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VOLUME 39 NO. 08 • AUGUST 2019
SPECIAL FEATURE: TEST & MEASUREMENT
c o n n e c t o r s Company
SPECIAL FEATURE: TOOLS & WORKWEAR
SPECIAL FEATURE: SOFTWARE & APPS
SURGE PROTECTION EXPLAINED Hager Ltd, a leading supplier of solutions and services for electrical installations in residential, commercial and industrial buildings, explains what electrical contractors need to be aware of as it relates to surge protection devices. Surge protection has emerged as one of the key areas of change within the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. However, according to exclusive research conducted by Hager, there is an element of confusion within the industry when it comes to the assessment and installation responsibilities relating to surge protection devices within commercial and domestic projects. The new regulations set out the type of scenarios where surge protection should be fitted to prevent personal injury or damage to expensive and essential
equipment, such as computers, TVs and industrial control systems. On page 12, Paul Collins, Technical and Training Manager at Hager, highlights the findings of the poll. He also outlines the important information electrical contractors, system designers, business and homeowners need to be aware of to ensure their electrical installations are compliant going forward. In addition, he clarifies how Type 1 and Type 2 surge protection devices are now classified according to their functions.
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CONTENTS VOLUME 39 NO. 08 • AUGUST 2019
CONTENTS… Regulars 4 Editorial With a new Prime Minister in charge, the ECA looks at some of the key issues that need addressing.
6 Industry News A new energy initiative from Schneider, a TV appearance for M Tech, an ECA award for Aico, and more.
10 Cover Story Paul Collins of Hager explains how surge protection needs to be assessed in light of the 18th Edition regulations.
12 Contract News A Hilton hotel project for Unitrunk, new EV charging points for Kia, details on the Paradise Birmingham development, and more.
14 Training New NICEIC roadshow dates, an apprenticeship scheme from Kew Electrical, and more.
16 Key Issue ECA assesses the 18th Edition, one year on from its publication.
18 Project Focus Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Somerset has replaced its lighting with new LEDs from Goodlight.
22 Legislation Bureau Veritas reveals how framework in the 18th Edition is raising safety standards.
24 Safety Scott Lowder explains how unpredictable voltage transients can be catastrophic to AV devices.
20 In The Know Jeff Richardson looks at the range of benefits offered by Aurora’s latest downlight.
56 Company Showcase Sponsored content from around the sector.
28 Surge Protection Taylor Wimpey is fitting out its new homes with surge protection devices from Hager.
30 Switchgear Gary Parker explores the considerations required when selecting and specifying low voltage switchgear.
26 Safety Statistics compiled by the JIB reveal a decline in electrical contracting accidents.
Test & Measurement Wade of Megger provides a 32 Peter full overview of RCDs, explaining what they do and how they should be tested.
Details on how you can cut down RCD tripping with the Ethos 3650.
Darren Bakewell of Seaward Electronics sheds light on portable appliance testing.
Beaver of Metrel looks at the 39 Brendan best practices relating to EV charge point installations. Sweetman of Di-log discusses 42 David the importance of safe isolation, lockout and tagout.
Tools & Workwear
Software & Apps
Peter Dumigan of Hultafors Group 45 UK explains how clothing from
explores the new mobile 50 simPRO solutions making waves, and
Snickers Workwear is keeping electrical contractors cool in the summer heat. Standards of safe isolation vary 48 greatly, but with the right tools, you can eliminate the risks. Malcolm Duncan of Super Rod explains.
explains how they are changing the way engineers go about their work. Miller of Schneider Electric 52 Sean looks at the evolution of connectivity, and assesses what it means for electrical contractors. Parry of Scolmore Group 54 Marie explains how apps are making life easier for contractors and installers.
August 2019 | 3
ENERGY FIRMLY ON THE AGENDA
elcome to the August edition of ECN. Days before going to press with this month’s issue, Boris Johnson was appointed Prime Minister and a new Government formed – and it didn’t take long for the electrotechnical sector to react. The ECA, in particular, was quick to respond to the news, with CEO Steve Bratt arguing that if the Government is to deliver a range of key infrastructure projects – such as high-speed rail, major housing developments and renewable power generation – then it needs to promote a competitive market based on quality and innovation. He added that unfair, unsustainable practices such as false self-employment, cash retentions and reliance on unqualified, incompetent labour need tackling as a priority. Bratt also underlined the importance of making buildings energy efficient, and noted that the Government will need to put in place a clear plan to deliver more energy efficient buildings if
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In addition to resolving the Brexit conundrum, the new Government also needs to enhance the UK’s infrastructure prospects
the ‘net zero’ carbon emissions target is to be met by 2050 (as planned). Energy was also on the agenda at the recent Schneider Electric press event I attended at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in early July. Formally launching its new ‘Rethink Energy’ initiative – full details of which can be found in our news pages – Schneider also hosted a panel discussion that covered the net zero challenges in great detail. Whilst all on stage were delighted by the fact that the UK is leading the way, with regard to the initiative, it was also acknowledged that achieving the net zero targets in 31 years’ time will take some doing, and that global leadership is also required. As a category, buildings are by far the biggest energy consumer, but many are still being built without energy efficiency in mind – so there’s a big opportunity for savings in this sector. Mike Hughes, Schneider Electric’s Zone President said it best: “Energy isn’t just good for the planet; it’s good for your pocket, too.” Thanks for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy the issue.
Simon Rowley, Editor
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INDUSTRY NEWS SCHNEIDER LAUNCHES ‘RETHINK ENERGY’ INITIATIVE Schneider Electric UK has launched its ‘Rethink Energy’ initiative, a programme which aims to change business, consumer and government attitudes to energy waste and help combat climate change. Whilst other forms of waste such as plastics, fast fashion and food are highly visible, energy is frequently overlooked. A Schneider Electric commissioned study of 2,000 UK adults and over 600 UK businesses revealed that just 10% of consumers want to do more to curb their current energy use, while 74% believe they already do enough. In the same report, 68% of business leaders reported their organisations wasted energy, particularly in the form of inefficient building and office space. Under half (43%) of company chiefs also shared their organisation had not implemented any measures aimed at tackling these inefficiencies in 2018. To launch its initiative, Schneider Electric held a panel debate at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, one of the world’s most energy efficient stadiums. Schneider Electric is the club’s official energy management partner. Mike Hughes, Zone President at Schneider Electric UK & Ireland, comments, “We need to bring energy front of mind. The market needs to take an activist approach to advocate for and instil efficiency and build an investment mindset if we are to achieve the 2050 net zero goal. As energy waste becomes more visible, businesses will increasingly be held accountable.”
RIELLO SHINES LIGHT ON POTENTIAL BLACKOUT Riello UPS, a manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), has published a report entitled ‘The Blackout Report’, which explores the likelihood of the UK experiencing a nationwide electricity grid failure. In June, a massive power failure across Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay left nearly 50 million people without electricity. According to the report, official government risk assessments state there is a onein-200 chance of the UK power grid experiencing a similar complete shutdown in the next five years. The company’s in-depth report explores the most likely causes of such an incident, from the increased threat of extreme weather – including flooding or gales knocking out the network infrastructure – to terrorism, industrial accidents, and geomagnetic space weather storms that play havoc with satellite systems. It also poses the question as to whether the shift towards ‘smart’ energy grids heightens the UK’s vulnerability to cyberattacks – similar to when Russian hackers shut down 30 substations in Ukraine in December 2015, leaving 250,000 people without electricity. The report goes on to examine the process for rebooting the electricity network if a complete system failure ever occurs. Known as a ‘black start’, worst-case contingency planning is that it could take up to five to seven days for power to be fully restored. To download the report, visit. theblackoutreport.co.uk
He continues, “HM Treasury recently suggested it could cost the UK around £1 trillion to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, but it’s not about cost, it’s about huge savings. Sustainability is a cost that pays for itself, and
technology and innovation will be key to meeting the energy efficiency challenge.” Schneider Electric, schneider-electric.co.uk
ECIC URGES CONTRACTORS TO DECLARE DIVERSIFICATION As new laws have been announced to guarantee payment for solar homes providing excess electricity, demand for solar panel technology from homeowners is expected to increase. This will in turn present a number of new opportunities for electrical contractors looking to broaden their contract opportunities. ECIC, the specialist insurer for the building services sector, is encouraging electrical contractors who are diversifying into renewable technology to make sure that their insurance reflects the new work they are undertaking, to help ensure they are adequately protected if they need to make a claim. New government legislation states that all new solar homes and businesses exporting electricity to the grid will be guaranteed a payment from suppliers. What is being described
as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will ensure that the owners of small-scale electricity generators with a capacity up to 5MW will be paid for each unit of electricity they sell to the grid – tracked by a smart meter. Consequently, demand for renewable technology that generates this electricity is anticipated to grow, creating an opportunity for electrical contractors to fulfil this demand. However, change in work changes the insurance risk and under the Insurance Act 2015, contractors are under a duty to ensure that they present a ‘fair presentation of risk’ to their insurer. This means declaring changes in the type of work contractors are taking on. ECIC, ecic.co.uk
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INDUSTRY NEWS EXHIBITION TRIUMPH FOR CEF LIVE CEF Live 2019, which recently took place at the Birmingham NEC, delivered two days of industry insights and trends, new product launches, NICEIC tech talks and special deals to almost 4,000 electrical professionals. The show returned for the third time this year, with the organisers declaring it to be bigger and better than ever before. Those in attendance from across the electrical community had the opportunity to interact with more than 55 leading electrical brands – including Schneider, Aico, Dimplex, Philips, Scolmore, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Nest and Hive – which exhibited their latest products and offered ‘on the day deals’. Across both days, CEF Live provided insight into the latest innovations, industry developments and opportunities, featuring seminars from industry experts and the NICEIC. Jaguar LandRover took to the innovation zone to explain how the iPace was born, while Philips Signify introduced connected lighting. Meanwhile, fire and carbon monoxide protection expert, Aico, discussed how changes to BS58396:2019 will affect the industry; and lighting solutions manufacturer, Tamlite, explained the health and wellbeing benefits of installing LED lighting. Topics within the tech talk zone, led by the NICEIC, included a Q&A session on the biggest changes within the 18th Edition, as well as presentations on SPDs, AFDDs, smart technology and electric vehicle (EV) charging. Andrew Moseley, CEF’s Commercial Director, comments, “The show was a huge success, and another step up from the previous two CEF Live events we held in 2015 and 2017. It was great to see customers and exhibitors’ enthusiasm for the event; there was a palpable
buzz across both days, as people from all aspects of the electrical industry got together to discuss challenges, opportunities and new innovations. We are thrilled with the
turnout, and the positive feedback we have received from our customers, our suppliers and the press.” CEF, cef.co.uk
TAMLITE GRANTED ICEL CERTIFICATION Tamlite Lighting, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned lighting companies, has secured ICEL (Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting) certification for the manufacture and testing of quality luminaires. Tamlite is the first lighting manufacturer to have been granted ICEL membership via the LIAQA Scheme. The ICEL is a division of the Lighting Industries Association (LIA), representing the highest level of legislation in terms of luminaire quality, specialising in emergency lighting. Membership of the ICEL confirms that Tamlite’s technologies and solutions are designed to be effective in the event of an emergency or loss of mains power, allowing a building’s occupants to evacuate quickly and safely. The ICEL membership follows recent news that Tamlite has secured BAFE certification, confirming the quality of the company’s emergency lighting designs. The company is also a recent winner of the inaugural LIAQA Award – which rewards highly robust quality management systems – and the commendation is regarded as a mark of confidence across the industry. John Allden, Managing Director at Tamlite Lighting, comments, “Tamlite Lighting was a founding participant of the LIAQA scheme, and we have always been committed to its purpose. The ICEL certification offers proof that we maintain extremely high standards within the manufacturing process of our emergency luminaires – and this gives our customers an added level of confidence.”
AICO SCOOPS ECA AWARD
Tamlite Lighting, tamlite.co.uk
For the second successive year, Aico has been awarded the Best Supply Chain Initiative award at the ECA Awards in London. The company was selected due to its expert installer training scheme, and received the prize during a ceremony at the Hilton Bankside Hotel on June 7. Expert installer is a free training scheme run by Aico to ensure that electrical contractors have all the information they need to install domestic fire and carbon monoxide alarm systems. The training is modular, allowing customers to choose the appropriate topics. Many of the modules are CPD accredited, allowing up to 5 hours, 15 minutes of CPD time to be earned. Tina Mistry (pictured centre), Regional Specification Manager, Aico, attended the ECA awards evening and commented, “It is fantastic to win this award. Training the electrical industry and sharing best practice is what we passionately do on a daily basis.” The training is delivered in ways that are convenient to Aico’s customers. This includes a dedicated training centre, mobile training and demonstration units, and training held at customer’s premises. Aico’s centre of excellence in Shropshire is a purpose-built training and meeting facility, and it includes a workshop for hands-on training with a smoke chamber to view alarms in action. Aico, aico.co.uk
August 2019 | 7
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INDUSTRY NEWS SOMERSET SPARK ANSWERS DIY SOS CALL A Somerset-based spark has praised the camaraderie of tradesmen and women who came together recently to help out on an episode of BBC’s DIY SOS. Matt Francis (pictured far left), of NICEIC registered M Tech in Bridgwater, was part of a group of tradepeople who helped create a two-storey extension for a family of five in Westonsuper-Mare. He led all the electrical design and installation work on the project after volunteering his company’s services at a registration event earlier in the year. He comments, “It was tough, as it involved nine straight days [of work], but it was such an amazing project to be a part of. There was a bit of pressure to get it done in time, but everyone got involved and there was such a good buzz on site. “Normally on a project like that, the trades would all come in at different times, and you might not see each other. So it was interesting to see the entire process from start to finish, with everyone working in conjunction.” Francis, along with three other electricians from his company, were on site for the entire build. They worked alongside other electricians from the area on the electrical installation, which included supplying power for an internal lift and hoists in each bedroom. The episode is scheduled to air on BBC One later this year. NICEIC, niceic.com M-Tech (SW), mtechsouthwest.co.uk
SELECT CONTINUES CAMPAIGN FOR PROFESSIONAL STATUS An increasingly diverse new range of talent is likely to be attracted to the electrotechnical sector in Scotland if it is finally recognised by Parliament as a profession, claims Select. With the enhanced professional credibility that Protection of Title would bring, more people – including women and minorities – are likely to view it as a desirable career option, enriching the talent pool at a time when the need and use of electricity is growing on an almost daily basis. Alan Wilson, Managing Director of Select, the trade body for the sector, says, “We are in a rapidly changing environment and electricity is the fuel both of now and of the future. It is vital that we capture the best people for the industry.” In conjunction with a number of industry bodies, Select has been campaigning to regulate the industry for several years, and has progressed the issue through the Scottish Parliament to the point that a Member’s Bill on the issue is being prepared. Jamie Halcro Johnson, MSP, sponsor of the Bill, recognises that as well as helping safeguard the public from unqualified individuals, the professional status which protection of title would introduce would have a very positive effect on interest in, and recruitment to, the sector. Select, select.org.uk
I.C ELECTRICAL POWERS UP EXPANSION PLANS Burton upon Trent-based electrical engineering contractor, I.C. Electrical, has fuelled its ambitious growth plans by investing in a new factory and making a series of new hires. Named “Tehdas”, Finnish for “factory”, the new facility will boost the company’s production activities by doubling its manufacturing capability. In particular, the investment will enable I.C Electrical to maintain its reputation for providing customers with bespoke switchgear panel solutions, whilst increasing sales of its Veda product range within the UK marketplace. Split into bays and testing areas to enable an enhanced workflow, the state-of-the-art facility is overlooked by new offices, helping to increase visibility and enhance communication across the business. There are also plans in place to install time lapse cameras, allowing customers to view the progression of their project, from its initial stages through to completion. To ensure the smooth running of Tehdas, I.C. Electrical has appointed Ross Marshall as its dedicated production manager. With a background in electrical engineering, Marshall will be responsible for running the new factory and ensuring that the business’ industry-leading products are delivered on time and to a high standard. Other strategic appointments across the business include two panel wiremen and a specialist mechanical engineer. I.C. Electrical, and its parent company, Finland-based VEO Group, design and produce systems and control panels for numerous industrial environments and sectors, including manufacturing, power distribution, renewables and oil and gas. I.C Electrical, icelectrical.co.uk
MOVERS & SHAKERS… Drayton has made a duo of appointments to its Plymouth based team. Bruno Lomba, previously of Schneider Electric, joins as Marketing Director for the residential temperature controls division; while Jamie Bennett has been appointed as Engineer Director for the division. The latest appointment at ESP sees Neil Crook take up the position of Regional Sales Manager with overall responsibility for the Southern sales team. He has 22 years’ worth of experience in the electrical industry, working within the emergency lighting and fire detection sectors.
