ECN May 2024

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SPECIAL FEATURE: CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR SPECIAL FEATURE: POWER & RENEWABLES SPECIAL FEATURE: HVAC VOLUME 44 NO. 05 • MAY 2024 ELECTRICALCONTRACTINGNEWS.COM 29 50 42 13A USB A+C sockets up to 4.8A rating Available NOW! | #maketheswitch Turntopage12 13A USB A+C sockets up to 4.8A rating Available NOW! | #maketheswitch Turntopage12

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New to this issue is a range of interlocked switch disconnector and socket panels housed in a grade 304L sloping roof stainless steel enclosure. Perfect for providing temporary power connectivity in environments subject to intensive washdown procedures. Also included is a range of base mounted main/emergency off switches with an escutcheon plate suitable for a 45mm panel cut out.

NEW for Spring 24 Short form catalogue

since 1907 since 1907 highest quality world leader since 1907 1907 1907 highest quality world leader 1907 Kraus & Naimer BLUE LINE switchgear s ince 1907 highest quality world leader 01635 26 26 26 the sign of quality
specialists providing you with the best quality-built products and innovative solutions
single & three phase AC-21A Please select the switch disconnector according to the maximum voltage and current output all upstream PV modules, this must include all corrective factors according Larger enclosure to match KG20/32 T104 DC enclosure 229 20/ 190 M20 M25 49,3 120 M20 160 M20 190 M20 M25 250 120 M20 178 FIG. FIG. 2 FIG. 272 300 FIG. 4 FIG. 178 FIG. FIG. FIG. 3 272 300 FIG. 4 FIG. FIG. 1 FIG. FIG. FIG. 4 20/ 120 M20/ FIG. M20 FIG. 1 FIG. FIG. FIG. 4 20/ 120 FIG. FIG.4 SINGLE STRING TWO STRING SINGLE PHASE THREE PHASE PV SWITCH DISCONNECTORS AC Switch disconnectors Current Rating AC-21A (per contact) 25A KG20.T203/GBA270.*KS1V 70053688 FIG KG32.T203/GBA294.*KL 40A KG41.T203/GBA270.*KL1V 70028993 FIG Current Rating AC-21A (per contact) 25A KG20.T204/GBA290.*KS1V 70029049 FIG 32A KG32.T204/GBA486.KL51V 70028992 FIG Voltage Order Code No. Article No. FIG. 25A25A25A25A21A20A20A18A18A18A11A11AKG20.T104/D-P003.KL51V 70028988 FIG 50A40A40A40A30A30A30A20A20A20AKGD40.TD103/D-P003.KL11V 70031026 FIG 50A50A50A50A40A40A40A KGD40B.TD106/D-P003.KL11V 70031029 FIG non-polarity sensitive KGD40 up to 50 amps @1000 VDC to give higher rating achieved by use of permanent magnets in the contact body used to reduce arcing time Ratings Per String (220V 500V) Order Code No. Article No. FIG. 25A21A21A20A20A18A18A11A11A11A KG20.T104/GB-P103.KL51V 70028989 FIG 50A50A50A50A40A40A40A40A KGD40B.TD106/D-P004.KL11V 70031030 FIG Single String DC Switch Disconnectors Selection Chart DC-21B ( DC-PV1 AC Switch Disconnectors for Single Phase AC Switch Disconnectors - for Three Phase (3ph + Sw N Ratings Per String (510V 1000V) 510V560V600V660V680V690V750V800V920V1000V 25A23A23A15A15A KG32B.T106/GB-P103 70030795 FIG 40A40A40A40A40A30A30A KGD40B.TD108/D-P004.KL11V 70031032 FIG Two String DC Switch Disconnectors Selection Chart DC-21B DC-PV1 19 Direct Sales Line: 01635 262626 Email TWO STRING 250 145 124 M25 9317 FIG. 3 272 300 300 272 172 49,3 FIG. 4 T104 .. T103 .. T204 .. T203 .. M20/ M25 85 120 M20/ M20 90 17 FIG. 5 M25 M25 17 229 250 145 124 M25 M25 M25 9317 FIG. 3 272 300 300 272 172 49,3 FIG. 4 T104 .. T103 .. T204 .. T203 .. M20/ M25 85 120 M20/ M20 90 17 FIG. 5 M25 M25 A simple change to the ref.within the part no.for handle options For free expert advice call our sales team on 01635 26 26 26 Short form krausnaimer .com enclosed switches switch disconnectors krausnaimer .com Short form switch disconnectors enclosed switches Jan2024 Kraus & Naimer
We test every single switch, every contact & every switch position visit the Kraus & Naimer website to view or download the latest catalogue Or view online
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4 Editorial Powering the way forward 6 Industry News The latest news from the electrical contracting industry 14 Contract News The latest industry projects in brief 18 Training Robust and reliable smart homes: Why training to use KNX is the best choice VOLUME 44 NO. 05 • MAY 2024 CONTENTS CONTENTS… Regulars 42 Top FAQs from Sangamo’s timer and heating controls helpline 44 KNX – why it’s the ideal choice for HVAC control 46 The HVAC transformation: Technologies changing the sector 48 Castle Green Homes chooses Vent-Axia dMEV to meet building regs 50 UK’s largest voltage optimisation project completed 52 Paving the way for a sustainable future 54 Peel Ports Group and E.ON embark on ‘UK’s largest’ solar project 56 Understanding the role of UPS in power quality management Circuit Protection & SwitchgearHVAC Power & Renewables THERE'S MORE TO … 20 Key Issue Prepare for digital waste tracking 22 Project Focus Currys chooses Whitecroft for huge lighting refit across the UK 26 Interview The electrical industry: A radical reinvention is coming 28 Competition Win a Master and Two Companion LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmers and an RGBW Control, courtesy of Hamilton 60 Company Showcase Sponsored content from across the sector 29 RCBOS – single and double-pole 32 Enabling buildings to transition to a more efficient, greener and smarter future 34 Employing the right tools to achieve safe isolation 36 Leading the family business to carbon neutral 40 BS 7671 Amendment 2: CH. 82 – V2G Circuit Protection


Hello and welcome to the May issue of Electrical Contracting News.

It’s been a busy month, and Team ECN has been out and about attending some key industry events.

On 23 April, Electrical Safety First hosted the first-ever Electrical Installation Seminar, ‘Switch On To The Big Issues’. It was a great chance for professionals in the industry to converge and discuss ways to advance both skills and standards as we approach the 2050 net zero carbon goal.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Don Foster of Bath delivered the keynote address and said, “There is clearly an urgent need for action in addressing the skills gap in relation to electricians. As we move towards net zero, we will be relying more and more on electricity in our homes and buildings. We must ensure our ever more complex domestic electrical systems are safe at the point of installation and remain safe over time.”

During the half-day event, there was a prominent discussion regarding the skills shortage and how to address it. The focus was on expanding the installer base and finding enough qualified trainers to meet the demand. Additionally, the event explored topics such as apprenticeship funding and ways to support both apprentices and their employers.

Participants also discussed the need to enhance the quality and uniformity of electrical installation condition reports (EICRs) and a number of rapid-fire presentations were given on several topics.

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, said, “The increasing need for electricity means we have an increasing need for electricians, as does the move towards getting our homes and our electrical installations ready for net zero.

“This industry is crucial to our future and, working together, we can make that future a safe and successful one.”

We also attended the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham which was a great opportunity to meet some familiar faces and make new connections in the commercial vehicle and EV charging sectors. Keep an eye out for our Commercial Vehicle feature in the June issue of ECN.

This month’s features are Circuit Protection & Switchgear, HVAC; and Power & Renewables, so read on for the latest developments in these areas, along with the latest industry news, contract news and regular features. Plus, Hamilton is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Master and Two Companion LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmers and an RGBW Control worth over £300!

I hope you enjoy the issue – see you next month!


T: 01634 673163






T: 01634 673163



T: 01634 673163



T: 01634 673163


Carly Weller, Group Editor
The editors and publishers do not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors, nor do they accept responsibility for any errors in the transmission of the subject matter in this publication. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that everything is factually correct, we cannot be held responsible if factual errors occur. In all matters, the editor’s decision is final. Editorial contributions to ECN are welcomed, and the editor reserves the right to alter or abridge text prior to the publication. All articles are copyright and remain the property of ECN. Overseas Subscription Rates: Europe £60.00; Rest of World £70.00. Copyright © 2024, All rights reserved. Printed by Micropress, Reydon Business Park Fountain Way, Reydon, Southwold, IP18 6SZ.
ECN charity of choice Published monthly by All Things Media Ltd., Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent ME5 8UD. Tel: 01634 673163 Fax: 01634 673173 NEXT TIME… June Issue Editorial deadline: 16 May Advertising deadline: 23 May
@ecn_magazine /electricalcontractingnews @ElecConNews Cables & Connections Smart Buildings Tools & Test Equipment Commercial Vehicles Special Supplement: Wiring Accessories



ECN has announced that Aico has been confirmed as headline sponsor of the ECN Awards 2024 and CEF will be returning as sponsor of the Sustainable Products Category.

The ECN Awards 2024 will take place on 5 December 2024 at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry.

Aico, the market leader in home life safety, is sponsoring the ECN Awards 2024 to solidify its connection with the electrical contracting industry and promote its commitment to safety within the community. The awards celebrate excellence among electrical contractors, a group crucial for installing and maintaining Aico products. By sponsoring the event, Aico gains exposure to these key decision-makers and strengthens its reputation as the leader in home life safety. Additionally, the awards’ focus on social responsibility aligns with Aico’s values, allowing the company to connect with contractors who share its commitment to safety in homes and communities.

At the ECN Awards 2024, the Sustainable Products Category comprises the EV Charging Product of the Year, Power (including Solar PV) Product of the Year and

Smart Buildings/Sustainability Product of the Year awards.

CEF says it is proud to be sponsoring the Sustainable Products Category – as the expert supplier of electrical products and services for professional electricians and installers across the UK, CEF is deeply committed to sustainability and innovation.

CEF’s goal is to be a leader in the sector and a force for good, with a focus on people, the planet and communities. The company is using B Corp’s holistic framework to shape its Sustainability and Social Value


Balfour Beatty has been awarded a contract to construct the new £209 million HMP Highland in Inverness, Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service.

Balfour Beatty was first appointed to deliver the pre-construction phase, including the design of HMP Highland, in 2022. This latest phase, valued at £119 million, will see the company progress with the construction of the new, modern 18,500m² facility comprised of two new interconnected buildings and associated infrastructure.

Scheduled for completion in 2026, HMP Highland is designed to run off renewable energy sources such as ground source heat pumps, and the facility will reportedly be the first net zero prison in Scotland to align with the Scottish Government’s low carbon targets for the project.

On completion, HMP Highland will replace Inverness Prison and will accommodate 200 prisoners, becoming the first new prison in the area –serving the Highlands, Islands and Moray – for more than a century.

Balfour Beatty,

Strategy, with the aim of becoming a B Corp. Partnering with EcoVadis, CEF assesses its sustainability efforts across a range of criteria, including environmental impact, labour and human rights practices, operational ethics, and sustainable procurement. The wholesaler is proud to have been awarded EcoVadis Silver medal.

CEF wants its journey to inspire others to become a force for good and drive positive change in the industry and society. By sponsoring the ECN Sustainable Products Category, CEF champions eco-friendly innovation and excellence that drives positive change for a cleaner future for all.

If you feel your product, company or project deserves to win an ECN Award, please enter now at awards-entries.

If you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kelly Byne on 01634 673163.

ECN Awards 2024,


After an intense two-day final on 23-24 April at the Schneider Electric Innovation Centre in Coventry, Kian Milroy from St Helens College was named the winner of this year’s SPARKS Learner of the Year contest. Meanwhile, Jane Thorp from Suffolk New College – last year’s SPARKS female skills winner – earned the runner-up spot.

Speaking on the triumph, Kian comments, “I was shocked to hear my name called out. It has really boosted my confidence. I thought I’d be quite stressed in the competition, but I just paced myself and took one step at a time. I’d say to anyone thinking of entering next year to absolutely go for it. There’s nothing to lose and it’s always a good thing to put on your CV.”

The competition kicked off in January, with Level 2 and 3 electrical students competing in six regional locations across the UK. The judges had a challenging task but ultimately narrowed down the impressive entries to seven finalists at the regional heats, before crowning the winner and runner-up at the grand final.

SPARKS Learner of the Year,

INDUSTRY NEWS 6 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
MEET THE JUDGES ECN is delighted to announce the panel of expert judges for the ECN Awards • LOCATION • HEART OF ENGLAND CONFERENCE AND EVENTS CENTRE, COVENTRY • DATE • 5 DECEMBER 2024 #ECNAWARDS FOR SPONSORSHIP ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT KELLY BYNE ON 01634 673163 ELECTRICALCONTRACTINGNEWS.COM/AWARDS PROJECTS CATEGORY SPONSOR COMPANIES CATEGORY SPONSOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS CATEGORY SPONSOR HEADLINE SPONSOR Frank Bertie Chief Technical Officer - NAPIT Paul Collins Technical Director – NICEIC Ruth Devine MBE Managing Director – SJD Associates Chris Horne Electrical Lecturer – Riverside College Carl Murray Director – TClarke Gary Parker Senior Technical Manager – ECA Darren Staniforth Head of Technical Solutions – CEF Richard Harvey Electrical Installation Safety Engineer –Electrical Safety First


To help address dangerous marine pollution, ABB Installation Products has pioneered cable protection crafted from 50% recycle-based polyamide using primarily recovered fishing nets. A sustainable alternative to conventional plastic-based systems used to protect critical power and data cables, ABB’s PMA EcoGuard PA6 RPPA conduit requires less energy and water to produce, reducing 30% of upstream Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions and 50% of net freshwater use.

