 27 governments will nowhere meet it: European Commission gures forecast a 9% rather than the 20% improvement aspired to. Even though as FoE acidly point out, of the four targets, meeting the energy efciency one would be innitely the best for the European economy. Electrical Review March 2011



Checking switchgear is a really SAFE BET

SAFETY, RELIABILITY or cost in any combination provide a real incentive to evaluate existing switchgear in any application. In spite of the fact there is no legal requirement to modernise existing aged installations, the Health and Safety Executive, the British Standards Institute and the Institution of Engineering and Technology have all published documents relating to safety. By the same token, major users of switchgear, such as the UKs Network Distribution Operators and the power generation industry have also highlighted the need to modernise because of the mission critical nature of their applications. Finally the rising costs of maintenance and the, often, punitive penalties for system failure have added a significant motivation for renewal. Dealing with safety issues first and foremost, it must be reiterated that dangerous failures of switchgear are rare. Unfortunately, rather like other rare failures, such as aircraft malfunctions, the consequences can be disastrous. Similarly, we only consider within this article, the equipment itself under safe and responsible operation, rather as we would not consider human error to reflect on the fitness for purpose of any other item of equipment. The HSE makes clear in the introduction to its excellent Electrical Switchgear and Safety A Concise Guide for Users that: In general, switchgear has a proven record of reliability and performance. Failures are rare but, where they occur, the results may be catastrophic. Tanks may rupture and, with oil-filled switchgear, this can result in burning oil and gas clouds, causing death or serious injury and major damage to plant and buildings in the vicinity. Failures of switchgear can also result in serious financial losses. Having stated there is no law requiring users to replace aged switchgear, it is a legal requirement to provide management systems to ensure safety and minimise the risks of injury. To comply with this obligation it is clear that switchgear must be inspected, assessed and where necessary overhauled, repaired or replaced. This having been said, de-skilling and cost reductions in some organisations have left them without the specialised knowledge needed to properly assess the function, potential risks and remedies where equipment is involved. Switchgear suppliers must therefore provide intelligent and conscientious assistance to users which does not mean simply selling them some new equipment! Let's take a look at some of the dangers specifically associated with the use of older switchgear. Among the most important are: L Lack of knowledge users may not have enough knowledge to be aware of the potential risks involved L Overstressing the switchgear may not be rated to handle present-day full load currents and fault levels L Modifications the manufacturer may have issued recommendations for modifications to ensure that the equipment remains safe to operate. It is essential these are implemented L Dependent manual operating mechanisms all switchgear currently in use must incorporate operating mechanisms that do not depend on the operator's strength and speed to make and break contacts. Any switchgear that does not meet this requirement is unfit for use L Lack of proper maintenance this is usually the result of oversight, but may also be due to limitations imposed by financial controllers in order to minimise shutdowns. It is important that maintenance of older switchgear takes into account the age and peculiarities of the equipment. Addressing these issues involves implementing an effective switchgear management system. A very good starting point for this is Health and Safety Executive document HSG230 Keeping Switchgear Safe. The guidelines contained in this document define records that need to be kept and keeping these records will ensure that: L The switchgear is not outside its managed life cycle L The maintenance cycle and the maintenance work carried out has taken into account the age of the switchgear L The maintenance has been fully and correctly completed L A full maintenance history is available L All restriction notices have been considered and, where necessary, appropriate actions have been implemented L The Switchgear is known to fall in line with latest requirements, such as independent manual operation, anti-reflex handles It is worth noting these records not only provide a framework for increasing the reliable and safe operation of the equipment, but also help to meet legal obligations, not least those related to ensuring that employees are protected from harm.

It is a legal requirement to provide management systems to ensure safety and minimise the risk of injury


Electrical Review March 2011

Safety in practice
Increasingly companies have become reluctant to operate older switchgear locally particularly oil circuit breakers. With this in mind a minerals company recently ordered new vacuum oil replacement breakers, P&B Switchgears VOR-M, to replace old MV oil switchgear at its salt mining installation in Cheshire. Vacuum retrofit breakers have been installed to replace 11kV oil breakers at a major pharmaceutical plant in Speke, Liverpool. This enables remote operation, as opposed to the local, manual, operation of the old switchgear. Not only does this ensure greater safety, but it also means switchgear can be operated without personnel having to don cumbersome arc flash protection clothing. A major chemical company is also replacing old and obsolete air switchgear with 415V switchgear with modern compact air circuit breakers. During type testing of new retrofit circuit breakers to replace 415V circuit breakers from two well known, but now defunct, UK manufacturers, the original isolating contacts from both designs failed catastrophically under short circuit conditions. The fault level was within the rating of the equipment when supplied many years ago, indicating deterioration in performance of the contacts. Fortunately, P&B Switchgear was able to supply alternative type tested replacement isolating contacts with the circuit breakers to ensure the customer has a safe installation this might perhaps start to ring warning bells with other switchgear users.

Reliability in practice
Most UK coal power stations were fitted with 11kV and 3.3kV air break switchgear when they were built in the 1960s. Over the past decade or so the circuit breakers have needed increased maintenance. That, coupled with the difficulty in obtaining spare parts for obsolete equipment, has led to many of the older breakers being retrofitted with P&B Switchgear vacuum circuit breakers. The overwhelming majority of these power stations have ranges of fully type tested retrofit vacuum breakers on most key circuits to increase reliability of operation. This is manifest in increased time between maintenance and in many cases, to increase the fault level to cater for additional generation being added over time. P&B designs have been type tested to well over 50kA rms, with peak making currents and DC components enhanced far above the original, or indeed, current IEC/BS requirements. Examples of this are at Ratcliffe, Cottam, Ferrybridge, Fiddlers Ferry, West Burton power stations to name a few. The latest designs of breakers to replace oil types incorporate resin embedded vacuum interrupters and magnetic actuator operating devices for the ultimate in maintenance free, long life operation. This is especially suitable when frequent use is an important requirement, such as in process industries. Costs are a key driver when assessing assets and running expenses. This is in greater focus even in the power generation sector, where costs have generally been less of a factor reliability and safety ranking higher. It is understandably difficult to quantify costs and therefore economies in operating switchgear. However, the impact of greater reliability and perhaps just as significantly the ability to monitor and control the installations have made substantial savings that greatly offset the price of renewal of entire switchgear panels or the upgrading of them using the latest relay technologies.

Reliability is key
Because diligently maintained and inspected switchgear of any age can be considered safe, a greater incentive to consider replacement or renewal of existing switchgear is often reliability. Reliability in sectors such as power generation, utilities, oil and chemical industries, transport and so forth is crucial. However, accurately assessing mean time between failures for switchgear is almost impossible. Hence, these industries often regard it as beholden upon themselves to mitigate worst case scenarios, however potentially unlikely. Many operators resort to establishing arbitrary maintenance procedures and time intervals based on their type of switchgear, age of equipment, its location and environment and so on. This usually involves high degrees of guesswork, certain assumptions and, if reliability is of paramount importance, a truncation of the service or inspection intervals. None of which is particularly efficient, but reliability trumps efficiency in such circumstances. The main reasons for replacing switchgear are usually because the age of the equipment is causing a high level of maintenance, this in turn causing higher costs, lack of availability (reliability) and difficulty in locating obsolete spare parts. Some motives are to remove oil (safety) although some companies have elected to introduce remote operation on older switchgear as a cheaper way to improve safety by removing the need for a local operator. Safety may become a key driver for replacement in the future. The use of the latest equipment with its inherent monitoring and reporting facilities, increases efficiency and hence reduces costs. However, in older plant, it is the reliability, rather than the automation, of the system that is the highest priority.

Switchgear in water control

Cost justification in practice

Replacing switchgear is never high on the list of capital requirements unless the previously discussed factors are important. As mentioned earlier there are guides issued by the likes of the HSE which assist users in the selection process of replace, refurbish or retrofit, but the cost of the options is usually a significant factor. Often a straight forward approach is to simply remove the old switchboard and install a complete new one. This delivers a new installation compliant with the latest standards, but it is not usually the most cost effective option, even when the protection is to be replaced at the same time. Depending on the size and type of substation, replacing the old with new switchgear is likely to result in extra time and costs for building work, further costs and, of course, potential risk in disturbing or replacing cables that result in longer project timescales on site. It also requires a complete shutdown. Since in many cases the switchgear fixed portion is in good enough condition, these issues can be avoided with a circuit breaker retrofit option, even if the decision is to upgrade to modern protection relays. Some companies consider the initial cost of a suite of retrofit breakers and argue this amounts to perhaps70% of the price of a new switchboard. However, when one takes into account the additional costs described earlier, the overall installed price for the retrofit option is typically nearer to 50%, with less disruption and reduced downtime. The case for organisations to select reliable partners has become increasingly important.