COMPETITION UPDATE The winner of our June competition, which was for six two-gang RCD sockets from Timeguard, was Theresa Campbell of J M Campbell Ltd. Our competition page will return in next month’s issue.
8 | August 2019
Industry News.indd 8
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SURGE PROTECTION EXPLAINED Surge protection and how it needs to be assessed and implemented in relation to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations is an important aspect of the mandatory changes. Paul Collins, Technical and Training Manager at Hager, looks at the various implications.
he introduction of the 18th Edition has meant a new regulatory landscape for the industry. Designers and contractors working on large scale commercial installations, or a small domestic project, have to take on board a new set of responsibilities across a range of technical areas.
Confusion To gauge how the sector is feeling about the changes, Hager conducted a survey among electrical professionals. Alterations to some technical areas were highlighted as causing concern, and surge protection was one of these. In fact, one in three (30%) said they felt ‘uneasy’ when it came to their understanding of the new responsibilities around surge protection. So, what do contractors need to know about surge protection to remain compliant? Everyday activities at work or at home rely upon electronic equipment. However, workplace or domestic products, such as computers, printers and TVs – as well as industrial control equipment such as PLCs, alarms and LED lighting schemes – can be vulnerable to transient overvoltages, which can reduce the equipment’s lifespan. The regulation changes make it important that electrical contractors understand how surge protection is assessed and implemented going forward.
Commercial For commercial installations, the new regulations are clear about where a surge protection device (SPD) should be fitted. It is the responsibility of the electrical designer to ensure that the installation is compliant.
Protection against transient overvoltages shall be provided where the consequences caused by overvoltage could: •R esult in serious injury, or loss of human life, or •R esult in interruption of public services and/or damage to cultural heritage, or •R esult in interruption of commercial or industrial activity, or •A ffect a large number of co-located individuals Such scenarios account for the majority of commercial installations, ranging from public buildings, such as hospitals and business premises, and require the inclusion of surge protection. In the unlikely event that a non-domestic installation is not covered in the above four scenarios, then a risk assessment shall be performed. Should the outcome of this risk assessment indicate that surge protection devices are required, then it will be a requirement that they be installed. Likewise, if the risk assessment is not performed, then surge protection devices shall be installed.
Residential For domestic dwellings, the house owner should decide if the small, additional cost of the surge protection device is justified to protect their installation and equipment against damaging over voltages. Contractors should discuss this with the customer prior to installation. If the decision is not to include protection, the contractor should make a written record that this was the homeowner’s preference. Surge protection devices are classified according to their functions. • Type 1 – can discharge partial lightning current and usually employs spark gap technology. If required, it should be installed in the primary distribution board at the origin of the electrical installation. A Type 1 SPD does not in itself offer the required protection level, and must be used in conjunction with coordinated Type 2 devices. Any installation with a lightning protection system will require a Type 1 SPD. • Type 2 – can prevent the spread of overvoltages in electrical installations and protects equipment connected to them. This device would normally be in sub-distribution boards and in the primary distribution board if there is no requirement for a Type 1 device.
At Hager, our pre-fitted distribution boards are available for both commercial and residential projects, and include built-in SPD protection. This removes the need for additional wiring. However, it is recommended that contractors always check with the manufacturer if they are unsure about SPD provision. As part of our ongoing commitment to working alongside the industry, we’ve also created a series of one and three-day training courses for both residential and commercial installers. Information about these can be found at www.hager.co.uk Alternatively, download a copy of Hager’s ‘Quick Guide to Surge Protection Devices’ by visiting: hager.co.uk/newsexhibitions-case-studies/18th-edition/ surge-protection-devices/89767.htm Hager, hager.co.uk
10 | August 2019
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Surge Protection With the 18th Edition of the wiring regulations in place, a number of key amendments that affect both electrical designers and installers have taken effect. Surge Protection is an area covered that has inherited a new set of test standards that installers need to consider during risk assessment. In many cases, surge protection devices may be required for both commercial and residential installations and SPDs used must meet the safety requirements in order to protect against overvoltages. We offer a range of SPDs as well as 18th Edition compliant boards with surge protection included. Check out our 18th Edition Hub on our website for more information on our 18th Edition solutions. hager.co.uk/18thedition
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CONTRACT NEWS LUCECO LIGHTS UP MANCHESTER CAR PARK Manchester Central Convention Complex, a venue in the heart of Manchester, has been an iconic city feature for over 130 years. The complex was originally Manchester Central Railway Station, one of the city’s main railway terminals. With the capacity to handle large-scale conferences and exhibitions, good car parking and traffic management is of great importance. To aid the facility, Luceco recently supplied over 550 Climate luminaires to relight the parking facilities. With cost-effectiveness in mind, as well as striving to improve the complex’s carbon footprint, ageing T8 fluorescent fittings were removed and replaced with energy efficient six-foot twin output LED luminaires. Luceco was chosen above other lighting manufacturers due to the performance of the climate luminaire and the significant energy savings that could be achieved. Climate Extra is a robust LED IP65 rated luminaire offering an efficacy of 140 Llm/cW with increased performance for improved energy efficiency. Available with integral microwave sensors in on/off or 10% corridor function or batten fit PIR sensors, Climate Extra is also available with DALI drivers and emergency back-up variants, including self-test.
An opal diffuser enhances appearance and uniformity, and a polycarbonate construction with stainless steel anti-tamper clips ensures a sturdy luminaire that is a cost-
effective alternative to traditional fluorescent luminaires for many industrial applications. Luceco, luceco.com
ROLEC PROVIDES EV CHARGING POINTS FOR KIA Rolec EV has recently manufactured and supplied over 1,000 electric vehicle charging points for Kia Motors UK’s head office, dealership network and domestic EV customers. Kia had a requirement to implement a nationwide EV charging network, to be deployed across over 160 dealerships and offices, as well as the facility to offer standardised EV home charge point installations to its EV customers. To accommodate these requirements, Rolec EV – via its ‘enquiry to installation’ charge point management portal – was able to design, manufacture and project manage the installation of a range of custom Kia branded EV charging pedestals and WallPod chargers. Kieron Alsop, Rolec’s Managing Director, comments, “We were delighted to have been chosen by Kia Motors UK to supply our branded range of EV charging solutions to their head office, dealership network and domestic EV customers. Our EV charge point installation portal proved invaluable in managing and coordinating the large scale EV charge point roll-out across the UK. “This enabled Kia showrooms to quickly and easily download EV charge point requirements, safe in the knowledge that we at Rolec would capture and manage the charge point installation from enquiry through to completion – including, if required, any OLEV grant funding paperwork.” Rolec EV, rolecserv.com
FIRE ALARM UPGRADE FOR SHEFFIELD COUNCIL HOUSING Sheffield City Council is upgrading the fire alarm systems across its entire housing stock as part of a major electrical upgrade programme to keep customers safe. Phase one of the work will see over 20,000 properties upgraded from category LD3 to the higher level of protection, LD2, using Aico 3000 Series alarms. Domestic fire alarm installation is guided by BS 5839-6, which clearly identifies both grades of alarm system to use and categories of protection. Grade D is the most common, and requires one or more interlinked mains powered alarms, each with an integral standby supply. The LD3 category, which is a low level of protection, was the minimum requirement, but Sheffield City Council decided to move to the next level up – LD2 – in anticipation of changes to the British Standard. Sheffield City Council, through its principal contractors, is installing mains powered 3000 Series for this upgrade, using the Ei3024 and Ei3028 multi-sensors. The Ei3024 features optical and heat sensors which constantly monitor and analyse smoke and heat levels, providing the best response to all fire types and reduced false alarms. Designed specifically for use in kitchens, the Ei3028 is Aico’s first heat and carbon monoxide alarm, providing protection from both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. In line with LD2, the Council is fitting mains powered smoke alarms in every circulation space on each storey (i.e. hallways and landings), in the principal habitable rooms and in every access room serving an inner room; along with a heat alarm in the kitchen.
UNITRUNK CHECKS IN TO HILTON PROJECT Cable management specialist, Unitrunk, is providing cable ladder, trunking tray and basket for a new £20 million Hilton Garden Inn project in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the mixed-use Smithfield development in the Hanley area of the city. Constructed by main contractor, Pochin, the 140-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel is due to open its doors to its first guests by the end of 2019. It has been funded with the help of a £6.9 million investment from Stoke-onTrent City Council, along with a £2.96 million grant from the Staffordshire and Stoke-onTrent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The construction project is due for completion in November and electrical contractor, Carter M&E, selected Unitrunk through wholesalers Rowley Electrical Distributors for the cable management thanks to the ease and speed of use of the company’s RIS (Rapid Installation Systems) solutions. Unitrunk’s cable management systems will be installed in the new hotel’s corridors, communal areas, bar and kitchen to provide the infrastructure for all power, data, low voltage and alarm system cabling. With tool-free, faster installation from both the company’s UniKlip cable tray and Easyconnect cable basket, the Carter M&E team can reduce installation times by up to 50%; helping to keep the business-critical, fasttrack installation programme on schedule. Unitrunk, unitrunk.co.uk
12 | August 2019
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CONTRACT NEWS ZUMTOBEL POWERS CREATIVE ASPIRATIONS The redevelopment of a derelict building into a new centre for printmaking production, for Edinburgh Printmakers, has included the installation of a range of innovative lighting solutions from Zumtobel. Edinburgh Printmakers’ new creative hub is located within what once was the headquarters of the North British Rubber Company (NBRC), the only surviving structure of the once large and important 19th Century Castle Mills Industrial Complex. Zumtobel worked with building services consultancy, Harley Haddow, Edinburgh and architects Page\Park, as the design of the lighting was critical to achieving the aspirations for developing an industrial aesthetic for the new interventions, whilst preserving the character and quality of the existing building. Zumtobel’s Tecton Black continuous row lighting system has been used across multiple areas of the building,
allowing all functions – such as power supply, lighting control and connection with emergency lighting – to be quickly installed and seamlessly integrated into the multifunctional trunking system. With a luminaire efficiency of up to 168 lumens per watt, Tecton also offers key economic benefits. Less maintenance work means fewer interruptions and reduced costs thanks to lower energy consumption. In addition,
Tecton has an optimal colour rendering index of Ra 80, and an excellent service life – so that even after 50,000 hours of operation, 90% of the initial luminous flux will still be achieved. Tecton was chosen for the project not only for its flexibility in modularity, but also its architecturally clean lines and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Zumtobel, zumtobel.com
J S WRIGHT TO FIT OUT FIRST PHASE OF PARADISE
MEGAMAN LIGHTS UP EQUESTRIAN FARM When West Kype equestrian farm in Lanarkshire, Scotland needed to replace its existing floodlights due to an overheating issue, Megaman, a manufacturer of low energy light bulbs, provided the ideal solution in the form of its Ensio integrated LED floodlights. After listening to the farm’s requirements, the lamp manufacturer provided an energy efficient fixture with a lower heat output than the previous lighting solution, and an asymmetric light distribution design which reduces shadows that can often spook horses. In 2018, a major overheating issue caused the farm’s floodlights to break. The lack of light severely hampered the farm’s ability to host night shows and rendered the outdoor arena, which was used as a warm-up area during competitions, unusable. Megaman UK thus put forward some of its high lumens, low energy LED floodlight solutions, and recommended that the farm reach out to Holland House Electrical in Kilmarnock - a wholesaler that could facilitate the order. In the end, the farm opted for four of the company’s Ensio 180W LED floodlights across the centre. The outdoor, integrated units are perfect for metal halide floodlight replacement, delivering a lumens rating of 22,000lm and an IP rating of IP66. The owner of the farm was also able to install the units herself, saving further time and money.
Mechanical and electrical building services specialist, J S Wright, is to fit out the first phase of the Paradise Birmingham development. The company, which has its headquarters in Birmingham, has been awarded a contract exceeding £4 million by BAM Construction for the M&E infrastructure, basement and external services for two new Grade A office buildings, One and Two Chamberlain Square. The wide-ranging mechanical works will include installing rainwater and above ground drainage, a chilled water plant with distribution to serve the neighbouring Birmingham Town Hall, and car park ventilation systems. J S Wright will also install commercial landlord systems, including sprinklers, general ventilation services for the plant room and communal areas, and a boosted mains cold water plant for distribution, including landscape irrigation. All of the services will be controlled by a central building management system (BMS). The electrical works will involve the installation, testing and commissioning of the mains distribution network, including an uninterruptible power system (UPS) and commercial landlord switchboards, along with submain distribution cabling and small power distribution. J S Wright will also provide lighting and emergency lighting, access control, CCTV equipment, door security and fire alarms, and car park lighting. Work on site is scheduled for completion at the end of 2019. J S Wright, jswright.co.uk
Megaman UK, megamanuk.com
August 2019 | 13
Contract News.indd 13
TRAINING TARGETED APPRENTICESHIPS FOR KEW STAFF Electrical wholesaler, Kew Electrical, is continuing its commitment to its staff by supporting them through the latest ‘trade supplies’ apprenticeship. Three of the company’s staff have embarked on apprenticeships in trade supplies, a topic directly relevant to wholesaling companies that was approved by the government only last year. The apprentices are Jack Marriott and Tom Jupp, from the wholesaler’s Brighton branch, and Lewis Overy from Canterbury. Marriott has already completed a warehousing apprenticeship at Kew, finishing it a year early and scooping two awards for his efforts: Best Apprentice of the Year from the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA), and Apprentice of the Year in the Youth in Action Awards, held by the Brighton Argus newspaper. The company has now persuaded Marriott, and his two colleagues, to complete the new apprenticeship in ‘trade supplies’, as it includes a greater focus on the wholesale industry. “Before, the only relevant apprenticeships were warehousing and
customer service,” says Nik Mulcahy, Deputy Managing Director of Kew Electrical. “Now, we have trade supplies, which is slightly wider in scope than just electrical wholesaling, and covers builders merchants, plumbers merchants, kitchen fitters and so on. “I think we’ve always embraced apprenticeships, but it’s been difficult when we’ve only had generic subjects to choose from. Anyone joining now will do the trade supplies apprenticeship, because you touch everything – you get a rounded view, rather than just being in a warehouse or doing generic customer service.” An apprenticeship takes at least a year to complete, and the new trade supplies apprenticeship now has endpoint assessment – a test, a professional interview, and on-the-job observation. “I think creating training that is more relevant to our industry is a big step forward,” notes Mulcahy. “The key, also, is that if we get them in early, they start to learn the Kew culture – we’re definitely ‘growing our own’.”