High-performance wire and cable protection is essential to powering electrical systems and production environments safely and reliably. PMA EcoGuard PA6 RPPA conduit, part of ABB’s EcoSolutions line of innovative and sustainable products, complies with a set of key performance indicators defined in ABB’s circularity framework and carries an external, third-party verified Lifecycle Assessment (LCA, Type III).

“ABB’s commitment to circularity and transparency extends across the entire product lifecycle from initial design and sourcing to manufacturing, through use and end of life. Developing advanced products from repurposed materials, like PMA EcoGuard cable protection, meets the demands of industrial applications, while helping provide jobs, protect marine life, preserve resources, and promote a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future,” says Andrea Castella, Europe Region Leader, ABB Installation Products Division.


BEAMA has announced the launch of a new Net Zero Service. Dedicated to supporting members in navigating the transition to net zero, BEAMA says that this initiative underscores its commitment to net zero and driving achievable but ambitious industry-wide change.

As key suppliers of net zero enabling technologies into the electricity grid, EV charging infrastructure and buildings, BEAMA’s members play a pivotal role in advancing decarbonisation efforts. The Net Zero Service is designed to equip these stakeholders with a comprehensive corporate toolkit tailored to the evolving landscape of industrial decarbonisation and the need to reduce manufacturer’s emitted and embodied carbon whilst incorporating measures to align with a circular economy.

“At BEAMA, we recognise the urgent imperative to decarbonise and are dedicated to empowering our members to lead the charge towards the industrial decarbonisation required for net zero,” says Yselkla Farmer, CEO at BEAMA. “Our Net Zero Service is a testament to our commitment to fostering collaboration, sharing best practices, and advocating for clear government policies to accelerate the transition in this space whilst ensuring it remains clear, comparable and achievable.”

Key components of this member-only Net Zero Service include educational resources, collaboration and learning opportunities, and a technical sustainability committee BEAMA,


An ambitious project is underway which could see a radical new relationship between Thames vessel operators and London’s electricity network.

The Electric Thames project, a collaboration between UK Power Networks, LCP Delta, and Marine Zero, is assessing the viability of using electric vessels to feed stored electricity back into the capital’s energy network, accelerating the transition to net zero.

Using a principle similar to night storage heaters, battery-powered vessels on the Thames could store green energy when it is cheap to do so – such as when the wind is blowing or sun is shining – and feed it back to the grid during peak electricity hours. The approach could help to increase the capital’s flexible energy capacity and reduce peak electricity demand.

The project, which is in its initial ‘discovery’ or scoping phase, supports the Port of London Authority’s transition to net zero emissions and London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s pathway for London to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030. The discovery phase of the project, which is funded via the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund, will conclude at the end of May 2024.

UK Power Networks,


The NICEIC ‘Don’t DIY’ campaign has surpassed a major milestone, connecting over 100,000 customers across the UK with certified electrical businesses. This achievement highlights the campaign’s success in raising awareness of electrical safety and empowering homeowners to say ‘no’ to electrical DIY.

Electrical work in the home can be dangerous if not completed by a qualified and competent electrician.

According to Electrical Safety First, over half of accidental domestic fires in the UK are caused by electrical faults. Statistics reveal that every year, hundreds of people are affected by the consequences of unsafe electrical work carried out by unqualified individuals.

In response to this critical issue, NICEIC launched the ‘Don’t DIY‘ campaign. This multi-platform campaign, reaching audiences on Google, Meta and TikTok, educates customers about the risks of attempting electrical work themselves and the importance of using an NICEIC-certified electrician.

By utilising the NICEIC’s ‘Find a Trusted Tradesperson’ tool, customers can easily locate a local NICEIC-certified business, ensuring electrical work is completed safely and to the highest standards.

The NICEIC believes that the safest way to do DIY electrics is not to do them at all. NICEIC,

INDUSTRY NEWS 8 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
To lower Scope 3 emissions and make this innovation possible, ABB partnered with Envalior, a global provider of sustainable and high-performance engineering materials. ABB,
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UK Power Networks is investing more than £15 million this year in upgrading and maintaining electricity towers across the East and South East of England.

The steel towers deliver electricity from the national grid to the distributor’s many substations which provide power for local communities. The voltage is at 132,000V when it arrives with UK Power Networks, and is then reduced to 33,000V before it leaves and supplies electricity to around six million homes and businesses.

The multi-million-pound investment will also see nearly 10,000m of overhead power lines replaced between the towers, to maintain reliability and future-proof the network.

Part of the work will include repainting nearly 200 towers across Suffolk, Norfolk, Kent and East Sussex with a special anti-corrosion paint to protect them in all weathers.

Work has already begun alongside contractor Keltbray to ensure the towers are delivering a safe and reliable electricity supply to homes and businesses.

The work will future-proof local power supplies, as well as enabling more low carbon electricity generation to feed into the grid.

UK Power Networks,


Lucy Zodion has announced the addition of Justin Worth to its Street Lighting and Highways sales team. Justin joins as Area Sales Manager, for the London and South East region.

BGEN has appointed Ron Ellis as Head of Business Development. In his new role, Ron is tasked with building on the company’s recent success and securing additional contracts in sectors including power and energy, pharmaceuticals, utilities, industrial and food and beverage.

Domus Ventilation has announced the appointment of Karolina Maunder as its new National Sales Manager. Karolina has enjoyed a rich and varied career in customer-relationship management, covering logistics, construction, pest control and the HVAC industry.

NVC Lighting has appointed James Townshend as Head of Major Projects. James has been given a remit to expand the NVC Lighting name, working with customers old and new across a wide range of sectors and to utilise the brand’s extensive portfolio of products.


JTL apprentice, Cole Galligan, has been named Apprentice of the Year at the AICO|HomeLINK Community Awards.

Cole, who is currently in the first year of his Electrical Installation Level 3 apprenticeship at his family’s electrical company, Raylec, in Leicester, beat hundreds of apprentices to be named winner at the awards following a thorough judging process, which included a practical assessment day.

The sought-after award recognises outstanding apprentices who not only have good technical skills but are also considered to be role models to others in the industry.

Cole comments, “This recognition means the world to me and speaks volumes about the dedication and hard work I’ve poured into my apprenticeship journey. I’m excited for the impact this will have on my career, opening doors to new possibilities and affirming my commitment to excellence in my field.”

JTL Training,


Amid increased focus on the challenge of improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock, NICEIC is calling on all trades to come together to enable the meaningful collaboration and innovation needed to solve the great retrofit challenge.

To achieve net zero targets, the UK must ensure all homes reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘C’ or above by 2035. At present, however, 19 million homes currently fall within band ‘D’ or below.

NICEIC Technical Director, Paul Collins, comments, “With so much low carbon technology available, it is now more crucial that installers invest in upskilling and increasing their knowledge. From solar PV and energy storage systems to ground and air source heat pumps, there’s something to suit every homeowner and help them address soaring energy costs in a more sustainable way. This means that installers need to be fully clued up on the latest and most advanced solutions so that they can not only advise and provide their customers with the right products, but also be skilled on the installation of these new technologies.”

To provide a helping hand, NICEIC has developed a new range of qualifications for businesses seeking to ensure upskill their knowledge and competence in key emerging low-carbon

categories. Delivered by NICEIC leading industry experts, key course topics include electrical energy storage systems (EESS), installation of small-scale solar PV, solar PV maintenance, solar thermal hot water and heat pumps.


INDUSTRY NEWS 10 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn

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Aztec Solar has designed and installed a huge photovoltaic system of over 3,000 PV modules and 10 inverters for a new £230m logistics hub located in the West Midlands. It will save almost 550t of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the same as planting almost 21,500 trees.

The company designed the system to meet the hub’s kWh peak of 1,260kWp within the available roof space. The power will generate electricity for the operation’s internal and office spaces.

Such will be the demand for electricity from the new unit that it will need its own substation.

With a roof space of 36,000m2 on the larger of the two buildings, Aztec Solar designed the PV system to provide maximum output while avoiding skylights and providing safe passage for future operations and maintenance and in case of an emergency.

Construction Manager for Aztec Solar, David Ludlow, says, “This was a complex installation where, unfortunately, the main contractor went bankrupt and we had to work through variations to the original quotation to complete the job.

“Due to the speed of the installation we also had to work alongside a number of other contractors at the same time, including behind the soffit manufacturer, which meant that there was no scaffold edge protection since they removed it as they worked. This meant that our team had to use mansafe harnesses and inertia reels. We also imported and stored the PV panels on site ourselves and craned them up onto the roof space in just one week to minimise disruption.”

The new logistics hub is due to open in the summer.

Aztec Solar,


nLighten UK has announced the completion of a major solar power installation on the 4,500m2 rooftop of its Milton Keynes edge data centre. With over 1,000 solar panels, the CO2e emissions saved annually are predicted to be over 90t, equivalent to flying from London to New York over 80 times each year.

Believed to be one of the largest data centre rooftop installations in the UK, the vast solar array will provide a capacity of up to 478kW, making a meaningful impact to reducing the Milton Keynes-based facility’s carbon footprint and promoting renewable energy usage. Based on current load requirements, it is estimated that solar produced energy will be sufficient to meet the power requirements of the entire building during certain periods of the day in the summer months.

nLighten’s Milton Keynes edge data centre campus is equipped with dual connections to the National Grid, backup generators, batteries, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), providing unmatched resiliency and reliability. Maximum availability of power at the site is 3MW.



Ayr Riverside is a 4,135m2 brownfield site in the heart of the town centre within the designated Ayr Central Conservation Area.

The revitalised Ayr Riverside has become a pivotal public space connecting the high street and Ayr River. The development grants access to the river’s edge, providing a versatile space for hosting various events and activities throughout the year, and further introduces a community pavilion with meeting and event spaces, public restrooms, and storage facilities.

MEP consultant Harley Haddow enlisted Thorn Lighting’s design team for a complementary lighting scheme. The project required a sensitive balance between luminaires to achieve the correct lux levels and uniformity while maintaining a unique and contemporary appearance. The selected products also had to integrate seamlessly with the chosen CMS system and avoid using columns with visible joints that detract from the aesthetics.

These challenges were addressed with Thorn’s Contrast luminaires, known for their distinctive and elegant design, complementing modern and classic architecture within the urban environment. Finished in RAL9006, these luminaires offer a balanced white light in 4000K, emphasising modernity and visual appeal. By implementing bespoke columns with no external hinges but utilising an inverted mechanism, a sleek, unobtrusive look that met the project’s requirements was achieved.

The contemporary design of the Contrast floodlights blends into modern streetscapes. Among the primary benefits of the new lighting scheme is improved colour rendering, which accentuates the new paving and street layout, lending a stylish and inviting feel to the area. The lighting enhances the overall appeal of Ayr Riverside, making it an attractive and functional hub for local events and community activities. Thorn Lighting,

14 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn CONTRACT NEWS
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NVC Lighting has helped Blyth Sports Centre reduce energy costs by thousands of pounds a year.

Part of a £5 million refurbishment programme to upgrade and transform sport and leisure facilities at the centre, Northumberland-based contractor JTR Electrical Services specified NVC Lighting’s Oregon range to replace the old and inefficient high bay fluorescent fittings in the main sports hall.

For Active Northumberland, which manages and operates Blyth Sports Centre on behalf of Northumberland County Council, the installation of NVC Lighting’s LED solutions will result in savings of over £5,000 on its energy bills each year, a reduction of over 75%.

Supplied by Electric Center in Newcastle, JTR Electrical Services replaced 50 (70W, T8) high bay fixtures with 50 Oregon fittings, with a lumen output level of 12,000lm and a standard 90° lens. The solution, offering efficiency up to 142l.lm/c.W, was installed with a PIR occupancy sensor and light level sensor to maximise control for the Blyth Sports Centre facilities team and ensure a better quality of light for the centre’s users. NVC Lighting,


Balfour Beatty has announced that it has been awarded a contract to construct the new £209 million HMP Highland in Inverness, Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Prison Service.

Balfour Beatty was first appointed to deliver the pre-construction phase, including the design of HMP Highland, in 2022. This latest phase, valued at £119 million, will see the company progress with the construction of the new, modern 18,500m2 facility comprised of two new interconnected buildings and associated infrastructure.

Scheduled for completion in 2026, HMP Highland will be the first net zero prison in Scotland with the facility designed to run off renewable energy sources such as ground source heat pumps, to align with the Scottish Government’s low carbon targets for the project.

The company will utilise modular construction methods to preassemble the internal wall panels and perimeter walls offsite in a controlled factory environment, significantly reducing carbon emissions by minimising the number of lorry movements and material deliveries to and from site.

On completion, HMP Highland will replace Inverness Prison and will accommodate 200 prisoners, becoming the first new prison in the area for more than a century. Balfour Beatty,


Last year, NG Bailey was awarded the £17m Silvertown Tunnel electrical works package by Riverlinx CJV.

The scope of works includes the delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the 11kV and LV distribution systems, along with UPS installation, tunnel lighting with a dedicated control system, evacuation panels and signage, a cable management system, and motorised control centre panels.

Silvertown Tunnel is the first crossing of the Thames to be built for road traffic in the last 30 years. The project involves the construction of a twin-bore road tunnel that will be approximately 1.4km long and able to accommodate large vehicles, including double-decker buses.

The project team is now onsite where it has successfully navigated the pre-construction phase as well as mobilising the site. As part of the team, five apprentices have started working onsite, gaining first-hand experience at such an iconic project. The team is now starting early works in the tunnel including benchmarking and early containment.

The Silvertown Tunnel is on schedule to open in the first half of 2025. NG Bailey,

16 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn CONTRACT NEWS

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The appetite for a smart home is only growing, with an estimated UK market size of £2.9 billion, according to CEDIA’s UK Professional Smart Home Market Analysis from 2023. So how can electricians get in on the action and install home automation systems that deliver not just for the homeowner, but for their businesses too?

