Electrical Review - July August 2016

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Informing the electrical industry for over 140 years

July/August 2016 Volume 249 | No 7 www.electricalreview.co.uk

igus e-spools help Liverpool University venue

Data centres


Marrying CFD with realtime monitoring

Can IEC 30134 restore the reputation of PUE?




NEWS British Cables Association public announcement

COVER SPONSOR - IGUS e-spools ease PA speaker array manoeuvring in Liverpool University

08 GOSSAGE Gossage:gossip

10 PANEL BUILDING How to reduce costs when installing enclosures

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4 | NEWS

Brexit: Bsria says business as usual After last week’s decision for the UK to leave the EU, Bsria says it is ‘business as usual’ for its members and that the construction industry should remain confident and optimistic about the opportunities out there for existing and new industry projects. Indeed Bsria is committed to giving ‘extra service to members’ throughout this uncertain time. Julia Evans, chief executive, Bsria (pictured), said: “Now that the dust has settled from the Brexit decision – for Bsria it is definitely business as usual – we are where we are. There are opportunities out there for our members to garner new work and deals – we all just need to find them. “Against a backdrop of political and ‘economic spaghetti’ Bsria can lead and support its members into a bright new future. It is a brave new world. We appreciate there is certainly political turmoil, noise and volatility in Westminster – but Bsria needs to join in this debate. “As an industry – we must now start to shape future policy. Indeed it is a chance to revise industry regulations and to renegotiate the framework for the future and find new trade rules.

British Cables Association public announcement The practical implications of bringing cables within the Construction Products Regulation (EU 305/2011), came into effect on 10 June 2016. This date, known as the Date of Applicability (DoA), was confirmed via listing in the OJEU (ref 2016/C 209/03). From this date, manufacturers of cables with requirements for Reaction to Fire, meaning flame spread/propagation, heat release, evolution of smoke and acidic/corrosive gases, and restriction on flaming droplets, may make a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for their product against the harmonised European Standard (hEN 50575) and apply CE marking under the CPR. There is a second category of requirements for cables under CPR, namely Resistance to Fire, meaning retention of functionality during a fire. The necessary work to admit such cables has yet to be completed. Under CPR, the manufacturer is the person who places the product on the market in the EU. It may be the actual manufacturer, an importer or a distributor placing the product on the market under his own name but in all cases the responsibilities in respect of DoP and CE marking apply. The recent listing in OJEU gives a second date, namely 1 July 2017. This is the end of the socalled co-existence period. After this co-existence period the manufacturer, importer or distributor must make a DoP and apply CE marking. The CPR lists “Power, control and communication cables” as those to which the regulation applies, and it defines a construction product as: “Any product or kit which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works”. Whilst the definition embraces a wide variety of cables, it does not say specifically whether

a particular cable type is included or excluded. From the time of the DoA manufacturers will begin to ensure that potentially relevant cables are put on the market with a Declaration of Performance. It will not, however, be their responsibility to decide if cables are to be installed in a permanent manner in the construction and therefore need to comply with the regulation. It is important to be aware for cables there are seven classes of reaction to fire, ranging from Aca down to FCA. These are detailed in the recently updated listing in the OJEU of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/364 (ref L68/4 of 15 March 2016). The use and designation of a particular class of cable within a construction works is the responsibility of the Member State. The UK government has not issued any such requirements, for instance via Building Regulations, and has said that it does not intend to do so. Therefore, for UK usage, the selection of the particular class for a given installation will derive from the commissioning authority, for instance local council or hospital trust, or the building designer. Here an installer or contractor retains a general obligation to purchase and use construction products that are ‘fit for purpose’ under whatever regulatory system is allowed. In time BS 7671 (the Wiring Regulations), which is a de facto regulation for low voltage installation, will be updated to give guidance in this respect. As a note of caution, all parties should be aware it may not be until some weeks after 10 June 2016 that a manufacturer is able to offer cable with the relevant DoP. Due caution should be exercised in this early period. Any queries as to the suitability of particular cables to satisfy requirements under CPR should be addressed to the manufacturer or the supplier. BCA will be pleased to assist with any general queries – please contact Peter Smeeth on 020 8946 6978/07973 636688 or email peter.smeeth@btconnect.com.

w: www.spec-ltd.com e: enquiries@spec-ltd.com t: 01924 871 558 SPEC Ltd has recently expanded its services to meet the individual needs and demands of the customer to become a national company with regional presence. With a proven track record of successfully working with many service users from small businesses to large Blue chip multinationals both UK and overseas. Established as a total substation service provider, in the role of control, installation, cabling, operation and maintenance of mains 415/11000/33000 & now 66000 and 132,000 v power networks. To date SPEC Ltd operate and maintain over 1,600 HV connected sites nationwide from its 6 strategic regional offices in Gateshead, Lancaster, Wakefield, Birmingham, oxford and Aldershot.

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

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6 | NEWS

Brexit statement from the LIA As Britain comes to terms with an EU referendum result which has far reaching implications for the economy and government, it is too early to predict the political landscape or the regulatory one which will shape our future and the impact it will have on our industry. We live in an age where the answer to most questions is only a click away but the answers to some of the big questions surrounding this result will be hard to find and may take some time. In the coming weeks and months the LIA will be working with UK officials, other trade associations as well as our European

colleagues to understand how this will directly affect LIA members and we will continue to keep you informed as we progress. In the meantime the LIA urges the UK government to do all it can to calm the waters and return to stability and we will do everything we can to help bring this about and remove uncertainty. At this stage no-one can second guess the outcome so for the time being we are adopting a ‘business as usual’ stance as Britain is currently still a member of the EU and EU law continues to apply to the full. What is clear, however, is that the New Settlement for the United Kingdom within

the European Union reached earlier this year will not now take effect. We are heartened by messages received from many EU lighting associations assuring us of their wish to remain as friends and close working allies for the benefit of the lighting industry. The situation is likely to require the LIA to shoulder new responsibilities as members look to us for leadership and guidance, and to be even more pro-active in our lobbying to ensure we secure the best results for our members.

Napit Expo announces supporting partners for new workshops

ECA members meet Michael Fallon MP

Following on from the success of last year’s roadshow, Napit’s recent announcement Expo will once again be touring England and Wales has been met with excitement in the industry. Now heading to ten locations from September to December, they are set to bring even more technical knowhow to as many installers as possible. Napit Expo on the Road has been designed using attendee feedback from last year. The new workshop format features expert knowledge on installation and inspection based on topics visitors have requested advice on. Confirmed partners include big name manufacturers Schneider Electric and Scolmore, alongside Napit’s specialist membership service providers, Insurance, Training, Legal, the newly launched Napit Drive for vehicle hire and Napit Wealth for workplace pensions and financial services, and much more. With some of the largest companies in the industry in the line-up, Napit head of marketing and communications, Jenny Gaunt, said “We are thrilled to announce

Member companies from the Electrical Contractors’ Association’s (ECA) South East region met with Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon. During the meeting, the delegation discussed prompt payment and retentions and highlighted the impact that both have had on businesses and the industry. “These issues have blighted businesses in this industry for too long now,” said Kevin Bush, ECA regional manager for the South East. “It is unacceptable for businesses to have to wait beyond a fair date to receive payment for a job or project, or have to become part of a practice like payment retentions – particularly when the option of Project Bank Accounts is there. We’re extremely grateful to Mr. Fallon for taking the time to discuss these issues with us.” Michael Fallon MP said: “It was a pleasure to discuss late payments and retentions with the ECA. These issues are needlessly holding back businesses from expanding and recruiting. The Government is actively looking at this area and experienced representatives like the ECA have an important role to play in the process.”

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

our supporting partner line-up. All the companies listed have been handpicked to ensure that our visitors receive expert technical advice on tools, equipment and services, all relevant to our visitor’s needs in-line with the workshops on offer.” Gaunt continued: “The popularity of Napit Expo continues to grow year-onyear, with both members and interested non-members and a large part of that is down to the expertise that our partners have to offer visitors.” Napit are currently in discussions with further prospective exhibitors and are set to announce their final partners in coming weeks, along with many more updates which will be announced via the Napit Expo website.


GOSSAGE New wine in old bottles I am just about to break with convention. For some years it has been positively de rigeur to complain like mad about the ghastliness of the incumbent Big Six energy companies dominating electricity sales. And to lavish praise upon the emerging small challengers. You know the convention. The website of the new challenger company has a “fresh attitude to energy”, promising “friendly and approachable service”. It offers “customer flexibility” as a “lean and efficient organization”. Goliath bad, Little David good. Except it is far from always true. In the first quarter of this year, the electricity company that attracted the lowest proportion of customer complaints was not an upstart challenger. It was the long-established Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), long the company with the second biggest – albeit declining - customer base. Whereas the two year old Extra Energy may have amazed the marketplace by making all those promises I cited above, each of which can be found on its website. And so acquired over half a million customers during its short existence. But simultaneously it has registered almost 8,500 formal complaints from its customers, just between January and March 2016. To put that into context, that is an average customer dissatisfaction level 60 times higher than SSE. IOfgem will be raising many questions with Extra Energy about this abysmal performance, the worst level of customer dissatisfaction ever recorded. Older members of the regulators’ staff should have no trouble tracking down the upstart. Extra Energy ‘s registered office is on the Hagley Road in Birmingham. Precisely the address that the previous electricity regulator, Offer, used to be located.