Jack Marriott, one of Kew’s apprentices based in Brighton, was named Best Apprentice of the Year by the EDA
Kew Electrical, kewelectrical.co.uk
JTL PARTNERS WITH BURY COLLEGE
NICEIC ROADSHOWS SET TO RETURN NICEIC has announced the latest set of dates for its annual Scotland roadshow events. Kicking off in Inverness on September 3, NICEIC will present a fresh range of seminars designed to keep anyone operating in the electrical industry up-to-date with the latest news and views. NICEIC’s technical experts will be on hand to discuss a range of topics, including: • BS 5839 part 6 (fire detection) • Regulation of electricians in Scotland • Surge protection devices • EICR coding in line with the 18th Edition. Stuart Thompson, NICEIC’s Area Manager for Scotland, comments, “Our roadshows are a great way to speak to contractors directly about the latest happenings within the industry, and find out first-hand the issues they want us to look at.” For the first time ever, the roadshows will be CPD accredited, meaning contractors can use the information from the day as part of their ongoing professional development. The roadshows are taking place in Inverness (Sep 3), Glasgow (Sep 4), Dundee (Sep 5) and Edinburgh (Sep 6). Tickets cost just £5 and can be booked online at shop.niceic.com/events or by calling 0333 015 6626. Each event starts at 8am and finishes at 1pm. Every delegate gets a breakfast roll and refreshments, along with the opportunity to win prizes.
Bury College has announced a new partnership with one of the country’s largest apprenticeship delivery providers, JTL. The new partnership will initially focus on the delivery of electrical apprenticeships, and individuals will develop skills in installation, maintenance and repair of electrical services both inside and outside buildings and structures. This unique partnership will provide career enhancing opportunities for those interested in securing qualifications within a competitive field. The partnership will combine JTL’s national reputation for delivering apprenticeships in the building services engineering sector with Bury College’s strength of being a strong provider within the Greater Manchester construction and building services sector. Charlie Deane, Bury College Principal and Chief Executive, says, “We are proud to be working alongside JTL to offer a new range of apprenticeship opportunities to aspiring electricians. Through this partnership, we will be offering exceptional opportunities for apprentices, whilst also meeting the skills needs of employers locally and regionally.” Jon Graham, Chief Executive of JTL adds, “We are delighted to be forming this new strategic relationship with Bury College. By bringing together the strengths of both organisations, I am confident that we can provide a great learning environment for our apprentices and continue to improve local skills for the building services sector.” JTL, jtltraining.com
14 | August 2019
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THE 18TH EDITION, ONE YEAR ON… A year on from the publication of the 18th Edition, Gary Parker, Senior Technical Engineer at the ECA, highlights some of the most frequently asked about changes and breaks down some of the most important corrections.
he key publication for electricians and installers, the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations has been in full effect for over a year now. The blue book was first published in July 2018, to allow the industry six months to get to grips with the changes before they came into full effect on January 1, 2019. However, almost a year later, some of the changes are proving harder to implement than others. Below is a summary of the most frequently asked about changes from the ECA Member helpline, with handy notes of which section to turn to in the 18th Edition for each one. An important set of corrections was also published in December 2018 – more on this below.
Residual current devices (RCDs) Chapter 41 – protection against electric shock, Regulation 411.3.4 The application of RCDs has been expanded and revised for certain situations. The regulation now requires that, within domestic premises, additional protection by an RCD shall be provided for AC final circuits supplying luminaires. This was new, and most likely a response to the many new ways we now use lighting in our homes, with the introduction of LEDs, advanced lighting displays, and the fact that consumers are now able to purchase luminaires and put them up themselves. Another change sees the period between testing RCDs (by pushing the ‘T’ or ‘Test’ button) increased from ‘quarterly’ to ‘six-monthly’, which means that the task can be conveniently done when the clocks are changed.
Arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) Chapter 42 – protection against thermal effects, Regulation 421.1.7 This new regulation recommends that AFDDs are installed to help mitigate the risk of fire in AC final circuits, in the event of arc faults. They are recommended for premises with sleeping accommodation, and locations with risk of fire due to the nature of processed or stored materials, such as barns, woodworking shops, or stores of combustible materials.
“Almost a year later, some of the changes are proving harder to implement than others.”
Surge protection devices (SPDs) Chapter 44 – protection against voltage disturbances and electromagnetic disturbances, Regulation 443.4 This amended section now stipulates that protection against overvoltage by means of SPDs has to be provided. This is applicable where the consequence of an overvoltage would result in serious injury or loss of life, serious disruption of public services, interruption of industrial activity, or if it would affect a large number of co-located individuals.
Electric vehicles (EVs) Section 722 – electric vehicle charging installations These changes are relatively small, but they will have big implications. Particularly for charging points installed at a dwelling, outside a building, on a TN-C-S earthing system. As with other changes, these are to keep the UK’s standards in tandem with the technical intent of worldwide standards. In the 18th Edition, the option to use a protective multiple earthing (PME) facility has been reduced. There are
ways that PME can be used, but these are often difficult to achieve. Therefore, most installations will rely on separation of the earthing system and making the EV a TT system (using an electrode in the ground). Newly recognised types of RCDs are specifically picked up on in section 722 for EVs, but general awareness of these in the wider industry is very low. The new devices are electronic in nature and have a different reaction to circuits containing power electronics that can distort the waveform. The industry and its customers are only just becoming aware of these products, but the costs are high in comparison to existing devices, and availability is limited.
The December 2018 Corrigendum In December 2018, 11 corrections to the 18th Edition were published in a Corrigendum. Some of these include: • Five labels oversized in Section 514 • A new colour is available to use to identify a functional earthing conductor • An update regarding alignment of a zone in Figure 701.1f to match the words detailed in Regulation 701.32.3 • In medical locations of group one, a minimum of two lighting circuits shall be provided from separate sources of supply • A change to the zone markings in Fig 701.1f • In Appendix 4, the last row of the table covers 90 ºC ‘thermosetting’ cables, and not thermoplastic cables. Readers can find out more about these (and other) changes by visiting eca.co.uk/ Project18. ECA, eca.co.uk
16 | August 2019
Key Issue.indd 16
18th Edition Solutions CIRCUIT PROTECTION TEL: 01563 533 554 SALES@CPELECTRIC.CO.UK
NOAH’S ARK ZOO GOES GREEN Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, an award-winning zoo and education centre located on a farm in Somerset, recently replaced its inefficient fluorescent lights with energy-efficient LEDs from Goodlight. Here, we explain why they’re proving a hit with both visitors and animals alike.
The Rhino House plays host to the zoo’s famous white rhinos
18 | August 2019
Project Focus – Goodlight.indd 18
The dedicated children’s play areas have also had suspended and surface-mounted G5 LED battens installed
oodlight, a leading LED lighting brand, has announced that Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, a family-owned zoo and education centre set on a working farm in Somerset, has completed another phase in its programme to upgrade its inefficient T8 fluorescent and halogen light fittings to long-life, energyefficient Goodlight LED lighting. G5 LED Battens from the Goodlight range were specified and installed into multiple zoo buildings across the 100-acre site, delivering up to 50% energy savings and significantly reducing carbon emissions. Committed to sustainability and conservation, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has been recognised with numerous awards at a regional and national level for sustainability and green tourism. Chris Moulding, Electrical Engineer at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, says, “The zoo has a strong green ethos and drive to become as sustainable as possible. Improving our energy efficiency is viewed as a key part of this.”
LEDs to replace fluorescent lighting The ‘Viva South America House’, home to capybaras, maras and lowland tapirs – now boasts bright and comfortable lighting
The zoo, which features over 100 animal species, first opened as a farm visitor centre in 1999, and today welcomes nearly 200,000 visitors per year. Goodlight was commissioned to supply its energy-efficient G5 LED battens, which are drop-in replacements to the zoo’s existing T8 fluorescent lighting, into nine main areas within the zoo.
These high-performance LED battens have been sleekly installed alongside the rafters in the UK’s largest elephant habitat called ‘Elephant Eden’, a walk-in enclosure with a two-storey viewing area, home to three African elephants – the largest walking animal on earth. Two animal enclosures have also been illuminated with LED lighting, including the Rhino House, where the G5s have been surface-mounted; providing bright, comfortable lighting to the zoo’s white rhinos, and the brand-new ‘Viva South America House’, a light and welcoming enclosure featuring suspended G5s – home to capybaras, maras and lowland tapirs. The newly launched ‘Wings of Wonder’ bird enclosure features surface-mounted G5s in the keeper kitchens and corridors. Other areas of the zoo have also been upgraded to Goodlight LED lighting, including two dedicated children’s play areas, which have suspended and surface-mounted G5 LED battens installed. Likewise, in ‘The Ark’ arena, which hosts two daily animal shows, G5s have been surface-mounted within the beams of the auditorium. This area particularly benefits from the new bright light, as the audience can fully appreciate the up close and personal show experience.
A calm and comforting environment Moulding continues, “Goodlight offered us a solution that not only reduces our energy and maintenance costs, but creates a calm and comforting
‘Elephant Eden’ is the UK’s largest elephant habitat
“Two animal enclosures have also been illuminated with LED lighting, including the Rhino House, where the G5s have been surfacemounted.”
The Ark arena particularly benefits from the new bright light, as the audience can now fully appreciate the up close and personal show experience
environment for animals whilst improving the quality of light for visitors and staff. We specifically chose the G5 LED battens for their sleek appearance, anticorrosive protection, ease of installation and extended guarantee. We now have significantly better light levels in the animal and bird enclosures, play areas and main arena where Goodlight LED luminaires have been fitted.” Goodlight G5 LED battens deliver high levels of brightness, achieving 110Lm/W efficacy from its wide beam angle, making them perfect replacements to the zoo’s fluorescent tube and halogen lighting. The G5 is a weatherproof LED fixture, providing protection against water (IP65 protected), dust, heat, ice and corrosion – ensuring performance and durability within both indoor and outdoor environments. With a polycarbonate lens that is shatterproof and (most importantly) glass-free, the G5 LED battens proved particularly suited to the zoo’s animal enclosures, play areas and food preparation areas. The new LED lighting is guaranteed for five years and has a performance lifespan of 50,000 hours. Saima Shafi, Sales and Marketing Director at Goodlight, adds, “We are thrilled that Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has slashed its energy consumption and that their main attractions are brightly lit with our high-performance LED battens. We are working closely with the zoo throughout their LED lighting programme to meet their environmental and sustainability ethos”. Goodlight, goodlight.co.uk
August 2019 | 19
Project Focus – Goodlight.indd 19
IN THE KNOW
THE PRO THAT HAS IT ALL Jeff Richardson, Aurora Group’s Trade Director, reveals how you can have fire rated, dimmable, tuneable white capability, with a fast install and smart control – all in one downlight.
Introducing the mPRO ZX This is the ultimate Zigbee Smart, dimmable, tuneable white fire rated downlight upgrade for your lighting space. This IP65 direct replacement has a convenient one-step installation process and features a convertible body for recess voids with limited space. It offers Smart Inside technology, ensuring customers have the ability for advance control of their lighting, both at home and away from home.
Products you can trust With a reputation for reliability, and over a decade of experience producing LED fire rated downlights, there’s a reason why Aurora and Enlite are the market leaders. In addition to consistently producing innovative designs combined with great value, our proven track record of manufacturing extremely reliable, fully integrated and GU10 fire rated downlights makes us the specifiers and installer’s first choice every time.
Fast installation and interchangeable
Efficiency is key With LEDchroic lenses, the mPro ZX has the appearance of a traditional halogen, with anti-glare and precise beam control, with the added benefits of the efficiency of LED and offering you peace of mind with a five-year warranty.
One-step installation is made possible by using the included FastRFix system connector, and the popular, convertible body design allows for easy installation in recess voids that are as low as 56mm. The interchangeable IP65 bezels come in a variety of colour options – white, matt white, polished chrome and satin nickel – meaning that they deliver a sleek finish to suit the most exacting client.
Steps to smart success Simply replace the non-smart downlight with mPro ZX, pair it to the AOne Hub via the app, and then control your lighting using remote or kinetic wall controllers via a phone app. Using Smart Inside technology, the mPRO ZX can be controlled individually or as part of a group. Utilising the app allows for control from anywhere in the world. Ticking the boxes for customers and being smart has never been easier.
Tuneable white for multiple moods The tuneable white feature allows you to control the colour temperature between 2200K and 5000K. Create scenes in each space and schedule them to adapt your environment to fit the time of day and mood.
Aurora Lighting, auroralighting.com
AOne™ 13A Smart Sockets & Plug-In Adaptors Work directly with Samsung SmartThings Hub
In the Know – Aurora.indd 20
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18TH EDITION LIGHTS THE WAY FOR REFORMS As we approach six months since the 18th Edition was implemented, Bureau Veritas has revealed that the new framework is helping to raise safety standards in surge protection, electric vehicle infrastructure and energy efficiency.
n January, the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations came into force, applying to all new and rewired installations. The regulations set out a number of significant changes and guidance on protection against overvoltage, EV charging point installation and ensuring the energy efficiency of electrical installations. According to electrical safety expert, Bureau Veritas, following the 18th Edition’s implementation there are areas facing major updates. For instance, in surge protection, education of a new risk assessment method is currently underway via industry accreditation CPD courses. Meanwhile, new guidance on the installation of EV charging points offered in Section 722 has led to the Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installations moving on to its third edition. Michael Kenyon, Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas, explains, “Electrical safety and compliance has always been an evolving process, and over the last six months, the introduction of the 18th Edition regulations has ushered in a new era of best practice for surge protection, EV charging point installation and energy efficiency. “We’re seeing a greater focus on the need to protect against overvoltage, particularly in public sector buildings such as hospitals, where surge protection devices could potentially save lives. As for electric vehicles, although installing charging points is currently a huge growth area for electrical contractors, installers and inspectors of such infrastructure need to have a clear and detailed understanding of the different types of equipment and how to test them.”
In addition, although Part 8 of the 18th Edition regulations – which was due to focus on energy efficiency of electrical installations – was consigned to appendix 17 at the time of implementation, it is expected this will become Part 8 and play a much greater role in subsequent amendments. Kenyon continues, “Looking ahead, we expect energy efficiency to play a greater role in electrical standards , with Part 8 – which sets out guidance on lessening environmental impact – reducing energy losses through greater adoption of smart solutions, such as power factor correction. This marks a significant change as, until now, the wiring regulations have traditionally focused on safety alone. “We understand that keeping up to speed with ever-changing rules and regulations can be difficult, but our advice to the duty holders and electrical contractors is to always lead the way in best practice by achieving compliance, alongside regular improvements and routine inspections; particularly in these areas which will only grow in importance in the coming years.”
