Your Guide to Choosing the Best Consumer Unit

As you may already be aware, here at Expert Electrical, we have a panel of experts who are ready and willing to take your call and answer any and all questions you may have. This is one of our promises to our customers, and we are glad to say that we have been able to fulfill and keep this promise for years.

One of the aspects that we like to prioritise is answering our customers’ questions about certain products and their usefulness – such as consumer units as well as RCDs, circuit breakers, and RCBOs. If you have questions or concerns about the above-mentioned products, we’re here to give you the answers you need.

The basics on consumer units

 Consumer Unit

Almost every property which has an electric supply – which is most modern properties today – will have a consumer unit in order to distribute the proper amount of electricity to the different circuits in the property. A consumer unit has a number of important purposes, but one of its most essential purposes is to enable the use of a variety of circuits which can also be protected individually by a circuit breaker.

For instance, your property can have a separate electricity supply for the upstairs area and the downstairs area, and your property can even have a separate electricity supply for the outdoors or for its exteriors. This is where the importance of a consumer unit comes in, because it allows different circuits to be used for these electricity supplies.

The consumer unit is basically the centre point for your electricity supply – it supplies the essential wiring system for whatever electrical sources you may have in your property, building, or household, which normally includes lighting, plugs and sockets, and so on.

The modern use of consumer units

When they first came out, consumer units originally housed electrical fuses and were also known by the name ‘fuse boards.’ But today, things are a bit different in that miniature circuit breakers (also referred to as MCBs) have significantly replaced the original fuses. So if there is ever an electrical overload, the miniature circuit breaker (MCB) can be easily reset by you or anyone with a simple flick of the switch. A fuse, however, would have to be replaced (it should be taken out first, of course) by a professional, and the professional should also be in charge of rewiring it. In certain cases, this can cost a bit of expense. But MCBs and circuit breakers fulfill an important purpose, particularly when it comes to protecting your property or household from fires and other accidents.

Modern Consumer Units

Another purpose for a circuit breaker would be for the disconnection of the supply of electricity, which allows you or someone else to safely and easily change or replace a light bulb, replace a switch or plug socket, and more.

Ensuring safety for your property

If you would like your property’s safety to be further enhanced with the proper circuit protection, you can make use of a safety device which you can use for the disconnection of electricity. This is particularly useful if there is an actual imbalance or disparity in the current of electricity.

Property Safety

The safety device we are speaking about is called a residual current device, also known as an RCD. This special safety device can provide you and your property with an extra layer of protection because it has the ability to trip out in a much faster manner compared to the normal or standard circuit breaker. The RCD, or residual current device, not only provides this additional layer of protection – it can also save lives because it is able to disconnect in such a quick way that it prevents humans from suddenly being shocked by electricity. And, with the recent enforcement of regulations, particularly the 17th edition regulation, it is required nowadays for there to be a residual current device or RCD installed in a consumer unit. However, you should also know that rather than using an RCD, you can also make use of an RCBO (a device which is a combination of a miniature circuit breaker and an RCD).

Details on Chint’s consumer units

Chint is one manufacturer which has been specialising in miniature circuit breakers, circuit breakers, and other consumer units for years. The brand has always been preferred by electricians and other electrical experts, and for good reason.

One common and popular consumer unit produced and manufactured by the Chint brand is distinguished by its make-up, since it is made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS. This polymer is known for its flame retardant properties, and it follows that it has a great insulation property when it comes to electricity as well. These properties make it an ideal polymer or material for extra protection.

But whilst ABS is a great choice of material for consumer units, consumer units are still also made from steel. A consumer unit made from steel is usually maximised in industrial locations and properties, or if armoured cable is in use. A steel consumer unit is usually shaped like a box, and it is accompanied by a lid that is of a polycarbonate transparent material. It also comes in a variety of sizes.

More on small units and large units

If you are interested in smaller consumer units, there is one kind that is popular with many customers. One example of a smaller unit for circuit protection is a garage unit, and this comes with a single circuit breaker and a residual current device or RCD. If you are interested in a larger consumer unit, on the other hand, you have the option of choosing double-stacked units (usually comprised of two residual current devices along with a main switch) – and this provides ample circuit protection for as much as 32 electrical circuits. Larger consumer units like these are most appropriate and used more often for industrial settings as well as commercial settings.