Good fences make good neighbours The UN Espoo Convention. Don’t giggle. It is named after the Finnish town where it was signed in 1991. It requires signatory governments, of which the UK is one, to provide automatically an opportunity for members of the public in one country to participate in a neighbouring country’s environmental impact assessment, if there is a prima facie case that the proposed project might seriously affect them. The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland reckons that an accident at the long- projected new nuclear plant at Hinkley, Somerset would necessitate Irish “food controls and agricultural protective measures”. In contrast, the UK government maintains that “the likely impacts do not extend beyond Somerset and the Severn Estuary.” The Implementation Committee for the Espoo Convention has considered this divergence of views. And concluded firmly against the UK government, for failing to take any action to consult with the affected public in other countries. Severe steps will be taken at the next plenary meeting of the Convention signatories. Significantly, amongst the governments most anxious to pursue this matter are those of Austria and Luxembourg. They, of course, are also leading the charge within the European Union that the UK’s enormous proposed subsidies for Hinkley construction totally distort the Single Energy Market. A true two-fronted approach.

Nothing but blue skies from now on Much excitement surrounding the publication of a new report about the future of the electricity industry. Not because of its stunningly unoriginal title “Keeping the Lights On.” But because it is published by a political organisation called Bright Blue. As its name implies, this particular pressure group is backed by a whole set of mainstream Conservative legislators. And the report concludes that the cheapest, most deliverable and most secure strategy (dubbed “low stress” amongst its considered options) is also much the most eco-friendly. Coal will be phased out, just as promised. Just 8 gigawatts of new gas supply are needed before 2030. Renewables prices have already halved over the past five years”: solar and wind can fill any possible supply gap “much more quickly” than “long lead times and significantly delayed new nuclear.” Despite receiving the bulk of current government energy R & D money, “small modular nuclear reactors are very unlikely to be available at all, let alone before the 2030s in any scalable, cost-competitive or politically acceptable way.” How is all this possible? Simple. Unlike most other commentators, Bright Blue has noticed what a wide disparity has emerged between official forecasts of electricity consumption. Electricity usage is already 25% lower than official predictions made ten years ago, when plans for Hinkley C et al were formally launched. The critical issue must be “to ensure that energy demand continues its recent downward trend.” Above all, there is confidence that, with as competent a company as National Grid in charge, the lights will be kept on. All this won’t stop promoters of each electricity supply source plugging repetition of alarmist headlines about imminent supply gaps. But in all probability, it shows what is most likely to happen in the Wonderful World of Electricity in the future. Above all, it makes sense.

You pays your money, and... New nuclear plant in the USA – of which there are only two sites being developed, in South Carolina and Georgia – have more incentives available than renewables. They qualify for the production tax credit – on the same basis as renewables. But in addition they are offered public loan guarantees that most renewables plant cannot receive. Third, and very importantly the (monopoly supply) developers are, in both these two States where new plant may be built, guaranteed cost recovery from the electricity consumers. And this is available, please note, in advance of the nuclear plant in question actually generating any electricity. Indeed in Florida the utility Florida Power and Light has for some time been charging consumers for a nuclear power plant that has not been built (and in all probability, never will). At least British electricity consumers are not due to start paying for the chimera that is Hinkley Point until it is actually built. Which, again, in all probability, it now never will be. Electrical Review | July/August 2016

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How to reduce costs when installing enclosures Fitting out the interior of an enclosure creates a number of challenges for switchgear manufacturers. First, there are the high packing densities of the enclosure’s many components and second, there are typically very short project times. Paul Metcalfe, Rittal’s product manager for enclosures explains


he internal components in question include power distribution systems, switchgear, automation components, clamps etc, and their requisite cabling. Placing all this logically inside the enclosure is both an art and a science! Engineers need to create an easy to follow solution for end users, as well as pay attention to relevant standards and follow the component manufacturers’ installation instructions. Of course, the more time it takes to configure the interior, the greater the cost pressures on the electrical engineering company – particularly when multiplied across many projects.

ENCLOSURE DESIGN The design of the actual enclosure and the amount of space it offers has a major part to play in how quickly the interior can be fitted out. Rittal’s TS 8 enclosure has a central element, a frame section with a uniform 25-mm pitch pattern which adds to the flexibility of the space for electrical equipment and also reduces “wasted space” to a minimum. Two other mounting levels can be used and, by using the external mounting level, the installer can achieve up to 15 per cent more available space, compared with a single-level alternative.

TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE GAPS The gaps between the bayed enclosures can also be utilised to create more space. By inserting a mounting plate infill between two TS 8 bayed enclosures, installers can create a continuous mounting plate. Alternatively, this space could be useful for a cable duct. Installers can then add other components onto the mounting plate. All these ideas can solve any problems of packing densities in the enclosure. Electrical Review | July/August 2016

WELL THOUGHT-OUT INSTALLATION CONCEPTS SAVE TIME A faster installation has a number of advantages; apart from the obvious fact that clients will be happier, fewer staff are also needed, which lowers costs. Many systems still require two people to install them (for example, to mount the side panel of the enclosure) so choosing an enclosure that only needs one installer has considerable business benefits. Again, the TS 8 is constructed so the side panel can first be suspended from the enclosure. It then remains in position without having to be held by a second person before it is screwed tight. Other assembly steps (for example,

changing the door hinges from one side to the other) follow the same principle so there is no need for two installers. Meanwhile, the TS 8’s Flex-Block base, means there is no need for tools - panels can be simply clipped on. The entire base has been assembled in less than 60 seconds during installation workshops.

GO ONLINE FOR THE PERFECT CONFIGURATION At a time when products and systems are becoming increasingly complex, configurators are an indispensable tool for helping customers quickly track down the right product for their needs. These online

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tools help users precisely determine the necessary parameters, quickly select the appropriate solution, and automatically compile technical data. For example, Rittal’s TopTherm chiller configurator enables designers and technical buyers in to put together machinery and process cooling systems. It provides precise estimations of the required cooling output, rapid identification of the most suitable solution and automatic generation of all technical specifications.

SAFETY IS A PRIME CONSIDERATION Finally, the number one priority for this – and any other electrical engineering installation – is, of course, safety. Clearly fault currents (short circuits) and enclosures which become “live” both have the potential to cause serious harm. The earthing of metallic parts on electrical systems is prescribed virtually everywhere and applies to all electrical equipment and units – from simple lamps to low voltage distribution systems. In low voltage switchgear, all the metal frame and

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

enclosure parts at risk of stray voltage have to be earthed. Many enclosure manufacturers require each panel to be earthed through earthing straps of copper wire connected to the frames, the side panels, the enclosure roof, any other panels as well as the door. Once fitted, the straps ensure there is an equalisation of potential and the enclosure components can be earthed via the protective conductor of the voltage supply. These straps have to be attached by hand during enclosure assembly; unfortunately, should a strap be inadvertently forgotten, the finished switchgear will still be able to function despite the risks it poses in the event of a fault. The obvious step for the industry is moving towards built-in safety, avoiding the need necessarily having to earth each individual panel. The TS 8’s, side panels, enclosure roof, rear panel and gland plates are all automatically connected to the frame conductively, creating potential equalisation. The enclosure uses special

claws or washers which press through the electrically non-conductive surface coating of the panels during assembly to achieve a reliable contact. The earthing strap then only needs to be attached to the enclosure door – although obviously the final decision as to whether or not to attach additional straps is left with the user. The contact resistance between the panels and the enclosure frame is less than 0.1 Ω, the value demanded by the DIN EN 62208 empty enclosures standard.