Bureau Veritas offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety in general for new and existing installations or for specific areas, such as electric vehicle charging points. Bureau Veritas, bureauveritas.co.uk
“Electrical contractors should lead the way in best practice by achieving compliance, alongside regular improvements and routine inspections.”
22 | August 2019
Legislation – Bureau Veritas.indd 22
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DANGER, HIGH VOLTAGE Scott Lowder, Director Of Product Development, Middle Atlantic explains how unpredictable voltage transients can be catastrophic to today’s AV devices; exploring the best types of surge protection solutions.
ower surges take many forms – lightning, inductive-load switching, electrostatic discharge, and more. These unpredictable voltage transients can be catastrophic to today’s AV devices, which are highly vulnerable due to their internal microprocessing technology. This circuitry is incredibly sensitive and is not built to withstand sudden changes in current. With hundreds and even thousands of pounds of AV equipment on the line, surge protection is a vital and foundational element in any installation. Surge protection solutions are available in a variety of designs with the two most popular in the AV industry being: metal oxide varistors (MOV), and series style protection. Understanding the differences between these technologies is vital when making decisions about budget, system requirements, and potential for ongoing service needs.
1. Surge is detected before reaching the inductor – unique to Middle Atlantic 2. Inductor slows down the surge event and begins to regulate the waveform 3. Surge is absorbed and eliminated – dissipating as heat - in
Understanding MOV protection MOVs are the more well-known and common defence against power anomalies. This style of protection works by slowing down wayward electricity through zincoxide balls that have been fused into a ceramic semiconductor. The crystalline microstructure absorbs the high voltage and diverts surge current away, ultimately sacrificing itself for the greater good of the components downstream. The amount of energy each MOV can absorb is dependent on its size (thickness and diameter). Most devices contain multiple MOVs, with the size and quantity in each design determined by environmental factors, applications and standards such as ANSI. Many solutions feature an indicator light when the MOV protection is no longer effective and a replacement is required.
Understanding series protection Alternatively, series mode protection is a more reliable and stronger option, ideal for maximising protection of expensive, sensitive AV components. Its internal circuitry leverages a large, high-current inductor that is followed by an energy absorbing circuit – this is generally comprised of a bridge rectifier and capacitors. The series inductor slows the incoming current spike, which in turn spreads out the peak surge energy in the time domain and allows the surge to be harmlessly absorbed by the capacitors. With this design, series mode protection eliminates sacrificial design challenges that make MOV solutions a short-term option. The anatomy of series mode protection includes the component parts of inductors and capacitors, however, there are unique circuit designs in market that are not created equally. In certain series protection designs, the surge detection can come too late, allowing harmful surge energy to progress unimpeded through the device before the capacitor bank is ‘switched’ into the circuit diverting the excess energy. The result? There is a millisecond of impact that can damage or destroy equipment. In addition, some designs incorporate a capacitor bank that is always in circuit. In time, these capacitors will degrade. They are also susceptible to sustained overvoltage failure, which causes a long-term reliability problem.
4. Power filtering 5. Power Distribution back at 120V to input devices at the normal 120V
MOV TRUTHS MOV-enabled surge protectors come in a variety of form factors and tolerances, which should be carefully selected. For more advanced and expensive AV equipment, they are not the best choice for a number of reasons:
Their lifespan is dependent on the design and environmental factors Because of their sacrificial design, MOVs can degrade or fail due to voltage swells/sags or small surge events over a period of time or they can be completely wiped out with a single big event.
Reliability decreases over time Each jolt – big or small – reduces MOVs max capacity causing them to become less and less reliable over time. Look for multi-stage units with indicator lights as these can give you and/or end-users a clear indication when the first line of MOV defence is down – giving ample notice to replace the unit.
Quality is not guaranteed There isn’t a standards body overseeing MOV specifications and they are typically a sourced, commoditised component to a design. To combat this, manufacturers should have rigid sourcing requirements to select quality component parts and perform in-house testing to ensure performance to spec.
SERIES MODE PROTECTION VS MOV PROTECTION Consider this list of recommended devices (based on known power sensitivity) for series mode protection vs. MOV protection.
Best paired with series mode protection • Control system processors and sub processors • Audio video receivers (AVR) • Digital signal processors (DSP) • Matrix switchers • Network routers • Network switches (with and without PoE) • NVR or media servers
Acceptable for MOV protection • Blu-ray/DVD • Cable box • DVR • Satellite box
Middle Atlantic, middleatlantic.com
24 | August 2019
Safety – Middle Atlantic.indd 24
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WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS TAKE A TUMBLE JIB SUR VEY
AT WORK 2018
BACKGROUND TO THE 2018 REPORTABLE ACCIDENT SURVEY
TS EN ID CC
he latest accident statistics for electrical contracting businesses, employing over 13,000 operatives in total, show a further reduction in the accident rate in 2018. The figures come from a new report, JIB Survey of Accidents at Work 2018, that was published in June 2019. The figures, collected by the Joint Industry Board on behalf of leading electrotechnical trade body ECA and Unite the Union, show that the rate of Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) fell once again – to 164/100,000. Significantly, no fatalities were reported during 2018 and the rate of specified (major) accidents was also lower than in 2017, at just over 52/100,000. The main causes of injury were falls, slips and trips, and there was one reportable injury due to electric shock. According to Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the JIB, “It’s very encouraging to report that the rate of reportable accidents in our industry continues to fall, and it means that the rate of these accidents is now, remarkably, only slightly more than 10% of what it was in 2001; the year we started to collect data for the industry’s highly successful ZAP safety initiative.” Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR, adds, “Since the turn of the millennium, there has been near continuous improvement in the accident rate reported by participating companies. The 2018 figures mean that the accident rate has fallen nearly 90% since 2001, which is a great achievement. In fact, the number
New statistics, compiled by the JIB in association with ECA and Unite the Union, reveal that there’s been a decline in reportable accidents amongst electrical contractors. Read on for full details, along with news on how occupational health can be further increased.
Data from the latest JIB survey refers to companies which employ ‘31 or more’ operatives. This is the baseline data used since 2001, and the 2018 survey sample covered just over 13,500 employees working for companies in this sample. The 2018 statistics are expressed as the widely used ‘accident incidence ratio’ (AIR), the rate of accidents/100,000 employees. Published June 2019
The number of injuries and accidents within electrical contracting has fallen yet again, figures show
A look at how industry accidents have declined since data was first recorded in 2001
of RIDDOR-reportables – in a sample of over 13,500 operatives – is now so low that in 2019, we will be asking companies for additional details of any ‘over one day accidents’. While these accidents are not RIDDOR-reportable, this will give us more data to work with in future.” Rob Miguel, Unite National Health and Safety Advisor, notes, “While these new figures are very welcome, and show huge improvements in safety in the electrical contracting industry over the last two decades, JIB is also working to improve occupational health. He explains, “The JIB occupational health scheme provides operatives employed by a JIB member company with the opportunity to receive a fully funded occupational health assessment every three years. This facility, funded through the
JIB Benefits Scheme, will deliver various benefits, including improved compliance with health and safety law, meeting client and main contractor requirements and helping people to identify and remedy health issues at an earlier stage. “This assessment looks for the effects on health that might be caused by situations people are exposed to at work, and highlights action which employers will need to take to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees and our members.” To download the accident report, visit jib.org.uk/jib-accident-survey
The full JIB Survey of Accidents at Work 2018 report can be downloaded via JIB’s website
By the numbers • 164 RIDDOR-reportable accidents (167 in 2017 and 216 in 2016). 24 reportable accidents were reported overall. • 52.2 Non-fatal ‘specified injury’ accidents (major injuries). This compares to 53.7 in 2017, and seven major accidents were reported overall. • 111.9 ‘Over seven-day accidents’ (down from 113.9 in 2017). 17 reportable accidents were reported overall. • The 2019 statistics will be expanded to capture data about ‘over one day absence accidents’. • The JIB will issue an occupational health report in 2020. Joint Industry Board, jib.org.uk
26 | August 2019
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HOMING IN ON SURGE PROTECTION To provide homeowners with complete peace of mind, Taylor Wimpey is fitting out all of its newbuild properties with surge protection devices from Hager. The move comes in the wake of 18th Edition changes, and will significantly improve safety around the home.
n the back of a 20year partnership, Hager and Taylor Wimpey, one of the UK’s largest housebuilding companies, are working together to ensure safety remains the number one priority for owners of the developers’ newly built homes following recent electrical industry regulation changes. As a result of the introduction of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, all new Taylor Wimpey homes – where construction started after January 2019 – will benefit from an ‘as standard’ installation of a surge protection device within the property’s consumer unit as an extra safety precaution. The new 18th Edition regulations state that all new-build properties should have surge protection, unless a risk assessment is carried out by electrical contractors to look at the likelihood of lightning strikes and other geographical factors that could result in short, disruptive and excessive voltage levels. The risk of such occurrences can adversely affect properties and their contents, including electrical devices such as laptops and TVs. From this assessment, electrical contractors can decide if the consumer unit installation warrants the cost of including a surge protection device to help protect potentially expensive household technology items from damage due to an unpredictable spike in voltage. However, committed to the highest levels of customer service, Taylor Wimpey has taken the strategic decision to phase in the roll-out of consumer units prefitted with a surge protection device – and this applies to all of its new build developments going forward.
Complete peace of mind for homeowners As well as offering complete peace of mind for the new property homeowner, by specifying Hager’s Design 30 consumer units, electrical contractors can benefit from a straightforward and fast on-site installation process as the surge protection devices come pre-wired. This helps to keep the construction programme on schedule and allows purchasers to take ownership of their new homes without any undue delay. Ian Smith, Marketing Manager at Hager, says: “The introduction of the 18th
Taylor Wimpey, founded in 2007, offers new homes for sale across the whole of the UK
“By specifying Hager’s Design 30 consumer units, electrical contractors can benefit from a straightforward and fast onsite installation process as the surge protection devices come pre-wired.” Edition regulations means many in the electrical industry supply chain have had to reassess their specification and installation processes to comply. Surge protection was an area of major change, especially with the onus on contractors to carry out a risk assessment before the installation of a consumer unit.” He continues, “While this could lead to potential confusion among the market, Taylor Wimpey, as a responsible developer, has taken the decision to ensure all of its new homes offer increased electrical protection. The company’s judgement to install the Hager Design 30 consumer units with factory pre-wired surge protection on a blanket basis, has removed any doubt about the best course of action.
“The impact of the 18th Edition changes can be seen by the fact that production of Hager’s surge protection-ready Design 30 consumer units has increased ten-fold as the electrical industry gets to grips with the new regulatory landscape.”
Make yourself at home A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey comments, “By taking the strategic decision to install 18th Edition-ready consumer units into all of our new build homes, where initial construction has started after January 2019, we are able to assure our new homeowners that their property and valuable items are better protected from unpredictable surges in voltage. We also take the pressure off electrical contractors. They no longer have to make the decision around the suitability of surge protection for a home following the risk assessment. They can simply get on with the installation. “Our long-standing relationship with Hager means we are totally confident we are specifying a quality, high performing solution thanks to the Design 30 consumer unit.” More information on Design 30 can be obtained by visiting Hager’s website. Hager, hager.co.uk
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BS EN 61439 specifies the requirements for low-voltage switchgear and assemblies, while BS EN 60947 specifies the functional units within the assemblies
Gary Parker, Senior Technical Engineer, ECA, discusses the different types of protective devices; exploring the main considerations when selecting and specifying low voltage switchgear.
ow voltage switchgear forms a vital part of the link between generation, transmission or transformation equipment on one side, and the lighting, motors and information technology on the other. It is defined as a collection of components including but not limited to circuit breakers; switches; off-load isolators; on-load isolators; disconnectors; fuses; enclosures etc. Essentially, it is all the accessories required to protect a low voltage system. The main functions of switchgear are electrical isolation, isolation of sections of an installation, and local or remote switching.
Making the right choice There are many devices designed to interrupt power – from a source to a load – and they each have different functions and characteristics. Selecting the right device for the right application is therefore vital. Miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) are probably the most common form of protective device used in electrical installations. Their use and characteristics should be well known and familiar to most professionals. Moulded case circuit breakers (MCCBs), or simply circuit breakers, are commonly used for submain distributing loads in switchgear. The variety of sizes available means they can be used in many circumstances where other forms of devices would be unsuitable. Advances in the ‘intelligence’
of these devices is enabling building managers to remotely monitor loads and better manage energy use. Many MCCBs have a variety of adjustable settings that can assist in providing protective device selectivity throughout an installation. MCCBs are often found in installations where the maximum prospective short circuit currents are potentially very large. Many manufacturers now produce MCCBs with capacities in excess of 100kA. Where the downstream protective device is a fuse, many adjustable CBs will need to have an I2t on/off function, also referred to as an in/out. ‘On’ results in an inverse time delay characteristic that most closely resembles time/current characteristics of fuses. ‘Off’ results in a constant delay characteristic that coordinates best with thermal-magnetic and electronic trip circuit breakers. Air circuit breakers (ACBs) are often used at the origin of larger installations, due to their rating and ability to withstand high levels of faults. One consideration when selecting ACBs is the option of fixed or withdrawable types. Fixed ACBs are generally less expensive than the withdrawable variety, but can be more challenging to maintain and isolate safely. A withdrawable ACB will not require isolation of the upstream protective device as there is no need to access terminals or connections. Where protection is offered by an ACB, this is usually incorporated in a separate protection module. These modules are usually plugged into the ACB and eliminate the need for external protection systems.
“There are many devices designed to interrupt power, and they each have different functions and characteristics – selecting the right device for the right application is therefore vital.”
Motor protection circuit breakers (MPCBs), as their name implies, are specifically designed to protect motors, compressors and other motive power loads. Like a typical MCCB, these devices offer additional protection against motor overload and phase loss in balanced threephase systems. Contactors are solenoid operated switching devices, usually remotely operated, that are designed to undertake repeated cycles of operation. BS EN 609474-1:2010+A1:2012 (Contactors and motorstarters – Electromechanical contactors and motor starters) gives specific information about these devices.
Safety first When specifying low-voltage switchgear assemblies, in particular the forms of separation, then ultimately the greater the degree of protection, the greater the cost. This can initially be seen as a barrier to selecting the more expensive options, however this should not be the case. An appropriate selection can ensure that not only does the installation provide safe working situations for those working on/ near it, but it can also reduce downtime when inevitable maintenance is required. As a rule of thumb, the higher the form of separation, the larger and costlier the assembly will be. This will impact on the selection should space and budget be limited but it should never override safety. ECA, eca.co.uk
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TEST & MEASUREMENT supported by
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The job of an RCD is a vital one – detecting abnormal current flow
SOFTWARE TEST & MEASUREMENT & APPLICATIONS
THE ABCs OF RCDs In modern electrical installations, residual current devices (RCDs) provide an invaluable extra layer of safety. But what exactly is an RCD, what does it do, and how should it be tested? Peter Wade of portable test equipment expert, Megger, tells all.
afety is the prime requirement for every electrical installation. It is essential that the best possible protection be provided against electric shock and against fault conditions that could lead to fires. Residual current devices (RCDs) help with meeting both of these requirements. Put simply, RCDs are devices that detect when electric current is flowing where it shouldn’t – most usually to earth. This could happen if, for example, someone touches a bare wire or terminal. In this case, current will flow to earth through their body and they will get an electric
shock, which might be fatal. The job of an RCD is to detect this abnormal current flow and rapidly disconnect the supply to minimise the severity of the shock. It’s not always a person that completes the unwanted circuit to earth, however. Current can flow to earth because of faulty insulation and, in cases like this, the current may be too small to trip the circuit overcurrent protection, but large enough to cause heating in the supply cable, potentially leading to a fire. Once again, an RCD will help to minimise this risk. In other words, RCDs are sensitive safety devices that save lives and protect property, in a way that ordinary circuit breakers and fuses cannot, which is why the most
recent edition of the IET Wiring Regulations requires almost all circuits supplying socket outlets to be RCD protected.