Smart systems vs smart devices

One of the biggest headaches for electricians is when so-called ‘smart home tech’ goes wrong. There are so many smart home gadgets and devices on the market that are targeted at consumers that are the source of a lot of problems.

The biggest issue with smart devices is that often the hardware becomes obsolete, or the software needs updating, and the device stops working. The manufacturers of these devices are on to a winner as the answer to the problem most of the time is to pay – either upgrade the hardware or pay for a subscription service to ensure the software is kept up to date.

The other problem is interconnectivity. A lot of these devices rely on Wi-Fi connectivity, so if the power goes off,

When it comes to choosing the tech for a smart home, a specialist control system is always the better choice

or the Wi-Fi bandwidth can’t cope, the homeowner is left with a not-so-smart home and the electrician is their first port of call.

There are plenty of other issues with smart devices, including data security, and all of these end up landing in the electricians’ lap as issues to solve. But there is another option.

By choosing to install a dedicated smart home system with its own reliable infrastructure, these headaches become a non-issue.

Choosing the right smart home control system

When it comes to choosing the tech for a smart home, a specialist control system is always the better choice. There is a variety on the market, each with its own specialism, for example Control4, Lutron, Rako, etc. These so-called proprietary systems use their own brand of products. This can present a challenge for installers if products are out of stock.

The other drawback is that the installer margins are squeezed, as everyone is competing on price to offer the same solution. It becomes a race to the bottom and the installer must reduce their cut to be competitive in the market.

However, there is one platform that is more reliable and flexible than the rest. KNX is an open protocol, which means that installers are not limited to a single branded product set, they can use any KNX-compatible product from any manufacturer. As products can be sourced from multiple manufacturers this drastically reduces supply chain issues and offers installers much greater flexibility on price.

An opportunity for electricians

Traditionally, smart home systems have been installed by specialist integrators, but this area of the market presents a huge opportunity for electricians who want to add to their skills and increase their businesses profitability. The skills and experience that electricians have perfectly places them as the ideal professionals to be installing smart home systems.

By installing smart home systems, electricians can be more profitable by charging for a project, rather than being limited to only charging by the hour or a day rate. Project pricing offers more opportunity for increased margins and, with using KNX, the flexibility to be much more competitive.

Working with KNX and installing a smart home system for clients also gives electricians a bigger bite of the cherry. Why be limited to domestic electrical work and end up handing over the smart home work to someone else when you could do it yourself?

Getting started with KNX

To work with any smart home system, getting trained is essential. But, typically, training is expensive and means taking up to a week away from work to travel to a training centre and attend the training course.

Most smart home technical training also focuses on the installation and commissioning aspects. This is understandable as it is the required element to be competent. What is lacking with this approach to training is the understanding of how a smart home system is designed, how to select the right products for the project, and how to sell the concept to customers and win jobs.

These barriers are causing a skills gap in the industry. It’s hard for electricians who are keen to install smart homes as they must go ‘all in’ from the word go, which is a big commitment.

With nearly 20 years of experience in supporting electricians and installers with KNX, Ivory Egg has removed the barriers to KNX Training. The Ivory Egg KNX Training courses cover KNX sales, KNX System Design & Specification and KNX HVAC. Course delivery is 100% online, with all courses being self-paced study, and offering lifetime access to the content for a much lower price.

To get started with KNX email or call 03333 079 100 and quote ‘ECN – MAY’ for a special offer. Ivory Egg,

18 | May 2024 @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
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Changes are coming to how collectors of waste electronic and electrical equipment report to environmental agencies. This should reduce the burden for electrical contractors. Nigel Harvey, Chief Executive of Recolight, explains.

Business end users, electrical contractors and wholesalers will all be familiar with the need to complete a hazardous waste consignment note (HWCN) or a waste transfer note (WTN) when waste fluorescent tubes and waste light fittings are moved. But that system is set to change radically from April 2025, when a new digital waste tracking IT system will be introduced.

Pleasingly, the new system is being developed on behalf of all four nations of the UK, so, unusually for waste legislation, there should be no difference in application across the UK. The digital waste tracking service will replace and eliminate the existing requirements to complete waste transfer notes and hazardous waste consignment notes. Instead, users will be required to enter similar information into an app or online system.

Currently, hazardous waste movements require a HWCN, and non-hazardous waste movements require a WTN. The new system will combine both requirements into a single interface.


Defra (on behalf of England) and the three devolved administrations (for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) currently aim to have the system operational from April 2025. Hitting that deadline requires new regulations to go through parliament, and clearly a general election could delay new legislation. The IT service also needs to be implemented in good time. The current plan would see the system available before the end of 2024, for use on a voluntary basis, and made mandatory in April 2025.

Potential exceptions: Businesses and electrical contractors

There is likely to be an exception for what is referred to as ‘incidental waste’. This is waste that is generated and moved by businesses which do not provide a specific waste management service, such as electrical contractors. The incidental waste is produced as a consequence of their primary business, which is an electrical contracting service. In such circumstances, digital waste tracking records will not be required for the first movement of incidental waste to a collection point. But they will be required when the waste is moved from the collection point. This exception would not apply where the primary business is waste management. Where businesses pass their waste on to a waste management company they will not be required to enter that data into the new system. But they will be required to use the system to confirm information on the data that has been entered on their behalf by their chosen waste management company. They will also be able to view records that have been created for waste moved on their behalf.

Impact on electrical wholesalers and other collection points

Changes are coming to how collectors of waste electronic and electrical equipment report to environmental agencies


April 2025,

The government has suggested that they may consider a further exemption for waste takeback at retailer sites. It seems unlikely that this would also apply to electrical wholesalers providing a takeback service, and so such organisations will probably be required to record information about waste received on the waste tracking service as part of a waste movement. But the good news is that this would therefore supersede the existing requirements for such collection points to submit quarterly waste returns to their environment agency. Collection points would also need to use the system to record when waste is collected, inputting the data that would normally be required when completing a HWCN.

It is important to note that electrical wholesalers are already required by law to provide an instore takeback service for waste electrical items that could have been used by a householder, when selling new equipment of a similar nature.

There will be no need for users to obtain specific software or to purchase software licenses. There will be a service charge associated with use of the waste tracking service which will cover the ongoing costs of running the service and any further development or improvements that are needed. The service charge will be an annual flat fee of approximately £20 per year. The service charge will need to be paid by those who are creating or editing waste tracking records. Those who are required to just confirm information that has been entered on their behalf, for example waste producers, or those who just want to view records they have been involved in, will not need to pay the charge.

Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Alongside these changes, the government is also considering changing the current requirement for registration of waste carriers and waste brokers with a new approach that would assign legal responsibilities for managing and transporting waste to ‘controllers’ (for example Recolight, which appoints companies to move and treat waste), and ‘transporters’ – the businesses that move waste. The timing of these further changes, and their applicability beyond England, is not yet clear.


20 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn KEY ISSUE
a new digital waste tracking IT system will be introduced


Commercial lighting manufacturer and supplier, Whitecroft Lighting, has completed a major project to install innovative LED lighting systems in almost 80 stores across the UK for electrical retailer Currys, including branches in Manchester, Birmingham and Dundee.

Instead of completely replacing the outdated lights, Whitecroft used its Relight system to reuse as much of each store’s existing lighting infrastructure as possible. This reduces the huge amounts of waste normally generated by major electrical refits, an important requirement for Currys as part of its 2040 Roadmap to Net-Zero strategy, which sets out how the company is reducing the carbon it produces.

Whitecroft’s Relight low-energy LED lights have been installed in customer showrooms, office areas and even car parks, enabling Currys to reduce its energy consumption, helping to further cut its carbon emissions and shrink its electricity bills.

Tom Gardener, Senior Facilities Manager for Currys, explains the rationale for the project: “Due to the sharp rise in energy costs in recent years, our business cases for lighting energy efficiency were flying through, particularly as the quickening returns on investment were suddenly very attractive.

“Change was also driven by forthcoming legislation banning certain fluorescent lighting, which sharpened our focus on how we can remove and replace some types of lighting from our estate.

In total, 77 Currys stores, mostly bigger out-of-town branches, were refitted across the UK

“Working with Whitecroft Lighting and learning about its approach to circularity – reusing and recycling materials – has been a very positive experience. We were impressed with the short and longer-term material and labour cost benefits of Relight, but we didn’t fully appreciate the carbon saving value until we worked on the product.

Whitecroft’s Relight low-energy LED lights have been installed in Currys’ showrooms, office areas and car parks

“Our new lighting not only improved our energy efficiency but also our approach to circularity and reusing existing infrastructure. This helped to increase energy efficiency and reduce wasted carbon.”

In total, 77 Currys stores, mostly bigger out-of-town branches, were refitted across the UK by Whitecroft in a project that took six months to complete.

Richard Williams, Commercial Manager at Whitecroft Lighting, says the retailer’s approach to sustainability made Relight the perfect solution for the project. He comments, “Currys had a clear approach to embedding circularity in its retail operation and was already a big recycler of consumer electrical goods. However, we saw an opportunity to extend this ethos beyond retail to its lighting by reducing waste in its facilities management.

“While the latest LEDs would reduce operational carbon by around 40% through increasing energy efficiency, the circular approach to reusing materials, such as ceiling suspension materials and cabling, would also lower the embodied carbon, which are the emissions generated from the sourcing,

manufacturing, installation and eventual disposal of products and materials.”

This approach to creating a more sustainable approach by reusing and recycling material, often referred to as the ‘circular economy’, is being embraced more and more by businesses, builders and suppliers as the UK aims to meet stretching net zero targets.

In fact, the success of the Whitecroft Lighting project has helped shape Curry’s view of circularity. Tom continues, “Whitecroft’s Relight approach to circularity has certainly influenced facilities management at Currys, and we now expect suppliers to be clearer on Type 1 and 2 emissions, and our larger T1 suppliers must report data on their own waste and travel.

“Our facilities managers now increasingly factor sustainability into supplier questioning, as well as the overall performance review of all our suppliers for a project: do they fit with our direction of travel as a business, do they buy into it, or are they just paying lip-service to it?”

Whitecroft Lighting,

22 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn PROJECT FOCUS


Pin point fire zones using MAGDUO’s intelligent 2-wire technology, which allows all devices on the same pairs of wires.


call: 01527 515150

50 Years Manufacturing

Centaur are proudly celebrating five decades of British Manufacturing. Established in 1974 in Redditch, Worcestershire, our name has become an industry standard for the supply of PVCu cable management products.

Centaurs’ journey has been a story of continuous innovation and desire to meet and exceed customer expectations. Founded to manufacture PVCu channel and oval sections alongside switchgear and injection moulding, Centaur successfully increased their product offering to incorporate conduits and fittings.

Following this success, Centaur developed the ‘Super-Clip’ lid and produced a range of mini and maxi trunking.

To cope with the growing demands of the market, Centaur moved to their current location in 1987. The new facility more than doubled

the manufacturing footprint. Investment continued with new extrusion lines, PVCu mixing plant, testing, cutting, and bending equipment.

In 1992, Centaur launched the popular President dado system, one of the first three compartment trunking ranges. Further investments followed, the Campus range in 1996 and the Kensington range in 1999.

In 2003, we launched our Bench trunking and accessory system to meet the needs of the educational and healthcare sectors.

2011 and 2012 saw further significant investment in extrusion lines and injection moulding machines to

24 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
1974 – 2024

ensure sufficient capacity and flexibility to meet the growing demand. The Meridian three compartment dado trunking system was launched in 2015 to give a modern mid-size option ensuring all requirements are catered for.

Investment continues.

In 2024 a new extrusion line and material blender will be installed, increasing capacity and confirming the on-going commitment to grow and develop the business.

Upgrading of cutting and forming equipment has enhanced the capability to deliver bespoke customer requirements. This special fabrication service emphasises our commitment to providing customers with what they want, when they want it.

A complete overhaul of the PVCu mixing plant has been carried out ensuring an on-site, consistent, and flexible supply of raw material.

From 1974 to date we have continually listened to our customers and delivered a diverse range of products to meet market requirements. This continues to be our approach, ensuring we support the changing, evolving industry we serve and maintain our position at the forefront of PVCu cable management supply.

In addition to our customer focused approach, Centaur also recognise their environmental responsibility and work proactively to minimise

the carbon footprint. Significant investments have been made in equipment to aid the processing of recycled materials along with the introduction of re-cycled packaging. Having both Plant Mark and Ecovardis accreditation confirms our commitment to a more sustainable future.

We couldn’t celebrate this 50 year achievement without extending our heartfelt appreciation to our workforce, who have been the backbone of our success. With some staff reaching lengths of service upwards of 45 years, their loyalty and hard work has shaped the business we celebrate this year.

As we extend our gratitude to all who have played a part in our first 50 years, we eagerly await the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. With the


same passion and resilience that have defined us for five decades, we will forge ahead whilst staying true to core our values of service and innovation.

May 2024 | 25  electrical-contracting-news-ecn   @ecn_magazine  /electricalcontractingnews  @ElecConNews
New Pre-Fab Brochure Now Available 1974 – 2024 CELEBRATiNG 50 YEARS OF BRiTiSH MANUFACTURiNG CENTAUR


In this month’s interview, Carly Weller speaks to Recolight’s Chief Executive, Nigel Harvey, about his passion for the environment, the company’s plans for the future, and what he believes the electrical sector should be prioritising.

CW: Tell us about yourself.

NH: I’m passionate about action on the environment and the climate crisis. So being the CEO of Recolight is a huge privilege because my personal values as a climate activist and our corporate values are so closely aligned.

CW: For those who may not know, can you give us an overview of the work that Recolight does?