In older plant, it is the reliability, rather than the automation, of the the system that is the highest priority


Electrical Review March 2011



WHEN THE SEARCH was on in the 1960s to find a viable alternative to the potentially flammable, always messy and sometimes carcinogenic oils used in the MV switchgear of the era, SF6 must have seemed like a godsend. It combines excellent electrical properties with chemical stability and low toxicity. Its non-flammable and low in cost. Unsurprisingly, these very desirable characteristics lead to its widespread and enthusiastic adoption in MV switchgear. Unfortunately the picture was not quite as rosy as it at first appeared. In particular, as concerns about the environment and, in particular, global warming started to grow, it became all too clear that SF6 had significant potential for causing environmental damage. Global warming is the consequence of the greenhouse effect and this is usually associated with elevated levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere, which trap more of the suns heat. CO2 is not, however, the only culprit; there are many gases that are much more potent in trapping heat than CO2 and, unfortunately SF6 is one of them. In fact, SF6 is to 52 kV) and high-voltage (above 52 kV) switchgear. As a consequence 80% of the SF6 produced in the world today is destined for electrical applications. It can be confidently expected legislation will ultimately be introduced controlling the use of SF6 in switchgear. Some measures are already in place, including the voluntary programme of the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA and the F-gas regulations that were introduced in Europe in 2007. These legislative changes are already increasing the cost of maintaining switchgear that uses SF6 as well as starting to make its end-of-life disposal expensive and difficult. It is worth mentioning poor environmental characteristics are not the only shortcoming of SF6 its use also gives rise to potential health and safety issues. While SF6 itself is usually considered to be harmless in normal concentrations, the derivatives that are inevitably formed by the arcs created during switching operations are another matter entirely. These by-products, which include HF, SOF2, SF4 and S2F10, are toxic. Granted they are produced in relatively small quantities during the normal operation of the switchgear, but they are likely to be present when switchgear is dismantled for maintenance or at the end of its life. Further, should a fault occur that causes an explosion in the switchgear, these toxic by-products are released into the surrounding area. We have established there is a strong case for avoiding the use of SF6 switchgear for new installations. Not only is it harmful to the environment, it is also likely to have a high lifetime cost, as the inevitable legislative changes make the maintenance and disposal of equipment that uses SF6 more and more expensive. But are there practical alternatives? In answering this question, its necessary to distinguish between HV and MV switchgear. When it comes to HV switchgear that operates above 52 kV, there are, at present, few viable alternatives to SF6 in its switching role. However, development is proceeding rapidly in this field and this

A range of MV solutions

In short SF6 is yesterdays technology; its served its purpose but now its obsolete

currently listed by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the most potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential 23,900 times that of CO2. Thats not all SF6 has an atmospheric lifetime of up to 3,200 years, so gas released today will affect the climate for a very long time. Clearly the release of SF6 into the atmosphere which is virtually impossible to avoid when the gas is used, no matter how carefully it is handled is highly undesirable. As a result, SF6 is on the Kyoto list of substances, the use and emission of which must be minimised. In fact, SF6 is now banned in most of applications, but it is still permitted in medium-voltage (up


Electrical Review March 2011

situation can be expected to change in the not too distant future. However, for switchgear operating at below 52 kV, its a completely different story. Practical and affordable alternatives are readily available that make the use of SF6 completely unnecessary. The best of this new generation of SF6-free MV switchgear is based on vacuum interrupter technology used in conjunction with solid insulation. In addition to their almost negligible environmental impact, vacuum interrupters have many other characteristics to recommend them. Because of the way arcs behave in a vacuum they constantly move from point to point on the electrodes rather than establishing themselves at a single location, and they are always extinguished at the first current zero contact erosion in vacuum switching elements is almost non-existent. This has two important consequences. The first is that the switching elements require no maintenance, and the second is that they have very long working lives. The latest types are, for example, certified for 30,000 operating cycles. Modern vacuum interrupters are ideally complemented by solid insulation produced using cast epoxy resin technology. This approach allows the parts to be shaped specifically for the best possible insulation performance, with components such as busbars and vacuum interrupters integrated directly into the mouldings. The use of solid insulation also allows excellent control over electric fields in the switchgear. With conventional shapes for the primary components like busbars and other conductors in MV switchgear, the electric field is distributed in a manner that is far from uniform. This means there are areas with high field concentrations and, in these areas, there is risk of partial breakthrough. This can trigger avalanches leading to flashovers. With solid insulation, however, engineers with experience of breakthrough phenomena and field-steering techniques can arrange for the components and insulation used in the switchgear to be shaped in such a way that flashovers are eliminated entirely, while still achieving a very compact design. While the risk of internal arcs is very small with solidinsulated switchgear, it is impossible to say, as with any kind of switchgear, that there is no risk at all. However, solidinsulated switchgear has the additional important benefit that careful design can ensure that, if an internal arc event does occur, its environmental impact is minimised. This can be achieved by adopting single-pole construction, which means that the only conceivable type of internal fault is a singlephase short circuit, rather than a potentially more damaging phase-to-phase short circuit. In the best examples of solid-insulated switchgear, the impact of internal arc events is reduced still further by arc absorbers. These guide the gasses and smoke produced by the arc out of the panel and they also have a large absorbing surface that breaks up and filters the gases, greatly reducing their potential for causing damage and injury. Further benefits of solid-insulated switchgear over its SF6 counterpart include elimination of the costly and inconvenient routine pressure checks that are always needed with SF6 equipment; and low end-of-life disposal costs. In fact, the newest types of solid-insulated switchgear have been designed specifically to make re-cycling of the components used in them straightforward and inexpensive. It is now clear there is an alternative to SF6 switchgear in

Eaton's medium voltage switchgear can be used to couple a tower's power generation to the collector's distribution system MV applications that not only eliminates the need to use this environmentally unfriendly gas, but also offers very significant benefits in its own right. Solid-insulated switchgear is safe, compact and very cost-effective, especially when lifecycle costs are considered. It offers dependable performance, it needs minimal maintenance and it has a very long service life. What possible reason can there be, therefore, for the continued use of MV SF6 switchgear? In truth, there is no reason. Specifiers and users of MV equipment would be well advised, therefore, to avoid SF6 equipment for all new installations. In addition, end users may wish to consider the benefits of replacing their existing SF6 equipment sooner rather than later, before the regulatory regime relating to greenhouse gasses tightens still further and pushes the costs associated with dismantling and disposing of such equipment sky high. A final thought for those who may be tempted to ignore this call to action your option to do that may not last much longer! The use of SF6 in MV electrical equipment is still tolerated only because it is currently considered a special case, where there are no reasonable alternatives available. As weve seen, thats no longer true, and its not hard to predict the relevant regulations will soon be changed to reflect this development. In short, SF6 is yesterdays technology; its served its purpose but now its obsolete. SF6 offers no technical or financial benefits in fact quite the opposite so lets confine SF6 MV switchgear to the one place where it still belongs. And that, of course, is a museum!




Smart meters: finding the right NETWORK

SMART METERING communication technology enables customers to view on an in-home display their energy consumption as they use it. It also centralises usage data, so meter readers dont have to visit individual premises for data collection. However, ahead of the UK roll-out there are still important questions regarding the choice of the network technology for smart meters which need clarifying. The UK roll-out involves potentially 27 million homes at a cost of around 9bn and while the government is looking to accelerate the roll-out, its clear the network of choice will play a vital role in the success of smart meters and is therefore a key consideration. Currently its assumed all UK homes will be connected to the network but the reality is that connecting some electricity and gas meters is harder for some proposed network solutions than others. This is because meters typically live in hard to reach locations, such as; under stairs, in basements and behind cupboards. The government and the utility industry are currently evaluating which communication network would be best suited for the UK roll-out; the two most debated options to date are cellular and long-range radio. British Gas announced a trial of smart meters, using cellular technology in early 2010. However, more recently, BT announced its consortium, SmartReach, with Arqiva, and Detica using technology provided by Sensus to offer a utility grade, dedicated and secure long-range radio communications solution.

Selecting the right communication network for the UK smart meter roll-out
Cellular provider Vodafone estimated in its Carbon Connections Report (July 2009) that only 70% of UK homes have cellular coverage to their meter cupboard. This is not because of a lack of coverage, but due to cellular signals not penetrating buildings to where meters are actually located. Therefore if cellular was chosen as the network solution, what would happen to the 30% (9million) of homes that dont have adequate cellular coverage to the meter? In addition, analyst house Ovum suggested cellular had been chosen as the communication network for the first significant smart meter deployment in the UK (by British Gas), not because it was the best but because it was believed to be the only viable solution at the time the trial was announced. Long-range radio has a proven track record in North America for smart meter and grid networks but is a new technology here in Europe (though it is now in trial in Reading). Long-range radio technology was designed from the outset for smart metering and grid applications. It offers universal coverage, secure, and dedicated communications for what we believe is part of the UKs critical infrastructure, like the TETRA radio system is for the emergency services. Experience in North America has shown it to have a first time connection rate to meters of greater than 99.5% within coverage areas - ensuring a minimal number of homes are left unconnected or requiring second visits. Long-range radio is also highly reliable and is cost effective

Long-range radio has a proven track record in North America for smart meter and grid networks


Electrical Review March 2011


The non-surprise package for medium voltage substation projects

any ABB customers are now finding that their current medium voltage (MV) power distribution infrastructure no longer has the flexibility or capability to handle additional network loads. This is especially true for expansion projects in the industrial process and oil and gas sectors, but also applies to the renewable energy and railway industries. The traditional approach is to either upgrade the existing substation or to build a new one alongside it. This can be an expensive and lengthy process with the added drawback of considerable site disruption and the possible need for lengthy power outages as circuits are transferred. Thats why a growing number of customers are taking advantage of ABBs fast-track solution, based on modular systems in the form of containerized switchgear.


ABB modular systems have the flexibility to be tailored to meet customer needs. A typical installation might comprise: L Primary 11 kV and 33 kV switchgear (ZX1.2 gas insulated or UniGear air insulated) L Secondary 33 kV switchgear (SafeRing gas insulated) L Protection relays L Transformer


Modular systems are offered in a choice of robust outdoor containers in steel, GRP or concrete to meet individual site requirements. They are designed to last as long as the application at least 40 years. The actual size of the container varies from five to 20 metres in length, with a typical container being 10 metres long, 5 metres wide and 4 metres high. This compact design enables the container to be easily transported on a standard low-loader. It also provides a small installation footprint, and this is sometimes a key consideration at sites where space is limited, which is often the case in the process industries.


At site the container is simply craned into position. Civil works are minimal since all that is required is basic foundations, either a concrete base or stilts for the container to rest on this results in a significant reduction in project costs.


