Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year finalists: Electrical distribution

Read about the 14 finalists in the Electrical Distribution category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year program.

By Amanda Pelliccione April 6, 2015

Circuit monitoring system

ABB’s new circuit monitoring system sensor portfolio has been extended with sensors that measure currents up to 160 amps and also can be installed in almost every environment with any kind of product. The system consists of a control unit and sensors with different measurement ranges and mounting options. Up to 64 sensors can be connected to each control unit. The sensors are linked to the control unit via a flat cable. Measurement data enable remote access from a Modbus system via a RS485 Modbus RTU interface.


Circuit breaker with integrated energy management functions

ABB’s Emax 2 is a low-voltage circuit breaker with integrated energy management functions that monitor power usage and control installed loads and generators. Rather than switching power, Emax 2 breakers manage usage by disconnecting nonpriority loads when consumption should be limited and reconnecting them as soon as it’s appropriate. The breakers can also automatically activate emergency, standby, or alternate power supplies when needed. The Ekip Power Controller is available for Emax 2 circuit breakers for any application where control of power usage is needed. It monitors power as it flows through the circuit breaker and manages loads to enable cost savings on electricity by limiting peak power consumption.


Safety switch for commercial, industrial applications

The ABB low-voltage products division’s heavy-duty safety switches are designed for commercial and industrial applications and meet UL98, CSA, and NEMA KS-1 standards for demanding service-entrance and motor-load applications. The 600 V- and 200 kA-rated switches use the same globally rated bodies as ABB’s rotary-style switches, providing increased performance, reliability, and safety to the heavy-duty market segment. They are the first heavy-duty switches in the industry to offer touch-safe visible blades and operating mechanisms that are fully enclosed and protected from dirt and debris. All enclosure types come with gaskets, are free of sharp edges, and offer a spacious interior for easier and safer wiring and installation of optional accessories.


Arc resistance switchgear

Eaton’s arc-resistant low-voltage switchgear technology is designed to extend Type 2B arc-resistant ratings with the instrument and breaker secondary door open. The switchgear is engineered to improve uptime for data center, oil and gas, mining, utility, and other mission critical industrial applications. Eaton’s switchgear also is designed to protect personnel around the perimeter of the switchgear from dangerous arcing faults. The switchgear design allows access to the control switch and indicator lights located on the breaker secondary doors without opening the main breaker door. This design has been made available for both front and rear access arc-resistant low-voltage switchgear to minimize the footprint of electrical distribution equipment.


Motor control center with arc resistance

Eaton’s Freedom Arc Resistant Motor Control Center (MCC) is designed to provide personnel with increased protection from the dangers of arc flash hazards. The Freedom Arc Resistant MCC has a Type 2 accessibility rating, meaning that arc-resistant designs or features are present on the front, back, and sides of the assembly. This Type 2 rating translates to enhanced safety around the entire perimeter of the MCC should an arc flash event occur. Further, Eaton’s Arc Resistant Freedom MCC requires no exhaust plenums or roof flaps. This aids in the ease of installation, as additional clearance or venting ductwork is not required above the assembly.


Medium-voltage drive with synchronous transfer

Eaton SC9000 EP medium-voltage drives are designed to achieve energy savings in global industrial applications while reducing downtime during routine maintenance through an encapsulated power pole and modular inverter design. The power pole inverter with heat pipe technology provides a high power density in a compact footprint, while enabling the SC9000 EP drive to withstand harsh environmental conditions. By incorporating a three-level neutral point clamped inverter topology, the drive reduces the number of power switching devices in the inverter, improving reliability by reducing overall components needed. It also enables synchronous transfer, which allows a single drive to control power to multiple motors.


Cable tray for commercial, industrial applications

Eaton’s B-Line series KwikSplice Cable Tray uses a side rail design and includes a full line of straights, fittings, and innovative accessories that enable labor and materials savings in the commercial and light industrial construction markets. It is designed for commercial and light industrial settings, including health care facilities, schools, government buildings, and data centers. The KwikSplice Cable Tray system’s splice retention groove enables the use of a two-bolt splice plate. The full system solution also includes the innovative tab-and-lock design trapeze support, side rail drop out, conduit to tray adapters, and universal fittings.