NH: Recolight is a compliance scheme that helps producers of electrical equipment comply with their obligations under the waste electricals (WEEE) regulations. We do this by offering free or low-cost collection services to wholesalers and contractors, to recycle waste lamps, light fittings and batteries. But we do so much more. We also actively support reuse and remanufacture in the lighting industry, encourage the adoption of the circular economy, and help companies work towards net zero.

CW: Tell us about your current role - what are you responsible for and what does the normal working day consist of?

NH: I’m very active in working with our external stakeholders, such as major lighting companies, Defra, the Environment Agency, recyclers and recycling

Recolight supports reuse and remanufacture in the lighting industry

associations, and lighting organisations like the Lighting Industry Association. I also chair our trade association, the WEEE Scheme Forum, which means I get involved in industry-wide issues. Recent examples include how to tackle the huge quantity of waste from single use vapes, and lithium batteries in waste electricals that can cause fires.

CW: What are the best parts of your role? What are the most challenging?

NH: Dealing with Government is often both the best, and the most challenging part of my role! The best, because I get to work with many remarkably committed and hard-working civil servants, particularly in Defra. But most challenging, because the framework within which they operate frequently results in a truly glacial rate of change. An example is the urgent need to make sure that online marketplaces, such as Amazon, are brought within the WEEE regulations. The government committed to this change in its ‘Resources and waste strategy’ published in 2018. Nearly six years later, it has still not happened.

CW: What in your career are you most proud of?

NH: I am immensely proud of the team at Recolight. They have transformed us from a small niche business to one that is helping to shape and guide environmental and sustainability best practice in the electricals and waste sectors, and setting the standards for collection and recycling services.

CW: What’s next for you and for Recolight?

NH: Recolight’s producer membership has grown significantly over the last few years. For example, for 2024, I am thrilled that a dozen major companies switched their compliance to the Recolight WEEE scheme. I hope that trend will continue in the coming years as companies recognise the good work we are doing, and want their brand to be associated with ours. And we will continue to roll out new services, making it easier for our members to reuse and remanufacture luminaires, to avoid unnecessary recycling.

CW: What do you think should be made a priority for the electrical sector?

NH: The scale of the change needed to tackle the climate crisis means that our industry is going to radically reinvent itself. There will be a huge focus on avoiding carbon emissions - both when products are used and also embodied carbon. That means a big shift towards repair, renovation, remanufacture and upgrade, and away from the ‘fit a new one and chuck out the old one’ mentality - even if the discarded product is recycled.

CW: Where do you see the industry in five years?

NH: The successful companies will be those that get ahead in all matters related to sustainability and carbon reduction. It is becoming very clear that governments around the world will need to legislate to impose carbon reduction targets on industries. We are going to see some huge regulatory handbrake turns, and companies that are still going in the wrong direction will find it hardest to adapt.

CW: What are your interests away from work?

NH: I love spending time working in the garden and walking with my wife. We hope to never fly again, so we are taking advantage of the wealth of natural beauty and cultural attractions the UK has to offer. This year, we are walking the South Downs way over 10 days. But you will also frequently find me protesting on the streets with Extinction Rebellion, demanding greater government and corporate action on the climate.


26 | May 2024    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn INTERVIEW


In addition to our regular range of news and viewpoints, the next issue of ECN will contain special features relating to Cables & Connections, Commercial Vehicles, Tools & Test Equipment and Smart Buildings, as well as a special supplement devoted to Wiring Accessories.

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 these areas.

Cables & Connections Tools & Test Equipment Commercial Vehicles NEXT ISSUE
To make sure that you don’t miss this major opportunity to advertise your products to ECN’s 20,000+ readers, call Kelly Byne on 01634 673163 /
Accessories Matt Black Matt Black is also available in ENHANCEDECORATIVE CONCEALED3MM GET YOURS TODAY
Smart Buildings Special


Win a Master and Two Companion LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmers and an RGBW Control worth over £300.

Introducing Hamilton’s newest innovation: Smart Wi-Fi Multi Way Dimmers. These dimmers offer electrical contractors a user-friendly installation solution for LED light control in diverse settings like homes, offices, bars and restaurants. Just connect them to an existing Wi-Fi network – no extra hub is needed. With a simple gesture, a swipe on your phone using the Hamilton Lite app, or voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant, Hamilton’s smart dimmers prove to be truly ‘smart’, not just in name, but also in nature.

Retrofitting made easy

The dimmer unit offers trailing and leading edge options. It retrofits into existing 2-way and intermediate wiring (no neutral required) enabling smooth integration into both new-build projects and renovations. Plus, it fits perfectly into a standard 35mm wall box.

The wired configuration comprises a Master unit and up to two Companion units, enabling true multi-point rotary dimming. With this set-up users can switch and dim the circuit from three wallplate positions. It’s the perfect lighting control solution for spacious kitchen/diners.

Smart also means stylish!

The dimmer unit is available now in five popular Hamilton collections: Hartland, Hartland G2, Sheer, Sheer G2 and Verve, with a choice of up to 13 distinct plate finishes.


For your chance to win a Master and two Companion LEDSTAT Smart Wi-Fi Dimmers and an RGBW Module worth over £300, simply answer the following questions correctly:

March Competition

The winners of the March competition – three Timeguard Weathersafe SRCD’s, courtesy of Timeguard – were Mark Upson, Neil Smith and Simon Scott.

Closing date

All entries must be returned by 30 April 2024. The editor’s decision is final. For the full terms and conditions, visit competition-terms.

The name of the winner will be published in the July issue of ECN. *Prize not exchangeable.

Personal Details Name Company Name Address ................................................................................Postcode Tel Mobile E-mail..................................................................................................................................... The answers to May’s competition are: 1. 2. 3. To enter, please complete the form below and post to: ECN Competition, All Things Media Ltd, Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent, ME5 8UD. Alternatively, you can enter online at or email your answers and contact details to:
YES, I would like to receive the ECN newsletter YES, I would like to subscribe to ECN magazine YES, I would like to share my data with Hamilton Signature Date 1. Hamilton’s LEDSTAT
designed to operate on what type of network? a) Zigbee b) Wi-Fi c) Bluetooth 2. How many switch locations can you dim the same LED lights
using Hamilton’s Smart Master and Companion Dimmer units? a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 3. Which voice command
can control Hamilton Smart Dimmers? a) Amazon Alexa only b) Google Home Assistant only c) Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant To register to receive your copy of ECN each month, visit COMPETITION
Contact Preferences
Smart Dimmers are
May 2024 | 29 3 Year Warranty Trip Current 3YR 30mA Type A Devices A B C B curve C curve 6kA True 6ka Single Pole + Switched Neutral SWITCH TO ELUCIAN 1 Pole + Switched Neutral RCBO Now available 01827 63454 | | ECN Feature Sponsorship May 2024 ad - Elucian.indd 1 22/04/2024 10:35 SPECIAL FEATURE CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR supported by  electrical-contracting-news-ecn   @ecn_magazine  /electricalcontractingnews  @ElecConNews


In this article, Jake Green, Head of Technical Engagement at Scolmore Group, considers some types of RCBOs and their applications, along with the relevant requirements of BS 7671.

Residual current operated circuit-breakers with integral overcurrent protection for household and similar uses, or RCBOs, are intended to protect people against earth fault current under the protective measure Automatic Disconnection of Supply (ADS), as well as additional protection. RCBOs

also provide protection against both short-circuit and overload.

The standard to which RCBOs conform is BS EN 61009-1 and the United Kingdom has a special national condition (SNC) whereby RCBOs providing protection for circuits having neutral conductors reliably at earth potential are permitted to have an unswitched neutral; that is in the UK where the earthing system is TN-S or TN-C-S RCBOs are permitted to be single-pole devices.

Protective Devices

Difference between single-pole and double-pole devices

BS EN 61009-1 defines ‘pole’ as ‘that part of an RCBO associated exclusively with one electrically separated conducting path of its main circuit provided with contacts intended to connect and disconnect the main circuit itself and excluding those portions which provide a means for mounting and operating poles together’.

30 | May 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
Our Elucian range of Protective Devices are easy to install, suitable for residential and light commercial environments, they provide protection against earth faults to ensure people’s safety against electrocution and fires. Now including AFDDs.
ECN May strip ads - Elucian Devices.indd 1 19/04/2024 14:20

Further, BS EN 61009-1 defines the ‘overcurrent protected pole’ as one which is, ‘…provided with an overcurrent release…’. The ‘switched neutral pole’ is given as ‘pole only intended to switch the neutral and not intended to have short-circuit capacity’.

Taking all definitions into account, it is important to recognise what this means when a manufacturer defines a product as single-pole (SP), single-pole and neutral (SP&N) and double-pole (DP).

• SP – a device having no connection point for the neutral conductor. The circuit neutral conductor will be connected to the common neutral bar. When the RCBO is switched on or off the neutral will remain connected in circuit and only the line conductor will open or close.

• SP&N – a device having a connection point for the line and neutral conductors and typically taking up two ways on the distribution board. When the RCBO is switched on or off both the line and neutral conductor will open or close. However, the neutral connection will not have short-circuit capacity[1]

• DP – a device having a connection point for the line and neutral conductors and will typically take up two ways on the distribution board. When the RCBO is switched on or off both the line and neutral conductor will open or close. The neutral connection will have short-circuit capacity.

Being a combination of circuit-breaker and RCD, RCBOs may be selected for use for both overcurrent protection and additional protection, and recognising the benefits of an RCBO as:

• Individual additional protection and control of final circuits

• Easier to fault find

• Less chance of unwanted operation

Overcurrent protective devices

The requirements of overcurrent protective devices used for protection against electric shock are detailed in Section 533 (531.2.1 refers). For TN systems such devices must be selected and erected to comply with Chapter 41 (531.2.2).

Except in certain conditions detailed in Part 7, it is worth noting that there is no requirement under overcurrent conditions to disconnect/switch the neutral in TT or TN systems (531.2.2.201).

Residual current devices

The requirements for RCDs are detailed in Regulation Group 531.3. Regulation 531.3.1 requires an RCD to disconnect all live conductors (line and neutral in a single-phase circuit). However, Regulation 531.3.1.201 permits single-pole switching where the neutral is in a TT or TN system (531.3.1.201); such systems being the most common type. RCDs should be selected and erected to avoid unwanted tripping, and to this end Regulation 531.3.2 details six areas of consideration. Amongst other things, indent (i) allows for a split board with a suitable subdivision of circuits, and indent (ii) suggests the use of RCBOs will be beneficial in residential premises.

Part 7

There are certain installations detailed in Part 7 where the general rules relating to overcurrent protection and RCDs are amended, and these will have an impact on the type of RCBO selected for use.

• Section 708 (Electrical installations in caravan/camping parks and similar locations) requires all poles to be disconnected for all socket-outlets protected by an RCD. Under such cases, the RCD/RCBO must not be single-pole (708.415.1).

• Section 709 (Marinas and similar locations) also requires socket-outlets to be individually protected by an RCD and disconnect all poles, including the neutral (709.531.2).

Consumer Units

Elucian by Click® brings to the market a comprehensive Consumer Unit and Circuit Protection range. It covers a broad range of installations and offers a number of features and benefits that will enhance the products’ convenience, flexibility and safety properties.

• Section 721 (Electrical installations in caravans and motor caravans) requires all live conductors to be disconnected where an RCD is supplied for additional protection (721.415.1).

• Section 722 (Electric vehicle charging installations) requires all live conductors to be disconnected where an RCD is installed (722.531.3.1).

• Section 730 (Onshore units of electrical shore connections for inland navigation vessels) requires socket-outlets to be individually protected by an RCD and disconnect all poles, including the neutral (730.531.3).


It is important to select for use the correct type of RCBO for the nature of the installation. There will be instances where single-pole devices will need to be replaced with either single-pole and neutral or double-pole devices.


[1] Often the SP&N device switch will only have a single switch whereas the DP device will have a switch covering both poles.

SWITCHGEAR  electrical-contracting-news-ecn   @ecn_magazine  /electricalcontractingnews  @ElecConNews
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The modern office is unrecognisable from 30 years ago. These spaces have evolved, moving into multi-occupancy hubs with a mix of commercial, retail and residential spaces; meaning power, ventilation, heating and lighting systems have become more interconnected and digitised. Then, to add even more complexity to the systems, add in bi-direction grid connections for renewables, heat pumps and the need for EV charging as we electrify our transportation, and the demands on low voltage systems are far more complex than ever before.

In an industry that once had a fit-and-forget approach, we are now considering the full life cycle of these low voltage systems and their ability to monitor and manage power, drive efficiency, reduce downtime and support building – not only using, but generating power.

Energy transition in buildings

As we see an end to fossil fuels being used in buildings for heating systems, higher importance is being placed on the environmental impact of buildings and electrification of transport. Contractors who can offer differentiated propositions with strong qualified solutions can appeal to these new needs.

When considering the requirements of switchgear design and factors such as the ability to adapt to an evolving building, systems need to provide high stacking density with smart combinations of fixed, removable and withdrawable configurations for power distribution and motor control applications. The ability for future expansion with maximum uptime and safety are paramount. Manufacturers such as Eaton now provide systems to continuously monitor switchgear temperature to reduce the risk of failure, along with arc-flash protection systems to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment.

While buildings are evolving, low voltage switchgear needs to support these growing needs, meaning scalable solutions are a must.

Smart buildings need smarter circuit protection

The cost of gas and electricity in the last few years has become more volatile and whilst this presents a significant challenge to all building owners and operators, energy price volatility has opened the door to more opportunities for contractors who can help clients to mitigate these significant business challenges. ISO50001 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organisation to follow a systematic approach in

achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy security, energy use and consumption.

How can circuit protection help? What used to be a bi-metal strip for thermal element and solenoid that monitors current magnitude in an MCCB has evolved. Manufacturers have introduced microprocessor modules into these MCCB’s providing a huge number of additional features and making these devices more like the brain of the power distribution network.