The key advantage of ABB modular systems is that they are fully pre-engineered units, delivered to site ready to plug and play. This approach ensures a more cost-effective overall project that is some 20 percent faster to complete than the conventional build on site route typical timescales are 30 to 40 weeks from order to delivery. It also provides a smooth changeover with only a short outage required, since it is just a question of transferring over the cables. In the UK, modular systems are clearly an idea whose time has come. In the past two years ABB has completed over 20 installations for applications including chemical plant, gas storage projects, windfarms and railway power upgrades. The consistent feedback we have from customers shows that they come to ABB for our innovative switchgear products, the capability to save space on their site and our depth of experience in delivering time and cost critical projects. For more information please email or call 01925 741111

A main benefit of ABBs approach to modular systems is our total focus on reducing customer risk. Rather than dealing with several equipment suppliers and contractors they have a single interface with ABB that provides full visibility of the entire project from procurement to delivery, effectively eliminating the possibility of unpleasant surprises. A further advantage is that all of the critical equipment is installed and tested under factory controlled conditions. This keeps the actual work on site to a minimum. With only a few contractors required, health and safety is enhanced and disruption to normal operations is minimized.


to deploy as it requires minimal infrastructure, also making it easy to maintain. It enables software upgrades and pricing changes to be broadcast to all meters simultaneously and also offers a prioritisation channel for emergencies and alarms. In addition to the connectivity of the network, some other critical considerations for the smart meter programme success include: Availability - Public networks like cellular can have a high level of network availability but, because they are used by the consumer market, performance can be affected by network congestion at peak and sometime critical times. To avoid conflict, the communication network needs to be dedicated and designed specifically for the utilities. Survivability Smart meter networks will need the ability to continue to deliver a service even in the presence of a failure or accident. Private networks can achieve a high degree of survivability but public network technologies lack adequate back-up power so can become unserviceable after quite short periods of power interruption and can remain unavailable until power has been restored. Using Power line communications means loss of the supply cable can affect the ability to manage the network itself. Coverage - The diversity of utility environments and the mix of urban and rural areas means achieving a high first-time connection rate for meters with some technologies can be difficult. This could be detrimental to the effectiveness of the roll-out and result in additional engineering costs and second visits to homes adding cost and complexity. Security - The protection of sensitive data and the control of access to critical systems is key to the success of the roll-out but problematic when the network is not secure and dedicated. The more elements there are and the more public a network is, the harder it becomes to secure it adequately.

Evolution from smart meters to the smart grid

At the moment the GB smart project is clearly retailer led, with a focus on smart meters and the customer experience. However, in other markets it has been shown equal benefits are realised through smart grid features, particularly in ensuring security of energy supply. In Europe, where the energy utilities remain vertically integrated, smart projects are being specified with the active participation of the distribution network experts. Smart grids enable distributors to manage their networks more efficiently with real data to facilitate better planning and management of peaks. Within the GB project smart grid requirements are currently very light, and theres a risk that the functionality required of the network to support future smart grid operations will be missed. If this happens it will be difficult and expensive to fit retrospectively, indeed aspects like network latency, multicast and broadcast features, may not be able to be addressed if the wrong technology is selected at the outset.

At the moment the GB smart project is clearly retailer led, with a focus on smart meters and the customer experience

Energy efficiency must be a key consideration

Whichever communication network is selected for the UK, it must be the one that offers the best quality of service to consumers and business, supports a roadmap to future smart grid services, is secure and cost efficient to roll-out.


Electrical Review March 2011



Bussmann's IEC SPD with easyID status verification

Solar so good - the new PV SPD features SCI technology

Right: Shift work surge protection is vital for productivity

It is not only direct lightning strikes that can induce damaging overvoltages in to internal power grids

IN A WORLD seemingly obsessed by risk assessment and analysis, it is ironic the topic of surge or overvoltage protection seems to be underplayed and, at times, misunderstood. Indeed it is only now surge protection as an issue is likely to be included in amendments to the 17th edition of the Wiring Regulations due for publication in July of this year. Yet the need for such protection is largely self-evident as industry and commerce relies more and more on devices that are hugely sensitive to voltage surges and spikes. Theres even a case to look more closely at the residential market, since by our estimations 99% of homes in the UK have no form of primary device installed to counteract the damaging effects of both naturally occurring ie. lightning strikes and mechanically-induced ie. load switching surges. In addition the growth of alternative energy systems such as photovoltaics (PV) and wind turbines, both of which are prime targets for events such as lightning strikes and the subsequent energy flow downstream, means surge protection should figure much higher up the agenda in system design and protection than is currently the case. It is worth remembering it is not only direct lightning strikes that can induce damaging overvoltages into internal power grids; indirect strikes too, such as on an overhead line system, are capable of inflicting damaging surges. Even within the confines of a factory or commercial office block, events such as load switching ie. motors, fluorescent lighting etc and earth faults, short circuits can cause transient overvoltages, though normally of a lower magnitude. Given the variety and probability of overvoltage occurrences it would seem prudent to adopt surge protection measures that provide a safe and easy path for overvoltage and currents to flow to earth / ground from lightning strikes and other surges.

Obviously coordinating the types of surge protection devices employed is key to combating the damaging and disruptive effects of overvoltages. Typically this involves the following classifications of device; Type 1: these devices are capable of discharging a very high lightning current, into the power distribution system. They are installed in the main electrical switchboard when the building is equipped with a lightning protection system. Type 2: these are surge protection devices designed to discharge the currents generated by indirect lightning strikes and causing induced or conducted overvoltages on the power distribution network. They are installed in the main distribution switchboard. Type 3: these are surge protection devices installed as a supplement to Type 2 devices and are designed to reduce the overvoltage at the terminals of sensitive equipment. Their current discharge capacity is very limited. As a consequence they should not be used alone. Cooper Bussmanns new range of Type 1 and 2 devices initially offers system installers and users the choice of SPDs for PV and IEC installations. As previously mentioned the growth of PV systems has brought its own particular challenges to surge protection, in answer to which the company has launched a device specifically for protecting equipment in these circumstances.


Electrical Review March 2011

Bolt from the blue - lightning causes damaging surges


The PV SPD features a fault-resistant Y circuit consisting of three protective varistor circuits and a combined disconnection and short circuit interruption (SCI) mechanism integrated in a single package. The SPD, with its unique SCI, gives safe and reliable protection from overvoltages and overcurrents without offering a fire risk to the system. Even with voltages as high as 1200V dc, the arc, which will occur in the SPD on activation, is extinguished quickly and safely. A specially developed fuse is integrated into the short circuit path to ensure safe electrical isolation on operation of the SPD. This allows safe replacement of the module without external damaging arc formation. This design combines surge protection, fire protection and protection of personnel all in one package and is the only true UL 1449 3rd edition recognised SPD for photovoltaic protection on the market. The IEC range offers both type 1 and 2 devices. It is a range that features high surge discharge capacity due to the heavy-duty zinc oxide varistor and spark gap technology. Whatever combination of devices is chosen to provide the optimum defence for equipment, there are still other considerations to bear in mind. One of these is that any device has a finite life ie. every time it operates its useful life degrades. The greater the transient hit, the greater the degradation. For this reason its important to have some kind of visual indicator as to the status of the device. The easyIDTM visual indicator comprises a small

window that shows green if the device is fully operational or red if the device has operated and therefore needs replacing. Status monitoring has been further enhanced by the inclusion of optional remote contact signalling. Other advancements made by the company for its SPD range include the adoption of a colour coding system according to the application for which the product is destined, allowing for easy initial specification and accurate replacement of devices upon operation. Hence the initial applications PV, and IEC are correspondingly coded yellow and red respectively, while later releases for the wind, telecoms and UL markets are correspondingly coded white, blue and black respectively. Both the PV and IEC ranges feature DIN-rail mounting for ease of installation and special rejection features on both base and pluggable module to ensure that inadvertent use of the wrong ratings is avoided. Each module can be removed quite simply by pressing the plug release button yet when installed neither shock, nor vibration, nor the enormous forces of the discharge affect the safe connection to the base. With the initial launch of these two ranges and with the subsequent SPD products to come, Cooper Bussmann is leveraging its expertise in overcurrent protection to encompass overvoltage protection, effectively bringing a one stop shop for specifiers and installers looking for proven solutions.



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Designing system enclosures to SAVE ENERGY

Air to air heat exchangers THE USE OF POWER saving server systems, using classic technologies such as APM (Advanced Power Management) and ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface), has now become an industry standard. There has also been a great deal of progress made in regards to the energy efficiency of CPUs within modern systems, in some cases saving up to 90%. However, the methods and systems that ensure data centre infrastructures save power are far more interesting than the above-mentioned technologies. Uninterruptible power supplies and climate control systems play a central role in green IT as, alongside the servers, the UPS and cooling systems consume the most energy. Progress made in semiconductor technology means there are nowadays no problems in building UPS systems without a transformer. A DC booster is used for the transformer-less technology which is a DC/DC converter that converts the voltage behind the rectifier to a significantly higher direct voltage. This increased direct voltage then allows the inverter to create a higher alternating voltage without needing a downstream transformer. Transformer-less technology provides several advantages. Firstly, UPS systems without transformers can be built with very compact dimensions. Secondly, the transformer is not exactly a lightweight which means

systems without one are significantly lighter than conventional systems with one. Furthermore, the noise level of a UPS system without a transformer is significantly less than a comparable system with one. The efficiency over the complete load range is better for the transformer-less technology than for UPS systems with transformer. Powerful UPS systems, such as the PMC (Power Modular Concept) from Rittal, can provide efficiency up to 95 % at under full load and up to 94% under partial load or with non-linear loads, CO2 emissions can also reduced by around 20%. Battery management systems should also be considered to monitor all the relevant data such as battery voltage, internal resistance, discharge curve and temperature. This data can then be evaluated and used to control the charging process which can increase the lifetime of the battery by up to 30%. System integrators and engineers should increasingly think about the enclosure and approaches to thermal management foremost in the design process. This used to be something of an afterthought, which can lead to a poor and ineffective system cooling solution, creating the problem of excessive energy costs for the end user as well as expensive down time, due to premature component failure. So much of todays selection criteria for an optimal enclosure solution centres on thermal performance. Thermal performance, more than any other single element of the design, will form the base line for the design of any enclosure. Depending on the application, size, and external ambient and internal heat load can each have an impact on the design used to solve the system cooling. As equipment is becoming smaller and requires dissipation of larger heat loads, a larger portion of the design effort should be dedicated to optimising the thermal efficiency of the system. Fan and filter units are still ideal for dissipating heat loads cost effectively. The pre-requisite is the ambient air must be relatively clean and with a temperature below the

desired enclosure internal temperature. Products are also now available with EMC shielding and IP54 protection category as standard and by utilising fine filter mats and hose-proof hoods higher IP ratings can also be achieved. However, in many situations, this method of cooling is not ideal, especially in environments with higher ambient temperatures or where dust or oil particles may be present. Air-air heat exchangers use the ambient air to cool the air within the enclosure interior. Based on the counter flow principle, the completely separate airflows are routed through the heat exchanger by powerful fans; separating the internal and external air circuits prevents the ingress of dust into the enclosure. Air-air heat exchangers are best suited where the ambient air temperature is below the required enclosure internal temperature. Cooling units maintain the enclosure internal temperature at a constant particular level which is often below the ambient room temperature. Two separate circuits