Get protected In practice, this requirement can be satisfied by using an RCD or by using a residual current circuit breaker with over current protection (RCBO). As its name suggests, an RCBO combines the function of an RCD with those of a miniature circuit breaker (MCB) in one unit. RCBOs are used to protect individual circuits but, when RCDs are used, it’s very common to have a single RCD protecting multiple circuits, with each of the circuits having its own MCB.
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TEST & MEASUREMENT To avoid any unnecessary repetition, all references to RCDs in the remainder of this article should be taken to apply equally to RCBOs, unless otherwise stated. RCDs work by monitoring and comparing the currents that flow in the line and neutral conductors of a circuit. If there is no earth leakage, all of the current that flows out through the line conductor will return via the neutral conductor, so the two currents will be identical. If any current leaks to earth, however, there will be a difference between the line and neutral currents, and it’s this difference that the RCD detects. In reality, all circuits have some earth leakage. This can be unintentional – no insulation is perfect – or it can be intentional, as is the case with some types of mains filter circuits used in electronic equipment. A certain amount of leakage can be tolerated, but the function of an RCD is to interrupt the supply when the leakage current reaches an unacceptable level.
The right type Various types of RCD are available, but the most common are Type AC, Type A and Type B. Type AC RCDs will trip if they detect unacceptable levels of AC residual (earth leakage) current, and they are by far the most widely used. Type A RCDs will trip if they detect unacceptable levels of AC or pulsating DC residual currents. Finally, Type B RCDs will trip if they detect unacceptable levels of AC, pulsating DC or smooth DC residual current. Since RCDs perform an essential safety role, it is important that their correct functioning is verified after installation. Dedicated RCD testers are available for this purpose, but today the RCD test function built into a multifunction installation tester (MFT) is often used. In either case, before testing an RCD, any equipment connected to the circuit it is protecting should be disconnected or isolated. An earth loop impedance test should also be performed to ensure that the circuit has a satisfactory means of earthing.
Correct protection Next, it is essential to know whether the primary function of the RCD is fault protection – that is, to guard against faults that may lead to fires – or so-called ‘additional protection’, which is intended to guard against shock hazards. Where an RCD is installed for fault protection‘Disconnection times relate to prospective residual earth currents significantly higher than the rated residual operating current of the RCD.’ Although no specific current for testing is stated, a test is usually carried out at 5 x In (at both 0º and 180º) to ensure that the disconnection time achieved is appropriate for the type and rating of the circuit, and the type of earthing system. For example, an RCD
provided to give fault protection on final circuits of up to 32 A should trip in less than 200 ms when a TT earthing system is in use. Where an RCD is fitted for additional protection, it must have a tripping current (In) of 30 mA or less and, with a test current of 5 x In (again at both 0º and 180º), it must trip in 40 ms or less. This means that with a 30 mA RCD, a test current of 150 mA must be applied to ensure that the 40 ms disconnection time is achieved. Note that it is unnecessary and inappropriate to test RCDs with nominal tripping currents of more than 30 mA, such as 100 mA devices, at 5 x In, as they cannot be used to provide additional protection.
Testing times The standard method of testing RCDs is to create a test current from line to earth so that the RCD operates in the normal way. To carry out this test, connections are required to the line and earth conductors. Some older testers may also need a neutral connection to provide power for the instrument, but this is not necessary with modern battery powered testers. Three-phase RCDs can be tested in a similar way, one phase at a time. Connections for testing the RCD can be made at any point on the circuit downstream of the RCD. The tester can also be connected directly across the RCD, except with a few types of RCBO where the sensing coil for the RCD function is positioned in the device after the terminal. Testing on centre-tapped 110V supply systems can sometimes be problematic. These systems have a voltage of only 55V to earth, and older testers often need a higher voltage to operate correctly. The solution in many of these cases is to connect directly to the RCD, which effectively doubles the test voltage. Newer testers have a wider operating voltage range, so the standard connections can be used. Another special case is testing threephase RCDs where no neutral or earth connection is available. This is possible provided the tester supports the higher operating voltages involved. Testing is carried out one phase at a time, by connecting from the output of the RCD under test to the incoming side of the RCD on one of the other phases.
Meeting requirements The tests described so far will show that the RCD provides protection that meets the requirements of the IET Wiring Regulations. It is also usual, however, to carry out a test at ½ x In to ensure that the device doesn’t trip unnecessarily in response to low levels of earth leakage current. For Type AC RCDs, this test can be carried out at 0º or 180º but, for all other types, it should be carried out at 0º and 180º.
“Safety is the prime requirement for every electrical installation.”
Sometimes, it can be useful to carry out further tests, particularly in case of nuisance tripping – which is more accurately called unwanted tripping. In such cases, a ramp test can be particularly helpful. For this, the test set passes a steadily increasing current through the RCD and records the actual current at which it trips. This shows whether the RCD is operating as expected – a healthy 30 mA RCD should trip between 18 mA and 28 mA – or whether it has become overly sensitive, and therefore liable to trip unnecessarily. Should this test show that the RCD is operating normally, but unwanted tripping still occurs, the next step is to measure the actual earth leakage current in the problematic circuit. This is most easily done with an earth leakage clamp meter, as this needs no direct connections to the circuit under test. If excessive leakage current is found, further diagnostic tests can then be carried out to pinpoint the source of the problem. Whenever RCDs are tested, the final step, after the test is completed, is always to press the RCD’s test button to ensure it trips. A label should also be attached advising the end-user to operate the test button quarterly to check that the RCD is still functioning correctly. RCDs play a vital role in protecting life and property but, so that users can have full confidence in this protection, it is important that they are properly tested after installation. Fortunately, modern RCD testers and multifunction installation testers, like those in the Megger range, make this a straightforward task, provided only that the guidelines and procedures outlined in this article are carefully followed.
It is important that RCDs are properly tested after installation
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CUTTING DOWN RCD TRIPPING WITH THE ETHOS 3650 With the 18th Edition requiring that earth leakage currents remain under 30%, reducing nuisance RCD tripping is of critical importance. Here, Ethos Instruments explains more, and details why its Ethos 3650 is the ideal testing device for this requirement.
he 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations came into force in January 2019, and a new requirement is needed to check the cumulative leakage on an installation, and there are specific values to check. The 18th Edition now makes it clear that the accumulation of circuit protector currents/earth leakage currents which are present during normal operating conditions shall not be more than 30% of the rated residual operating current of the RCD.
Reducing nuisance RCD tripping To reduce nuisance RCD tripping that is not due to a fault, but the result of cumulative leakage currents from appliances, the 18th Edition now includes specific values for maximum protective earth currents (Regulation 531.3.2). This is a great help in identifying when division of the installation is required, and this was not a part of the 17th Edition. But what are acceptable limits for leakage current, and how do you know when you are approaching the limits? The 18th Edition states: the accumulation of circuit protector currents/ earth leakage currents that are present during normal operating conditions shall not be more than 30% of the rated residual operating current of the RCD e.g. a PE current of no more than 30% of 30mA, which is just 9mA. This is necessary when you consider that it’s not unusual for a 30mA RCD to trip just above 15mA. The trouble is, how do you know when you are approaching 9mA? Computers, printers and other appliances can easily generate leakage currents in the range of 1mA to 3.5mA each.
Integral testing solutions The Ethos 3650 – 200A digital earth leakage clamp meter – is an integral part of an electrician’s test equipment, and is perfectly safe and simple to use. Not only does it help identify where RCD tripping may occur, but it also provides the following features: • Three settings at 200mA, 2A, and 200A • Resolution at 200µA on 200mA setting • Data hold • Auto power off • Max hold • Backlight • Shielded transformer jaws • Two-year warranty The Ethos test equipment range is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding electrical engineers and contractors making their job faster and easier, whilst helping the user comply with the latest legislation. Ethos products form a full range of test equipment with features to suit users of all levels.
“The Ethos test equipment range is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding electrical engineers and contractors making their job faster and easier.”
The perfect fault-finding solution In addition to meeting new regulations laid out in the 18th Edition, the Ethos 3650 is also a fantastic device when it comes to fault finding. When the user utilises the device for this purpose, the first thing they would do is to place the 3650 digital earth leakage clamp meter around the meter tails that are being tested. If the user observes an inconsistent reading, that is varying from one second to the next, then this may be an indication that there could be a fault somewhere in the system. In this scenario, Ethos recommends switching off MCBs and then turning them back on individually to locate the source of the fault (the reading on the Ethos 3650 will make it clear which circuit is causing the issue). To find a fault on the circuit once identified which circuit it is for example a lighting circuit, if the cables are accessible try and judge at the middle of the circuit clamp the Ethos 3650 around the outgoing line and neutral conductors, if there still appears to be a fault then it is further along the circuit, if the fault has gone then it is further back towards the consumer unit. This allows you to quickly identify the offending item causing excessive leakage. The scope of use for the 3650 as a faultfinding device is extensive, and in addition to the above, it can also be utilised for checks prior to undertaking a consumer unit change. Ethos Instruments, ethos-instruments.co.uk
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TEST & MEASUREMENT
SHEDDING A LIGHT ON PAT TESTING Darren Bakewell, Application Engineer, Seaward Electronics, explains what a portable appliance test is; advising on how often devices need to be tested and who is competent to carry it out.
ortable appliance testing has become a fundamental requirement for ensuring electrical safety in the workplace. Evidence shows that a large number of the dangers,
deaths and injuries caused by misused or faulty electrical equipment can be prevented when proper electrical checking, inspection and safety testing procedures are in place. Planned and proactive portable appliance testing programmes help to detect potential safety problems with electrical appliances before they occur.
What is a PAT test? Portable appliance tests (PAT) are quick and simple checks performed on electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use. PAT tests and visual inspections can highlight an array of problems, from simple wear and tear to counterfeit appliances that don’t meet UK safety standards. While most faults can be picked up through a visual inspection, some faults will only become apparent during testing – so it’s important to include both in your electrical safety procedures.
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TEST & MEASUREMENT
Who should carry out a PAT test?
WHAT THE LAW SAYS?
It is recommended that anyone carrying out a PAT test should have:
The law requires that all landlords, employers and even self-employed individuals make sure that their electrical appliances are safe, suitable and used for their intended purpose. The regulations related to this, include the following:
“PAT testing equipment is now widely available, reasonably priced and, in most cases, easy to use.”
• Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 • The Housing Act 2004 (England and Wales) • The Housing Act 2014 (Scotland)
Who is responsible for ensuring legal requirements are met? The following individuals are all responsible for ensuring that equipment is safe for use:
A large number of the deaths and injuries caused by misused or faulty electrical equipment can be prevented through proper electrical testing
•A n adequate knowledge and practical experience of electricity and its hazards •A clear understanding of precautions required to avoid danger •T he ability to recognise at all times whether it is safe for work to continue •T he ability to identify equipment and appliance types to determine the test procedures and frequency of inspection and testing •A dequate understanding of the operating principles of both the test equipment and the unit under test •T he ability to create test records and take responsibility for the work •A dequate knowledge of the required safety standards •A dequate knowledge of possible hazards at a ‘strange’ site.
How often should you carry out a PAT test? The frequency of testing appliances and electrical devices should be derived from a robust risk assessment, considering various aspects such as those listed below:
•T he construction class of the equipment •T he environment that it is used in •T he users of the equipment •T he type of equipment •T he inspection, test history and findings •H ow often it is used. As an example, a hand-held appliance is more likely to become damaged than those that are stationary, therefore hand-held appliances should be tested more frequently. Findings from the risk assessment and previous test results, if any, should help you create a calendar that clearly identifies what needs to be tested and when. All documentation following testing should then be filed in a way that is easily accessible for compliance purposes.
What equipment is needed? PAT testers have come a long way since the introduction of The Electricity at Work Regulations (EAWR) in 1989, which set out to raise the standards of electrical safety within industry and commerce. PAT testing equipment is now widely available, reasonably priced and, in most cases, easy to use. From basic pass/fail instruments that carry out fundamental safety checks, to more advanced models with Bluetooth technology, on-board cameras and test data downloading capabilities, there is a PAT tester to suit the safety testing needs of all companies and organisations. Seaward, seaward.co.uk
•A n employer has a responsibility to provide and maintain a safe working environment for every employee to use. The same rules also apply for those that are self-employed. •A dministrators or managers of premises are required to understand and apply the legislation and assess the risks in respect of electrical equipment and appliances within their charge. Administrators have a legal responsibility to ensure that the electrical equipment in their charge is safe. •A ll users of electrical equipment within the workplace have a responsibility to ensure that equipment they use has no obvious visual damage or defects. If a defect is found, then it is the individual’s responsibility to report this to their employer or manager. •T he individual performing the inspections and electrical safety checks on an item of equipment should be competent to carry out the tests, assess the results and conditions in which the item is being used and then be able to judge whether the item is safe for continued use. Training and experience will both be necessary.
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Metrel A1532 EVSE Test Adaptor
Available from your local wholesaler. Further details available at: www.metrel.co.uk email@example.com 01924 245000
TEST & MEASUREMENT
The EVSE adapter A1532 and multitester MI3125BT shown testing an EO charger
LEADING THE CHARGE With electric vehicles rising to the fore, it’s essential that charging points are installed properly and fully tested to ensure that they fully function. Brendan Beaver, UK Sales Manager at Metrel, looks at the best practices and outlines some of the best test and measurement devices.
ccording to an article published in Autocar in July, electric vehicle (EV) roll out is being prevented by an unreliable charging infrastructure. This is hardly surprising, given the ad hoc manner of the development of the infrastructure and the lack of strategic control in Britain. Today, there are in the region of 28,000 charging stations in the UK, of which 10,000 are privately owned.
To add an additional level of confusion, there are at least ten manufacturers of vehicle charging equipment approved by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. Each manufacturer is required to train electrical engineers on the installation of their equipment, but this can be as cursory as working through a web-based programme and answering some questions. Meanwhile, the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations requires that each charging point “shall be protected by either a RCD type B or a RCD type A,
and appropriate equipment that ensures disconnection of supply in case of a fault current above 6mA”. That is how they should be installed; but there is no comment on how they should be tested on installation, or into the future, to ensure proper functioning and reliability. In a survey run by one of the test instrument manufacturers, it was found that half of all installers have experienced out of the box failure with new RCDs, so for safety’s sake, it is valuable to test newly installed RCD protection.