Solutions such as Eaton’s Digital NZM smart MCCB’s now have built-in energy monitoring, enabling visibility of energy consumption for all parts of a system. Communication modules feed this data and more to building management systems (BMS) or building energy management systems (BEMS), aiding the control and management of power. These features offer building owners the ability to make better energy-use decisions to drive efficiency.

Additionally, predictive maintenance algorithms can help to reduce the risk of downtime from blackouts, notifying relevant personnel when devices are coming to the end of their life. These MCCB’s enable the bi-directional protection required for systems with renewables, including DC voltage protection. They can also limit fault stress on the system, helping to mitigate cable, switchboard and wider infrastructure damage, should a significant fault occur.

The true value of any system should be that it meets the needs and overcomes the challenges of the customer today and in the future. As we see the need for greener, cleaner, more intelligent and flexible solutions to power the building of tomorrow, its power infrastructure needs to be at its core to enable this future.

32 | May 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
Bevan, Power Distribution UK Field Product Manager at Eaton, discusses how switchgear and circuit protection are evolving to the needs of the modern world.
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Michael Chappell, Product and Marketing Executive at Carl Kammerling International, the home of Kasp Security, discusses why investing in trusted tools is an essential step in achieving safe isolation of an electrical network.

Safe isolation is more than just a routine task for electrical professionals – it’s arguably the most important part of the job and demonstrates a commitment to prioritising the protection of others.

Electrical contractors have a responsibility to ensure that they take a thorough and multi-staged approach when it comes to achieving safe isolation, including the implementation of high electrical standards, adhering to the latest guidance and selecting and maintaining a high standard of electrical equipment to complete the project effectively and safely.

The old adage ‘the bitterness of poor quality will remain after the sweetness of low cost has been forgotten,’ has never been truer, particularly when it comes to the safe isolation of an electrical network where inadequate tools can be unsafe and lead to disastrous consequences.

The risks are too great

Sadly, over 1,000 electricity-related accidents are reported to the HSE every year, 30 of which lead to fatal injuries.

Electric shock, electrical burns, fire from faulty electrical equipment and even explosions are all hazards resulting from below par isolation procedures. Even incorrectly wiring a plug can be dangerous and lead to fatal accidents or fires.

When dealing with live electricity, there’s no room for error – the only way to ensure everyone’s safety is by adopting thorough isolation procedures and selecting high quality tools.

Getting the right tools for the job

Isolating an electrical network involves several important steps, from isolating it from the energy source, verifying no voltage is present and the usage of effective lockout devices to prevent the circuit being re-energised until after work

is complete – for each step of the process it is vital that effective, trusted tools and equipment are used.

This includes a voltage indicator, with the means to prove it is operational usually with the use of a dedicated proving unit, insulated tools, lockout devices and signage to warn others to avoid disaster should a circuit inadvertently remain live.

Lockout devices play a crucial role in safe isolation by preventing the circuit being re-energised until after work is complete by ensuring a circuit breaker remains in a specific on or off position – an important step to ensure the safety of the workforce. There are a number of options available when it comes to lockout devices; some are universal while others are designed to fit specific brands, but by employing a variety of devices, users can significantly reduce the risk of injury to themselves and others.

Investing in trusted brands

Reliability is key when selecting the right tools for the jobs, so opt for trusted brands and proven products. There are several elements to consider when selecting an effective tool: the R&D process behind it; the source of the materials; the engineering and manufacturing procedures; and the quality control and accreditation. Each element undergoes a constant review as new materials, manufacturing techniques, or industry requirements are uncovered, with the effectiveness, durability and safety of the products always front of mind.

Kasp Lockout, from one of the UK’s leading security padlock, chain and cable brands, owned by Carl Kammerling International, is a range of essential tools designed specifically to protect electricians and their colleagues from accidents at work through safe isolation. The range safeguards against a sudden release of energy, locking off energy sources using padlocks and physical security devices.

Consumer Units

Elucian by Click® brings to the market a comprehensive Consumer Unit and Circuit Protection range. It covers a broad range of installations and offers a number of features and benefits that will enhance the products’ convenience, flexibility and safety properties.

For each step of the isolation process, it is vital that effective, trusted tools and equipment are used

Staying on top of tool maintenance

The quality of the tool plays a significant role in determining its longevity. High quality, premium tools from reputable brands are built with more durable and higher quality materials, so are better suited to withstand heavy use. Even so, the law dictates that electrical equipment should be properly maintained to ensure that it’s safe but the type and frequency of checks and testing will be dictated by the quality of the equipment. Consider whether electrical equipment, including portable appliances, should be more formally inspected or tested and the timescales at which this should be done. In the world of electrical work, the importance of the safe isolation of the electrical network cannot be underestimated. Electrical contractors should look to trusted brands and the latest technologies, guidelines and tools available to them to make projects safer for all involved. The consequences of not doing so are simply too great.

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Industry continues to face a social and business imperative to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing. Michael Smith Switchgear (MSSL), founded in Leicester in 1985, has spent a decade moving to carbon neutrality. Managing Director, Sean Smith, discusses how change is being driven by its boardroom-to-shop-floor approach.

Recent Make UK research shows that half of manufacturers are making headway with sustainability programmes. The report Manufacturing:

Stepping Up To The Sustainability Challenge sets out progress being made.

It’s encouraging that carbon reduction is increasingly a central consideration for organisations across various industries – including electrical manufacturing. But the report findings also suggest that half of manufacturers are not progressing.

MSSL believes that they are missing out. Why? From a purely business point of view, 70% of those who achieved their goals reported a simultaneous reduction in their costs. Meanwhile, demand for sustainable solutions is shifting the way companies manage supply chains. It’s something that MSSL has looked at itself, in terms of how its suppliers are reducing their own carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency.

Building more sustainable switchgear

Low voltage switchgear manufacturing is fundamental to power distribution and energy control systems in buildings of all sizes. MSSL’s systems power hospitals, big-name retailers, public buildings and data centres – and the company has seen its customers’ outlook changing in line with its own.

Carbon-neutral status was achieved at MSSL in 2022. It came after eight years of building up the implementation of a host of in-house sustainable development interventions. These have had a positive impact on the environment, society and the economy.

Sustainable supply chains

Successful outcomes in sustainable manufacturing will increasingly take an end-to-end view. Impact during the production process will increase as whole supply chains become more environmentally friendly.

Why do it? Because companies that adopt sustainable manufacturing practices can reduce their carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency, and achieve environmental goals while maintaining quality and potentially improving profitability.

At MSSL, small innovations were developed over a period of time. One of the most successful was through developing its assemblies to contain less plastic by switching its insulating material away from plastics to a paper-based alternative. Also, by increasing the ventilation along with other initiatives within the manufacturing process, the company reduced its copper raw material usage by 25%. It improved efficiency and cut costs, while significantly reducing its environmental impact.

Sustainability isn’t scary

For businesses new to (or struggling with) sustainability, it can be challenging to know where to start. One of the first steps you can take is to look at what others in your industry are doing. MSSL says that it has always highlighted the work it is doing to help others see that sustainability doesn’t have to be costly or difficult. Chances are, you are already working towards becoming more sustainable without even realising it.

Practical suggestions include using renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind, to power industrial facilities and investing in technology, such as smart meters and sensors, to monitor energy consumption. The small steps are all part of making a big difference.

Key trends in the industry include an increased focus on renewable energy,

voltage switchgear manufacturing is fundamental to power distribution and energy control systems in buildings of all sizes

digitalisation, and the adoption of new technology. To remain competitive (and this will increasingly mean being sustainable), companies must adapt to these changes and adopt new environmental practices to remain relevant and meet customer demand.

Sustainability initiatives can be integrated into procurement processes by working with suppliers who share the company’s ethos and support its sustainable manufacturing objectives.

Businesses need to look at more than just their own methods – because sustainability is about you, your suppliers and your customers. We all have a part to play.

Positive impact

The manufacturing industry is facing increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’; it is an essential part of the manufacturing process and its supply chains. By adopting sustainable practices, businesses can benefit from reduced costs, improved efficiency, and lower carbon emissions while contributing to a more sustainable future.

36 | May 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
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Chaz Andrews, Doepke Technical Manager, discusses RCD circuit protection associated with EV vehicle-to-grid installations.

Octopus Energy has announced the first commercially available Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) tariff, offering free home charging for compatible vehicles.

Although the jury’s still out on the economic viability of disparate domestic V2G technology, installers should be able to answer basic customer questions. The possibilities associated with V2G and V2H (home), raises questions about existing switchgear and RCD requirements.

V2* circuit protection/ switchgear general points

Basic V2G technology is only marginally more complex than smart charging, allowing for bi-directional current flow and the existing power export agreement process. However, V2H adds a degree of complexity to individual domestic installations when included with PV and battery storage. The associated IET Codes of Practice (CoP) covering V2* Charging Ch.10 offer an authoritative guide to this subject. Be extremely wary of YouTube so-called ‘experts’ unless you have sufficient knowledge to critique the information provided, or the person has previous industry standing – for example, independent John Ward, ECA or similar technical support team, established manufacturer, or a member of a standards working group.

Functionality: The switchgear design must encompass the required operating modes, direct supply, reverse supply and/or island mode. Customers can assume incorrectly that V2G automatically encompasses island mode facilities. BS7671 Annex B82 gives a pictorial overview of PEI functionality. The CoP for EV charging 5th edition section 10 and 11 gives detailed requirements for V2*.

Functionality (within the CP) must include a method of limiting the customer’s export capacity to under 16A (ENA G98), or the DNO may specify that the installation complies with G100 – see section 10 point 2. In the medium term, widespread (all DNOs) automatic asset registration (AAR) is a prerequisite to mass market adoption

of V2G technology and other small-scale energy assets.

Rating: Conventional domestic units (BS61439-3) may be continuously rated <100A within a daily average maximum temperature range – refer to the manufacturer’s documentation. Adding additional generation in parallel with the existing supply capacity may result in the conventional switchgear being overloaded, leading to permanent damage/deterioration of insulation properties. Additional heat (temperature rise) can be transferred into adjacent or connected components, manifesting in unexpected tripping events and/or premature failure.

Consequently, the rating of the switchgear, physical layout and method of controlling the maximum loading on any individual unit must take into account BS7671 551.7.2 (v). See examples given in CoP for EV charging 5th edition section 10 points 1 and 2. Where island mode operation is required, the maintained (essential) loads must be isolated from the non-essential loads based on available battery capacity – see CoP scheme Fig 10.4 and note 6 relating to the OCPD device.

V2* RCD selection

Reference: BS 7671 clause 826.1.1.1, 551. IET CoP EV Charging 5th Ed. 10.6, 10.7.3. IET CoP EES Systems 9.12.

Bi-directional current flow Fig 1: EV or fixed batteries associated with an inverter operating as a load or source, resulting in current flowing in both directions. Associated RCDs must be suitable for bi-directional current flow, ie. the RCD must function correctly when the supply is connected to the top or bottom terminals –refer to the manufacturer for verification[1] Supply cables requiring RCD protection at the DNO supply end, will have two RCDs in series; discrimination is not applicable. For single phase circuits, two pole switching is required on the inverter AC input/output. Type of RCD: Compatible with the inverters mounted in the associated chargers (EV and battery). EES Systems Table 9.4 illustrates the selection process/type of RCD, eg if the inverter equipment does not include simple separation (preventing the flow of

Consumer Units

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Bi-directional supply. (EV Charging or Storage Mode) RCDs required at both supply origins

DC fault current), Type B is required. RCDs providing automatic disconnection on the output of the inverters[2] must operate reliably with any DC components flowing in circuit.


Consider the guidance given in the associated IET CoPs for safe installation designs before deciding on the final design of the installation. With innovative technologies, the ‘State of the Art’ is an important concept to consider in relation to COPs and the year of publication. Designers require sufficient and appropriate experience to consider existing advice and any additional available information relating to safety issues, design, and equipment/ system developments when working with innovative technologies.

Doepke UK,

[1] Single module RCBOs are not suitable for bi-directional use. Before carrying out any insulation tests, disconnect RCDs containing electronic components.

[2] 10.7.3 “It is likely, particularly for dwellings and smaller commercial/industrial premises, that disconnection times can only be achieved using RCDs at the output of the inverter(s)”.

Fig 1
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Matt Parton, Product Development Manager at ESP and Sangamo, looks at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to the Sangamo timers and heating controls helpline.

With a history spanning more than 100 years, specialist supplier of time switches and heating controls, Sangamo, has built up an extensive range of products to meet the needs of an evolving marketplace.

From the original Round Pattern Time Switch first manufactured in the 1950s, through to the Choice Plus range of thermostats, controls and programmers, and Bluetooth-compatible timers for the DIN Rail Time Switch collection, installers have an extensive range of solutions to call upon to suit their customers’ domestic heating requirements.

The dedicated Sangamo technical helpline provides installers with the facility to access valuable advice and information across the product range. As the frequently asked questions outlined below testify, the Round Pattern Time Switches remain a popular choice with installers, with thousands of units still sold each year, both as replacements and as brand new installations.

Q1: Are there any thermostats with volt free contacts that can be used for cooling applications such as a fan or air conditioning?

A: The Choice RSTAT 1 room thermostat has volt free contacts and can be used for heating or cooling applications as it has NO and NC contacts.

Q2: What is the ‘zone’ referring to on round pattern time switches?

A: It refers to the geographical location where an Astro or Suntracker (also known as a Solar Dial) is to be installed. As the sunrise and sunset times differ depending on geographical location, the correct zone model must be purchased for sunrise and sunset switching times to be accurate. Digital time switches can take into account these differences and can be used anywhere, but mechanical time switches can only be used in a set area. The UK is split horizontally into four different zones.

Q3: Can round pattern time switches be removed from their base and replaced with another version of a Sangamo round pattern timer switch?