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The future of wearable medical devices The technological convergence of portable consumer electronics such as VPDUWSKRQHV VPDUW ZDWFKHV DQG ÀWQHVV GHYLFHV ZLWK WKDW RI SURIHVVLRQDO medical equipment such as pulse oximetry, ECG and Glucose meters as well as ultrasound scanners and kidney diagnostics, is increasingly blurring the lines between equipment designed for practitioners and devices used by consumers. Here, Neil Oliver, technical marketing manager at Accutronics, explores the trend and looks at the potential consequences


our average smartphone now has more processing power than the supercomputers used by NASA circa 1969 when it sent three astronauts to the moon. It’s no surprise then, that there has been a growing surge in recent years of start-ups speciďŹ cally developing peripheral devices to monitor intimate details of one’s physical condition. This trend was highlighted at last year’s consumer electronics show (CES), the world’s biggest technology exhibition. Held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, CES was a perfect opportunity for many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to exhibit their latest and greatest inventions; from smartwatches that can track your heart rate and sleep quality to armchairs that exercise you in the comfort of your home. There was even a hearing aid developed by Siemens to allow the user to zoom into sounds. The rise of wearable devices was attributed to a much larger societal disposition towards the Internet of Things (IoT). Although the IoT, as a concept, has been around for many years, it’s only recently started to pick up traction. A maturing ecosystem of mobile operating systems (OSs) such as Android and iOS as well as an improving cloud computing infrastructure and the widespread availability of cheap wireless sensors means that OEMs in the consumer electronics sector have glimpsed the proďŹ tability of the medical technology (MedTech) sector and they want a piece of the pie. The ability to create cheap devices that don’t require heavy on-board processing, rather outsourcing this to a server in the sky, means that nearly every household object

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

in sight can now be equipped with a sensor and a screen giving up-to-date information on any number of ailments or long term conditions. Diabetics can use a peripheral plug-in gadgets to monitor blood glucose, chronic kidney patients can save timeconsuming visits to the doctor by testing at home and patients with a gruelling pillregime can track their exact intake with a handy smartphone app. The beneďŹ ts of wearable and portable medical devices are clear. Wearables make patient data readily accessible and they may reduce the frequency of visits to a doctor and in doing so alleviate the burden on our healthcare system. As well as this, it’s becoming cheaper to produce wearable medical devices that fulďŹ l the function traditionally limited to large and expensive

medical devices in hospitals. So surely that’s that? Wearable medical devices will revolutionise our lives and we can thank Intel’s Gordon Moore for bearing witness to the trend for smaller and smaller electronics? Not quite. You see, many experts in the industry are already raising eyebrows at what they believe to be a bad precedent, an incompatibility between two industries that operate in fundamentally very different ways.

CIRCLE OF LIFE The problem is one of business strategy. The last decade has witnessed unprecedented globalisation, with cross-border trading blocs resulting in international supply chains with highly responsive logistical networks. This has increased competition in the global


marketplace and created a price based race to the bottom. As a result, consumer product development life cycles (PDLCs) have shrunk drastically. A typical consumer product life cycle is 12 months. It can stretch to 24 months and be as short as six. This can be attributed to increased disposable income in emerging economies, more global competition, access to cheap labour and an incessant consumer demand for the next best thing. In contrast to this, medical device PDLCs are much longer, typically 10 years. Due to the lower volume production, higher research and development (R&D) costs, more lucrative healthcare contracts and a desire to yield a higher return on investment (ROI), medical devices are designed to last much longer. It’s no surprise then, that many in the medical industry are sceptical of the long term reliability, safety and quality of wearable medical devices. Add to this, the fact that we’re living longer on average, it’s vital that the solution is sustainable. Here at Accutronics we’ve got 40 years of experience in designing, developing and manufacturing batteries and we’ve seen devices become smaller over the years. As a result so have the batteries that power them. As batteries get smaller to accommodate the trend for smaller and lighter devices, we begin to see some trade-offs. The Lithiumion (Li-ion) cells that make up the majority these batteries have a limited gravimetric and volumetric energy density and subsequently, wearable devices inevitably suffer from inadequate runtime. If your smart phone runs out of juice then it is inconvenient, but if the same device is monitoring your health then it is far more concerning. This reduction in battery quality is a real concern. The lifespan of a rechargeable consumer Li-ion battery averages around 300-500 charge cycles before its capacity drops to an unacceptable level. Because medical devices outlive their batteries they tend to use removable rather than embedded batteries. To combat this problem for wearables, Accutronics has already developed a creditcard sized battery for use in wearable medical devices. Today, these batteries are being used to power devices that are worn by patients, monitoring their health or providing medication when the patient requires it. Being removable means the Electrical Review | July/August 2016

battery can be swapped for another when charging is required and the device does not need to be returned to the manufacturer for a battery replacement when the original set of batteries reach end of life. Although battery quality is a major problem for consumer medical devices, there are deeper concerns when it comes to the manufacture, testing and regulation zzof the industry as a whole. Because this industry has seen rapid growth over the last three years, many far east manufacturers have taken shortcuts by producing gray market knock-offs, and sometimes outright illegal batteries, that lack the necessary protection circuits that are needed to prevent Li-ion

Reduction in battery quality is a real concern batteries from overcharging, overheating or becoming unstable and potentially catching fire. Many OEMs have already taken action to protect their intellectual property rights (IPR) against fake, or copycat, batteries by introducing security features such as invisible inks and holograms. Here at Accutronics we’ve incorporated an advanced software-security algorithm (SHA-1) into our batteries that ensures only authorised batteries are used in medical devices. The host device rejects fake batteries when detected and takes appropriate action, as defined by the vendor, such as failing to power up or notifying the user. Taking such measures however, is only a reactive response. Although the medical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, it has struggled to keep pace with the advent of wearable medical devices. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the very definition of a medical device is becoming blurred. If your smartphone accompanied by a wearable device is able to measure, diagnose and recommend treatment

on any given health condition, then should that be regulated as a piece of IT equipment, under the IEC 60950-1 standard or should it be regulated as a fully blown medical device under the IEC60601-1 standard? These medical standards form the requirement for the commercialisation of an electrical medical equipment in many countries. It was this ongoing ambiguity that led Apple to consult with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the use of sensors in its devices, which may ultimately lead to regulatory review by the FDA. Although information-only apps are exempt, any apps taking measurements, for example a glucometer that takes readings, would be considered diagnostic in nature. This conversation led Apple to release Healthkit, its software development kit (SDK) for developers. Likewise, in Europe, the European parliament has set out directives on the classification of medical and in-vitro medical devices to include a broader range of products including non-corrective contact lenses, aesthetic implants and software used in devices. The regulations will also be more selective in awarding CE markings to high risk devices, which must undergo further clinical trials to assess risk. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published guidelines making it clear that, “the manufacturer of a device is responsible for establishing that the device is safe and that it is suitable for its intended purpose. To establish this, manufacturers must implement appropriate controls on the device design and manufacture, and evaluate the safety and performance of the device in its intended application”. It is clear that the world of wearable devices is not all that it seems at first glance. On a deeper exploration it is evident that there are numerous economic, cultural and regulatory changes needed before a sustainable and safe integration of wearable medical devices into our everyday lives. With the right power management, design and production controls and when used under the guidance and on the recommendation of a healthcare professional, wearable devices can become a viable asset in improving the health of our increasingly ageing population.

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2016 – A year for innovation and diversification Innovation and continued growth are the key themes driving the Marco business forward during 2016. As we approach the mid-point of the year, Jeff Kerridge, sales manager at Marco, discusses the major developments WR GHÀQH WKH EXVLQHVV DFURVV WKH PRQWKV DQG ZKDW WKDW PHDQV IRU customers, current and new “Marco has and continues to pride itself on its refusal to stand still and become complacent. Product development has always formed an important part of the business, be it the launch of new products, creation of supporting accessories or adaptations of existing products. Our ability to listen, digest and react undoubtedly sets us apart from our competitors and we’re are undeniably a customer driven business.

PRODUCT LAUNCH “This year sees the launch of a series of new products that will support our customers in meeting their specifications and challenges

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

on site. Each design has been developed to address a very specific challenge, providing a simple and accessible solution. The first of these is the new G-shape wire mesh tray which has been created for use in under desk cable management and above suspended ceilings for service containment in small voids.”

and reduces the need for suspension brackets by being directly fixed to a solid surface using MCCL or MCCL25 clamp plates. Available in four widths, the tray can be easily installed and modified on site, by one person fabricating bends etc using the same accessories used for Marco’s standard tray. The product has chamfered ends

The unique shape of the tray allows for both wall and ceiling mounting,

to protect cables during installation and can be mounted on both walls and ceilings. Power and data cables can be easily installed and added from the side. Marco has also launched its ‘QuikClik’ steel wire cable tray which is supplied with a pre-attached, new design coupler (MCFJC), enabling two lengths of tray to be fixed securely together without the need for any nuts and bolts or additional fixing tools. The new Quik-Clik tray is available in 55mm and 106mm depths, in both electro-zinc and pre-galvanised finishes. The new, innovative design MCFJC accessory, couples in less than two seconds and can be removed and reattached, ensuring that once the tray is cut to size, the coupler is still functional. As well as being supplied preattached to the new Quik-Clik steel wire cable tray, the MCFJC coupler can also be ordered as a separate item, and is compatible with Marco’s new G-Shape tray. Kerridge continued: “Specifying this product does require a certain amount of preplanning and preparation but the overall savings in terms of time are significant. We’ve started to test all of these products and market reaction has been incredibly positive. We need to be in tune with our customers’ needs where speed and ease of installation is key. If we can save even a few seconds for example on each fixing, that saving can be quite dramatic overall.”