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TEST & MEASUREMENT All three of Metrel’s testers listed have automated testing for EVSE points, using the Autosequence function. The operator opens the test, enters the parameters of the test (such as earthing system type) and starts the test, changing the vehicle status button when prompted. They then monitor the results with the assistance of the tester, and save them to memory. The dot matrix touch screen of the tester makes labelling of the results much easier, as there is a full keyboard, and the recently improved memory management firmware has made on-board storage much more intuitive.
A multi-tester MI3152 and EVSE adapter A1532 testing a charging point
‘Twixt charger and tester, the interface Strangely, while the charging station product market is relatively well developed, the equipment market for testing them is not. At the last count, only three manufacturers produced interfaces for testing the roadside chargers without opening it up. Rolec, the charger manufacturer, produced an adapter, EVTU0018, that was originally dedicated to testing Rolec equipment – though this has changed recently to be more universal. The EVSE adapter, A1532, from test equipment manufacturer, Metrel, can interface between any charge point and any manufacturers’ tester, and a new entry from BEHA, EV-520-UK, which is, as yet, little seen and fairly pricey. All three adapters facilitate the testing of single and three-phase chargers. They simulate the charging state of the vehicle, disconnected, charge ready, active charging (with and without ventilation) and pilot error, permitting the system to be tested as a whole and not just discrete parts. And because there is no need to open the box, testing is quick, and there are no warranty implications. However, there is a problem with these adapters; they are only as good as the tester you connect them to.
Testers – the limitations Returning to the 18th Edition stipulation, the electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) must be protected by type B RCD or
a type A RCD, and something is required to disconnect the supply when more than 6mA of fault current are present. Any all-inone tester will test type A RCDs; premium testers, such as the Fluke 1663 and 1664, and the Megger MFT1721 and MFT1741, will test type B RCDs; but it is only the Metrel range of multi-testers, MI3125BT, MI3152 and MI32155, that will test type B RCBs, and that offer a standard 6mA DC disconnection test classed as type EV RCDs to confirm all types of charger protection conform to the 18th Edition.
Test automation Many years ago, Megger pioneered the Auto RCD test, and the contractors were slow to use it – possibly due to poor communication, and a failure to explain just how useful a function it could be. It is now one of the most popular functions on its testers, but it has not moved on to adopt more automatic testing functions. Storage of results on-board the MFT1741 is, by the company’s admission, “not the easiest to use”. At the premium end of its range, Fluke has incorporated automatic installation testing, allowing the scripting of up to seven installation testers, saving time by reducing the need to remake connections. However, because it does not offer the 6mA DC disconnection test, the Fluke 1664 cannot be used in any automatic mode to test vehicle chargers, but results – once obtained – can be saved to the cloud via a smartphone running iOS or Android and shared easily.
The eMobility Analyser A 1632, with a multi-tester MI3155 testing charge point
The future is always difficult to predict, but one thing for certain is that 28,000 charge points are unlikely to be sufficient in a population of approximately 30 million vehicles. There will be a lot more installations to be tested, both initially and on an ongoing basis. It is known that Megger is working on a test device – although its exact form is uncertain – and one suspects that Fluke and BEHA will also benefit from this opportunity. Metrel has, at recent exhibitions, been displaying the e-mobility analyser A1632, which has a much more sophisticated interface, and supports diagnostic testing and verification of electrical safety and function of type one and type two supply equipment. It also supports testing of mode two and three charging cables and their communications monitoring between vehicle and charging station during operation, using a Metrel multitester to monitor and store the results. Metrel has also introduced a new Android app, which means that the e-mobility analyser can be operated and controlled with a mobile phone, as opposed to a tester. How quickly the field is changing. Metrel, metrel.co.uk
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04/07/2019 09:57:14 15/07/2019 14:49
PLAYING IT SAFE David Sweetman, Marketing and Business Development Director at Di-log, discusses the importance of safe isolation, lockout and tagout.
MFT1741 Loop test with confidence 42 | August 2019
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TEST & MEASUREMENT
very electrician with experience of working on a busy site knows how it feels to take responsibility for the other tradesmen around them. When you are dealing with live electricity, there’s no room for calculated risks and educated guesses. The only way you can ensure the safety of you and your colleagues is through adopting adequate safe isolation procedures. For electrical systems where the supply has been cut off to allow dead working, Regulation 13 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 applies as follows: “Adequate precautions shall be taken to prevent electrical equipment, which has been made dead in order to prevent danger while work is carried out on or near that equipment, from becoming electrically charged during that work if danger may thereby arise.“ This establishes a clear requirement to ensure that conductors and equipment may not be inadvertently energised. In other words, safe isolation. In practise, this means not only cutting off the supply, but also ensuring the method of disconnection is secured in the ‘off’ position and a caution notice or label is posted at the point of disconnection.
Safe isolation procedures With the 18th Edition regulations, safe isolation is being enforced across the industry, especially by the NICEIC and Elecsa. Although nothing is changing in the way of the testing requirement on installation test equipment, safe isolation is critical for the safety of yourself and those around you. Isolation of equipment or circuits using the main switch or distribution board switch disconnector is the preferred method. The method of isolation should be locked off using a unique key, retained by the person carrying out the work, and a caution notice posted at the point of isolation. Where more than one operative is working on a circuit, a multi-lock hasp can be used to prevent operation of the main isolator until such time as all persons working on the installation have completed their work and removed their padlocks from the hasp. ”The practice of placing insulating tape over a circuit breaker is not an adequate nor acceptable means of securing the device in the ‘off’ position.”
Proving dead isolated equipment or circuits Following isolation of equipment or circuits, and before starting work, it should be proven that areas you are about to work on are in fact dead. The recommended method for doing this is by use of a test lamp or a two-pole tester (as recommended in HSE Guidance Note 38). The test lamp or voltage detector should be proved to be working on a known live source or a proprietary proving unit. All line, neutral, and protective conductors should be tested to prove they are dead. Electricians who regularly work on installations that have been energised should be equipped with devices for proving that conductors are dead. Di-log’s latest range of safety equipment for working on LV electrical equipment includes an array of lockout kits, ranging from a simple single MCB ‘personal lockout kit’, for isolation of individual circuits; through to the industrial ‘expert lockout kit’, with mostly fully insulated lockout devices, for virtually all individual and main sources of energisation. The Di-log range of ‘lockout kits’ are designed with safety, versatility and affordability in mind. With the entry level DLLOC1 – personal lockout kit, you get a 38mm steel padlock, a universal MCB lock, a standard ‘pins-out’ MCB lock and warning tag. The higher the level of kit, the more features there are included. By adding items, such as multiple isolation lockout hasps, the kits enable multiple persons to work on the same circuit, with the ability to hold up to six lockout padlocks. The DLLOC3 professional and DLLOC4 expert kits provide more scope to safely isolate a broader range of MCBs and main switches. Items such as the larger universal MCB lockout device, large main switch lockout device, and with a fully insulated padlock and hasp, ensure all commercial and industrial applications are covered.
ISOPKx safe isolation kits To fully conform to the ‘safe isolation procedure’, and in addition to the above, once the circuit or main source of energy has been isolated, the conductors must be proved to be dead at the point of work before they are touched and, where necessary, caution notices should also be applied at the point(s) of isolation. With this in mind, Di-log has combined its lockout kits with its two-pole CombiVolt voltage indicators and its PU260 – 690V twopole voltage proving unit to create the allnew ISOPKx kits. The ISOPK1 - CombiVolt 1 safe isolation kit c/w DLLOC1, ISOPK2 - CombiVolt 2 Safe Isolation Kit c/w DLLOC2 and the New ISOPKpro and ISOPKexpert.
Di-log has combined its lockout kits with a two-pole CombiVolt voltage indicator and two-pole voltage proving unit to create the new ISOPKx kits
“Electricians who regularly work on installations that have been energised should be equipped with devices for proving that conductors are dead.”
Both the Pro and the Expert kit offer the digital CombiVolt 2 voltage and continuity tester, with either the DLLOC3 professional lockout kit or the DLLOC4 expert lockout kit. The CombiVolt voltage and continuity indicators are packed with features, such as single pole voltage indication (even when the batteries are depleted), phase rotation and non-trip phase to PE indication. The also fully conform to all standards, including the vital BS EN 61243-3-2015. The PU260 – 690V proving features LED indication if your two-pole tester draws excessive current above 3.5mA, thus not conforming to standards such as ‘protection against electric shock’. With all the above combined together, Di-log can confidently boast that they offer one of the most comprehensive safe isolation kits available to the UK market.
To fully conform to the ‘safe isolation procedure’ conductors must be proved dead at the point of work before they are touched
MFT1741 The electricians’ tester August 2019 | 43
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TOOLS & WORKWEAR
DON’T GET HOT UNDER THE COLLAR Peter Dumigan, Managing Director of the Hultafors Group UK, which owns Snickers Workwear, explains why it’s essential to wear your own climate control system while working this summer.
37.5 is a fabric technology that offers great efficiency when it comes to ventilation and moisture transport
orking on site can be a hazardous business. Bumps, cuts and bruises are everyday occurrences, and more serious, long term injuries often happen. With so much happening on site, with various machinery, materials and even potentially dangerous working locations, the potential for accidents is everywhere. There’s a host of training and PPE products to keep us safety-aware and protected. But it isn’t just physical hazards in the working environment you should be conscious of – you need to be very aware of how weather conditions can affect your performance and wellbeing on site, so that means dressing right. We all look forward to sunny, warm weather in the summer months. As long as you’ve got plenty of sunscreen to protect exposed skin, it’ll produce a great tan, but it can also compound the health and safety issues by creating an extra hazard for personal wellbeing. So dressing right for the environment you’re grafting in is important; not only for working efficiency, but also for personal comfort and wellbeing.
Top tips and essentials The best workwear for professional tradesmen and women is designed to create a climate control system for your body. It will help you stay cool, and make getting the job done as easy and as comfortable as possible. There are many factors that affect how comfortable your work clothes and safety shoes are – particularly, the materials they’re made of, and whether they’re right for the type of work you’re doing.
Your feet If you’re on the move a lot, or want to keep your feet cool, why not try out some of the newer-style safety trainers that combine lightweight, breathable uppers and composite midsoles for comfort and protection. You can even get socks that will keep your feet cool, dry and ventilated.
Your legs Shorts are fine in really warm weather and some working environments, but they won’t provide protection for your knees and lower legs. Work trousers made from heavy fabrics will get really uncomfortable and impractical, so think about getting yourself a pair of lightweight work trousers made from a hi-tech fabric that combines comfort with durability.
Topwear can work for you by pulling sweat away from your skin to keep you dry
Your upper body Keeping comfortable and dry will keep you working efficiently. Our advice is to get yourself topwear like shirts and lightweight jackets – including hi-vis vests – that work for you by pulling sweat away from your skin to keep you dry and your body temperature on an even keel. The last thing you need is for your clothes to get really wet through sweat, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and getting cold when the temperature drops.
Get the right fit To make sure that your working clothes fit your body and the jobs you’ve got in hand, here’s some basic advice: •C hoose clothes that are not tight, but instead lightweight and comfortable. •C hoose ‘climate control’ fabrics that wick sweat away from your skin. • I n general, keep in mind that you don’t want any clothing that gets in the way of the work you’re doing.
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TOOLS & WORKWEAR Shorts are fine in really warm weather, but they won’t provide adequate protection for your knees and lower legs
• Don’t wear clothes that become uncomfortable and therefore affect your concentration. For your own comfort and wellbeing, it’s important to stay alert and to pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re working hard on a hot day.
Turning down the heat “For your own comfort and wellbeing, it’s important to stay alert and to pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re working hard on a hot day.”
When the going gets really hot and humid, ventilation is the key. Look for hot weather garments that feature advanced designs and ‘intelligent’ materials – such as A.V.S and Coolmax, which is a soft fabric designed to transport moisture away from your body, helping you to stay cool and dry. The high-tech A.V.S. fabric features an innovative blend of polyester and bamboo carbon. The bamboo is ground down to nano-size – one millionth of a millimetre – and blended with the polyester fibre. The result is a highly breathable material, giving you exceptional moisture (sweat) transport, UV protection and anti-odour comfort.
Facts about sweat Sweat is the cooling mechanism of the body. It protects us from overheating by turning moisture into vapour. This vapour needs to be released and ventilated away from your body or you will end up soaking wet. Which probably is your experience if you have worked in non-breathable materials during hot days.
On a hot day, you really need a garment made from a fabric that has the ultimate capacity for ventilation and moisture transport. That is why Snickers Workwear has chosen 37.5 technology to provide hardworking craftsmen and women with the coolest experience. 37.5 is a new fabric technology, largely used in high-performance sportswear, with unmatched efficiency when it comes to ventilation and moisture transport. Instead of being applied to the surface of the fabric, 37.5 fibres are woven into the fabric. This means they never get washed out, so you get the full benefit wear after wear.
Five cool facts about 37.5 technology • The active particles used in 37.5 technology are derived from natural sources, such as coconut shells and volcanic minerals. • Fabrics with 37.5 technology dry up to five times faster than performance fabrics without. • The hotter a user gets, the stronger the drive force removing moisture becomes. • 37.5 works to the level of 37.5 degrees, both when it comes to humidity percentage and temperature. • 37.5 active particles are permanently embedded into the yarn, and will never wash out or degrade. Snickers Workwear, snickersworkwear.co.uk
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TOOLS & WORKWEAR
TOOLS FOR LIFE Standards of safe isolation within the electrical industry can vary greatly, with many people still admitting to working live and not following proper procedures. Just a few essential tools, when used properly, could zero those risks, writes Malcolm Duncan, Managing Director of Super Rod.
hen it comes to working safely around electricity, it seems obvious to take precautions. Electricity kills, everyone knows that. So why are people still working live and not following basic isolation procedures? This apathetic approach undoubtedly causes accidents, and it’s surely only a matter of time before it claims another life. In 2018, we carried out a survey with the Electricians UK Community group to see how many electrical professionals worked live or didn’t follow proper safe isolation procedures in their daily work. The results were shocking; a quarter of electrical professionals said they rarely or never used a lockout kit to isolate the electrical supply they were working on, and one in five didn’t even carry one in their van or tool bag. The survey also asked about attitudes towards using a voltage tester to prove dead before starting work. One in ten respondents said they didn’t use one, and a third (33%) thought they were experienced enough not to make a mistake, so didn’t need to check with a voltage tester.
We embarked on a media campaign to highlight the findings of our survey on safe isolation procedures in the press and on social media, which got people talking about it, but it didn’t offer a solution. We knew we needed to follow it up with something that would encourage electrical contractors to take action and ensure they are always operating in a safe working environment. This month, we are launching a joint campaign with CEF to ‘Save Our Sparks’. It’s a brand new national safety awareness campaign to get more electrical professionals thinking about their health and safety at work, and it’s become a unique collaboration of three of our industry’s strongest brands – Klein Tools, Megger Instruments and MCG.
“As part of the Save Our Sparks campaign, electrical contractors will be able to buy a special discounted bundle of safety tools including an MCG lockout kit, a Megger voltage tester and a set of Klein Tools VDE rated insulated pliers.”