A: Yes, this will allow you to change the timer without needing to rewire it. Round pattern timers come in three-pin or four-pin variants – this relates to the number of terminals, so be sure to replace with a timer with the same number of pins.

The Sangamo technical helpline provides installers with the facility to access advice and information

Q4: What’s the difference between a regular time switch and a Suntracker/Astro?

A: Regular time switches will switch at set programmed times to switch on or off. Astro/Suntracker timers will switch at sunrise and sunset times and will automatically adjust as they change through the year. Additional set on/off programs can also be programmed.

Q5: What do all the product codes mean in your round pattern time switches?

A: The round pattern time switches (RPTS) have a variety of different variations which are all able to achieve different tasks. Things such as different amounts of on/off times and how many pins the switch has can all affect the product codes.

Q6: Can the Powersaver/Powersaver Plus range of products be used as regular time switches?

A: Powersaver timers can be used to switch a wide range of mains powered devices in accordance with the product’s technical specification.

Q7: What product would you recommend if I have an economy tariff on my boiler?

Round Pattern Time Switches remain a popular choice with installers

A: The Powersaver Dual Flexi 2 is designed for Economy 7, Economy 10 and Economy 20/20 tariffs, but can be used on flat rate tariffs as well.


42 | May 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE HVAC @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
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KNX distributor and training academy, My KNX Store, talks all things HVAC control.

KNX holds an influential global position in the building control industry. Rather than a single branded company, KNX is an open protocol which provides a robust control platform supported by over 500 certified KNX manufacturers. They conform to the same approved standards, offering an unparalleled level of product choice and functionality, allowing each system to be tailored to the specific control and budget requirements.

Using KNX, all building functions can be controlled under one platform, from lighting, blinding and HVAC to door entry and so much more. In addition, KNX allows the combined integration of wider control systems for extended personalisation, including DALI, BACnet, Modbus, Crestron and Control 4.

A key benefit of KNX is the advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications which can be deployed to maximise both energy efficiency and end-user comfort. With the increased cost of living and the focus on renewable energy, the demand for a system that can provide a personalised infrastructure for both current and future demands has never been higher. Thankfully, KNX has been fulfilling this requirement for over 30 years.

KNX allows seamless integration of diverse HVAC components

Key control applications

• Occupancy sensing: Advanced lighting control for triggers to wider HVAC functions

• Underfloor heating: Tailored parametrisation to maximise energy efficiency, comfort and protection of flooring materials

• Air conditioning: Individual or zonal control

• Solar gain management: Via advanced blind/shutter control

• Energy metering: Management of energy usage and redirection

• Air quality: Dynamic control of air quality, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and CO2

• Contact sensors: Window/door contacts for system override functions

• Weather station integration: Reactive control based on active weather conditions.

• Heat/smoke detection: System alerts and alarm functions.

Interoperability and compatibility

Due to unparalleled interoperability between devices, KNX allows seamless integration of diverse HVAC components. As a result, a truly unique HVAC control infrastructure can be implemented and – when combined with wider building functions, such as lighting and blinds – a holistic building management solution is fostered.

Scalability and flexibility

Whether for a single-room application or an entire building, KNX systems can scale effortlessly to meet demands. This scalability empowers system integrators, architects, consultants and end-users to tailor HVAC control solutions according to specific requirements and budget constraints. Moreover, due to various installation methods, upgrades can be easily added if control requirements change or expand.

Energy efficiency

Efficiency lies at the core of KNX HVAC control. Through real-time data monitoring and predictive analytics, KNX optimises energy consumption while maintaining occupant comfort. Features such as occupancy sensing, temperature modulation and adaptive scheduling contribute to substantial energy savings, reducing operational costs and environmental impact.

Centralised management

KNX centralises HVAC management, offering a unified platform for monitoring and control. This centralised approach streamlines operations, simplifies troubleshooting and enhances overall system performance. These benefits further expand to facility managers with unprecedented visibility across the complete ecosystem for proactive maintenance, fault detection and optimisation strategies.

Enhanced comfort

KNX prioritises occupant comfort and indoor air quality through precise temperature regulation, humidity control and air quality monitoring, maintaining optimal environmental conditions and fostering a healthier indoor environment – essential requirements for assisted living/healthcare sectors.

Integration of renewable energy

KNX seamlessly integrates with renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal systems like ground and air source heat pumps. This integration enables dynamic energy management, leveraging renewable resources to power HVAC operations efficiently with direct applications for Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) and Passive House project specifications.

Future-proof and cost-effective technology

KNX embodies future-proof technology and ensures backwards compatibility with advancing innovations, preventing obsolescence and safeguarding investments. Combined with cost-effective devices, the efficiency gains and operational enhancements translate into a tangible return on investment (ROI). In conclusion, as buildings evolve into smarter, more sustainable entities, KNX continues to lead the market in holistic building control solutions by consistently reacting to ever-changing market conditions.

My KNX Store,

44 | May 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE HVAC    @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn

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In order to meet new building requirements and keep up with ever-changing consumer expectations, electrical contractors are increasingly turning to advanced Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technologies. Smart solutions and those that facilitate remote monitoring and control, whilst still enhancing energy efficiency and indoor air quality, are becoming a part of standard practice, writes Kas Mohammed, VP Digital Energy, UK&I at Schneider Electric

We are increasingly seeing contractors start to take a more holistic approach to efficiency within the HVAC sector, leveraging automation and control. Integrating automation, HVAC, control systems, and smart technologies in an industrial building streamlines energy use in several ways.

For example, automation systems adjust the operation of machinery or lighting based on real-time demand – avoiding unnecessary energy use. Optimised HVAC systems adapt to different zones and times of the day to greatly reduce heating and cooling waste. Control systems monitor and adjust energy use across the entire building for more informed and efficient management of resources. Intelligent technologies can anticipate maintenance needs and operational adjustments. This ensures the systems run at peak efficiency without energy loss from malfunctioning or suboptimal performance.

Meanwhile, industrial controls provide a wide range of benefits - from making buildings more resilient and operationally efficient, to helping to reduce a site’s carbon footprint. To create a truly smart building, the integration of multiple devices

Recent trends and developments in the buildings sector are keeping electrical contractors on their toes

on a single smart platform, and their ability to interact seamlessly with each other, is essential. Interoperability ensures every device and application feeds into the overall goals for a project – whether that’s to lower costs or carbon or improve occupant experience.

Following protocol

When implementing these modern technologies, electrical contractors must also continue to be aware of certain protocols. For example, BACnet is the predominant protocol in use for heating, cooling and ventilation systems. It stands for building automation and control networks and is widely used around the world with HVAC, lighting and even security systems within buildings. BACnet is an open-source protocol form of communication that allows devices to talk with one another on a building network.

We are increasingly seeing contractors start to take a more holistic approach to efficiency within the HVAC sector

Meanwhile, KNX is commonplace for lighting controls and automation in high-end residences. As well as HVAC, these devices can manage lighting, blinds and shutters, security systems and energy management. There is also the lighting protocol, DALI.

Fortunately, there are certain tools which are able to interact with all of these

protocols to make integration far easier and more cost-effective. The best on the market will provide an open integration framework to create custom solutions for smart buildings and value-added services available in the cloud. They will also be secure, scalable and comprehensive, able to scale to a building’s needs now and in the future.

Recent trends and developments in the buildings sector – specifically around HVAC – are certainly keeping electrical contractors on their toes. These changes underscore the importance of prioritising the user and occupant experience, with integration efforts aimed at enhancing usability, comfort, and overall satisfaction. As energy efficiency continues to emerge as a key focus area - which is proving to be crucial for reducing environmental impact and optimising resource utilisation, thereby lowering operational costs - every change that electrical contractors can make to boost efficiency within buildings counts. By embracing forward-thinking, future-proof solutions, those operating in the sector can ensure the longevity and relevance of integrated systems, benefiting both users and sustainability initiatives.

Schneider Electric,

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Designed for multi-occupancy dwellings, HMOs, Student rooms, Hotels, Hostels, Holiday Lodges, Airbnbs, etc.

Designed for multi-occupancy dwellings, HMOs, Student rooms, Hotels, Hostels, Holiday Lodges, Airbnbs, etc.

ecoStat3 is the new generation of intelligent thermostatic controls.

ecoStat3 is the new generation of intelligent thermostatic controls.

Suitable for both electric and wet heating systems, this cleverly simple control ensures energy is not used unnecessarily.

The microwave sensor* detects absence, lowering heat input when rooms are unoccupied.

Suitable for both electric and wet heating systems, this cleverly simple control ensures energy is not used unnecessarily.

The microwave sensor* detects absence, lowering heat input when rooms are unoccupied.

Window-open technology means heat isn’t escaping, and a dedicated infrared programming handset, for building managers, prevents any tampering with settings.

Window-open technology means heat isn’t escaping, and a dedicated infrared programming handset, for building managers, prevents any tampering with settings.

Easy to install and simple to operate, ecoStat3 is the most affordable way to keep rooms comfortable while making significant energy savings.

Easy to install and simple to operate, ecoStat3 is the most affordable way to keep rooms comfortable while making significant energy savings.
* The PRE5203EC3 model has integrated microwave occupancy sensor. PREFECT ecoStat is a registered UK trade mark owned by Prefect Controls Limited, with trade mark number UK00003943747


Housebuilder Castle Green Homes has selected Vent-Axia’s decentralised mechanical extract ventilation (dMEV) units to be installed in its homes as its chosen solution to meet the amended Part F (Means of Ventilation) and Part L (Conservation of Fuel & Power) of the Building Regulations.

Vent-Axia is supplying its Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C units to be installed in 500 homes a year across North Wales and the North West of England. The aim is to ensure homes have good indoor air quality to help protect homeowners’ health and meet the new airflow rates set out in Part F.

For new build residential homes, ventilation rates increased in the new Part F to support the health of residents with a move to more advanced ventilation solutions, such as Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) and Continuous Mechanical Extract Ventilation, such as dMEV, instead of traditional Intermittent Extract Ventilation (Natural Ventilation). Natural Ventilation is now only suitable for dwellings with a design air permeability higher than 5m3/ (m2·h), meaning many new build dwellings are out of scope of this technology.

With the increased airtightness of buildings, and increased minimum whole dwelling ventilation rates for continuous mechanical extract units, higher performing options are needed, making Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C unit an ideal option. The Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C is a highly efficient dMEV unit. Designed for kitchen, utility, bathroom and cloakroom applications, it is claimed to achieve Building Regulations with the quietest sound levels, the lowest number of installed fans required and the most efficient fans on the market. Developed for housebuilders, it is tested to the new SAP 10 performance requirement and listed in the PCDB with its exceedingly low Specific Fan Power (SFP) values as low as 0.08w/l/s – while providing near silent operation independently tested as low as 7.4dB(A).

“At Castle Green Homes we’re committed to successfully combining the most technologically advanced housebuilding approaches with traditional build methods. We, therefore, chose to specify Vent-Axia’s market-leading dMEV for our homes to meet the amendments to Part F of the Building Regulations while providing good indoor air quality for homeowners.

Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C unit ticked all the right boxes because of its

attractive round aesthetics, low noise and outstanding SAP performance,” says Rhys Jones, Commercial Director at Castle Green Homes.

The Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C achieves its low SFPs and low sound power levels through its patent pending air pathway design, which promotes turbulent airflow, allowing for a predictable performance curve and ensuring performance can be met. High pressure development and the silent mixed flow impeller means the Lo-Carbon dMEV C can meet the requirements of many domestic installations without the need to use a traditional centrifugal fan. Featuring a single high efficiency EC/DC motor, the fan achieves highest in class efficiency thanks to its axial fan, which consumes a fraction of the energy of the equivalent centrifugal fan – drastically reducing Dwelling Emission Rates (DER).

Featuring a sleek, circular unobtrusive design with a multi-orientation grille, the Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C is IPX5 rated, allowing installation in Zones 1, 2 and 3. It comes in 100mm and 125mm models, with variable speed setting for easy installation and commissioning. The fan’s brand-new

control platform provides fully adjustable airflow, meaning wholehouse rates can be achieved easily using fewer fans, delivering increased ventilation rates at the lowest sound levels with the fewest fans. The controls for the NBR dMEV C unit provide fully adjustable, continuous trickle speeds with a boost speed that’s activated via an integral humidistat or via LS Input.

The Lo-Carbon NBR dMEV C features an optional delayed start and this patented comfort control option allows the homeowner to enjoy a quiet, peaceful bathroom for up to 20 minutes before the boost activates. Furthermore, if the light switch turns on and off within three minutes, the boost will not activate.

Providing easy installation and quick commissioning, the easy-to-use speed adjustment dial ensures operational speeds are met as required by Building Regulation Approved Document F, while the IPX5 rating of the NBR dMEV C allows install flexibility without the need for SELV, making it ideal for wet rooms of all sizes since it can be installed in Zone 1.


48 | May 2024 SPECIAL FEATURE HVAC @ElecConNews  /electricalcontractingnews   @ecn_magazine   electrical-contracting-news-ecn
a year
Castle Green Homes will install Vent-Axia
units in 500 homes

Metway's prominence in the electrical solutions landscape is built on a foundation of longevity, vast stockholding, project configuration expertise, and on-site manufacturing excellence. As industries evolve and technological landscapes shift, Metway continues to be a stalwart, providing innovative and reliable solutions that empower projects across the globe.

MCC - Metway Connection Centre

Metway's MCC & MDCC lighting control modules are a simple, flexible and cost-effective solution for your lighting installation. Benefiting from dual side latching luminaire outputs and PIR / switch inputs, single or dual channel switching and dimming, all utilising the industry standard 166 "G" series connectors. Available in 8 and 10 output configurations, the robust moulded low-profile construction allows for simple single fix installation with a plug and play design utilising Metway's pre-wired pluggable lead and motion sensor options.