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Can IEC 30134 restore the reputation of PUE? Here, Janne Paananen, technology manager, Large Systems Group, Eaton, explores the potential impact of the upcoming IEC 30134 standard on PUE and whether it can help restore its reputation


UE is, in essence, just a simple ratio of the total energy used by a data centre to the energy used by its IT functions. Its misuse has been possible because, until now, the procedures for measuring and calculating it have not been defined. This has allowed companies to choose to determine PUE under optimum conditions, often called a design PUE, rather than conditions that represent the normal operation of a particular data centre. Fortunately, a new standard – IEC 30134-2 – is about to be introduced. This has been developed specifically to make PUE a more Electrical Review | July/August 2016

trustworthy metric by specifying exactly how it must be measured and what information must accompany the measurements. In particular, this standard stipulates that, if a value is described simply as a PUE, it must be based on measurements taken over a full year, thereby eliminating any seasonal effects. It is permissible to make PUE determinations over a shorter period, but the results must be described as iPUE (interim PUE) values. These are intended principally for comparing the energy efficiency of a new data centre with the design value without having to wait a full

year, and for providing a relatively rapid indication of the effectiveness of measures taken to improve energy efficiency in an existing data centre. The new standard also defines three categories of PUE ranging from a basic to a high level of resolution of energy performance data. The significant practical implication of the category system is that the higher categories provide progressively more accurate measurements of energy usage, as the measurements are made closer to the devices that consume the energy. Data centre suppliers and operators are not

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given an entirely free choice over which PUE category they use. The lower the reported PUE value is, the higher the PUE Category must be: the data centres designed for optimal infrastructure efficiency and lowest PUE must also have more accurate metering to prove the claims. The standard also requires that publicly reported PUE values are accompanied by information that must include the category of measurement, measurement completion date, accuracy level of the measurements, size of the installation, and details of the external environmental conditions such as temperatures. The standard will also provide guidance on how the values should be used, for example, cautioning against

direct numerical comparisons between data centres. Whilst, on this basis, it seems that the implementation of IEC 30134-2 will go a long way to restoring the reputation of PUE as a trustworthy metric, it will only be effective in doing so if IT professionals are mindful that PUE has its limitations and isn’t an infallible metric for energy efficiency, even when the measurements and calculations are carried out faultlessly. The goal should be to improve overall energy efficiency, and to maintain a good level of energy efficiency under varying load conditions, not only at optimal design conditions. Could more be done to increase the usefulness and dependability of PUE?

Undoubtedly, but there comes a point where the cost and inconvenience of adding more complexity defeats the object of having a metric that’s relatively easy to measure and understand. PUE will always be an appealing measure. It is human nature to look for a way of simplifying complex problems like evaluating the energy performance of a data centre. It is, therefore, good news for the IT world that IEC 30134-2 is likely to go a long way to restoring the reputation of the PUE metric. Nevertheless, to get a truly reliable measure of data centre energy efficiency, it’s essential to look at the whole picture, not just rely on a single metric, no matter how tempting that may be.



e-spools ease PA speaker array manoeuvring in Liverpool University venue

A significant part of the upgrade budget for the Hall has been invested in a permanent PA and lighting installation. Performers can just ‘plug and play’ while audiences enjoy a high-quality audio-visual experience. Any potential delays and increased costs often arising when performers bring in their own, temporary PA and lighting systems have been managed and minimised.


Over the last two years the University of Liverpool has run an ambitious £14m [€18m] project to improve functionality and the utilisation of space, and to enhance the overall student experience at the Guild and Reilly Building, which is central to the Liverpool University campus. The project included technical upgrades and refurbishment for three venues – Mountford Hall, the Stanley Theatre and The Courtyard


he largest of these is Mountford Hall, Liverpool’s second-largest concert space with a capacity of 2,300 people which is ideal for live events and conferences. It also has its own bar, which has been moved to a more central and accessible location as part of the refurbishment. The Hall is in heavy, regular use by both day and night. It runs a full programme embracing Students’ Union activities and all genres of music and performance, including the BBC’s ‘Question Time’. This has been presented here as recently as March 2016; the university will host the show here again in June.

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

The new L-Acoustics sound system comprises amplifiers, cabling and suspended (or flying) speakers chosen and set up using acoustic modelling to give optimal clear sound and sonically uniform coverage around the venue. However, some flexibility is required within the fixed installation, to allow for the different audio projection needs of visiting performers. This can be provided by raising and lowering four independent main PA Loudspeaker speaker arrays to achieve the best sound balance for differing performances. Traditionally this speaker manoeuvring was carried out manually – a more labour-intensive procedure that was not only costly and time-consuming but also potentially dangerous as it involved staff working at height and also within the roof void to access cable routes and rigging. On occasions this could also lead to untidiness with the venue, in the form of unsightly trailing speaker cables overhead. Another solution that has been adopted in many situations is to interconnect the fixed and moveable audio elements through slip rings. These allow flexibility in extending and retracting both electrical signal and power cables, however their operation depends on a break in the conductive paths. This is undesirable in high power, high quality systems such as the Mountford Hall installation because of its adverse effect on both reliability and potentially signal quality.


A similar situation existed for the overhead lighting trusses, which also needed to be raised and lowered to rig equipment to suit different event requirements.

If the truss is lowered, the e-chain® automatically unfolds. When the truss is raised then the e-chain® is stored automatically into its default position into a basket over the truss.



Adlib Audio, the sound and lighting designers, suppliers and installers for the entire upgrade project, turned to igus® for a superior alternative. For the speakers, this was delivered in the form of four custom e-chain® and e-spool cable management systems, one for each of the four main speaker arrays. These provided no-break connections between the amplifiers and the speakers, eliminating reliability and signal quality issues. It also meant that speaker raising and lowering became a simple, automated procedure that could be conducted at will prior to rehearsals and sound checks. The delays, costs and health and safety issues associated with calling on extra crew and working at height for manoeuvring were eliminated. The e-spool system is also very compact while being able to carry many cables in a confined space. Its interconnection of the amplifiers and speakers is unique. An e-chain® carrying the cables from the amplifiers is guided by one roller, and always maintained at exactly the correct length and tension by an integrated retaining spring. In the start position, the e-chain® is completely rolled up to save space. The twisterband connects the roll to the shaft block, which acts as the interface to the speaker cables. There is never any tensile load on the cables, while cable droop is eliminated to save space and keep working areas clear. A similarly flexible and robust solution for the lighting trusses was used. Known as ‘zig-zag’ e-chain®, it uses a space-saving and unconventional approach facilitated by the modular design of the e-chain®. When the trusses are at maximum trim height, the collapsed e-chain® is stored in a ‘basket’ above each lighting truss.

Adlib Audio had not used e-chain® or e-spool products previously, but after reviewing the alternatives was convinced they would prove beneficial to the project’s success. The e-spool’s ability to carry a large number of cables, including different types – for power, signal and data - was a significant factor in the decision. “We were able to work closely with the igus engineers at all times,” commented Roger Kirby, installations director at Adlib Audio. “They attended regular meetings and visits to site, and were always available for advice and support. They also helped us select the best of multiple designs, and spent time in testing the lift and drop actions, chain pitch and chain basket position. This turned out to be time well spent, as everything continues to run excellently. The system looks neat, and can cope with pressure and frequent movement. “Overall we felt that igus® offered us a large catalogue range of high specification items coupled with the knowledge and skills to develop specific solutions for our needs. After this first project, we will definitely consider using the e-spool technology again. From a cabling and reliability point of view it works brilliantly.” Please call 01604 677240 or visit the website at: www.igus.co.uk. Follow us at http://twitter.com/igusUK


24 | POWER

Energising virtual power plants Sleman Saliba, business development manager for ABB Power Generation looks DW WKH EHQHÀWV RI 9LUWXDO 3RZHU 3ODQWV 933V DQG KRZ WKH\ DUH DGGUHVVLQJ FXUUHQW FKDOOHQJHV LQ HQHUJ\ JHQHUDWLRQ


ower sources are becoming increasingly diverse as renewable energy becomes more popular. Both the type of generation and the location of the sources throughout the grid are becoming more varied. While this provides energy security, it can limit the ability of operators to participate in the electricity market if the generation source is small. VPPs play the role of connecting small and medium renewable plants, allowing them to act like a single larger entity that can participate in the electricity market. In doing so they provide an additional source of income for plant operators and increases the penetration of renewables. VPPs are made up of three elements: power generation sources, energy storage devices and demand response participants in different locations along the grid. Power generation sources, hundreds of which can be used to make up a VPP, include sources such as biogas and bio-mass, as well as renewable technologies such as wind, solar and hydro. A VPP can also include traditional power generation sources like diesel gensets and fossil fuels. Energy storage can also be integrated into a VPP in the form of batteries, thermal storage, compress air or hydro pumped storage. The ability to store energy gives operators the freedom to optimise their offering and reduce the risk of an unreliable power supply when multiple sources are connected. The third element of a VPP takes the form of demand response programmes that involve consumers. It calls on smart metering technology that also helps households reduce their energy bills using load flexibility or shifting. Pooling hundreds of these components together into a single VPP gives the single combined entity the scale and flexibility needed to get the greatest benefits from the electricity market. A VPP can provide three main benefits: achieving higher

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

energy prices on spot and derivatives markets, the ability to take part in the lucrative power balancing market, and improvements in production and consumption within the VPP.