The death of Michael Adamson in 2005 has resulted in a number of safety initiatives, including the ‘Save Our Sparks’ campaign that involves Super Rod and CEF
A look at the Save Our Sparks bundle, which incorporates safety tools from Megger and Klein Tools
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TOOLS & WORKWEAR
2206EINS application 160mm diagonal cutting pliers from Super Rod
More than 400 CEF branches across the UK and Ireland will be supporting the week-long Save Our Sparks campaign, which has been largely inspired by ‘Michael’s Story’. Michael Adamson was just 26 when he died after coming into contact with mains voltage power in an incident at work in August 2005. He was an experienced electrician, but there were a number of health and safety failings on the site where he was working – including
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the failure to implement safe isolation procedures and a failure to provide lock off devices and testing equipment – which would eventually lead to his tragic death. As part of the Save Our Sparks campaign, electrical contractors will be able to buy a special discounted bundle of safety tools including an MCG lockout kit, a Megger voltage tester and a set of Klein Tools VDE rated insulated pliers. The products chosen are of particular significance to Michael’s Story. The findings of the HSE’s investigation into Michael’s death found that there was no lockout kit used, no voltage tester used, and that the electricians working on the site had inadequate pliers in terms of leverage and insulation. The safety kits will be available from CEF branches for £94.95 plus VAT, making the lockout kit free as part of the bundle, and giving more contractors access to the tools they need to work safely – day in, day out. A number of kits will also be donated to the college in Edinburgh where Michael was trained, to ensure the next generation of electricians are well equipped for the future. The safety of electrical contractors must remain front of mind for everyone in the industry. Through a united approach, we can ensure the barriers to safe isolation are removed, and we can move towards a future where Michael’s story is one we never have to repeat.
Safe isolation – tool tips • Lockout kit – even if you are working alone, a lockout kit is essential to ensure you aren’t on the receiving end of mains voltage if someone accidentally restores power to the circuit you are working on. Lots of kits come with belt loops or waist straps so they can be kept on your person, and you will therefore be more likely to use them. Our survey revealed that instead of a lockout kit, professionals used electrician’s tape (19%) or handwritten signs (44%) to tell other trades what they were working on, but these methods are not secure or an adequate replacement for a lockout kit. • Voltage tester – mistakes happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Circuits can be incorrectly labelled, or there may be a fault that means your ‘dead’ circuit is actually very much live. A non-contact voltage tester will ensure there’s no nasty surprises when you start work, and don’t forget to keep fresh batteries in the van, just in case. Our research suggested that one in four people didn’t use a voltage tester because theirs was broken or needed new batteries. • Insulated tools – using VDE rated hand tools will provide you with a final layer of protection, should the first two stages of safe isolation fail. Regularly give insulated tools a visual check to ensure they are in good condition, as any cracks in the insulation layer will zero any protection you had. Most VDE rated tools from Klein Tools have a unique three-layer insulation with a white underlayer at the bottom – so if you can see white, it’s time to change your tool. It’s also worth investing in tools with thumb guards, as these will stop you accidentally slipping on to the conductive part of the tool where there is no insulation.
Super Rod, super-rod.co.uk
SOFTWARE & APPS
CONNECTIVITY BREEDS CONFIDENCE Smartphones, tablets and mobile solutions have changed how engineers can send, receive and capture information when operating in the field. In this article, simPRO explores the new mobile solutions making waves.
n upgrading the level of communication engineers have with the office and the customer, smart devices and mobile solutions have effectively evolved field staff into more powerful and knowledgeable service-providing entities. But what exactly does that mean? What features of mobile solutions are enabling this level of efficiency?
Make informed decisions There is huge potential in more immediate access to crucial information that can assist engineers in completing work. The main benefit being that, through being connected, mobile solutions enable engineers to enter a site confidently, knowing as much as they can about it. The cloud-based nature of mobile solutions mean that engineers can use their devices to access site histories, customer details, notes on previous work, attending job details, and more. Access to this level of data means that engineers are stepping onto a site more informed than ever, which will better their decisionmaking and customer satisfaction.
Capture site images with ease In the past, engineers have been limited in the ways they could capture and share site images and details with other team members and customers. Now, however – armed with smart devices and their advanced cameras – engineers can take high quality photos of everything on-site, including: site layout, parts used, install performed, and a final look after the install. Through the modern marvels of mobile solutions, these images (and even digital drawings, which is an option in some applications) are able to be saved to job and quote records as they are completed. For engineers who will attend a site at a later date, or even industry regulators during an audit of work performed, having these images is crucial in developing an understanding and awareness of a site or job that they would otherwise not have.
Faster digital data entry Electrical businesses have a need for mobile field service to help improve the speed and efficiency of engineers. This can be achieved, for the most part, through digital data entry. It means engineers are not wasting time, money and readability with pens, pencils and paper when it comes to recording what happened on a job.
Mobile solutions will open up a wealth of new opportunities for electrical contractors, simPRO believes
“Imagine how much more confident you would feel accepting a job, knowing you could easily access and review complete site and asset history, and high-quality imagery.”
Instead, with a mobile solution, engineers can digitally: ecord travel time and billable hours •R •R eview job and customer details •N ote down parts used and additional information •C apture customer signatures •S end all information back to the office via the cloud Digital data entry means notes and records are neat, and the time in which it takes to capture information is cut down, unaffected by a dry pen, poor handwriting or a lost paper form.
Stay connected – anytime, anywhere Speaking of paper forms, many engineers using paper-based processes need to make time to return to the office to hand over their completed forms and job records. As most engineers will do this at the end of the day, the flurry of paper involved often leaves administrative staff feeling snowed under. This is where mobile solutions take smart devices to the next level. With a smartphone or tablet, engineers can email forms or text updates back to office staff; however, this still runs the risk of duplicate copies of forms, double data entry and more.
Mobile solutions, through a cloud-based connection, enable engineers to submit forms and automate the transfer of job information back to a central business system so office staff can access it almost immediately. That means information and forms like quotes, compliance reports and job updates can all be submitted to the office and made available for immediate access by administrative staff directly from an engineer’s smartphone, while still on-site. Businesses should not fear their engineers will become lazy or unreliable with the use of mobile solutions. It will empower and support them in the field, so they are operating with more information and efficiency than ever before. Imagine how much more confident you would feel accepting a job, knowing you could easily access and review complete site and asset history, and high-quality imagery. Imagine how much more time you would have if you could digitally submit all your job-related information to administrative staff and immediately move onto the next job. Imagine how much neater your work records would be! Mobile solutions and smart devices play a key part in helping the business to succeed and grow to new heights. If you haven’t yet considered one for you and your team, make sure you do – otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind. simPRO, simpro.co.uk
50 | August 2019
Software & Apps – Simpro.indd 50
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SOFTWARE & APPS
With its ability to improve efficiencies, and the quality of service offered to customers, connectivity can make all the difference
CONNECTIVITY IS KING Sean Miller, Electrician Programme Manager at Schneider Electric, looks at the nature of connectivity, explains how it is evolving, and assesses what it means for electrical contractors.
ver wondered what it takes to be a successful electrician? It’s no longer all about offering the best price, being the most experienced, or giving top-quality customer service. Today, connectivity is king. As more and more devices become connected, there’s money to be made in digital. In fact, McKinsey predicts it to generate $11.1 trillion (£8.8 trillion) a year by 2025. With that in mind, contractors that are able to offer digital products are already one step ahead of the competition. Despite connectivity improving services on offer, it’s not a quick fix that guarantees you’ll stay ahead of the competition. To be successful, it’s important to conduct research into which technologies are the best, along with knowledge on how to install them.
Schneider Electric’s Acti9 Isobar P distribution board demands much less wiring, cutting installation times by around 50%
As technology evolves, so do customer expectations. That’s true of both the commercial and residential sectors. Building managers want complex systems with connected sensors that feed them real-time updates on equipment health; while homeowners are demanding smart home heating systems they can control from their smartphones. That’s a far cry from just wiring a fuse box. The electrical industry is no stranger to change, but will everyone be able to keep up? Change is happening now – it’s happening to everything, and it’s happening faster than ever. By 2025, an estimated 26 to 36 billion devices at home and in the workplace will be equipped with sensors, processers and embedded software. Technology can be disruptive, and disruption can sometimes be frightening if you’re just trying to hold on. Yet while connectivity has a learning curve, it opens
new doors for those willing to buy in. So how does being connected help you to become a better electrical contractor? You have to remember that every stage of the customer journey now has a connected component. Your customers will find you online while browsing on their phones, but it doesn’t stop there. By using connected devices in your installations, you become more connected to the customer, and when they realise the benefits of your connected offering, they will come to you again and again. It’s the foundation of a long-lasting customer relationship. The main benefit of connectivity is in sight. Depending on where it is installed in a circuit, an IoT-connected sensor can tell a building manager or homeowner many things, from their energy consumption to the health of their equipment. Having this information saves money, reveals opportunities and stops problems before they happen.
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SOFTWARE & APPS As a result, there are great opportunities for digitally skilled electricians in commercial buildings. The buildings and construction sectors account for 36% of global energy consumption – over the next 20 years, there are potential savings of over a quarter in space heating, and more than 20% in water heating. This means that if your commercial customer isn’t thinking about insight-driven efficiency now, they will be very soon. To make the most of this opportunity, you must remember that your role as an electrician doesn’t have to be just giving customers electricity. You can increase your value-add as a connected consultant able to empower them with insight and optimise operations for the better.
Working smarter and faster Connectivity and insight don’t just benefit the customer, they benefit you. For example, when you’re called in for maintenance or repairs, having a pool of data to draw from the connected devices you installed will drastically speed up your workflow. Hours of manual inspection can be replaced by minutes of reading a series of data points. When supported by insight, you can isolate and resolve a problem much faster. You’ll develop a reputation for speed and efficiency, and make it more likely that the customer will call on you again. By working smarter, you work faster. This means you can get more work done in less time, offer more competitive prices and focus on what
matters most – growing your customer base and business. Schneider Electric’s Acti9 Isobar P distribution board is a good demonstration of how connectivity saves contractors time. With a plug-in RCBO, the board demands much less wiring, cutting installation times by around 50%, ensuring a faster, more competitive job. Connectivity also makes you safer by putting another layer between you and the live equipment. There’s an inherent danger in every job, whether it’s from electrical shocks or arc flashes. Yet, the risks to health and life they pose are greatly diminished when connected technologies are able to do much of the dangerous work for you. What’s more, when an application has more software components than hardware, there is much less of a risk from degrading equipment and more problems can be solved remotely. With some of today’s digital tools, a contractor can check (or even perform) maintenance on a device without ever having to touch the enclosure. For example, Schneider Electric’s MasterPact MTZ circuit breakers can connect to an operator’s phone through a smartphone app. Instead of having to open up a distribution board and manually check where a problem might be, a contractor only has to download the app and it will indicate what’s wrong. Connectivity, of course, is also safer for the customer. When the capabilities are in place for connected monitoring and
SPECIAL FEATURE Schneider Electric’s MasterPact MTZ circuit breakers can connect to an operator’s phone through a smartphone app, and problems can be detected immediately
“By using connected devices in your installations, you become more connected to the customer, and when they realise the benefits of your connected offering, they will come to you again and again.”
detection, potential dangers can be flagged and resolved before they can snowball into a larger problem. You don’t need to wait until a scheduled check-up before a potentially dangerous fault is discovered. With connected solutions that feed customers real-time insight across their assets, repairs and maintenance can also be performed on a proactive, rather than reactive, basis. This means less downtime and, ultimately, safer and happier customers. Ultimately, connectivity is king. With its ability to improve efficiencies, and the quality of service offered to customers, what’s not to like. Schneider Electric UK, schneider-electric.co.uk
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SOFTWARE & APPS
TRANSFORMATIVE APPS FOR A NEW ERA OF CONTRACTING With smartphone ownership continuing to rise, the popularity and use of apps increases likewise. Marie Parry, Group Marketing Director at Scolmore Group, looks at some of the statistics, and explains how apps are making life easier for contractors and installers.
n 2018, the app as we know it turned 10 years old. We’ve come a long way since the launch of the first 500 apps on the first iteration of Apple’s app store. Google, Apple, and to a lesser extent Microsoft and Amazon, control one of the world’s biggest marketplaces. There are over five billion mobile users in the world, with global internet penetration standing at 57%. It is estimated that globally, in 2017, a total of 197 billion mobile apps were downloaded to connected devices. In 2021, this figure is projected to grow to 352.9 billion app downloads. The fact that mobile apps are relatively easier to create than computer apps, as well as their considerably lower price, has translated into a growing industry. Using an app to help with electrical work may have seemed unlikely a few years ago. However, electrical professionals are now increasingly using apps that deliver quick answers, manage and customise information consumption, and hasten communication. Now, with information at their fingertips, they are armed with ever more powerful on-demand IT capabilities.
Tasks that used to demand laborious hand calculations or time-consuming diversions to consult hefty code books – and the conveyance of information via face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and emails – have been sped up and simplified. With so many apps, and so much information available, electricians will be looking for those that bring as much material as possible to their fingertips to make their working life easier, rather than having to search through a number of different sources.
A feature-rich app for everyday use The award-winning Scolmore app brings to contractors the most comprehensive range of features that will help them in their everyday tasks on site. The company has acted upon feedback from electricians/ contractors to ensure that the free app works for them to save them time, and therefore, money. It is unrivalled by any other electrical app on the market.
“With so many apps, and so much information available, electricians will be looking for those that bring as much material as possible to their fingertips.”
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SOFTWARE & APPS What sets the Scolmore app apart is the free ‘tool kit’ feature, which includes a selection of valuable calculators, designed to make it quick and easy for electricians to make essential calculations on the job. Included are Z’s values; cable selection and voltage drop; power factor; KVA convertor; cost saving calculator; downlights number calculator; resistance calculator; voltage calculator; current calculator and power calculator. Scolmore’s app has everything in one place, and its tool kit is as comprehensive as it gets. Unlike competitors’ apps, you aren’t required to be part of a special scheme to login and use the app, and furthermore, you are not restricted to quoting using only Scolmore’s products either. Scolmore has also added a new ‘quick quote calculator’, which is designed to let electricians and contractors create a quick quote as they are walking around the site. As well as providing this facility, the new quick quote calculator also has an advanced setting which allows installers and contractors to set up the unit cost of each item, and declare how much they would like to charge for labour. It is also set up so that if a double socket, for example, is added to the quote, it will also automatically add a double back box. Free to download, it features a complete range of searchable products (9,000 in total), product and tutorial videos, catalogue downloads and all the latest news and events to keep users up-to-date with what’s happening in the company and the industry.
Scolmore launched its innovative app to bring valuable information on products and its applications, as well as the latest company and industry news, into the hands of both qualified electricians and apprentice electricians, to provide them with the vital tools and knowledge that will help them perform efficiently and quickly on the job.
Developed based on industry feedback Keen to ensure that the app worked exactly how electricians want it to, Scolmore put the app to the test, and – prior to launch – solicited feedback and suggestions from the industry, with a competition targeting a dedicated Facebook forum of 7,000 electrical contractors. The feedback was taken on-board, and the original app subsequently updated to incorporate a number of tweaks and improvements, as well as some valuable additional features. These include ‘quick buy’, ‘product images’ (which produces an enlarged image with superb clarity via a single click), an updated cable selection, and a volt drop calculator in the tool kit. As well as browsing the complete range of products, users can add them to their favourites, or the quote basket. Electricians have the facility to email the contents of the basket for future reference, or straight to the wholesaler, providing all the information needed to obtain any quotations or make a purchase.