Pre-wired pluggable leads are available in all configurations to ensure a fast and trouble-free installation. Utilising LS0H 1.0mm cable as standard in black or white variants and available in 2 to 6-cores and lengths to suit all requirements, we have the solution. Metway's industry standard, dual latching Black/Blue "G" series connectors are rated at 16A and comply with BS EN 61535.

Other options include alternative conductor sizes and CCA or DCA cable classification.


The pre-wired PIRSW and PIRDA switching and DALi dimming sensors provide the perfect option for providing a complete pluggable lighting control solution with the "MCC". Providing on / off occupancy control or absence detection in a low-profile design while the Dali dimming version provides the benefit of dimming for comfort and energy saving when sufficient daylight is available.

Plug directly into the "MCC" for fast and efficient installation. Set-up is carried out using the remote-control handset.

Batten sensor versions offer a viable option for direct luminaire mounting.

BESA Socket Outlet

Metway's range of white, red & black 3, 4 & 6 pole Besa outlets are available with matching connectors or pre-wired leads with either white or black LSOH cable in lengths to suit any requirement.

Available in 3, 4 and 6-pole versions, all 16A rated, they are manufactured in VO self-extinguishing material.

All BESA socket outlets use double stacked terminals for ease of installation, allowing for loop in and loop out, and can accommodate up to 2.5mm conductors.

To learn more about our latest additions and to explore the entire Metway product range, visit our website or reach out to our dedicated team. We are here to assist you in finding the perfect electrical solutions to power your projects. Metway Electrical Industries Limited Barrie House 18 North Street Portslade East Sussex BN41 lDG


Powerdown220 has completed the UK’s largest ever VO rollout for pub and restaurant chain, Mitchells & Butlers. The year-long project involved VO installations at over 1,100 sites and is already delivering significant energy savings.

Mitchells & Butlers decided to invest in VO to lower its energy bills and reduce its carbon footprint. The large pub and restaurant chain, which owns popular brands like Harvester and Toby Carvery, chose VO specialist Powerdown220 to manage the project.

The average UK voltage supply is 242V, but most equipment is designed to work optimally at 220V. VO is a technology that lowers incoming voltage from the National Grid and has proven effective at delivering cost savings for businesses that are large consumers of electricity.

After an extensive survey of Mitchells & Butlers’ estate, 1,125 sites were identified as suitable for VO, making this the largest multi-site project of its kind ever attempted in the UK. At the peak of the project, up to 60 machines were being installed every week.

“I didn’t realise beforehand that this would be the biggest project of its kind in the UK, but that fact puts it all into perspective”, reflects Dale Fenton, Energy Manager at Mitchells & Butlers.

The company was looking to invest in a technology that would deliver cost savings and improve its sustainability and found VO to be a technology that ‘ticked both boxes’.

The unprecedented scale of the project meant unique challenges. Ensuring

sufficient resources were available and manufacturing output was maintained required careful forward planning.

Powerdown220 also drew upon its relationship with Ashcrofts, which carried out 40% of the installations.

“We are enormously proud to have completed a project of this scale and delighted that Mitchells & Butlers placed their trust in us,” comments

James Goody, Director at Powerdown220.

“The experience of successfully completing this rollout in such a short period of time has also provided unique opportunities for learning, which we can now carry forward.”


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David Williams, VP Transactional Business at Schneider Electric UK & Ireland, looks at the opportunities available to electricians as we move to a new energy landscape.

Electricians’ job roles are continuously evolving. Smart home technologies, sustainable retrofits, changing regulations, the emergence of ‘energy prosumers’, and other changes are making it increasingly difficult to operate and innovate a successful business.

According to the latest UK Trade Skills Index, there is an ‘alarming’ skills gap engulfing the construction sector, with over 100,000 new electricians required by 2032. The demand for electricians continues to intensify as diverse work opportunities increase. Numerous government initiatives, such as heat pump and solar panel grants, are creating a considerable boom as they target budget-savvy, smart energy consumers, and sustainably minded businesses.

Electricians are at the forefront of the new energy landscape. Staying ahead requires a constant stream of information and training to upskill. To become an ‘electrician of tomorrow’, they must embrace several key aspects crucial for success in the rapidly evolving industry: education, government regulations, net zero targets, EV/PV technologies, and how to manage the extra energy load through innovative panels. Remaining proactive in the quest for new projects and knowledge is essential to capitalising on this tidal wave of new opportunities.

Pioneering the EV/PV revolution

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) and photovoltaic (PV) systems has revolutionised the energy landscape, providing electricians with a unique opportunity to lead the charge. For the EV industry, electricians can provide expert insights on charging infrastructure, installation, and maintenance. By collaborating with automakers and EV charging station manufacturers, electricians can become trusted partners in establishing a robust EV charging network.

In the PV segment, electricians can showcase their expertise in solar panel installations and integration with smart home management systems, ensuring energy is used and stored at optimal times. Solar energy is a key component of a more sustainable energy future, and electricians can play a pivotal role in bringing clean energy solutions to homes and businesses. This also extends to the management of the added electrical load arising from the growing adoption of EVs and renewable energy sources.

Managing extra load

With the increasing adoption of EVs and renewable energy sources, electricians must address the challenge of managing the extra load on electrical grids. The integration of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and smart panels can help optimise energy consumption while ensuring grid stability. Electricians should be knowledgeable about advanced load management systems and energy storage solutions. By offering comprehensive consultations on the benefits of smart panels and energy-efficient practices, electricians can empower them to make informed decisions about their energy usage.

Consumer education is also paramount to driving the adoption of sustainable solutions. By organising workshops and webinars for homeowners and businesses, electricians can grow awareness of the advantages of net zero energy consumption and how they can be achieved through EV/PV technologies and smart panels.

Thinking outside the (fuse)box

An effective marketing and web presence is a powerful tool for electricians to reach and engage with potential clients. The cornerstone of marketing success lies in a well-optimised business website. By deploying keywords and local SEO strategies, electricians can improve their visibility in online searches. Social media platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram and even TikTok, can also facilitate direct interaction with customers, showcasing successful projects, answering questions, and receiving valuable feedback. Emphasising professionalism, customer reviews and user-friendly website navigation can further boost the credibility and appeal of the business.

Nailing a good social media strategy as an electrical business can turn traditional resources, usually long-form and wordy, into short, digestible content that illustrates the interesting work that electricians do daily. It’s small things like this that will help the industry to step into the next age, but it requires one thing: courage.

Embracing the unknown

Ultimately, electricians should welcome new technology and the specialised skills required if they want to remain ahead of the curve. By investing in new software tools, electricians can streamline project management, automate processes and improve overall efficiency. By actively seeking out accreditations for low-carbon technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and EV charging stations, electricians can also meet the growing demand for sustainable solutions.

There is a wealth of supporting documentation that delves into different elements of running a successful business but also emphasises the importance of continuous education, compliance with government regulations, and embracing green energy technologies. The path to becoming the electrician of tomorrow involves a holistic approach that encompasses constant education, adaptability to changing regulations, expertise in EV/PV technologies, innovative load management through panels, and consumer education to deliver a new wave of energy-efficient homes. Electricians who embrace these aspects will thrive in the rapidly evolving electrical industry, paving the way for a sustainable future.

Schneider Electric,

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Electricians are at the forefront of the new energy landscape t: 01205 724754 e: Quick & easy to install Solar Charging* Customisable fascias *Single Phase models only EV regulations compliant 3 year warranty 3 YEAR WARRANTY Built-in PME & load balancing The award-winning EV charger, trusted by UK installers ZURA Manufactured in the UK On orders placed before 1pm NEXT DAY DELIVERY


Peel Ports Group and E.ON have announced solar and wind projects at the Port of Liverpool to help the UK’s second largest port operator meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2040.

As the first of a number of projects, plans have been announced to install the UK’s largest roof-mounted solar energy system at the Port of Liverpool, alongside a future project to repower the existing wind turbines on the banks of the River Mersey with fewer, larger turbines.

This is the first stage of a 25-year agreement between the two companies which will help Peel Ports Group reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2040 and could see as many as 63,000 solar panels – the same as 18 football pitches – installed on 26 buildings across the Port of Liverpool.

The panels could generate up to 31MW of renewable electricity and provide the same amount of power as the yearly needs of more than 10,000 average UK homes. The exact number of panels and their generation potential will be confirmed in the final designs but the solar array is expected to be the largest of its kind in the UK and will generate up to 25% of the Port’s annual electricity needs.

The solar panels will reduce CO2e emissions from the site by more than

6,500t each year, the equivalent of taking more than 2,250 cars off the road.

Minimising disruption within the local area, the project will be wholly contained within the existing footprint of the Port, using existing roof space and bringing all equipment and technology directly to the port by sea, removing any impact on local roads. More than 6,000 solar panels have already been delivered to the Port, ready to be installed on the new 240,000ft2 Alexandra Dock warehouse which is nearing completion.

The project is being financed and delivered by E.ON with installation of the solar panels underway and due to be completed by mid-2026. E.ON has committed to using local contractors where possible and will also be looking to work with local companies for the ongoing upkeep of the 25-year period.

The second stage of the agreement will replace the five existing wind turbines at the port with four new, larger turbines generating close to 20MW. This will bring Peel Ports Group within reach of its ambition of powering the Port of Liverpool entirely by renewable energy generated on site, including at night and over the winter when the solar panels are not producing

as much energy. It is expected this phase could begin as early as 2027/28, following planning consent and consultation with the local community.

Claudio Veritiero, CEO, Peel Ports Group, says, “We’re proud to be embarking on this long-term partnership with E.ON and to be undertaking this important project together, revolutionising the Port of Liverpool’s energy system. Ports of the future need to become more sustainable environments and we must play our part in a greener supply chain. There is still work to do, but this project is a huge step for Peel Ports Group in cutting emissions and driving our ambition to become a net zero port operator by 2040.”

Chris Norbury, E.ON UK CEO, says,

“The Port of Liverpool is a critical piece of infrastructure for the UK, and decarbonising sites like this will be vital for the UK to achieve its environmental goals. Simply put, we all need to move faster on reducing emissions and this huge project will be a massive step in the right direction.”

Specialists involved in the project include EMTEC, FES, Absolute Solar and Cogeo as planning co-ordinators.


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In this article, Alex Emms, Technical Director at KOHLER Uninterruptible Power, explains the UPS’s vital role during mains presence, as well as in blackouts, and shows the importance of selecting online systems.

Most people in IT are aware that a UPS uses batteries to seamlessly take over the critical load if the incoming mains supply fails. While this is certainly true, the UPS forms an equally important role in managing power quality when the load is being supplied from the utility grid. This is because any mains supply is liable to many types of disturbance apart from total blackout – and these have the potential to damage or destroy any unprotected sensitive load.

Data centre loads are typically described as critical, both in the sense of their availability to the application relying on them, and of their own dependence on high-quality power at all times.

Online processing and e-commerce applications are good examples of this, because of their obvious requirement for uninterrupted availability. Other equally critical applications include data processing computers, precision manufacturing equipment, medical devices in applications like life support and patient monitoring, telecommunications network equipment and point of sale (POS) terminals.

Possible consequences of power failure

A power supply transgression’s immediate effect could be to cause equipment failure arising from component damage. However, even if the supply problem only halts the load rather than damaging it, the consequences can still be serious. An unexpected hardware stop will cause a software crash, leading to data loss or corruption. Business transactions will be interrupted and lost, exposing the enterprise to wider financial implications and loss of reputation.

Data centre power failure

In April 2015, for example, a data centre in Oregon belonging to Legacy Health System, a non-profit hospital system, suffered a power outage following a power surge. This caused a complete shutdown of the organisation’s servers, information network, and access to clinical and electronic management systems. The power outage was caused by a contractor drilling into a cable.

In a manufacturing environment, the results could be equally (if not more) serious – control systems could be driven into inappropriate operation, for example.

Fig. 1 - Power problem summary

Both production equipment and product can be damaged, with time needed for cleaning up, as well as repairs. So, how serious is the threat to your particular installation, and what can you do to mitigate it? The answer depends on three factors; the type of power disturbances that could appear on your mains supply, the type of equipment to be protected and its susceptibility to these problems, and the steps you take to provide protection. Let’s look at these factors, see how they interact, and draw some conclusions on providing protection appropriate to your circumstances.

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EV CHARGING YOU CAN TRUST 0330 058 7144 | | On-time deliveries Flexible solutions for all Industry experts 99% reliability rate Easy to install

Power problems

Fig.1 shows the problems most commonly experienced. Spikes are short duration rapid voltage transitions superimposed on the mains waveform. They can inflict both positive and negative voltage excursions, damage or destroy electrical and electronic components, and corrupt software. Software problems may be particularly difficult to track down and rectify, as they may not show until some time after the damage occurred.

Spikes are typically caused by thermostats or other equipment switching high electrical currents or load switching by power companies. Locally grounded lightning strikes are without doubt the most serious and dramatic cause of spikes, particularly when induced into telecommunications cables.

Electrical noise caused by disturbances between the supply lines and earth is called common mode noise. Conversely, normal mode noise, which arises from disturbances between line-to-line and line-to-neutral, can originate from sources such as lightning strikes, load switching, cable faults and nearby radio frequency equipment. Electrical noise can cause computers to hang and corrupt data.

Surges are voltage increases above normal mains levels that exceed one cycle. They typically appear after a large load is switched off or following load switching at substations. With long duration, voltage surges can degrade a computer’s switched mode power supply components and lead to premature failure.

Sags are drops in the mains supply that can last for several cycles. They are generated similarly to negative spikes but have a much longer duration. Sags are very common occurrences that are usually the result of switching on large loads like air conditioning equipment or starting rotating machinery.

Sags can cause a computer re-boot if the mains voltage falls so low that the computer believes it has been switched off.