SPOT, DERIVATIVES AND BALANCING MARKETS The spot market allows sellers to auction off excess energy. In the UK, the spot market is run by the APX Group, which is integrated

26 | POWER

with the European Power Exchange (EPEX) to create a market covering Central Western Europe (CWE) and the UK. Through this combined market, VPP operators can trade on the Day-Ahead market, which is the daily auction for electricity to be used the following day. Electricity is sold by the hour, or by blocks of hours. The auction takes place every day. The second option in the spot market is Intraday trading. Operators can sell electricity (in 15 minute, one hour or several hour blocks) which is to be used on the same day. On the other hand, the power derivatives market in the UK and Europe is known as the European Energy Exchange (EEX). Brokers can trade power contracts up to six years in the future on this market, allowing them to trade power futures and options. It is often used to hedge against the volatility of the spot market. Lastly, the balancing power market exists to ensure the power grid is stable which requires a careful balance of supply and demand. Part of this is to keep the grid operating between tightly controlled frequencies at around 50Hz. The balancing market can have the additional role of managing the differences between regional generation and consumption. To keep the grid stable, the market injects or absorbs ‘balancing power’ into or from the grid. The transmission system operator (TSO) buys this power from three different sources through a tendering process with ancillary service providers. The three sources are primary balancing power, secondary balancing power and minute reserves. Crucially, qualifying as an ancillary service provider to take part in the lucrative balancing market requires meeting a minimum threshold. In the past, traditional power plants were the only facility to meet this threshold but now VPPs can connect multiple smaller sources together. An agent acting on behalf of the VPP will place bids on the market to sell its available balancing power.

SUCCESSFUL VPP OPERATION Operating a VPP successfully is largely dependent on the operator having a clear overview of the connected power sources, control over them and a good idea of participation in the energy markets. A central control and optimisation system is key to this. This central control and optimisation system Electrical Review | July/August 2016

connects and aggregates the individual power sources to create one “virtual” power plant. In addition to this role, it optimises the operation of the assets, as well as providing the information needed for planning and commercial decisions. To help the operators make the best decisions, the control system must have high availability standards, be able to provide realtime operating data, and most importantly, the system must be able to work with all of the assets. For this, it needs the relevant functionality to interface with all the energy sources, and control and optimisation functions to keep track of all the power production and consumption. This enables the operator to find the optimal operation point.

Cyber security is important to VPP operators Ideally, the system will be made up of modules that take care of generating assets, monitoring, forecasting, trading and invoicing. Another challenge faced by VPP operators is the rapid growth of the installed base. To keep up, the central control and optimisation system must also be easily scalable. For example, an operator using an ABB control system grew its asset base from 20 units to 2,800 in around three years. In situations like this, the central control and optimisation system must be able to accommodate growth from tens of units to thousands in a short space of time. In this case, the hardware and software were hotswappable so the units were added without any interruption to operations. As with any wirelessly connected system, cyber security is important to VPP operators. The energy sources are usually spread across a large area and are connected wirelessly. To protect them, operators can use remote terminal units that secure communications with private GSM or encrypted Internet connections.

COMMERCIAL OPTIMISATION By aggregating data such as forecasts for

renewable power generation, long-term commitments and obligations, demand profile and the power available from the assets, the commercial side of the control system optimizes VPP operation. The aggregated information provides an overview of available power and the marginal costs to help the operator develop commercial strategies for operating in the three electricity markets. The trading department is then in the best position to submit the strategies as bids. If they are successful, the control and optimisation system is used to schedule the bids which commits power production for the relevant times and highlights restrictions and disturbances. Any demands from the balancing power market can instantly be incorporated into the system with the VPP injecting or absorbing power as required.

CONTROL SYSTEM The VPP’s interfaces are designed to integrate the control system into its IT landscape. This includes connections to the three power markets, market trading software and systems used by grid operators for access to balancing power reserves. The IT systems must also include accounting, reporting and diagnostic platforms. Finally, the interfaces include those required to automate the flow of information and signals from the aggregated assets. Algorithms within the software control the generators’ set points in real time. The algorithms take into account the online measurements of plant properties such as power limits, disturbances and schedule deviations. This allows the optimisation program to operate the VPP optimally. ABB’s expertise, hardware and software cover all aspects of VPP operation. By hosting the central control and optimisation system in the cloud, users experience high availability. Hosting the system in geographically dispersed data centres further increases availability and ensures high redundancy. Both are essential to operating a gridconnected generating resource. As renewable energy becomes more popular and energy sources become more geographically diverse, balancing energy supply and demand is becoming more challenging. VPPs are playing a role in meeting this challenge by helping small energy generators market their energy in a cost-effective way.


Atlas accident rates fall to record low


he latest annual accident survey published by the Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists (Atlas) demonstrates the excellent safety standards of its members in the workplace. Despite operating in a high risk sector where working at height is unavoidable, Atlas members recorded no fatalities for the seventh consecutive year, and a total of 18 reportable and non-reportable injuries, meaning that the incidence rates for all types of accident were at an all-time low. The results for reportable and non-reportable accidents have decreased to a rate of 1,152 per 100,000 workers, almost 40% lower than in 2014 and is a decrease each year since 2009. The over 7-day injury rate of 64 per 100,000 workers is significantly lower than both the specialist sector represented by Build UK (164.8) and the wider construction industry (200.6). These results mean that operatives are working in a safer environment, demonstrated by the significant increase in time between accidents which is now 144,210 hours.

Using an Atlas member is the safest option

The 2015 survey which covered over 1,500 operatives established that 4% of employees’ time was spent training, exceeding the minimum 1% requirement for Atlas membership. Atlas is committed to supporting members to maintain the highest safety standards and in the last year has implemented sector specific compulsory one-day training for operatives renewing their CSCS card. Atlas president, Jason Harfield, said: “Atlas members work at extreme height on a daily basis and take their responsibility for the safety of operatives and the public seriously. The investment which our employers are making in training, combined with an honest and open culture which encourages near-miss reporting, has resulted in an outstanding safety record for members. The results of the survey clearly demonstrate that using an Atlas member for specialist access and lightning protection work is the safest option.” www.electricalreview.co.uk


Smart solution for assisted living As an ageing population continues to put a strain on health and social care, Marie Parry, marketing director for Scolmore Group, looks at the issues surrounding assisted living and the part the electrical industry can play in providing solutions in this growing sector

new and emerging technologies into the design of buildings. Buildings that manage this feat are described as ‘intelligent’ or ‘smart’. Which technologies are used depends on the building type and function; those used in smart homes aim to enhance occupants’ lifestyles or quality of life. The smart home market is undoubtedly on the rise in the UK,


ccording to the Office for Budget Responsibility by 2065, 26% of the population of England and Wales will be more than 65 years old, up from 18% today, increasing the cost of health and social care. While our increasing longevity is something to celebrate, the economic, social and political implications are very significant. As the population ages, the incidence of chronic disease is on the rise, in particular the prevalence of dementia. Dementia is one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2015. This will soar to 2 million by 2051. Because we are living longer, traditional arrangements for supporting those with the long-term health issues that come with age are unsustainable. The construction industry has a central role to play in how we cope with this pressing issue. For example, the way we design homes now and in the future will help people with different levels of mobility and capability to remain in their homes. Current thinking is to integrate traditional building technologies with new and emerging ones. There are enormous potential benefits from using mobile devices and services that operate seamlessly with home-based solutions, supporting users to manage conditions inside the home. This is where the concept of assisted living comes in. Assisted living includes approaches, services, solutions, capabilities and related technologies that help elderly people and those with chronic conditions to live active, independent and dignified lives with maximum personal control. For construction professionals, the challenge is to integrate Electrical Review | July/August 2016

with 47% of UK homeowners considering investing in smart home technology. Rapidly growing and in high demand, smart technology is becoming a common part of our everyday lives. One of the most important ways to harness the power of a connected home is to enhance assisted living. The assisted living market is estimated to be worth £10.1 billion – a figure that not only demonstrates the size of the problem, but also the potential for the electrical contracting and wholesaling industry to work towards designing, supplying and installing products which will facilitate the continued independence of the growing aged population. The potential for smart technology to transform assisted living is a crucial development for the care sector. The appeal of smart home technology in assisted living is simple: elderly citizens, people with disabilities and other persons who are less able to live alone can be empowered by being given the tools to help them continue to live independently and safely. Rather than crossing a dark room to turn on a switch for example, automated technology can be set up to trigger the coming on of lights once there is motion detected in the space. Rather than fiddling with an array of different controllers for heating, a centralised app on a smartphone or tablet can control the entire house at once. If a person suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, alerts can even be sent to a phone if a window is left open overnight. In this way, people are given back the ability to do simple tasks that may have become unmanageable before. Smart home technology is even able to provide 24-hour non-invasive home monitoring, allowing the families of those needing assistance to be alerted if there is something amiss. For instance, if lights in the kitchen haven’t been triggered in over a day, a family member or carer can be notified to check the house in person. Taking away the worry and fear that often comes with living alone is paramount. By being able to remotely alert an elderly person that the sound that they are about to hear is their carer coming to visit, provides much needed reassurance. A smart home does not require a complete home refurbishment project and it does not need to cost tens of thousands of pounds. With new products that are suitable for retrofitting and affordable solutions now on the market, smart home technology has become more accessible and within reach of average consumers.