The conclusion

At the end of the day, the consumer unit is an altogether crucial component, being the primary electricity distributor in any household or property. It would be a risk and would pose a danger if you only have a single circuit which runs through your household or property without any circuit protection. It’s easy to realise the usefulness and impact of the proper consumer unit that contributes to circuit protection, because it has saved – and continues to save – a good number of lives each year.

More Commercial Lighting Products Available Today from Our Venture Lighting Range

As you may already know, there are plenty of lighting product manufacturers, and we feature a good number of them here at Expert Electrical. But one lighting product manufacturer has recently increased its product range for the benefit of customers requiring commercial and industrial lighting: Venture Lighting. Apart from releasing its newest and latest catalogue of products, customers who have specific lighting requirements for their commercial establishments, factories, warehouses, and other types of business premises will be happy to know that Venture Lighting has a lot more to offer here at Expert Electrical. In fact, we are proud to say that we have one of the most extensive portfolios when it comes to commercial and industrial LED lighting, including the Venture Lighting brand.

From ceiling panels to LED tubes, emergency exit signs, high bay lamps, and more, Venture Lighting is sure to accommodate whatever lighting requirements you may have. Venture Lighting not only specialises in commercial and industrial lighting, however – it also offers a broad selection of display lighting products, emergency lighting products, flood lighting, street lighting, and domestic lighting products. Let’s take a look at the newest offerings from this lighting product manufacturer.

Venture Lighting

The top features of Venture Lighting products: what you can expect?

With Venture Lighting, quality and versatility, as well as energy efficiency, are of paramount importance. The company has been in existence for over 30 years, and this has enabled Venture Lighting to improve its offerings and expand its range for the benefit of customers who have detailed and specific lighting needs.

  • The CE mark

First of all, Venture Lighting products have the European Community ‘CE’ mark, which signifies that its items comply with the requirements of all important directives from the EU.

  • Warranty

Venture Lighting can honestly say that it has one of the best warranties for its lighting products around. Venture Lighting has made a promise that all its products are guaranteed to work and operate for the period it is stated to operate. So, if a product has a guarantee of 5 years, then customers can expect this product to function for a minimum of 5 years.

  • LED life and L80 rating

All the Venture Lighting luminaries have published LED life figures of L70, B50 unless specified otherwise. The classification refers to the light output of the product, so if a product is specified to have L70 classification and 50,000 hours, then it will produce, at the very least, 70 percent of its output for 50,000 hours. If a product has an L80 rating, it follows that its output will be higher than L70.

  • The IP rating

IP rated products – products which have a marking of Ingress Protection – provide a degree or level of protection against ingress. Ingress, in this case, is classified as dust, water, body parts like fingers and hands, and accidental contact. The level of protection will depend on the classification (e.g. IP65 which offers resistance to both water and dust).

Of course, there are other features you can expect from Venture Lighting products, such as ECA compliance, class 1, 2, or 3, and the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, or DALI driver.

Venture Lighting Exit Sign

The new numbering system for parts offered by Venture Lighting

For those who would like to order Venture Lighting luminaries and build their own products, Venture Lighting makes the task much easier with its new part numbering system. Customers simply need to choose their preferred product, and then add the features and accessories they would like to include, such as CD (DALI dimmable), DC (Diffuser Coated), SH (Sensor High Level), SL (Sensor Low Level), EM (Emergency), and so on. Many of these more specialised features are available on request.

The new product range

 For commercial and industrial lighting, Venture Lighting has a wide range of new products on offer. These include IP65 LED Panels – Edge Lit, LED Panels – 1200mm x 300mm, VAcademy – Surface Linear products, LED Elite Highbay products, VClean – Highbay lights, VSky – Highbay lights, VPanel – Linear Highbay lights, VRack – Linear Highbay lights, LED Batten – Pro, Vopto – Interior Bulkheads, IP66 Exterior Bulkheads, and LED Downlights – VLuma.

The other lighting products being offered by Venture Lighting include LED Emergency 6-in-1 Exit Signs, LED Emergency Twin Spot lights (IP20 and IP65), LED Emergency Bulkheads, LED Emergency Remote Packs, LED Floodlights (Stainless Steel), LED Floodlights (Elite), VSoldier, and VSoldier Plus.