A Rittal air-air heat exchanger

Air-air heat exchangers use the ambient air to cool the air within the enclosure interior

siting for a vast range of kW cooling capacity. Direct cooling packages are best for effectively cooling power electronic components. Heat loads are cleverly dissipated from the enclosure or housing using cold pate technology without compromising the high enclosure protection. Devices such as inverters are physically attached to a cooling plate which is fed by cold water from a recooling unit. This method of cooling is not only quiet, but also a thousand times more efficient than heat dissipation via air. Liquid cooling packages (LCP), cater for extremely high heat loads typically found in IT or server racks. Liquid cooling, using water as the medium to transfer energy can offer the solution to localised cooling due to its close proximity to the racks. Manufacturer Rittals LCP is fitted as an extension to the rack or, in some cases, inside the rack itself so cooling takes place where the heat actually rises in the server rack itself. LCP needs to be fed with a constant flow of water at a specific temperature to feed the air-water heat exchangers normally an external IT fluid chiller. However, significant energy savings can be made if free cooling is used. A free cooling unit (FCU) uses the outside ambient air to cool the heated water by means of built in fans and delivery pumps which are integrated into the cooling unit. Free cooling cannot be used in a unrestricted way in every region and only functions when the external air temperature is at least 3k below the allowed inlet temperature of the cold water system (so is ideal for anywhere within the northern hemisphere). Depending on geographical location, up to 50% of the water can be cooled by free cooling, again, offering significant energy savings. Today the data centre is not only being scrutinised for up time but is also importantly targeted on its environmental impact. For years silicon chips just burned energy to ensure that the data rates were maximised, now, as a result, the carbon footprint is a significant factor in any data centre design. We know the carbon footprint looks at the effect of the generation of CO2 into the environment but the more CO2 we generate the more the planet needs to absorb, and to maintain that balance is essential. Hot aisle cold aisle systems are a common method of delivering cold air to the servers within a data centre. Using a computer room air conditioning system, generally abbreviated to CRAC, the cold air is pushed under the floor. Using vented tiles, statically positioned in front of the server enclosures, allows cold air to escape and then pulled into the server inlet. In essence a CRAC system can be broken down into three elements, an air to water heat exchanger, a fan and a chiller to provide the cold water. The hot air within a data centre is drawn through the heat exchanger by the fan and then the cold air is dispersed under the floor. Therefore, when looking at energy efficiency, there is a need to look at these elements in detail. Software calculation programmes, such as Rittal Therm, for the climate control of enclosures, have been developed to eliminate the laborious calculation of climate control requirements. An easy to use interface leads the user to the appropriate and correctly dimensioned cooling solution Whether your requirement is for a new build or upgrade you can tune the energy savings to not only meet your business needs, but also provide a future proofed, energy efficient system. Going green is not a fad; it is good engineering.

A Rittal UPS

Air-water heat exchangers are a relatively low maintenance option to dissipate high heat loads

prevent the ingress of dust from penetrating the enclosure. This option is normally available as a wall or roof mounted option and can be individually tailored to suit each particular application. Air-water heat exchangers are a relatively low maintenance option to effectively dissipate high heat loads. By using the spatial separation of the heat exchanger and the re-cooling system, the room housing the enclosure is not burdened with the waste heat. In all areas with extreme ambient conditions, enclosure and climate control components are subject to special requirements but for application areas with high ambient temperatures up to 70C and extreme dust contamination this technology offers an effective solution. Recooling systems ensure centralised, efficient cooling using a cooling medium (generally water), to dissipate particularly high heat loads. These units can serve several pieces of equipment simultaneously such as the air-air heat exchangers. If the equipment has different requirements in terms of inlet temperatures or flow rates, multi-circuit systems can be tailored to the respective needs. Units can be provided for either internal or external


Electrical Review March 2011


Computing POWER
ULTIMATELY, SIMULATION software has to answer questions like, If I make the device smaller, can I still get the performance I need? Performance may mean keeping the electric stress levels within a specified range, maximising a force, or keeping the temperature below or above a certain value. Thus the designer wants to conveniently change dimensions, materials, or other properties to find an optimal solution. For many problems, the limiting factor is still computational speed. In the past the major gains in computational speed were achieved by increasing the clock speed of the CPU. These gains have now been maximized for the current technology. Of course this may change with the advent of a new technology, but fundamentally the speed of any serial computation is limited. Thus the focus of computing for computationally intensive calculations has changed. Unlike serial computing, the limiting factor for parallel processing is the physical number of CPUs and their associated memory that can be linked together. From a programming perspective, however, the simplicity of serial programming is lost when parallel computations are involved. In fact, for some tasks, parallelising has no benefit as the current computations are dependent on previous computation. For most practical simulation software applications, the multicore processors available today can often scale up the speed of computations radically. Depending on the method used to do the simulations, the solution time can be reduced close to linearly with the number of cores being used. When simulating electric and magnetic field using integral equation methods such as the boundary element method, it can be demonstrated that the algorithms are inherently parallelisable. This assumes modern day programming tools are used with extreme care taken for parallel data management. Other simulation methods such as the popular finite element method can be parallelised as well. Unlike the boundary element method, however, the method does not lend itself easily to parallel computations. A couple of final points should be made regarding computing power. Many problems can be solved using two-dimensional or rotationally symmetric models. For many of these problems, solutions can be attained in reasonable times with simple serial machines with 4Gb of memory. Parallel computations for these problems are

still a plus of course. This is more true for transient problems where we have now added the time domain. For full three-dimensional models, computation time can still be the major bottleneck. Thus, parallel computations have become a necessity in order to increase the complexity of the models as well as to increase the number of models to be solved for a given optimisation. At the time of writing this article, a personal computer with sixteen processors and 96Gb of memory can be (almost) routinely purchased. For many 3D problems this is certainly adequate, however far greater computing power is required for interdependent coupled programs cluster computing, using thousands of processors will likely be the next wave.

Electric stress calculations using the Boundary Element Method

Integration with CAD

In the first section of this article, we briefly discussed the computational power and how it relates to solution times and ultimately to realistic simulations. This section looks at the part of simulations which is more difficult to quantify, but certainly as important. That is, the tools available to get realistic models into the computer. Normally the most challenging part of this is getting the geometry of the problem into the program. The other



physical properties, materials, boundary conditions, and sources are relatively easy-to-handle once the geometry has been properly defined. For two-dimensional (or rotationally symmetric) problems, either creating the geometry from a drawing or getting it from a CAD program is relatively simple. The advanced finite and boundary element software have sophisticated tools to repair bad 2D geometry with relative ease. So we will keep the discussion to full 3D solid models. As mentioned, handling other considerations is straightforward once the geometry is properly defined. So the key question is what constitutes a properly defined geometry. For finite and boundary elements, this means a geometry that can be meshed or, in other words, a geometry that can be used to create a finite or boundary element mesh. The difficulty with CAD drawings is they may have to serve different purposes which require different degrees of precision and possibly different topology. Most CAD drawings are created for the sole purpose of being able to visualise the parts and subsequently the assemblies that finally make the full product. Thus, as long as the geometry looks visually correct, then the drawing has served its purpose. Even for producing a bill of goods or producing some costing based on these models they are adequate. In almost all cases, these models lack the precision or topology required for a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis. To do a finite element or boundary element analysis to calculate the electric or thermal fields, the geometry of the model and the topology have to be defined precisely. One of these requirements is each volume has to be defined by a set of surfaces that meet up or join together with no spacing or overlapping. This condition is practically referred to as water tight volumes of geometry. As the name suggests, the surfaces would all meet together with enough accuracy that if the volume was filled with water, none would leak out. Creating volumes with these stringent requirements requires the CAD operator to be aware of this in the first place as well as having the skills to produce volumes meeting these strict conditions. Producing these water tight geometries may simply not be worth the effort unless a CAE solution is required in the first place. And, even if a company is intending to do electric or thermal simulations the resources may not be available to initially create these models properly. Another major problem with CAD drawings is the topological demands required for CAE analysis are different from other requirements. This is simply illustrated by the example of two boxes. Assume we place a small box on top of a large box. In this case the small box shares a common area with the large box. This common area must be identified in the CAD model for a finite element or boundary element mesh to be generated directly from the CAD model. As this requirement is only needed for the CAD model, this is rarely done. Thus some major obstacles have to be resolved in order to go from CAD drawings to meshes suitable for electrical and thermal field simulation. Assuming the problems exist in the CAD drawing or the drawings containing dirty geometry, two approaches can generally be used to resolve the problem. The first approach is to try to heal the original geometry such that it can be directly meshed. The second is to generate an approximate mesh which fits the original dirty geometry and then refine it until specified tolerances are not met. Like most cases, both approaches have their merits and drawbacks. And depending on the problem at hand, one may be better than the other. What is certain is designers will continue to press for more seamless integration between solid modelers and simulation tools.