The ability to easily adapt and update a home is being made more achievable due to the wireless control and automation products available. These enable the upgrade of an electrical installation to provide added security, energy saving, comfort and control for those in need of assisted living, without the need for intrusive and unwanted disturbance. Retrofit and affordable products can be installed to transform any building to provide numerous benefits to suit all manner of requirements and will have particular value for the assisted living sector. For example a bedtime route can be created that turns all lights on and off to allow the occupier to get to bed without the need to switch lights on or off, or the use of a bell push to switch a light on for the hard of hearing. Because of the flexibility of this type of system, it will be easy to change an installation to meet the changing requirements of the occupier. Solutions can be tailored to facilitate activities of daily living in a safe, controlled manner whilst allowing those needing care to remain independent for longer, and thus decreasing the need for formal and informal care in the home. Smart home technology can be the ideal solution for individuals with different needs and abilities as the technology can provide an environment that is constantly monitored to ensure a person is safe. It can automate specific tasks a person may be unable to perform, such as switching lights on or off, guard against unauthorised access, or warn users they may have left the front door open. Using technology to isolate an appliance such as a cooker or a fire, for example, will help safeguard the person from danger in their own home. Keeping people safe and comfortable within their homes with task automation, motion detectors and light dimming sensors could prove crucial in giving assisted living care providers added reassurance. The ability to provide a person in a wheelchair with access to a variety of controls via a remote control attached to the wheelchair, has obvious benefits. It isn’t just high-tech solutions that are working their way through and providing much needed help for this sector. Manufacturers are looking at ways to improve some of the simplest products that have been around for years and seen little

development. Switches which feature wide rockers and sockets that have wider gaps between rockers, as well as outboard rockers are all designed to facility the use of products for those with impaired vision. At Scolmore we believe that our most recent innovation is the perfect example of looking at everyday activities and product uses and coming up with improvements. The new Mode Locating Plug Socket - developed with the assisted living sector in mind - is designed to assist people with

Solutions can be tailored to facilitate activities of daily living in a safe manner impaired vision or poor hand to eye coordination to more easily insert a plug into a socket. The contoured shape of the front plate guides the earth pin into position, and it is this plug guide which gives the product a greater focus on usability and means its use can be extended to situations where a socket isn’t easily accessible. The product is available in one and two-gang options, with the two-gang version featuring outboard rockers to further assist with distinguishing between switches, making it less likely to switch the wrong one. The Locating Plug Socket is part of the Mode range of wiring accessory products, which all feature anti-microbial properties and come with a 20 year guarantee. It is an ideal solution for assisted living installations and also meets with the requirements of Part M compliance. With dementia identified as the one of the main causes of disability in later life and expected to double globally by 2030 and triple by 2050, the assisted living sector is one that will continue to grow and all those involved in the design, manufacture and supply of solutions will continue to have a part to play in easing the burden.



Congratulations J & K Ross Ltd takes this opportunity to congratulate Electrical Safety UK Ltd on their merger with Pennine [Elec-Tech] Ltd.


ver the last ten years J & K Ross and Electrical Safety UK have worked closely together to help their mutual clients deal effectively with the risks posed by electrical arc flash. Such clients have varied from small local independents to the multinational Blue Chips. Each brings its own unique challenge but at the end of the day the process is the same, carry out a risk assessment, apply suitable mitigation techniques and only then consider the provision of Personal Protective Equipment, in other words make PPE your last line of defence as you should with any other risk. In the aforementioned period J & K Ross has worked in the background, based on feedback from both clients and Electrical Safety, to develop a suitable range of clothing and PPE that not only provides the required levels of protection but also that can be worn for long periods (if required) in relative comfort. This has all been made possible by utilising the services of J & K Ross’s sister company, Dale Techniche Ltd, who specialise in developing not only uniquely functional garments but also knitted fabrics with properties designed to offer maximum protection and comfort. Dale is a DuPontTM Nomex® Partner which ensures that the garments are made to the highest of standards using state of the art inherently flame resistant fabrics. Following this exciting merger we plan to work even more closely with ESUK to ensure our mutual clients benefit from the best service available. Should you wish to know more please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling 01925 645645 or emailing safety@jkross.co.uk To view our full range of products and to find out more about arc flash mitigation please visit our website www.arcflashprotection.co.uk

Electrical Review | July/August 2016


Competence – not just a training certificate The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 requires employers to provide “… such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his or her employees …”. Andrew Linley, director of compliance at Electrical Safety UK, explains


hilst not specifically stated, the law requires employers ensure their employees are competent to undertake the work for which they have been employed. There is also a legal requirement for employees to not put themselves or others in danger through their acts or omissions. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, through Regulation 16, removes any doubt as to who should determine competence and what the basis for determining competence is. First of all, a person need only be competent if danger would otherwise arise or if there is a risk of injury: where this is not the case, the law does not require a person to be specifically competent. Competence is then defined as a person having the necessary technical knowledge or experience in order to avoid such danger or where appropriate, injury. It is important to point out that Regulation 16 is absolute in its requirements but the employer is afforded an opportunity for defence under Regulation 29 of the Electricity at Work Regulations. Having the necessary technical knowledge or experience should not be regarded as being a choice for the employer: what the law requires is that if a person needs technical knowledge to undertake a task safely then they must have that technical knowledge and if they require experience to complete the task without placing themselves or others in danger then they should possess that experience. The law does not prescribe what knowledge or experience is required and it does not stipulate that formal academic or vocational qualification is required for a person to become competent, in fact it recognises that some of our most learned academia might not be competent in that they might have technical knowledge but do not possess the relevant experience to avoid danger or injury. Likewise, a jobbing electrician might have no formal qualifications but may be able to demonstrate that they have technical knowledge and experience to undertake work safely. Perhaps in our current litigation climate we have become obsessed on paperwork and tick-boxes and less interested in complying with the law? It is interesting to note that the Electricity at Work Regulations does not at any time make reference to either an electrician nor an electrical engineer. The Regulations recognise that a person who is competent in one discipline is not necessarily competent in another. For example,

the skill-set held by an installation electrician and a maintenance electrician are different. There will be certain tasks that both parties can undertake, but much of each person’s role will not be comparable with the other and competence may not exist on a crossed-over role basis. It is perhaps worth noting at this stage that the regulation does allow people to gain knowledge and experience provided that they are under a suitable level of supervision, having regards to the dangers that may be present. Dependant on the level of knowledge and experience already possessed by the non-competent person the level of supervision could range from close personal supervision through to supervision from a distance. It should go without saying that the person who is supervising should be competent. Employers fall into two groups; those who take determining competence seriously and those who pay lip service to the subject. The former group tends to assess knowledge and experience and collate evidence and may also undertake competency assessments such as questioning or practical teststhose involved in high voltage work will be familiar with this approach. The latter group tends to collate copies of certificates

The law does not prescribe what knowledge or experience is required without any serious consideration as to what they mean. For example, many companies require electricians to possess a Certificate in the Requirements for Electrical Installations (often referred to as a 17th Edition certificate). Whilst such qualifications are vitally important, they do not in themselves confer competence. Competent Person schemes such as the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme do have a part to play in the context of competence in that evidence of experience as well as knowledge must be demonstrated in order to obtain a ECS card. Unfortunately, the cards are generic in approach and do not identify that individuals are competent for all tasks www.electricalreview.co.uk


that might be undertaken, other than generic nationally set core requirements have been met. Often focus is given to the possession of a skills card and that it is in-date, rather than the actual skills that have been determined. What about contractors? Many employers assume that the appointment of an electrical contractor who is a member of a professional body discharges their responsibilities with regards to competency. The Electricity at Work Regulations through the Duty Holder requirement (Regulation 3) requires the employer to ensure that their electrical system effectively remains safe at all times (Regulation 4) and that only competent persons work on that system (Regulation 16). The employer must be satisfied that any contracted company has the necessary arrangements in place to determine that their own employees are competent whilst undertaking work on site or they must satisfy themselves that any person coming onto site is competent. Contractors who belong to a professional body is a good starting point, however it should be remembered that whilst office procedures are assessed as part of the annual visit from the professional body, the only person who is examined in any depth is the Qualifying Supervisor, who is required to demonstrate ability to inspect and test (even though this might not be their day-to-day role in the company), the assessment of the standards of work carried out by the contract electricians is

very much limited to a cursory external visual inspection and is again carried out on an annual basis often for less than 4 hours. Electrical contractors are often thought of as a potential risk for employers, however, in the main are generally self-policing. A greater risk to the employer are those companies who work on or near electrical systems as a part of their service offering, for example, those who maintain air-conditioning or service vending machines, computer technicians who replace hardware or those who undertake small building works repairs. Often these classes of people are forgotten about, and it is wrongly assumed that the contract company or service agent has done everything that they should to determine competency. It is perhaps true that, following an incident, the Health and Safety Executive inspector would be interested in the contract company concerned, however, as employer you may be asked to explain how you determined that the person in question was competent to work on your system. The Electricity at Work Regulations clearly defines a competent person as a person having the necessary technical knowledge and / or experience to avoid danger and injury. BS7671:2008+A3:2015 deleted the definition for competent person, referring to Skilled, Instructed and Ordinary Persons instead, however previous editions of BS 7671 referred to a competent person as having the skills as well as knowledge and experience in order to avoid danger. Perhaps when considering competence employers should look at skills, knowledge, attitudes, training and experience of an individual as well as assessing that they are able to recognise when they are reaching the limits of their abilities and take suitable action before a dangerous situation arises (SKATEL). www.electricalreview.co.uk