Benefits • simple, clear and easy interface • customer signature capture • field operative star rating scheme • pre-defined work description text • time and date stamps, time on site • first time complete (FTC) • form & photo uploads • van stock Forms such as Risk Assessment; H & S; Gas Safety Certificates and the like, can be uploaded to the device and subsequently completed documentation can be received back at the office.
Paperless… seamless! The easiest to use mobile application for field operatives ever. Its simple interface and immediate usability means it will slot into any company’s work environment quickly and efficiently. With information from your jobs hitting the office in real time, your whole job flow procedure is streamlined and standardised, meaning invoicing can be achieved far quicker.
With over 9,000 products currently available, the search facility makes it easy to locate the products required – if further information is needed, there’s an option to email Scolmore. To facilitate the installation process, product videos and tutorial videos can be viewed whilst on a job. Scolmore, scolmore.com
Web Worker for mobile Available as an add on to the Cypher1 Software, this mobile application enables your field operatives to pick up their jobs on their phone or device, action them accordingly and upload the information, (with attachments), directly to the Cypher1 system.
The Scolmore app brings contractors a comprehensive range of features, helping them in their everyday tasks
making communal & studio kitchens safer
Availab le an Andro as iOS App id/ ,o browser- r based
• Robust, tamper-proof design and manufacture • 15, 20, 30 and 45 minute run times • LED operation lights • Large terminals and switching capacity • Quick and easy to fit • Vertical and horizontal models available
Hobsafe - the timer that prevents hobs being left on if the cook is distracted. Providing peace of mind to safety conscious landlords and a favourite with electricians due the large terminals, making it easier to install. This simple to use, easy to fit device switches the hob off after a predetermined time, ensuring the kitchen is left safe. Cleverly simple control from Prefect.
Visit prefectcontrols.com/ our-products/run-timers/pre9277 Call 01787 320 604 TEL: 01905 640064
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
IDEAL NETWORKS LAUNCHES LANTEK IV Ideal Networks has launched LanTEK IV – a copper and fibre cable certifier that provides a unique way to certify, bringing a new standard to the industry. The new LanTEK IV technology provides faster test times. Engineers and technicians can conduct and save a Cat6A test within seven seconds, assisted by an intuitive user interface and an easy to use high resolution touchscreen. In addition, the tester’s enhanced functionality certifies links up to Cat8, including TCL and resistance unbalance, and will sweep to 3000MHz, providing room for future ratified ISO and TIA test standards. LanTEK IV also provides the patent pending VisiLINQ permanent link adapter, a new and unique way to test that allows users to initiate testing and view the results without even needing to hold the certifier. This allows technicians to work smarter, saving time and increasing productivity. The RJ45 tips on the VisiLINQ permanent link modules are also field replaceable to reduce the cost of ownership.
INNOVATIVE NON-CONTACT TESTERS FROM MARTINDALE Now available from Martindale Electric – one of the most trusted brands in electrical safety – is the latest NC Series of non-contact testers, which enable electricians and maintenance teams to quickly and safely identify live wiring and detect magnetic fields in a range of applications. All models feature a bright LED torch at the point of measurement, together with both audible and visual indication – making them ideal for all work areas. The extended clear probe tip makes it easier to identify the source of the live voltage or magnetic field through improved access and brighter indication. Both the NC2 non-contact voltage detector and the NC4 dual sensitivity noncontact voltage detector make it simple to detect the presence of AC voltages in cabling, sockets and connectors. The sensitivity of the NC2 has been optimised for 230V single and three-phase systems, making it ideal for identifying and tracing live mains cables in trunking and connectors. The NC4 features two sensitivity ranges which can be set according to the application. For further information, visit martindale-electric.co.uk
Ideal Networks, idealnetworks.net
MEGAMAN LAUNCHES NEW DINO LED BATTENS Megaman has released its new generation of Dino LED battens, including Dino 2 Farm. The IP66 and IK04 rated luminaires feature a chemical resistant body designed to withstand harsh locations and areas that have high levels of ammoniacontaining gases. Ideal for farm locations such as pigsties and cowsheds, Dino 2 Farm is an efficient replacement for indoor and outdoor linear fluorescent T5 and T8 sealed battens. Durable and robust, Dino 2 Farm offers a significant improvement to the original Dino 2, when installed in a horticultural environment, due to its chemical resistant body and IP66 ingress protection rating. The luminaire has also recently been tested and approved by the DLG, the German Agricultural Society, for ammonia resistance and cleaning distance. Available with an opal diffuser and a colour temperature of 4000K, Dino 2 Farm battens are available in 4ft and 5ft lengths. The fixtures also come in 35W and 53W variants to provide between 4300 lumens and 6500 lumens, which are comparable to the lumen outputs achieved from traditional twin tube fittings. For further information, visit megamanuk.com
STYLISH, SLIMLINE LED SECURITY LIGHTS FROM ESP The latest addition to ESP’s growing external security lights category is a range of modern, ultra slim, low-energy LED floodlights. They have been designed to meet the growing trend for a stylish, more aesthetic lighting solution that is superior to the bulky options often associated with floodlights. The new NightHawk Plus range comprises a total of eight products which offer a choice of wattage/lumen outputs to ensure a solution for a broad range of applications, from small walkways, through to large gardens and work yards. The range offers 10W/800 lumen, 20W/1600 lumen, 30W/2400 lumen and 50W/4000 lumen fittings, with each one available as a straightforward floodlight and as a PIR version. The standard fitting is switched on and off manually or can be wired into an external device – such as a digital timer – and is suitable where control of the lighting system is preferred. The built-in PIR sensor fitting provides added security, and comes with predefined settings. For further information, visit espuk.com
BESPOKE, IN-HOUSE LASER ETCHING FROM SCOLMORE Scolmore’s GridPro range is an extensive collection of interchangeable mounting plates and modules, available in the most comprehensive choice of finishes, to offer the ultimate in flexible, modular grid solutions. Customers can also take advantage of Scolmore’s offer of in-house laser etching across all of its GridPro modules – and in doing so, save themselves time and money. The module etching is done using a specially acquired laser printer, which produces a precise, permanent, fine marking effect and offers flexibility to suit large volume orders or for customised jobs. With this in-house facility, Scolmore is able to offer a fully bespoke service to customers, who will be able to order customised laser etched modules to suit the range of projects they are working on. Fourteen of the most popular printed legends will be produced – including dishwasher, cooker hood, washing machine, fridge freezer – and they are available in all the GridPro module finishes. For further information, visit scolmore.com
A NEW WEBSITE FOR GREENBROOK GreenBrook Electrical has announced the launch of a new, redesigned version of its website, greenbrook.co.uk. The new website has a refreshed and simplified look, combined with a clear mega menu facility, enhanced content and improved search functionality with more detailed product specification. “Our mission was to create a very user-friendly website that will deliver the required information quickly and easily,” says Peter Ratcliffe, Sales Director. “The elegant, user-focus design of the site provides a new platform for our brands that will boost the promotion of our products and the understanding of what GreenBrook has to offer.” If you require any further information, please contact GreenBrook Marketing at email@example.com or call 01279 772 765. For further information, visit greenbrook.co.uk
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
THE METWAY CONNECTION CENTRE LIGHTING CONTROL MODULE The MCC Connection Centre lighting control module from Metway offers a wealth of features to benefit the installer and specifier alike. It is a simple, flexible and cost-effective solution for your lighting installation. The Metway Connection Centre unit comes in a 10 and eight output configuration with dedicated PIR inputs. It features dual side latching luminaire outputs and PIR inputs, dual channel dimming, and dual channel switching. The robust moulded, low profile construction allows for simple single fix installation and loop-in termination of cabling. The unit also features pluggable switch inputs which combine dimming and switching of detectors on individual channels. The switch inputs can also be used to facilitate Metway’s range of communicating detectors to create a networked system with corridor hold. Pluggable BMS integration is also available via third party controls. For further information, visit metway.co.uk
RETROFIT SURGE PROTECTION UNIT BY LEWDEN In addition to the range of SPDs in Type 2 and Combined Type 1, 2 and 3, Lewden has introduced a new Retrofit Surge Protection Unit that meets with the requirements of the 18th Edition regulations BS7671:2018, section 534. This easy to install, self-contained metal enclosure connects in parallel to the existing consumer unit without any need for modification to the unit; and has been designed for retrofitting application to provide protection of electrical appliances against impulse surges where it is not possible to accommodate an SPD directly within the existing consumer unit due to space limitation. It is primarily suited to installations located in an urban area without an external lightning protection system and fed from an underground power source. Suitable for TN-C-S (PME), TN-S, and TT earthing arrangements, this unit incorporates a Type 2 SPD, offering protection against switching transients and the secondary effects of an indirect lightning strike.
TIMEGUARD RAISES THE BAR FOR PIRS AGAIN There is more good news from Timeguard on the PIR front. The devices you fit every day have had a complete overhaul, with the latest generation of components reinforcing Timeguard’s market lead. With guaranteed quality and ratings you can really trust, they really are the only detectors you need to keep on the van, providing presence detection (small movements of people sitting at desks etc.) within a 4m radius and motion detection (people walking into, out of or through an area) over an 8m field. There are new ceiling and surface mount models rated and tested to switch up to 250W LED/2000W halogen lighting or, say, a 75W fan. Lux levels and timeon periods are easy to adjust. Find out more on all of Timeguard’s new products by visiting timeguard.com/products/new Timeguard, timeguard.com
NEW PROTECWORK CLOTHING FROM SNICKERS WORKWEAR ProtecWork is a new collection of protective working clothes and accessories from Snickers Workwear, which has developed out of over 40 years leading the workwear industry – and through close consultation with users and employers in the railway and energy sectors around Europe. The market-leading, risk-protection properties of the clothing are integral components of the extensive range of base, mid and top-layer garments for men and women that combine well with the Snickers Workwear hallmarks of best-in-class durability, comfort, ergonomics and fit. Fully accredited as appropriate to a variety of risk and weather conditions – such as heat and flame, electrostatic, chemical and bad weather working environments – all the garments are manufactured from tailor-made fabrics designed to respond to the demands and risk factors of the conditions in which they’re worn. With over 60 different garments and accessories to choose from, you can make sure you get the right protection, visibility, flexibility, comfort and durability.
For further information, visit lewden.com
NEW MERIDIAN LED GARDEN LIGHTING The CED Electrical Group continues its 25th anniversary year expanding the Meridian Lighting brand, this time by strengthening its outdoor lighting range with new LED brick and spike lights. Suitable for pathways and exterior decorative areas, there’s a choice of six new brick lights in three different finishes – stainless steel, white or black – each available with white or blue colour rendition. Powered by 5W LEDs, these IP54 rated fittings deliver lumen outputs of 80lm for blue and 120lm for white lighting. Moving on to new spike lights, two IP65 rated fittings are available – one finished in black, for placement either on a wall by removing the spike or as an in-ground with spike; and the other with a fixed, non-removable spike for in-ground use only, available in black or chrome. Both can be used with LED GU10 lamps. For further details, or a copy of the new range catalogue, call 0208 503 8500.
Snickers Workwear, snickersworkwear.co.uk
TRIDONIC AND CASAMBI PROVIDE WIRELESS LIGHT MANAGEMENT Tridonic, a world-leading supplier of lighting technology, and Casambi, a pioneer in wireless lighting controls, have partnered to develop an innovative wireless light management solution. The partnership has culminated in Tridonic’s basicDIM wireless range of interoperable devices consisting of LED drivers, communication modules, sensors, a user-interface, as well as software in the form of the 4remote BT App. Tridonic’s basicDIM wireless technology is the ideal solution for wireless luminaire communication and doesn’t require any additional wiring or construction. Conveniently controlled via Bluetooth, on/off switching as well as dimming functions are just as simple as grouping luminaires and creating lighting settings. Ideally suitable for office buildings or classrooms, each room and zone benefits from the system’s easy-to-use and multi-functional intelligence. To exploit the benefits of the basicDIM wireless system, luminaires can either be fitted with Casambiready Tridonic LED drivers, or can be easily upgraded with basicDIM wireless modules at a later stage. Tridonic, tridonic.com
For further information, visit cedelectrical.co.uk
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BUYERS’ GUIDE FIRE, SAFETY AND SECURITY PRODUCTS
INDOOR & OUTDOOR POWER
Fire, safety and security products that help deter false fire alarms, prevent theft and minimise damage to building equipment.
• Extension Leads • USB Charging • WiFi Control • CT Range Cable Reels • ReelPro Cable Reels • Installation Accessories • TV & USB Accessories
www.sti-emea.com firstname.lastname@example.org 01527 520 999
GET NOTICED! Would you like to advertise in our new Buyers’ Guide section and reach 13,000+ readers each and every month? Please call Kelly on 01634 673163 or email email@example.com
SMJ Indoor & Outdoor Power Accessories
110 x 61mm
1/4 page vertical
110 x 133mm
1/4 page horizontal
224 x 61mm
NOW AVAILABLE TO ORDER FROM DETA t: 01582 544 544
Simple lighting control solutions for commercial & residential projects
Save time. Complete more jobs.
All of your lighting control solutions under one roof From PIR & microwave detectors to full-scale addressable systems, we’ve got everything you need to Market leaders in your lighting and reduce costs. effectively control energy saving controls
www cpelectronics.co.uk I +44 (0)333 900 0671
Visit www.hamilton-litestat.com Tel: +44 (0)1747 860088
Wiring Accessories • Circuit Protection • Smart Lighting Control & Audio Solutions
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BUYERS’ GUIDE NEXT ISSUE
Web Worker for mobile Available as an add on to the Cypher1 Software, this mobile application enables your field operatives to pick up their jobs on their phone or device, action them accordingly and upload the information, (with attachments), directly to the Cypher1 system.
Benefits • simple, clear and easy interface • customer signature capture • field operative star rating scheme • pre-defined work description text • time and date stamps, time on site • first time complete (FTC) • form & photo uploads • van stock
Availab le an Andro as iOS App id/ ,o browser- r based
Forms such as Risk Assessment; H & S; Gas Safety Certificates and the like, can be uploaded to the device and subsequently completed documentation can be received back at the office.
Paperless… seamless! The easiest to use mobile application for field operatives ever. Its simple interface and immediate usability means it will slot into any company’s work environment quickly and efficiently. With information from your jobs hitting the office in real time, your whole job flow procedure is streamlined and standardised, meaning invoicing can be achieved far quicker.
LIGHTING TEL: 01905 640064
NEXT TIME… In addition to our regular range of news and viewpoints, the September issue of ECN will contain special features relating to HVAC, lighting and wholesalers and distributors. There will also be a special supplement on cable, cable management and labelling. The features will include articles and information from major companies, providing a range of information about the latest issues and technological developments affecting the sectors. For electrical contractors, the features will prove to be a valuable reference point for all that is happening within this area.
Wholesalers & Distributors
To make sure that you don’t miss this major opportunity to advertise your products to ECN’s 40,000 readers, call Kelly Byne on 01634 673163 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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