A new selection of LED panels

When it comes to LED panels for industrial and commercial use, Venture Lighting does not disappoint. The latest LED panel models from Venture Lighting are not only more energy efficient and of top quality – they are made with an increased consideration for their impact on the environment as well. The VLuma range, for example, features the latest in regard to LED technology and is made with an eye for optimal energy efficiency as well as savings in energy.

More details on the new LED panels

The Edge Lit LED Panels (IP65) from Venture Lighting – PNL023, PNL024, and PNL025 – feature 50,000 hours of output, 5-year warranty, CE marking, and ECA compliance. But not only this – the panels are equipped with a self-adhesive gasket made from silicone for the best water protection for ceiling grids. This makes the LED panels much more suitable for specific applications, such as clean rooms. The LED panels have a wide beam angle and are rated 37 Watts and 3,400 Lumens.

Another featured product is the VLuma Edge Lit LED Panels, PNL013 and PNL014. Both types of panels have wide beam angles, and PNL013 has 2,900 Lumens whilst PNL014 has 3,000 Lumens. They also come with panel kits and accessories. Panel kits include a basic non dimmable LED driver, or dimmable drivers with DALI/Switch dim, remote emergency pack and DALI/Switch Dim/Emergency drivers. Accessories can include a surface mount box, a 3W standalone emergency pack with a white and silver bezel, a remote emergency pack, or a 4W remote emergency pack.

Venture Lighting also has the latest collection of Edge Lit LED Panels measuring 1200mm by 300mm, PNL020, PNL021, and PNL022. The panels are rated at 3,000 Lumens and come with accessories that include a suspension mount, a 3W standalone emergency pack with a white and silver bezel, a remote emergency pack, or a 4W remote emergency pack. These panels are not supplied with drivers, so customers can select their preferred panel kits (with driver, with DALI/Switch dim, with remote emergency pack, and with DALI/Switch dim/Emergency).

The above-mentioned products are just a few of the key products recently made available by Venture Lighting. And with Venture Lighting’s focus on quality, energy efficiency, durability, flexibility, and versatility, any customer with various commercial and industrial lighting needs will be more than satisfied.

 

Images courtesy of Expertelectrical.co.uk

The Real Benefits and Advantages of Modular Floor-Standing Enclosures You should Know About

Without a doubt, when you are looking for enclosures for your electrical systems and installations, a modular floor-standing enclosure is better than most. Compared to traditional or standard uni-body floor standing enclosures, modular floor-standing enclosures offer a lot more benefits. But the fact is that there is often the mistaken impression that modular floor-standing enclosures are more expensive or are less flexible or versatile, but that’s just not true at all. Here is your guide to modular floor-standing enclosures – and what their real benefits and advantages are.

 

What is a modular floor-standing enclosure?

The most basic advantage of a modular floor-standing enclosure is its strength – strength that is not only literal, but figurative as well. The frame of a good quality modular floor-standing enclosure will be made from metal, with holes that can be punched in or pre-punched before delivery so users will no longer have to do any welding or drilling when adding accessories. With modular floor-standing enclosures, several frames can be attached to each other (whether it’s side to side, side to back, back to back, top to bottom, and more) so there is a seemingly infinite variety of configurations. What’s more, modular floor-standing enclosures are convenient and easy to use compared to traditional enclosures with one body with metal parts and seams that are already welded together, which do not allow for easier configurations or additions.

Modular Floor-Standing Enclosure

It’s functions

The primary function of a modular floor-standing enclosure, as you may already know, is to protect workers and staff from the risks of issues with electrical equipment. The second purpose of a modular floor-standing enclosure is to protect the equipment itself from its surrounding environment. Whilst a uni-body floor-standing enclosure offers the same protection as a modular floor-standing enclosure, the modular enclosure offers the added benefit of allowing an integrator, designer, or user to make more varied assemblies, ranging from the most basic to the more complex, according to their needs or requirements.