FD is used in a wide variety of industries to understand uid ows. Complex algorithms and analysis show how a uid, in this case air, moves. This has made it important to industries such as aerospace and automotive as they look to improve aerodynamics. Racing teams at major motor races use CFD to see how effective the new parts are on a car in the early practice sessions. While those same parts will have already been modelled and tested in a wind tunnel, the real-time race data is used to tune the models.  Wolfenden believes that CFD on its own is not enough. It is akin to creating a new aerodynamic part for a motor racing team then bolting it to the car hoping that it will deliver a race winning performance. While it may deliver some beneďŹ ts they will be severely limited in scope. Worse still they are likely to lead to a range of other decisions that can even degrade the overall performance. Â

data can be captured and then applied to the model to identify where it begins to diverge from the captured data. To stay with the racing analogy above, this is the equivalent of using a wind tunnel to test aerodynamic components before putting them on a race car. Â The use of heat loads is nothing new. An increasing number of companies already use them to test the initial design of the data hall. The problem is that they are not universally used nor are they regularly used during refurbishment. This is where Wolfenden believes data centre designers are missing the point. It is not just about the heat loads validating their designs and models but providing a better baseline and library of designs that can speed up the design of future data centres. Â


No matter how efďŹ cient the design model appears and how well it has performed under test conditions it is only when real workloads are applied that it can be truly validated. This creates

One way to improve models is to introduce heat loads into the data hall to simulate the type of workload that is expected. This Electrical Review | July/August 2016


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a significant challenge for designers. Hardware, software and workloads change over the life of a data hall. This means that a model can be outdated before any hardware has been installed. When hardware changes it is possible to import the technical data from the vendor to update a model and this will help improve the model and the way the data centre is configured. The bigger problem is software and the underlying workloads. An example of the problem is the introduction of virtualisation. Workloads changed from being contained on servers to running anywhere in the data centre. This created the opportunity to move high heat loads to areas where there was adequate cooling. By automating the process it meant that workloads were prioritised for resources rather than heat load balancing. Returning to Wolfenden’s motor racing analogy, this is the equivalent of testing the aerodynamic components on the car during a test session. It delivers accurate data as to how the components work under real conditions which enables designers to further improve their models.

MOVING BEYOND TEST LOADS TO REALTIME DATA There are several sources of data that can be used to help drive models in a live data centre. The key is to take advantage of the tsunami of sensors that have appeared inside the data centre over the last 20 years. These are located inside servers, storage devices, switches, power units, racks and aisles. So what data can be used and how? Using the data from sensors in the racks and aisles will provide

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

information on airflow and air temperature both hot and cold. This can be used to feed into the model to see where it is predicting heat and help make it more effective with real-time data. If linked to orchestration software then the data can also be correlated to workflows. This has the advantage of providing data that can be used to carry out predictive analysis of future cooling needs. Sensors inside servers can also provide a lot of key data. For example they can provide information about CPU temperatures which will show how much processing is being done. With the increase in analytics being done in-memory this will provide information on where certain workloads are running and the power and heat they generate. Information from PSUs will also enable a greater understanding of power utilisation across the data centre. It will show where power is getting dangerously close to the maximum capacity in certain racks and where there is little to no power drain showing under-utilised hardware. All of this not only helps inform the CFD models but also the longer-term models around data centre design and utilisation. For IT managers, they can now see just how effectively they are utilising resources and the cost of that level of utilisation. Modelling a data centre is a key part of any design. Failing to update that model with real-time data when it is available ensures that the model is not only ineffective but can also incur considerable extra costs.

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Power protection and conversion specialist Benning UK has announced following comprehensive assessment it has achieved the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications and Investor in People recognition with a Silver accreditation. This, when added to the company’s existing ISO 9001 Quality Management certification, completes the set of ‘the big 4’ quality certifications. Independent external assessors were used to audit Benning’s process and to demonstrate how the company met the strict requirements of each internationally recognised standard. Although rigorous, the assessments were successfully completed due to Benning’s internal processes and procedures already meeting the exacting requirements of the various certification bodies.

Carbon8Lighting’s Discus and Discus ZERO luminaires have enabled a projected 180,000kW reduction in energy consumption in a lighting upgrade for Harvest Fine Foods. Harvest was looking for a lighting system to go into a large freezer room and chiller room, each of approximately 8,000sq ft. One important feature was to find a fitting that emits very little heat. For this Carbon8Lighting was recommended to Harvest by nearby ice cream manufacturer, New Forrest Ice Cream, who had recently installed the company’s lighting to great effect. Another of the key criteria for the lighting upgrade was low maintenance as the facility operates 24 hours a day, 364 days a year without down time. Harvest Fine Foods is one of Southern England’s premier wholesale food distributors, providing a first class service to catering establishments and delivering an exciting range of quality fresh produce, fine foods and larder items. The company has excellent environmental credentials and a strong commitment to the environment.

Fire and security products supplier, ESP, has added a new fire isolator switch to its growing fire protection range. With a legal requirement in place to ensure all new fire alarm systems in the UK are fitted with a mains isolator switch, ESP’s latest addition meets the requirements of the BS5839 Part 1 standard. The Fire isolator Switch provides a secure method of isolating the mains supply feeding a fire system control panel and is crucial for fire system maintenance. The supply can only be isolated by an authorised person, by means of a key lock switch and switching is restricted by key operation. The key is removable in both ON and OFF positions and without the key, a tool would be required to disconnect the power. A neon indicator is provided to indicate mains present at the switched output. Bold red, durable casing ensures easy visual identification.

Carbon8Lighting • 01256 300 031 www.carbon8lighting.co.uk

ESP • 01527 515150 www.espuk.com

Benning • 0118 973 1506 www.benningUK.com

NEW 5 & 6-POLE CEILING ROSE Flex Connectors has added a 5 & 6-pole plug and single socket outlet to its extensive range of lighting connection and control products. The socket offers a large wiring compartment, big enough to accommodate an electric screwdriver. They can be fitted directly to a round conduit box, using the 2 captive M4 screws provided, or order the trunking mount version if fitting to trunking, cable basket or tray. Large terminals, all in line, and a cover that fits last means that termination is particularly easy The flex7 plugs boast a snap-on/snapoff cover and a pair of screws which both secure the cover and clamp the flexible cable, making it quick and easy to wire. strong mechanical latches on each plug double as finger grips, making de-latching for plug removal almost automatic when (and only when) you need it. All terminals are numbered, with additional marking illustrating normal usage

Flex Connectors • 020 8580 1066 www.flexconnectors.co.uk

Electrical Review | July/August 2016

LED EMERGENCY AND DRIVER SOLUTION IN ONE The new HotSpot Plus presents a combined emergency solution of LED driver, self-test emergency driver and replaceable battery in one easy-to-install compact unit, eliminating the cost and need for separate components. The HotSpot Plus functions as a dimmable 40W constant current LED driver, with an adjustable output current range from 250mA up to 1400mA which is easily set in increments of 1mA using a simple handheld programmer. During a power outage, this all-in-one system automatically engages an integrated, serviceable battery which will provide 3 hours of emergency back-up power at 5 Watts or 90 minutes at 10 Watts, with just a 12 hour battery re-charge time.

Fulham • 0345 220 0236 www.thefulhamgroup.com

CURRENT SENSORS PROTECTING RENEWABLE ENERGY POWER CONVERSION Harting today released information for the first time about the uptake of its current sensors by the renewable energy industry. Harting current sensors are presently ensuring the continuous and reliable operation of wind turbines for major wind farm installations around the world. One of the world’s major wind turbine manufacturers is using 1000A rated Harting HCS 1000 Halleffect sensors to monitor the input & output power feeds of the main power inverter. The current sensors are directly linked to the main wind turbine control cabinet. The galvanically isolated, induced secondary measuring currents produced are proportionate to a primary system operating current. If they fall outside an allowed working range, e.g., sensing an over-current condition, the sensors can provide system shut-down protection to prevent operational failure.

Harting • 01604 827500 www.harting.co.uk




Old, corroded and out of order security lights are widespread. Yet, a fully functioning, replacement solution can be installed in no more than 15 minutes and without the need for additional cabling. ESP’s GuardCam external area protection systems provide a quick and easy solution for the protection of external areas around homes, offices, or industrial and agricultural units. GuardCam LED is a complete, all-in-one, energy-efficient PIR LED floodlight, camera, speaker and DVR system. The system is straightforward to install – you simply connect to the mains power, fix to the wall, set the time and date and it’s ready to go. Once switched on, Guardcam will detect an intruder, floodlight the area, initiate a high resolution video recording directly to an internal SD card and if selected, an audible warning can be delivered.