Transient solution
The previous section dealt with getting the geometry of the problem in. In this section we will consider what is involved to get the time dimension into the simulation. In general, if we had infinitely fast computers we would likely model most problems in four dimensions (time plus x, y, z special dimensions) as it would represent the real world we live in. Of course human time would be wasted if no advantage was found to modeling all four dimensions. Even with todays computers, modeling 3D geometry problems and adding in the time dimension can result in impractical solution times. However, solving 2D geometry problems and adding in the time dimension is quite practical for most problems provided parallel algorithms are used to solve the spatial part of the solution. Obviously we can do little in terms of parallelising the time dimension as time marching requires knowing the nth solution before obtaining the (n + 1)th solution. One very effective way of dealing with the time dimension is to get equivalent electrical or thermal models of the device (electrical resistance, capacitance, conductance, inductance, and the equivalent thermal properties) and use these in a system of circuit equations. Thus we completely remove the spatial dimensions from the problem and represent the geometry as lumped elements. We then use an ordinary differential equation solver to get how the device responds in time. If we have electrical components only we end up with a circuit simulator. If we add in thermal, mechanical, vibration, CFD, and thermal lumped parameters we require a system simulator. Sources are typically voltage and current for the electrical part of the simulation and temperature and heat for the thermal. The advantage of system simulator is obviously the speed at which very large intertwined systems can be solved. Obviously, reducing the real world problem from four dimensions to one will enable this. In practice, the lumped circuit models can often be determined form a static FE/BE (finite element/boundary element) analysis and these lumped parameters imported into the systems simulator. If possible, this is normally the best approach in terms of computer efficiency. For many real world applications, such as eddy current problems, the full transient solution is required. Most thermal applications require the spatial dimensions as

Some major obstacles have to be resolved in order to go from CAD drawings to meshes suitable for electrical and thermal field simulation


Electrical Review March 2011


the heating and cooling of parts over time is quite positional dependent. The key to solving time dependent problems is choosing a proper time step or having software which adapts the time step automatically. Choosing too large of a time step will produce unacceptable error. Reducing the time step to unnecessary small sizes can increase computer solution times significantly. Although not immediately obvious, having too coarse a spatial mesh will produce unmeaningful results as well.

Coupled electromagnetic and thermal analysis

Except for the case of superconductivity whenever current is flowing, losses occur. In addition, there are always additional losses from time varying fields such as dielectric and hystenysis losses. In most cases, these losses are unwanted and reduce the efficiency of the device. In addition, the unwanted heating may severely limit the operation of the device and the location that it can be placed. There are some special applications such as induction hardening and heat treating where the heating effect is desirable. In both cases, however, being able to model the heating source and subsequently the temperature profile is essential if heating or cooling effects need to be considered in the design process. For most high voltage applications the primary heat sources are the current squared losses in the wires (conductor losses) and induced eddy current and hysteris losses in the steel in or surrounding electrical equipment such as a transformer. Depending on the frequency and size and shape of the electrical conductors the losses may be strongly dependent on skin and proximity effects. These can be accounted for in the electrical simulation but their effects can be computationally expensive. To solve these coupled problems requires the designer to be familiar with both electromagnetic fields as well as thermal fields. If the designer decides that during a coupled thermalelectromagnetic analysis is required, the next step is to determine the level of coupling needed. For most problems, the first approximation is the electromagnetic simulation is independent of the thermal analysis. Theoretically, this is never the case as the electrical conductivity, permeability, and hysteris effects are functions of temperature. For most problems operating in moderate temperature ranged (-20C to 90C), these effects can be ignored, and, as importantly, the data of such things as nonlinear permeability as a function of temperature may not be practically available. So the first order approximation is to solve the electromagnetic (EM) problem to calculate the losses or heat sources for the thermal analysis. The thermal problem is then solved to acquire the temperature distribution throughout the device. The key thing from the designers point of view is the link between the two analyses should be seamless. If not, the human error will certainly creep into the simulation process. The next level of simulation would be to feed back the thermal results to the EM simulation to update the material properties. This process would then continue until a steady state was reached. If the problem was a

general transient, then a self-consistent solution would have to be attained at each time step. As a last note, in general, the time constants between a transient thermal analysis and a transient EM analysis can be radically different. Thus very specialised techniques are required to deal with this problem.

Electric field near human on high voltage pole

Rarely are simulation tools used to determine the performance of one specific design. The role of simulation software is usually twofold. First of all, the designer can try out radically new designs without the possible prohibitive costs of actually making the design. Secondly, once the draft model has been decided upon, the parameters in the design can be changed to optimise its performance. This may include dimensional changes, different materials, number of turns in a winding, or increasing the heat transfer coefficient by adding a larger fan. Whatever the parameter is, it has to be changed over a specified range to determine the best desired benefit. Whether optimisation algorithms are used, or simply many parametric steps are used, time per simulation usually becomes the overriding limitation in full 3D. For many 2D problems this speed limitation has been overcome. For EM simulation having both a boundary element solver and finite element solver becomes crucial as one method may be radically faster than another for a specified problem. Finite elements are sufficient for most thermal analysis. In conclusion, recent advances in computer performance and simulation technology are pushing the designers simulation envelope.


Greenwood Airvac has launched the Unity CV2GIP dMEV fan, in line with GIP (Guaranteed Installed Performance), now a crucial part of the Building Regulations 2010. Unity CV2GIP has been intelligently designed with speed and simplicity in mind. With fuss-free installation, Unity CV2GIP has over eight patents and registered designs, including a Twist-Lock front facia which simply turns for removal. On the inside, a hinge mechanism allows easy wiring access, with screws remaining within the casing to avoid misplacement both especially valuable for ceiling applications. Unity CV2GIP also benefits from Greenwood CommissionSMART technology, one of six new SMARTer design features, new sensors or controls now included on Greenwood products. Specifically designed to assist in the delivery of GIP (Guaranteed Installed Performance), Greenwood CommissionSMART technology results in an innovative touchpad located at the front of the fan for fast and accurate commissioning. Prysmian Cables & Systems has won the contract to supply more than 1m of electrical cables into the Shard at London Bridge. The Shard, which will be the tallest building in Western Europe when completed in 2012, will be fitted with Prysmian Fire Performance FP600S cable, Afumex low smoke zero halogen cables and medium voltage cables with their installation due to begin in 2011. Paul Connolly, Shard MEP project manager for Mace, said: We have appointed Prysmian as their cables are specified products that come with BASEC and LPCB approvals. We also wanted all the electrical cables to come from one manufacturer to give consistency and one that could offer more than just cables, one that could offer components such as glands, cleats and advise on best practice.


Seaward has upgraded its specialist portable appliance testing (PAT) data management program for use with large corporate databases and health and safety systems. Compatible with all makes of PAT tester the PATGuard Elite SQL is designed for those using large advanced database formats such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. Intended for organisations and service companies that carry out electrical safety testing of appliances on a regular basis, the new extensive PATGuard Elite SQL program accommodates everything from downloading test results to test records and report and certificate printing to e-mail alerts for planning re-tests. The latest version 2.2 of the software enables much larger PAT results systems to be set up and enables test records to be easily incorporated in existing company SQL databases.

Prysmian Cables & Systems 023 8029 5029 A TOUCH OF COOL FOR IN-GROUND LIGHTING
Lighting standard EN 60598-2-13, which specifies surface temperature limits for in-ground luminaires, provided the catalyst for Thorn to revamp its well-established walk-over and drive-over ranges, E/Fact and Mica, to protect people and vehicles respectively. The new products conceal a variety of sources, including cool-to-thetouch LEDs while additional RGB versions create colour-change effects through DMX control. Unobtrusive in situ, the ranges come in three sizes and four slim depths - intended for the illumination of building facades, sculptures and foliage as well as route guidance. Internal adjustments and asymmetric optics offer offset lighting direction, and a wide choice of frosted glasses, domes, windows and attachments screens the light source.

Seaward Electronic 0191 586 3511

The new Yokogawa CA450 process multimeter is an on-site measuring instrument that not only offers the functionality of a digital multimeter for basic measurements such as voltage, current, and resistance, but can also act as a calibrator for electrical and process measurements. With specialised functions for repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting of plant equipment, the CA450 is a single-unit, on-site measuring solution that reduces the engineering load and improves plant efficiency by accomplishing tasks that have traditionally required two on-site measuring instruments. The CA450 is a true RMS digital multimeter with a basic measurement and generator accuracy of 0.05% and dedicated sensor modes for direct inputs from sensors such as AC/DC clamp probes. In addition, it incorporates a number of process-related features including loop check and 4-20 mA output generation and measurement functions.


Seaward has introduced a new adaptor to extend the range of electrical safety tests that can be carried out on 3-phase equipment. In many cases this type of industrial equipment is fitted with electronic control circuitry which makes insulation testing inappropriate. In such cases the insulation should be assessed by measurement of the protective conductor current. The new Seaward TPA test adaptor makes this possible and allows specialist factory, industrial and workshop equipment to be included as part of in-service inspection and testing protocols as required by the IEE Code of Practice. The unit is available with 16A or IEC 60309/ BS4343 compatible plugs and sockets. The TPA has been developed for use with the new Seaward PrimeTest 250 PAT and extends range of measurements that can be performed on 3-phase equipment using a lightweight and highly portable handheld tester.

Seaward 0191 586 3511

Yokogawa +31 (0) 88 464 1811

If you are looking for an intelligent access control system then look no further than the enhanced Fortessa PC Based Access Control range by AVS a solution that will give you control over who has access to your building from one central, controlling computer. With the Fortessa system, you can control whos allowed into the building, at what time and into what areas on up to 16 doors for thousands of users. A computer can keep a record of all authorised access and can program differing levels of access to individuals providing full control of the system from your desk. This makes set-up of different permissions for different groups of people quick and straightforward. The new panel mount reader option allows for integration of the system with traditional Fortessa door entry panels..