 

The main physical distinctions between uni-body and modular floor-standing enclosures

There are a number of differences, most notably physical, between uni-body and modular floor-standing enclosures. First is the hinges or latches. Almost all uni-body cabinets or enclosures make use of piano hinges for the doors. The latching is often accomplished with the use of several clamps which are placed around the perimeter of the door, or a handle. But modular floor-standing enclosures are different. A typical modular floor-standing enclosure will feature captive, discrete or distinct hinging which is not easily noticeable, allowing for better aesthetics.

There is also another difference when it comes to rails. With modular floor-standing enclosures, rails can be added in simply by sliding the panel from the front, the rear, or the side openings. But with uni-body enclosures, the rails can often only be inserted by laying the actual uni-body enclosure or cabinet onto its back and then lifting the unit’s panel with the use of a forklift or a crane.

 

The intangible distinctions between uni-body and modular floor-standing enclosures

There are also a number of intangible or non-physical distinctions between uni-body and modular floor-standing enclosures. For one, modular floor-standing enclosures allow for a cleaner, more efficient, and more productive plant or production area. The entire floor or area will not only be cleaner and more aesthetically-pleasing, it will not look ‘dated’ as well. With a modern modular floor-standing enclosure with hidden hinges for the doors and single locks (not ugly, noticeable clamps), the plant area becomes more organised and looks more spotless and contemporary.

Another intangible distinction between uni-body floor-standing enclosures and modular floor-standing enclosures is the fact that modular floor-standing units or enclosures offer more flexibility, especially when it comes to making future changes. If the unit needs to be changed or modified, it can be done with ease and convenience, in a much smoother and faster operation. If, by chance, there are any mistakes, these can be easily corrected with a modular floor-standing enclosure compared to a uni-body enclosure.

 

Some common misconceptions about modular floor-standing enclosures

As mentioned, there are some common misconceptions about modular floor-standing enclosures, particularly in regards to its strength, number of parts, assembly or configuration, and cost. These misconceptions have definitely been proven wrong by some high quality modular floor-standing enclosures today, such as the range of floor-standing enclosures from Tempa Pano.

Let’s take a look at some of these misconceptions – and disprove them:

  • Modular floor-standing enclosures lack strength and durability

Some think that since the walls of a modular floor-standing enclosure are thinner than that of a uni-body enclosure, they are less sturdy or strong. This is entirely incorrect. The fact is, the overall strength of a typical modular floor-standing enclosure does not come from its walls, but rather from its frame. This is because the load that is exerted on the modular floor-standing enclosure because of the equipment’s weight is transferred to the enclosure’s vertical framing.

  • Modular floor-standing enclosures require a lot of parts that need to be ordered separately

This is another misconception about modular floor-standing enclosures – that a typical enclosure will consist of so many additional parts that need to be ordered separately in order for the enclosure to be fully assembled. The fact is that a typical modular floor-standing enclosure will usually just consist of two main parts: the core assembly or frame (along with the mounting panel) plus the side walls. There are some other parts included as well, such as the door, the mounting plate, the top cover, the rear panel, and the side rails, etc., but these actually allow for easier installation since they are already pre-fitted – and they don’t have to be ordered separately.

Another related misconception about modular floor-standing enclosures is that assembling them requires some special skill or knowledge. This is not true at all – whilst a little bit of work on assembly is necessary, the accessories of the system can be added on by anyone without any special training. With a uni-body floor-standing enclosure, any modification would require more challenging work such as welding, cutting, or bending. With a modular floor-standing enclosure, this is not necessary.

  • Modular floor-standing enclosures are more costly than uni-body floor standing enclosures

The fact of the matter is that the price of both modular floor-standing enclosures and uni-body floor-standing enclosures do not differ greatly from each other. They are almost the same price, and, what’s more, if you use a uni-body floor-standing enclosure, there are usually some hidden expenses as well. Also, a uni-body enclosure often has a shorter lifespan than a modular floor-standing enclosure.

All You Need to Know about the Newest and Latest Range of Floor Standing Enclosures

 

Floor standing enclosures have proven to be very useful in many different electrical installations, especially when it comes to electrical installations which require extra safety, security, and protection. And with the right floor standing enclosure, you know very well that your electrical components and units can perform and be utilised to their utmost advantage as well as last for a longer time, not to mention provide you with better peace of mind as well.

 

But whilst there may be a variety of different floor standing enclosures out there, there are some enclosures that definitely stand out and deliver beyond your expectations. One such type of floor standing enclosure is the latest range from Tempa Pano.