Harting has announced the introduction of its new Han ES Press contact inserts with tool-free quick connection technology. These new inserts significantly reduce assembly time during wiring. In addition, jumpers offer the possibility of potential multiplication in the connector. The secret of the design lies in the innovative cage clamp. The Han ES Press’s cage clamp is delivered open so that the conductor can be inserted directly and without effort. Once the installer presses the actuator into the contact chamber, the cage clamp returns to its starting position, fixing the conductor end so that the conductor is electrically connected to the contact. This connection technique permits faster termination during wiring. The Han ES Press is also the first product in the Han E® product family that enables bridging of individual contacts for potential multiplication. Various longitudinal and transverse bridges are available, which for example, also enable star and delta circuits for motor control.

Cranes are prominent features on most container terminals, offloading modular containers from cargo ships and placing them onto trains or trucks. Very long travel distances can pose a challenge to cable management, especially as greater cable weights and higher travel speeds are now being demanded by the crane builders. The igus P4 system e-chain® allows implementation of a reliable, quiet, energy supply system capable of long lengths of up to 800m, while handling heavy fill weights of up to 30kg/m and at speeds of 10m/s. This low maintenance e-chain® system is ideal for crane or conveyor applications. The tribo-optimised plastic rollers are mounted such that the upper run rollers travel past the lower run rollers, not over them as in previous designs, reducing vibration and noise. Comb-like auto glide crossbars securely guide the energy chain, even at high speed and high fill weights.

ESP • 01527 515150 www.espuk.com

Harting • 01604 827500 www.harting.co.uk

igus • 01604 677240 www.igus.co.uk

MAXIMUM VERSATILITY AND PERFORMANCE Mackwell Electronics has launched XYLUX LS, a high performance self-contained LED emergency luminaire that delivers 3 hours rated emergency output. XYLUX LS can be tailored to the exact needs of the project, thanks to an intelligent selection of technology bases and fascia’s that can be combined to create a product that fits the application. The versatile XYLUX LS luminaire can cater for specific requirements thanks to a range of compatible fascia’s that feature tailored optics for optimum light distribution, making it the perfect solution for High-Bay, Mid-Bay, Open-Area and Escape Route requirements. For high ceiling projects, the mid and highbay fascia’s have been engineered to cater for mounting heights up to 30 metres.

Mackwell Electronics • 01922 458255 www.mackwell.com

HOTEL KEY CARD SWITCH With the government’s climate change obligations keeping energy efficiency high on the agenda for businesses, the latest addition to Scolmore’s wiring accessories range – the Hotel Key Card Switch - will help reduce energy consumption in hotels and save money in the process. Part of Scolmore’s New Media range, the new Hotel Key Card Switch is an energy saving device which acts as the main electrical switch for the room and is operated by the guest. All lighting and heating facilities only become operational once a corresponding card is inserted in to the key card switch. It is designed to fit any 50x50 Euro-mode plates and will work readily with all hotels’ card entry system cards, to make it easy to control lighting when rooms are unoccupied. There are three component parts – media plate; key card module and cover plate, all supplied separately to provide multiple configurations.

Scolmore • 01827 63454 www.scolmore.com

LED DRIVERS WITH COMBINED EMERGENCY LIGHTING FUNCTION Tridonic’s EM powerLED 45 W LED Drivers in PRO DIM and SELV versions combine normal and emergency lighting modes for LED luminaires all in one unit. The compact housing of the installation version save space in the luminaire and offer greater flexibility for luminaire designers. The combination LED Drivers provide an output of 45 W in normal operation, and the integrated battery system produces up to 4 W of emergency lighting power. In normal operation EM powerLED PRO DIM 45 W can be dimmed via DALI, switchDIM or the corridorFUNCTION and is prepared for ready2mains. Emergency light functionality is monitored centrally via DALI. One DALI address is sufficient for performing lighting control, dimming and the prescribed emergency lighting tests and for documenting them centrally – for example via connecDIM or the x/e touch panel.

Tridonic UK • 01256 374300 www.tridonic.com


42 | PRODUCTS SAFE ISOLATION SOLUTIONS UK market leader in safe isolation solutions – will be exhibiting its comprehensive range of safe isolation products at this year’s Safety and Health Expo 2016, 21-23 of June at Excel, London. Exhibiting some of the very latest kits on the market, safe isolation solutions on show include the VT25PD, VT28PD and the VIPDLOK150, which have been developed to incorporate everything you need into one package to achieve compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations. Providing a simple solution to safe maintenance of electrical plant and equipment, the VIPDLOK150 voltage indicator, proving device and lock out kit features a 1000V CAT IV safety rating, making it suitable for use in all installation categories, as specified in BS EN 61010-1. Complete with a comprehensive set of MCB lock outs, the VIPDLOK150 provides you with all the correct equipment to hand to ensure compliance.

Martindale Electric • 01923 441717 www.martindale-electric.co.uk

FRAMEWORK FOR RESPONDING TO DATA CENTRE EMERGENCIES Data centres deliver business critical services and must be able to withstand emergencies that threaten their continuous operations. This requires careful planning to ensure operators can react quickly to damaging events. As modern business becomes increasingly reliant on 24-7 IT services, data centres are obliged to ensure they can provide resilience and keep working under all circumstances. This in turn means they must be prepared for exceptional events or emergencies and have plans in place to maintain continuous operation. Despite best practices being observed during site selection, extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy have shown facilities may at any time be exposed to risks above and beyond hazards those from which they are normally protected. Accordingly, a new White Paper from Schneider Electric describes how good preparation and process can quickly and safely mitigate the impact of emergencies, and help prevent them from recurring. White paper #217, How to Prepare and Respond to Data Center Emergencies, describes a framework for an effective strategy arranged across three categories: Emergency Response Procedures, Emergency Drills and Incident Management.

Schneider Electric UK • 0870 608 8608 www.schneider-electric.com

Electrical Review | July/August 2016



Panduit Corp has announced the launch of its new HD Flex 2.0 Fiber Cabling System. Engineered to provide high fibre density and serviceability for high-performance data centres, HD Flex™ 2.0 will debut at Cisco Live 2016, July 10-14, in Las Vegas. The latest addition to Panduit’s expansive line of fibre solutions, the HD Flex 2.0 Fibre Cabling System, has been designed for ease of integration with existing fibre infrastructure by accommodating fibre cassettes and fibre adapter panels (FAPs) with different port counts within the same innovative enclosure and panel. 6-port or 12-port cassettes and FAPs can be deployed in virtually any combination to achieve up to 144-fibers (LC) or 864-fibers (MPO) per rack unit. This solution enables seamless port migration from 10G to 25/40/50/100G in the same RU space without replacing existing fibers and provides substantial savings.

The safe use of electrical equipment on board ships brings with it particular challenges. It’s an area that Rittal continues to invest in, not least to ensure its systems function effectively under the test conditions which are required by the marine industry. Now, the efficacy of its busbar systems RiLine, Maxi-PLS and Flat-PLS has been recognised by leading international shipping organisations. Approvals for on board use have been granted by Lloyds Register (LR), Germanischer Lloyd (GL), Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). This follows the announcement last year that Maxi-PLS and Flat-PLS had successfully passed the environmental test on “Vibration”, satisfying the requirement of 0.7 g in the frequency range 5 – 100 Hz.

Panduit Europe • 0208 601 7219 www.panduit.com

Rittal www.rittal.co.uk

NO NEED TO USE YOUR NOGGIN Always looking for innovative solutions that save installers time and money, Scolmore has added this inventive product to its Click Essentials range. StudBox is a universal first fix electrical back-box system for dry lining applications and will significantly reduce installation time. It replaces the time-consuming and tedious practice of installing metal back boxes into stud walls attached to timber noggins, and will typically reduce the installation time down from five minutes to 30 seconds. There are plasterboard marking points on the corners of each StudBox cavity which provide the exact position to cut out without the need for measuring. There are three products within the StudBox® range – 1 Gang (120mm – 600mm centres), 2 Gang (130mm – 600mm centres) and the Universal StudBox

Scolmore • 01827 63454 www.scolmore.com

A POPULAR CHOICE FOR EASY CONNECTION Wieland Electric’s award winning gesis NRG flat cable system is ideal for installing power distribution and lighting control in a variety of applications. Combining the advantages of busbar with the benefits of flexible cables, the popular flat cable system has recently been awarded the IF Design Award 2016 at this year’s Light + Build exhibition, in Frankfurt. The independent judges stated that the gesis NRG system met all requirements due to its functionality with simple mounting and handling. The system also allows for the important issue of future proofing as the components are reusable so changes to design layout and extensions can be easily adopted. Furthermore, gesis NRG requires less installation space than other systems, so that fewer constraints are placed on the positioning and configuration of other elements.

Wieland Electric • 01483 531213 www.wieland.co.uk


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