Carlo Gavazzi is introducing three new ranges of soft-starters designed to optimise energy consumption in industrial applications. The RSQK, RSXK and RSDR series provide soft-starting capability for three-phase motors up to 1050kW, with high-end models offering intelligent plugand-play setup to ensure optimal starting profiles. Automatic features such as auto end start/stop, soft stop smoothing auto pedestal are built into the RSQK and RSXK soft-starters. They continually adjust their settings to optimise operation, saving time and money in maintenance as well as commissioning. RSQK series starters are rated for motor currents from 23 to 1800A at operating voltages 230 -460/400-575/500-690 VAC, whilst the RSXK is rated 5-1673A, 230-690VAC. For smaller motors, the new RSDR series offers power ratings up to 280kW. Maximum current ratings range from 55 to 500A. As well as over current and short-circuit protection, the RSDR has internal bypassing to reduce heat dissipation in tight control panels..


Microwave detectors from CP Electronics have been installed at the headquarters of Damart based in an old mill in Bingley, West Yorkshire. Providing accurate and easy to adjust lighting control, the detectors are part of the new Carbon Catcher energy saving lighting scheme installed for Damart by Leeds based lighting and electrical contractors RCE Services UK. RCEs Carbon Catcher scheme provided Damart with an in-depth lighting survey which showed a detailed calculation of the current lighting running costs and a suggested T5 lighting scheme using the latest technology which would be more energy efficient. By controlling the new T5 luminaires with CPs detectors, which offer presence detection and daylight dimming, Damart could significantly reduce day-to-day running costs.

CP Electronics 0333 9000671

Carlo Gavazzi UK 01252 339600


With the latest changes to Part L1 Building Regulations coming into force in October 2010 requiring a minimum of 75% of light fittings in new dwellings must be low energy - installers are increasingly looking to manufacturers and suppliers for products that will help them meet these new regulations. Click Scolmores latest product development brings together a 6W LED Reflector lamp from its new Energetic range, with its award-winning FlameGuard downlighter, to produce lighting solutions that are not just low energy - and Part L compliant - but offer the additional benefit of built-in protection against fire and noise pollution. The companys exclusive partnership with Energetic, the world-leading low energy lighting manufacturer - means that they are able to offer the most comprehensive range of energy efficient lamps available in the UK from any one supplier. To protect your investment Emitex highly recommends adding an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to your new IT equipment with a reliable battery backup. This is essential to any business or enterprise with a need to remain productive. Line Interactive UPS systems have a transfer time (typically 5-10ms) between the electrical supply cutting out and the battery system stepping in supporting the load. This break can cause long lasting damage to highly expensive equipment. Due to this Emitex recommends the use of an online double conversion UPS as there is no break in supply, keeping your IT equipment safe from power loss, spikes and surges. Emitex offer a range of line interactive and on-line double conversion UPS systems in both single and three phase, rack mountable or stand alone ranging from 500VA to 800kVA with various run times to cover customer requirements.


Engex has developed rapidly over the past few years and continue to strive to offer the contractor innovative products. From the range of specially designed hand tools providing the best in comfort and durability to the collection of ladders and access equipment for light or professional use, Engex guarantees to offer quality and value-for-money to their customers. Engex handtools including pliers, cutters and screwdrivers have been specifically designed to provide the best in comfort and strength with the contractor in mind. The 1000 VDE range have been independently tested to exceed current 10,000 Volt AC testing standards. The handles have built-in two compound technology that provides maximum user comfort whilst minimising fatigue when being used repeatedly and also offering better grip and increased torque levels on extreme applications.

Scolmore 01827 63454

Engex 01952 272381

Harting Ha-VIS preLink(R) is a new installation concept for data network cabling based on the ISO/IEC 11801 standard. This new technology simplifies cabling, saves installation time and enables extensions and conversions without incurring significant interruptions in ongoing operations. Harting Ha-VIS preLink(R) is designed for use with a wide range of mating faces such as RJ45 to IP 20, RJ45 PushPull according to IP 65/67 or M12, thereby opening up a wealth of opportunities and potential for users. The Harting Ha-VIS preLink(R) concept includes components for 10 Gigabit Ethernet transmission rates. The new technology is a key element in Harting's Automation IT concept, designed to provide a seamless Ethernet-based communications platform for integrating office IT systems with industrial automation to optimise workflow efficiency in the manufacturing environment..


To assist customers and help simplify the understanding of ATEX (European Directive relating to Hazardous Area Installations) Hazardous Area Equipment has launched a new A6, full-colour application guide. The guide has been produced to provide an outline of the ATEX directives, examples of Hazardous Area industries, what a Hazardous Area is, Classification and how to determine a zone. The guide also highlights some examples of the more commonly used products; from Hazardous Glands through to Fluorescent lighting. A more extensive range is available from Hazardous Area Equipment.


To continue the success of the Heatstore Weatherproof Quartz Heater, Heatstore has redesigned an attractive, easy-to-install, unobtrusive unit. The HSQWPH1500N quartz halogen heater offers a warm heat from its specially tuned lamp. Ideal where a free-standing unit is impracticable, it is manufactured from aluminium and heat-resistant black thermoplastic and is suitable for either domestic or commercial use. Being IP55 rated the unit can be used in external applications, and an attractive stainless-steel finger guard aids safety. The HSQWPH1500N is clean, silent, emits no smells and is virtually maintenance free. The running costs are very low at around 22p per hour approximately 1/3rd of the total running costs of gas systems. When wall-mounted at a height of 2.5m, the HSQWPH1500N heats an area up to 12.3m, and up to 16.8m when mounted overhead.

Heatstore 0117 923 5375

Hazardous Area Equipment 01253 608 990

Part of Holophanes new Metro Capabilities range, Metrolux and Widerlite are bulkhead luminaires engineered specifically for use in underground rail tunnel systems and have been updated with the latest in lighting technology. Metrolux and Widerlite have a prismatic glass refractor that controls light output. Metrolux has a special safety mechanism that prevents the door from swinging open, a vital feature in tunnel applications. The rugged die cast aluminium front frame and body of both of these products provides the durability required for the harsh conditions in tunnels and other industrial applications. For quick and simple maintenance, the Metrolux stainless steel quick release door latches allow easy access to the lamp and control gear compartment.


New to the Lewden Palazolli extensive range of industrial plugs and sockets are two new splitters, Splitline and T-Line. Designed for use in arduous environments, the two new products are splashproof and have an IP44 rating and conform to IEC60309. Splitline has one power inlet and three power outlets and can be tied to rigging and piping for rapid installation. The lightweight and compact design of Splitline belies its robust construction. The T-Connector incorporates a re-wireable in-line TConnector in its black body moulding and is ideal for temporary hard wired cable connection for lighting and heating installations. Ideal for theatre, film and studio applications, T-Line has a robust construction but is still lightweight and compact, which provides savings in time, space and therefore cost.

Lewden Electrical Industries 0208 539 0237 CREATING THE RIGHT LIGHT
Riegens Lighting has supplied a selection of luminaires for the Principals Suite at Dundee College. To provide a bright and even uniform illumination in the reception and corridor areas, Riegens Concido recessed downlighters were chosen incorporating 2 x 42W compact fluorescent lamps. Designed to suite a number of applications, the Concido range has been engineered to offer the option of a wide range of decorative and technical attachments to suit each individual project. For Dundee College the downlighters incorporate a 4 in 1 glass cone within the luminaire to provide an individual and more aesthetically pleasing style. For the main Principals office, which contains a 'breakout' area for presentations and meetings, a mixture of Concido downlighters and Codos semi-recessed 600 x 600mm luminaires have been installed. Codos provides a direct/indirect light distribution and utilises a double parabolic louvre with a perforated dropped central unit.

Holophane Europe 01908 649292

Riegens 01376 333400

Alpha Micro Components, the independent franchised distributor of electronic components, has announced it has added the EKI-2000 and EKI-7000 series of industrial Ethernet switches from Advantech Co to its range of industrial communications (iCom) solutions. Advantechs portfolio of industrial communication products for PC-based automation are ideal for engineers working in the transportation, energy management and plant automation sectors and offers the markets most feature-rich, reliable and cost-effective solutions. Ideal for easily managing applications from a central office or local site, the Advantech EKI-7000 series is a portfolio of managed redundant industrial Ethernet switches which allows users to expand their industrial network quickly and cost-effectively. Its rugged industrial-grade design assures reliability and stability. In addition, Advantech has utilised its X-Ring technology within the EKI series which ensures the fastest recovery time (<10 ms), further increasing the reliability and speed of network infrastructures


For de-frost (and anti-freeze) applications with accurate temperature control, nothing competes commercially and technically with the Matsuo range of bimetal thermostats. Their twin-bimetal system creates a control that is capable of switching over 1 million cycles with minimal set-point drift. Matsuo thermostats can be readily incorporated into trace-heating systems and are available with accuracies as small as 1.5K with differentials down to 3K1K. Thus very accurate, long-term control can be guaranteed. They are sealed from the outside environment with an IP64-rated PBT housing. Calibrations from -10C to +110C are available and loads upto 3A/250VAC (0.8A/48VDC) can be switched. N/C, N/O and change-over (S.P.D.T.) contacts together with various termination options.