 

The main benefits

 

Floor standing enclosures, especially those that are produced by Tempa Pano, already come with everything you may need, although the side panels are often ordered separately, especially if you are planning to put two free standing enclosures side by side or together.

 

Floor standing enclosures have their specific use and purpose, but none more so than the latest ones on offer. These new enclosures not only feature a rating of IP55 – they are also specially-designed and tested to be resistant to water and dust, and are made only from the strongest and highest quality sheet steel.

 

Your options

 

You have two main options when it comes to height: 1500mm as well as 1800mm, although if you prefer to have one with a 2000mm-height, this is also available upon request. The width also comes in six variations, from as narrow as 400mm to as wide as 1200mm. Depths come in four choices, ranging from 400mm to up to 800mm. If you have a large control panel installation, a bigger size and depth should be completely ideal for your needs.

 

What it comes with

 

These floor standing enclosures, as mentioned, come with all the components you may need. These include a front as well as a rear frame and a rear panel. It also includes one single door for floor standing enclosures sized 400mm to 800mm and two doors for enclosures with widths from 1000mm to 1200mm.

 

The floor standing enclosures are also supplied with a mounting plate which is 2mm in thickness as well as a plinth measuring 100 millimetres in height. If you prefer not to have a plinth, this is also possible. Of course, the enclosure is also equipped with a top cover along with side rails.

 

Other specifications you should know about

 

These floor standing enclosures from Tempa Pano come with an IP rating of IP55 and are normally made from sheet galvanized steel, although you also have the option of requesting for a floor standing enclosure made from stainless steel if you so require. The thickness of the panels and frame are 1.5 millimetres, whilst the door thickness is at 2 millimetres, which is the same thickness for both the plinth and the mounting plate as well.

 

The front door of these floor standing enclosures is made from strong and solid material, and you can also choose to have the front door in a glazed version. When ordering the Tempa Pano floor standing enclosure, you can also request for holes to be punched in advance so when it is delivered to you, you no longer have to worry about the required punching.

Tempa Pano Floor standing enclosureMore details

 

The floor standing enclosures are sturdily-built, especially since they have a welded frame and a door as well as a rear panel PU sealing gasket that are foamed in. The hinges of each floor standing enclosure are designed to be specially-concealed, and they are also equipped with a polyamide lock which has a swinging handle design. You also have the option of multiple mounting plates, and you also have several options when it comes to the cover and plinth.

 

As mentioned above, you can choose to have the holes already punched in before the floor standing enclosure is delivered to your door, but you also have different options in regards to sizes, colours, and flat packs.

 

Free accessories

 

It doesn’t end there, however. When you order a floor standing enclosure, it also comes with some complementary or free accessories, basically everything you would need to make for a completely functional and efficient floor standing enclosure. This includes an eye bolt, a rain canopy, a door inside mounting profile, and a cover plate and profiles. Along with these, the floor standing enclosure comes with a hinged cover plate, a short mounting plate, a partial mounting plate, and an infill mounting plate. Other complementary accessories such as carriage depth slide and support, partition profile, L, U, and Z profiles, L and Z brackets, a busbar and depth profile, and a ladder busbar profile are also included. The perforated shelf (which also makes up part of the complementary accessories) is adjustable and can be pulled out. You will also receive a plan pocket, a plastic cover plate, an earthing cable, and lastly, a door interlock system for enclosures which are joined.

 

You may already be well aware that it’s important to choose the right floor standing enclosure for your needs and requirements, especially when it comes to safety, practicality, and efficiency. And with the many choices and options you have with this latest and newest range of Tempa Pano floor standing enclosures from Expert Electrical, you will be more than satisfied. Expert Electrical has a wide range of other electrical supplies as well, including a broad miniature circuit breaker selection, fuses, motor control gears, lamps and tubes, sensors and safety supplies, and more. In addition, any order over £102 (including VAT) also comes with a free delivery service within the UK mainland, and an affordable delivery fee of only £11 (excluding VAT) to areas outside the UK mainland such as the Scottish Highlands, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the Isles of Man and Wight, and the Channel Islands. This delivery fee also applies to continental European countries such as Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

 

Image courtesy of Expertelectrical.co.uk

 

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