Harmonics are generally caused by non-linear loads which draw large peak currents from the mains supply. Loads containing controlled rectifiers, switched mode power supplies, or rotating machines are particularly noted for generating this type of interference. These include computers, photocopiers, laser printers and variable-speed motors.

Harmonics cause a disproportionate rise in current, resulting in increased temperatures which can cause component failure and general equipment overheating.

Brownouts are identical to sags but are of much longer duration and are generally more serious. They arise when the mains supply cannot cope with the present load demand, so the generating company drops the overall network voltage. Brownouts can last for several hours in extreme circumstances.

Blackouts are complete power losses, where the mains supply fails totally. Caused by supply line faults, accidents, thunderstorms and a range of other conditions, they have an obvious, sometimes devastating effect.

General equipment susceptibility

Computers typically have specified upper and lower limits for steady state slow averaged RMS line voltage variations of between ±5% to ±10%, depending on the manufacturer, but will tolerate short duration line voltage excursions outside those limits. The shorter the duration of the excursion, the greater the excursion which can be tolerated.

Some computers have sufficient energy stored in their internal power supply reservoir capacitors to sustain the DC supply to logic circuits during line voltage sags and power line interruptions of up to a 1/2 cycle (10ms), although not all units have this much ride-through capability.

UPS protection

From the above we can see that computer equipment resilience to mains disturbances is very limited; managing the mains supply power quality at all times is essential.

The most important measure is to select a UPS with online double conversion topology, as shown in Fig.2. This provides the highest level of power protection because it positions the rectifier and inverter as barriers between the supply and the load; these remove mains-born noise and transient voltages. In fact, the load is not connected to the mains supply at all – instead, it is driven by a pure, well-regulated sinusoidal output from the inverter. Importantly, the inverter maintains its level of supply regulation even when it is operating from the UPS battery during a power failure.

As well as filtering out events like spikes, the UPS also protects against excursions beyond a preset voltage range caused by surges or sags. It does so by switching to battery power, as it would for a complete blackout.

Externally-connected components can complement the UPS’s protection role. Radio frequency noise interference and spikes can be substantially reduced by fitting suitable filters and some form of isolation transformer in the supply line. Surge suppression components can also be fitted.


Above, we have seen how a critical load can be threatened as much by live utility mains supply problems as by blackouts. It also becomes clear that to provide true UPS protection against all potential supply contingencies, selecting a system with dual online topology is essential. Users then enjoy both protection from mains aberrations, and battery autonomy during blackouts.

KOHLER Uninterruptible Power,

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Fig. 2 - Online double conversion UPS topology


All decorative switch plates are modular as standard.

This allows you to create virtually any switch plate you require. The MiniGrid® modules are all easily and quickly exchanged or mounted onto unfurnished plates.

call: 01827 63454 email:
For all your decorative wiring solutions


There has been a growing demand by providers of student accommodation to manage heating more effectively. Automating efficiency takes the onus off room occupants and assures bill-payers that energy is not used unnecessarily.

Intelligent thermostats that manage individual rooms are the cost-effective solution. A new UK-designed and manufactured generation has just been launched by Prefect Controls

Simplicity of use (just Boost and Down/Off buttons), robust design and manufacturing, and impressive energy saving has made ecoStat popular with end users and installers since its introduction 25 years ago.

ecoStat3 builds on this performance by integrating a microwave occupancy sensor, along with other technical, performance and usability enhancements.

Developed for student accommodation, ecoStat has also proved popular in HMOs, hotels, hostels, holiday lodges and caravan parks. It is designed to deal with challenging environments. The evidence: 200,000+ fitted controls, still in operation.

The principal behind ecoStat3’s energy saving is the three-mode


When the temperature rises on an active workday, Snickers Workwear’s new work shorts help you stay ventilated and comfortable all day, every day.

Combining four-way softshell stretch fabric with sustainable Sorona two-way stretch fabric, these shorts have windproof sections plus ventilating areas for enhanced comfort and freedom of movement.

With body-mapping designs that deliver superb functionality, the shorts come in a range of stylish colour ways to complement the new Snickers Workwear 100% cotton ‘logo t-shirts’ which will energise and brighten your workday.

Whatever combination you choose, you’ll be wearing street-smart working clothes with outstanding functionality and long-lasting comfort – all summer long. Snickers Workwear,


Unicrimp’s Q-Crimp catenary wire and accessories range includes a catenary wire kit bundle which brings all the essential items together in one handy kit form to aid installers.

Catenary wire is used to create an overhead catenary to support pipes, banners, cables and lighting, for example. The range comprises two lengths of 3mm galvanised steel wire rope (50m and 30m). This is a flexible cable which has a 650kg breaking load.

Included in the Catenary accessories range are:

• 3mm zinc electroplated steel wire rope grips – used to create loop ends or eyelets at the end of the steel wire rope by simply tightening the nuts

• 3mm wire rope eyelets

• M8 zinc plated strainer adjustable rigging screws

• Zinc electroplated steel wire hook wall plates

• Zinc electroplated steel wire ring plates

The catenary kits comprise 1 x 30m length of the 3mm steel wire rope, 1 x zinc plated strainer, 4 x 3mm steel wire rope grips, 2 x 3mm steel wire eyelets, 1 x hook wall plate and 1 x wire ring plate.


profile – Setback-Boost-Frost modes. This ensures occupants enjoy a comfortable environment (Setback), while giving them the capability to increase temperature (Boost), but for a pre-set time. When rooms are unoccupied or ambient temperature is equivalent to setback, heaters, boilers or wet radiators are switched off, becoming active again only if there is the possibility of material damage from damp or frost (Frost).

Settings are infinitely changeable, but a typical profile is Setback: 18°C, Boost: 23°C for 45 minutes, and Frost: 12°C.

Heating controlled by ecoStat delivers average savings of 20-30%. Thermostats cannot be tampered with as the occupant has no access to programming. All parameters are set by authorised personnel using a dedicated infrared handset.

The all-new programming handset has been redesigned for ecoStat3 but has backwards compatibility with previous

ecoStat ranges. The user interface is intuitive and the handset is ergonomic. Profiles input on the handset are then pointed and ‘sent’ to ecoStat3.

The two new models operate and perform in the same way, the only difference being the integration of a microwave occupancy sensor, affording greater savings.

Prefect Controls,


Luceco’s two new LED lighting batten ranges – Climate and Luxpack Essence – designed for industrial lighting applications, have been developed to be kind to the environment and are simple to install.

The two ranges have been designed to meet the differing needs of the industrial lighting market. Rugged Climate, being IP65 rated, is ideal for outdoor settings such as warehouses and car parks, whilst the Luxpack, with its white aesthetic and IP20 rating, is suitable for indoor spaces such as offices and garages.

Conceived with sustainability at their heart, both Climate and Luxpack are designed to be serviceable, with the LED board and driver units being easily replaced if required without the need for tools. Just a few simple clicks are all that’s needed to remove and replace them. This modular feature dispenses with the need to replace the entire unit, saving not only time whilst on site but also significantly reducing the amount of waste ending up in landfill.



The Axiom Industrial Control Gear range currently includes 415V 4 Pole Rotary Isolators from 25-125A in either ABS polycarbonate moulded or sheet steel units, as well as 32 and 63A die cast aluminium options. Enclosures for this existing range are IP65-rated, designed with two knockouts on either side and come with a padlock facility.

The new additions of 1500V 4 Pole DC Rotary Isolators include 16, 25 and 32A versions. Again, in PC moulded units, these isolators have lockable pads and door interlock systems, where the unit cover only opens in the off position. IP66-rated and with TUV and UL approvals, these DC Isolators are compact, reliable and easy to install, with excellent switching and high short circuit capacity.

Suitable for photovoltaic solar panels, inverters and DC solar pumps, these new units are a significant addition to the Axiom Rotary Isolator range.

CED Electrical,

60 | May 2024
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Installing an EV wall charger, such as the BG Sync EV Wall Charger 2, now with integrated solar charging, from Luceco – is proving both a popular and money saving solution for consumers as well as a great upsell and customer lock-in opportunity for installers.

Thanks to the intuitive smartphone app, homeowners can cut their home-based EV charging costs with the Sync EV Wall Charger 2. By utilising surplus solar energy from their existing solar panels – with no modifications to panels required – instead of having any surplus directed back to the grid, homeowners can potentially charge their electric vehicles for free with Sync EV.

In addition, with personalised settings such as scheduled charging and optimised cut-off points, allowing users to charge dynamically and maximise cheap rates of electricity, the Sync EV Wall Charger 2 delivers a faster home charge compared to plugging a charging cable directly into a three-pin socket which gives a very slow charge at a fixed rate – both inconvenient and less cost effective.

The Sync EV Wall Charger 2 is available in two versions – tethered and untethered. Luceco,


Since it was first launched in 2006, Scolmore’s Click Mode range has remained the company’s best-selling wiring accessories collection to date.

Mode was conceived as a high quality, flexible and modern solution for virtually any domestic wiring requirement. The smooth, contemporary lines of the accessory plate will fit easily into traditional and contemporary designs alike, and the modular design allows installers unprecedented flexibility in creating dedicated wiring solutions.

When selecting wiring accessories, installers have often had to compromise their schemes as they have been unable to identify a suitably modular solution to satisfy their ideas. Mode accessories have been providing that flexibility, with a comprehensive selection of products ranging from the humble light switch and socket outlet through to more specialised products dealing with the latest developments.

All Click Mode switch plates are modular as standard, allowing the creation of virtually any switch plate required. The MiniGrid modules are all easily and quickly exchanged or mounted onto unfurnished plates by means of a simple single screw fixing. Scolmore,


British General’s (BG Electrical) new fast charge

USB-C sockets offer installers a great upsell opportunity and are ideal for customers in both domestic and commercial settings.

BG’s new 45W fast charge USB socket has an integrated USB-C and USB-A port, and is ideal for home offices, coffee shops and education facilities, as it is capable of charging high power devices. Featuring smart charging with variable voltage, this socket supports both high and low power needs, as it only delivers the power the device needs, when it needs it. For those who simply need to charge their smartphone and lower powered devices, there is also a 22W fast charge option which can deliver a 50% charge to mobile phones in just 30 minutes.


The new Inceptor Milli is a dimmable, fixed, fire-rated LED downlight from Ovia aimed predominantly at the domestic market. It combines style and functionality to provide installers with a downlight that is quick and easy to fit and offers a raft of features at the flick of a switch.

Ovia’s Inceptor Milli has been tested and meets the requirements of TM66 Assured Product Verification Scheme.

A key feature to highlight with the Milli downlight is the element of control that is offered in this one fitting. There is the option to seamlessly switch between 6.4W and 4W power outputs using a single switch to provide users with unprecedented control over their lighting environments. There is also the ability to easily switch the colour temperatures between 2700K (Warm White), 4000K (Cool White) and 6500K (Daylight). This allows for effortless adaptation to varying lighting needs and makes it easy for the end user to tailor their lighting to suit their individual requirements.



Switchtec has announced the launch of its latest range of eco-friendly Point of Sale (POS) displays tailored for the wholesale sector. Departing from traditional plastic-based blister pack POS setups, Switchtec introduces a sustainable alternative that not only reduces plastic waste but also enhances convenience and efficiency for wholesalers and customers alike.

Traditionally, POS displays relied on plastic blister packs showcased on stands within wholesalers’ premises. The new POS boards are made from high density foam centred PVC-free material, featuring images of Switchtec’s product ranges.

One of the key advantages of Switchtec’s new POS solution is space optimisation. By eliminating the necessity to display physical products on the shop floor, wholesalers can streamline operations and conserve valuable space. Customers can conveniently browse and select products from the displayed images, with the actual items stored securely within the wholesalers’ premises.

Furthermore, each POS display is equipped with a QR code, providing instant access to Switchtec’s website. This enables wholesalers and customers to access up-to-date product information, detailed descriptions, quality approvals, product dimensions, and order codes. Switchtec,


ESP has expanded its Beacon Disabled Refuge and Assistance Alarm product range to include a new Part M version of its assistance alarm kit. The new assistance alarm kit is designed to meet the criteria of care standards that are set out in Part M building regulations BS 8300.

Designed to enable a person in need to raise an alarm in the event of an emergency, the three-part kit comprises an Indication Module, Pull Cord Module and Reset Module and features a battery back-up function (battery included).

The super-fast 45W and fast 22W sockets will be available across multiple BG Electrical ranges including the Nexus Metal, White Moulded, Evolve, and Flatplate ranges. There will also be a smaller range of 15W and 12W sockets in the White Moulded and Nexus Metal finishes. BG Electrical,

The Indication Module includes an 80db distinctive tone alert sounder with clear LED alert triangle indication for when the alarm has been triggered. The Pull Cord Module features an anti-ligature mechanism and has a distinctive red pull cord supplied with two handles, including an LED alert triangle. The Reset Module features a clear LED alert triangle indication with internal sounder to reassure the user the alarm has been raised and assistance is on the way. The Alert triangle acts as push button to reset the alarm and is clearly indicated in tactile lettering on the module. ESP,

62 | May 2024
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Take your listening experiences to new heights.

Take your listening experiences to new heights.

The all-new 8” ln-Ceiling Speakers by Sonos and Sonance feature completely new acoustic components, offering natural, room-filling sound with discrete installation.

The all-new 8” ln-Ceiling Speakers by Sonos and Sonance feature completely new acoustic components, offering natural, room-filling sound with discrete installation.

Pre-order now at your distributor

Pre-order now at your distributor


Introducing the Inceptor Milli range of fire rated downlights with switchable wattage and colour temperature

call: 01827 300640 email:
Dual Wattage (4W & 6.4W) CCT Switchable (WW, CW, DL) Fast-Fit 3 Pole & loop Connector DIMMABLE 75MM 64MM CUTOUT BAFFLE VERSION ALSO AVAILABLE

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