Alpha Micro Components 01256 851 770


LED technology comes of age with this innovative range of EvoLED fire rated LED downlights. These precision engineered IP65 fittings are fully Part B, C, E, L and P compliant for 30, 60 and 90 minute ceilings. Suitable for all decorative requirements, they include an integrated LED driver (with adjustable positioning) and a 92% efficient lens offering a wide 34 degrees spread of light. The 7.9W power consumption surpasses energy and efficacy requirements for part L building regs, and the 425 lumen output makes them brighter than a 50W GU10 dichroic lamp. A 90% energy saving in running costs means a fast return on investment. The EvoLED downlight is easily installed directly to the mains supply and features soft start operation. A mains dimmable version is also available. Cut-out diameter is 60 to 70mm, overall diameter is 90mm and height is 84mm. They are available with white, chrome or silver bezels. And can be retrofitted into locations where larger downlights were previously installed, with the use of an optional hole conversion plate for hole diameters up to 150mm.

ATC Semitec 01606 871680


Offering exact planning reliability EPLAN Pro Panel allows the definition of a virtual 3D prototype of the mounting layout independently of the electrical or fluid schematic. Mounting panels, housings or enclosures can be dimensioned optimally so that the costs are reduced. Consistent data for all the participating engineering disciplines ensure that the workflow towards the production is also efficient. Last but not least EPLAN Pro Panel provides added value to the complete engineering process. Designing on the basis of the EPLAN platform is supported fully in both electrical and fluid engineering. This applies to mounting panels that are planned with EPLAN Electric P8 as well as for hydraulics units designed with EPLAN Fluid. Attrition losses through data conversion between the disciplines are a thing of the past.

QVS Electrical Wholesale Ltd 01342-302244 NEW CONNECTOR BOX

HellermannTyton has announced the launch of a new connector box, the HTCB+, which it describes as being one of the best of its type on the UK market, having been developed following consultation with electricians and contractors. Designed to meet the latest 17th edition wiring regulations as well as being quick and easy to use, the HTCB+ also offers many benefits for electrical wholesalers. Made from thermo plastic (polypropylene) the enclosure can be used as a junction box for fixed wiring applications with HellermannTytons cable restraints, which are also supplied with the kit. It can also be used as an in-line connector for terminating solid/stranded cable to flexible cable. HTCB+ comes as a complete, neat package and key features include serrated edge cable grips situated on the outside of the box for ease of installation while at the same time meeting regulation requirements. A tapered pin allows for easy location of the connector strip within the housing.

EPLAN 01709 704100

Plugs that have not been used for a while can quickly turn plug and play into plug and pull. As the operator uses force to break the cold weld which forms between the pins and the contacts, the time clock begins to tick and the risk of damage increases. Simply changing to a different contact design can solve this. The spring-loaded butt-type contacts in Marechal Electric decontactor sockets meet head-on and feature selfcleaning silver-nickel tips which provide a low contact resistance in addition to a 10kA short circuit rating. A release latch quickly disconnects the plug into a parked position, allowing equipment to be disconnected under load and visibly isolated in complete safety.


Hellermann Tyton 01922 458151

Marechal Electric 0844 804 2066

Cudis will be showing the CPN slimline consumer unit as well as an extensive range of breakers for circuit protection on 10 March at Elex 2011 in Harrogate. Noted for its Tardis qualities, the slimline consumer unit has better internal access for easier wiring and a more compact and elegant case with a robust insulated metal buzz bar. Each model is now fitted with a 100A main switch and two RCDs of 80 or 63 Amps. Visitors to the Cudis stand M24 Hall One will have two chances to win prizes. In a daily card draw, one contractor will win a fully loaded consumer unit with their choice of circuit breakers. All cards will also go into a show draw and the lucky winner will receive a 17th Edition compliant multi-tester.

Having safe, easy and flexible access to mains power is important to Ian Scholes, associate pastor at Kings Church and Conference Centre in Bolton. Based in a refurbished former warehouse on the eastern outskirts of Bolton, Kings Church and Conference Centre has a large elevated stage from which the regular services are conducted. However, instead of installing a set number of fixed power outlets, into which multi-gang sockets and extension leads could then be fitted, Ian wanted flexible access to mains power and so simply asked a local electrician to install 12 metres of Mainline track along the back edge of the stage. Now, wherever mains power is needed on stage, an awardwinning Mainline power adaptor is simply inserted or repositioned along the appropriate section of track, and then twisted to temporarily fix it in place and make it live.


Danlers heater boost switch, for the control of electric heating loads, automatically turns the load off after a selected time period has elapsed. There are four different time settings to choose from (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 2 hours). Pressing the button selects each time lag choice in turn. The switch is manufactured by Danlers in the UK and is designed for use with immersion heaters, heated towel rails and other suitable electric heating loads. It is ideal for use in student accommodation blocks, hotels, military accommodation etc.


Danlers 01249 443377

Newey & Eyre has improved its cable joint offering by introducing a Newlec branded resin cable joint kit. The kit is designed to meet new standards and to make it simple for installers to form a secure connection when joining cables. It is essential for cable networks to supply electric power without breaking down, but if cables need to be joined together this can create a weak link. It is therefore important for any joints installed within a system to be strong and long-lasting, especially if the cable network is underground, where a failed joint would be difficult to find and repair. The new Newlec kit meets standards DIN VDE 0278-623:1997-01 and RoHS No 2002/95/EC and will enable installers to make strong, secure joins quickly and simply.

The CT Analyzer provides fast and comprehensive testing of current transformers for protection and metering applications. Released in September, the improved CT Analyzer now features additional software functions and new hardware accessories. As a new measurement function for the CT Analyzer, the RemAlyzer allows current transformers to be tested for residual magnetism. Residual magnetism may occur in current transformers due to very high currents or DC offsets during fault conditions. Core saturation effects caused by residual magnetism, may lead to the incorrect operation of protection relays. The new CT SB2 switch box for the automated testing of multi-ratio CTs is available as a stand-alone unit. This can be attached to the CT Analyzer thus eliminating the need for re-wiring. This provides simple, color-coded, sixchannel connection possibilities guaranteeing convenient wiring and avoiding time-consuming and error-prone reconnection. .

Omicron Electronics 01785 251000 WALL MOUNTED TRUE ON-LINE UPS
Powersolves WM Series of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) is designed for use in industrial and commercial applications where a wall mounted unit capable of withstanding the ingress of dust and moisture is required or recommended. WM Series units provide up to 1.5kVA of constant, reliable power from an input voltage of 115 or 230VAC and offer a range of selectable outputs from 100 to 240VAC. Powersolve has used an online double-conversion topology to provide a high integrity AC power source with zero transfer time to battery on mains failure conditions. The design also protects the load against noise and transients. Up to four battery strings can be incorporated giving 43 minutes hold up at 1.5kVA and over 2 hours at 600VA. 10 year life batteries are also available as an option. WM Series units incorporate many standard and optional features designed to make them easy to use and come ready for use straight out of the box.

Newey & Eyre 0845 123 6539

Powersolve 01635 521858

MK Electric is replacing its award-winning Masterseal range with a collection of enhanced IP-rated products called Masterseal Plus. Scientifically sealed and tested by MK well in excess of British Standards, new Masterseal Plus protects the electrical supply in the harshest of environments. As with its predecessor, Masterseal Plus is specifically developed for use in both outdoor and indoor environments, and where wiring devices and accessories would be at risk from penetration by dust or water. With an IP rating of IP66, Masterseal Plus is dust-tight to any ingress, offers complete protection against contact, and high pressure water jets directed against the enclosure from any direction wont have any harmful effects. Electrical wholesaler Newey & Eyre has launched its new 2011 Newlec catalogue which has been designed with both the user and the environment in mind. A tool for all tradesmen, Newey & Eyre describes the new catalogue as offering a clean, fresh and vibrant design and layout, making it easier to read, while also featuring hundreds of innovative new products to save time, money and energy. Among the new products available is the Newlec range of trunking for both lighting and cable applications, which offer time savings on installation while retaining backwards compatibility with existing Newlec systems. Also new is a range of energy efficiency lighting products including the latest T5 dimmers, occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting solutions to PIR bulkheads which meet the latest L1 and L2 building regulations.


MK Electric 01268 563000

A new range of lightweight carry cases and back packs for the easy and convenient transportation of medical device analysers and simulators from site-to-site are available from Rigel Medical. A sling-style, water repellent carry case is available for the Rigel 288 electrical safety analysers and the combination vital sign simulator UNI-SIM. It can be quickly configured to hold several items of test equipment and accessories such as a label/results printer and a barcode scanner. The new back pack-style Med-ePack can be configured to accommodate up to five items of electrical safety, vital signs simulator, ventilator test equipment to provide an easy-to-carry, lightweight and versatile test solutions package. Theres also space for a laptop and asset management software.

LINAKs iSwitch has been purposely designed and built to automate switchgear and is a complete turnkey solution. Advantages of the iSwitch began by listening to markets issues and their requirements and providing a solution, to name a few LINAK / iSwitch offers Easy to install Manually operated without removing the iSwitch LINAK offers a complete solution Cost advantages (reduced instillation times / reliable feedback state etc) To summarise we have created and developed a modern approach to Network Automation offering a fit for purpose range of equipment that enables transparency in terms of local manual operation. We offer a competent solution which has been adopted and formally approved with UK and European based DNOs.


A new version of the Rittal Power engineering software for the design and calculation of busbar systems and Motor Control Centres (MCCs) is now available. This new version allows the configuration and planning of busbar systems in TS 8 enclosures and at the same time create documentation and calculate heat loss for the project. It is also possible to combine Ri4Power in Form 1-4b and also use flat busbars for Form 1. The existing design and calculation of Form 4b MCCS remains unchanged. Comprehensive help functions lead the user through the programme and explain the necessary steps. The software offers quick and easy generation of quotations and bill of materials with improved assembly information. TS 8 enclosure combinations, with accessories, can be configured and users are able to add further Rittal products or other articles from a self-created article master at any time during field configuration. An installation disc with the new version will be mailed out to all registered users of previous versions. For new customers the new software can be purchased from Rittal.

Linak 0121 543 4996


Rittals modular climate control concept offers an easy way to add cooling to a Rittal enclosure or to upgrade an existing system. Individual climate control choices can be made, ready to use, without the need to make mounting cut outs, by simply replacing the door and choosing the appropriate climate control module in just a few steps. Features include standard RTT plus version with integral condensate evaporation and RiNano coating; simple fast mounting; service friendly (front rack mounting filter and removable cover) and quick delivery. Because of its modular design, for individual size choose either 1800 or 2000mm height doors in either 600, 800, or 1200mm wide (left or right hand mounting for the 1200mm version). For cooling power choose either a 1500W or 2000W module available in one of 3 different voltage options, 230v, 115v or 400v..

Rittal 01709 704000

Rittal 01709 704000

Power Quality Management Electrical Accessories

Energy Saving Products

Your one-stop shop for QUALITY ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS at wholesale prices!! We offer all our customers next day delivery anywhere in the UK, free delivery for orders over 50 and there is no minimum order quantity. Save your money today by visiting

Relays, timers, lighting control and energy saving products
Tel: 0844 2094361


Finder offers all the expertise and capability youll need to make the best choice. A leader in its field, Finder is a privately owned company with a history of continual reinvestment in its products and manufacturing technology: I Specialists in relay design and manufacture for over 55 years I Europes largest manufacturer of relays and relay sockets I Worldwide sales and distribution; with local support I Factories exclusively in Western Europe
FINDER plc Stone, Staffs. ST15 0SS Tel: 01785 818100 Fax: 01785 815500 Email:

100% dedicated to the electrical industry. Our consultants are industry trained from contracting, wholesaling, manufacturing and sales. WE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE TECHNICALITIES OF THE ROLES THE INDUSTRY HAS TO OFFER. FOR YOUR NEXT PERMANENT VACANCY, GIVE US A CALL AND SPEAK TO PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND YOUR INDUSTRY.

Alternatively contact David Marshall TMIET MIRP.

0845 0947201 07894 110336

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Control Systems Training


To Senior Authorised / Authorised Person level
Also Competent Person, EAW Regs, Generator Operation, Ship/Marine systems, Safety awareness, HV safety for Laser/ Microwave and AGL, Maintenance, etc


Tel or Fax: 01737 352755


Power Factor Correction

PFC Engineering Ltd

Station Road, Great Chesterford, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1NY

Total Power Quality Solutions

Power Factor Correction Design and Manufacture - LV / MV Power Factor Correction Maintenance and Installation Harmonic Analysis and Penetration Studies Harmonic Filtration Systems - LV / MV Design and Manufacture Voltage Disturbance and Flicker Control Complete Analytical Services Consultation and Advice

Contact us for expert advice on Tel: +44 (0) 1799 530728, Fax: +44 (0) 1799 530235 email:
Power Factor Correction Hazardous Area


Power Factor Correction PowerLogic TM Metering Systems Energy Meters Load Monitoring Power Quality Monitoring & Solutions Harmonic Surveys To G5/4 Harmonic Filters UPS & Surge Protection Thermal Imaging Surveys
Call for survey and quotation Tel: 01773 603110 Fax 01773 603112 Email: Website: VAR Services Ltd. 27 Main Road, Jacksdale, Nottingham, NG16 5JU

ATEX compliant solution providers

Test and measurement UPS

innovative test technology and comprehensive customer support

SERVICE & CALIBRATION Seaward provides a comprehensive calibration and repair service for a wide range of electrical and electronic equipment I UKAS accredited calibration I Mobile on-site service so equipment stays on your premises I Service and calibration for most brands of electrical/electronic equipment I Competitive pricing, repair warranty and guaranteed workmanship Tel: 0191 586 3511 Email: Website:

A.C. Voltage Stabilisers


Cables Accessories


Design and consultation services in all aspects of backup power system design. We supply a full range of fully integrated, innovative Complete Power Solutions L L L L L L L L Design and Consultation UPS & Standby Generating Systems & System Upgrades Battery Systems including Installation, Commissioning & Replacement Attenuation & Exhaust Systems Bulk Fuel Systems Control Systems Full Turnkey Solutions Containerised & Temporary UPS & Generator Systems

Try our FREE site survey to find out how we can help you select the right UPS and power protection systems for your applications. Full on-site commissioning and installation offer with 24-7 technical support. Remove the risk talk to Critical Power Specialists and protect your systems from power failures. UPS and generators from 300VA to 800 kVA Third Party UPS HealthChecks DC solutions including inverters Nationwide UK service network Tel: 0845 519 3638 Guaranteed 4 clock hour Email: support Replacement battery service

Services include: LV & MV Switchgear Cooling Systems Rack Systems Fire Protection DC Systems SCADA & Remote Monitoring Virtual Engineering (PEARL) Service, Maintenance and & Gas Support Measurement Site Surveys Building Construction & Fit-Out

E-TEC Power Management Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1252 744 800 Fax: +44 (0)1252 744 930

Established since 1902 Concordia Cables is a leading supplier of electrical cables with a highly regarded reputation for understanding and meeting customers cabling needs

Gas Measurement & Detection

Our portfolio includes T industrial cables, T special cables, T electronic cables and cable accessories

Our service includes T distribution to both UK and International customers. T optimum quality and service T on time delivery, realistic batch quantities T exactness of manufacturing tolerances expected as standard. Tel: 01282 833950 Fax: 01282 833955 Email: Web:

Specialists in gas measurement and detection Manufacturer of Rapidox gas analysers Oxygen sensing from 100% O2 to 10 e-23 PPM SF6 condition analysers for Gas Insulated Substations (GIS) I Specialists in gas measurement and detection I O2, CO, CO2, SO2 and dp (moisture) sampling I Manufacturer of Rapidox gas analysers instruments for laboratory, low-oxygen, I Oxygen sensing from 100% O2 to vacuum, 10 e-23 PPM oxygen-critical applications I SF6and condition analysers for Gas Insulated Substations (GIS) I O2, CO, CO2, SO2of and dpdetectors (moisture) for sampling instruments I Distributors gas safety, industrial, for laboratory, vacuum, low-oxygen, and oxygen-critical applications welding, diving and medical applications


I Distributors of gas detectors for safety, industrial, welding, diving and medical applications Phone: +44(0)1480 462142 Fax: +44(0)1480 466032 Phone: +44(0)1480 462142 Fax: +44(0)1480 466032


Power Systems Software

Rockwell Automation provides an extensive portfolio of products, including Low Voltage Control Equipment, Variable Speed Drives, Medium Voltage Drives, Programmable Controllers, SCADA and MES. With a focus on sustainability and life-time costs, we also provide a range of added-value services such as Asset Management, Condition Monitoring and On-Site Support. Coupled with this, Rockwell Automation has a system engineering capability combined with extensive domain experience of the manufacturing sector. In particular Rockwell Automation has dedicated resources assigned to Rail, Water and Energy industries within the UK market.
Tel: 0870 242 5004 Fax: 01908 261917 Email: Web:



THINGS ARENT what they used to be. In the main, this is quite a good thing. Scraping ice from the inside of windows in the morning before the res were lit, for example, is not what I recall with any romantic nostalgia. Neither for that matter was having to service the car practically every week just to keep it running, and nor was having to wear scarves not as a fashion accessory, but as a life preserving mask against the killer smog. But, and its a big but, young people still had a decent chance of a future of employment at all levels. It was simple really, the best grammar school kids went on to university then in to a profession. Those with lesser grades, on leaving the local grammar, worked in banks, ofces or entered into retail or commercial junior management training. Those who didnt make the grade at 11+ went to secondary modern schools where the best went on to gain apprenticeships in trades and the worst still attained jobs in shops and factories. Dont get me wrong, Im no fan of 11+ and still believe in the comprehensive state educational system. What has changed for the worst is the span of opportunities for young people. Unemployment gures for the 18-24 age group is rapidly closing in on the million mark. In the autumn of last year I had the privilege to chat with Professor Dylan Wiliam. This prominent authority on education (he starred in a BBC2 documentary series in the summer last year) highlighted the need for top notch education from the rst year at school. He also presented the ndings of a 30 year survey on attainment in various groups of children. The best educated children go on to contribute nancially to the country more than double the amount from the least well educated. It was fascinating, but also served to heighten the gap between education and employment. The number of jobs available in the UK for which no formal qualications are required has fallen by about 75%. In short, blue collar workers are a minority. The biggest growth has unsurprisingly come in what is loosely described as the communications industry, so no surprise there really. The question we face is how we accommodate the needs of all sectors of society within this work environment? Against this backdrop, we all know that there is a shortage in many areas of skilled and qualied electrical engineers. We also know that apprenticeships in the trade are like the proverbial rocking horse excreta. Hence, it is welcomed that the government has committed to creating 75,000 extra apprenticeships. My concern, given politicians abject lack of understanding of most things practical, is where these so called apprenticeships will be. A decent electrical apprenticeship takes four or ve years to complete. In an industry dominated by SMEs and small contractors, how many can afford to invest in the time and training? This is especially true if the perception is their newly useful and qualied trainees exit for the next highly paid job as soon as they grab their certicates. The incentives provided from government funds must be attractive enough to gain a widespread commitment from the industry. This is a sentiment echoed recently by Dianne Johnson, president of the Electrical Contractors Association. A nal factor in the mix is while industry has started to regard vocational qualications preferentially over university degrees and other academic diplomas, nobody told the schools that. I strongly suspect most schools continue to groom the brightest kids for university and frankly, Im not certain they really know what to do with the rest. This could explain why there are so many graduates among the 18-24 age group left wondering quite what to do with their BA (hons) in Egyptology or their BSc in Existential Philosophy. If jobs in our industry carried the kudos they deserve, maybe there would be a route from schools to our eld. Oh dear, Im getting back on another of my hobby horses about why I think of electrical engineering as a profession. But then Ive been blathering on about that since the days before policemen (and women) were recruited straight from kindergarten and when a labour saving device was a U-turn on policy by Harold Wilson!

John Houston can be contacted on 01797 364366 or by e-mail at