Fuse block with power distribution capability

Eaton’s Bussmann series Class J fuse block with power distribution capability is available in 1-, 2-, and 3-pole versions. Individual pole versions have a dovetail feature that allows point-of-use assembly depending on the number of poles. With a smaller footprint and a 200 kA withstand rating, the product helps panel builders achieve a higher assembly short-circuit current rating for NEC compliance. The technology is designed to help both OEMs and end users save valuable panel space and reduce overall installation cost. Optional see-through covers enhance safety with IP20 finger-safe protection, lockout/tagout capability, and open circuit indication.


High-pressure switches for fault current systems

GE’s HPC switches are fusible interrupters designed for high available fault current systems and are suitable for use as main service, feeder, branch circuit, or motor circuit disconnects as well as switchboards. The HPC switch offers advanced technologies that significantly improve arc flash hazard mitigation. It also features adjustable selective instantaneous protection with waveform recognition and reduced-energy-let-through instantaneous protection. The HPC switch provides fully remote operations that enable operators to safely de-energize the switch well outside of arc flash zones.


Ceiling boxes for electronic equipment

Legrand’s Evolution Series Ceiling Boxes fit above a false or permanent ceiling to provide storage for electronic audio/video (A/V) and IT equipment, and to support a projector, if required. These boxes are designed for conference rooms, classrooms, training facilities, or anywhere a projector and/or A/V equipment is needed and where large racks or furniture storage are not practical. The six versions of the Evolution Series Ceiling Box include three units with a projector mount, and several options for electrical circuitry. The shelves inside the ceiling box are designed to easily pivot forward and backward, providing access to both the front and back of installed devices.


Ground resistor monitoring relay

The SE-330 is an advanced ground-fault and neutral-grounding-resistor monitoring relay. It measures neutral current, neutral-to-ground voltage, and neutral-to-ground resistance. It provides continuous monitoring of the neutral-to-ground path to verify that the neutral-grounding resistor (NGR) is intact. This is important for an open NGR renders current-sensing ground-fault protection inoperative and could result in a false belief that the system is functioning properly. The SE-330 can be used with low- and medium-voltage transformers and generators with low- or high-resistance grounding used in processing, manufacturing, chemical, pulp and paper, petroleum, and water treatment facilities.


Rack transfer switch

The Raritan Intelligent Rack Transfer Switch can transfer loads from one power source to another when it senses a power loss. Its hybrid design uses the best of both electromechanical relay and silicon-controlled rectifier technologies to provide fast and highly reliable power transfers. It also features real-time remote power quality monitoring with user definable thresholds and alerts for voltage and frequency, along with an ac waveform of last transfer and metering of inlet power loads. Additional features include inlet surge protection, field replaceable output short protection, redundant internal power supplies, and dual controllers.

Raritan Inc.

Synchronized network clock for harsh environments

The SEL-2488 Satellite-Synchronized Network Clock time-synchronizes critical networks in harsh environments that require high reliability and precise time. Receiving Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) time signals, the SEL-2488 distributes time via multiple output protocols, including IRIG-B, Network Time Protocol (NTP), and Precision Time Protocol (PTP). The SEL-2488 is ideal for applications requiring precise time information, such as power system control. The SEL-2488 also provides time delay compensation for antenna cables and output cables on a per-port basis. If GNSS time signals become unavailable, the clock switches to the standard TCXO holdover, with 36 μs/day accuracy.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc.

Nonmetallic coupling for indoor and outdoor applications

The T&B Fittings Non-Metallic Expansion/Deflection Coupling from Thomas & Betts (T&B) is designed to improve safety and reduce installation time for joining rigid polyvinylchloride (PVC) conduits. The flexible connection of PVC conduit resists moisture ingress and stress caused by movement at structural joints. It accommodates axial or parallel deflection of up to ¾-in., and angular deflection up to 30 deg from the relaxed position. It can be used indoors or outdoors, for direct burial or embedded in concrete. Additional features include a flexible neoprene outer jacket with tamper-proof stainless steel straps for resistance to moisture and corrosion.

Thomas & Betts

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Author Bio: Amanda is the Research Director and Project Manager of Awards Programs for CFE Media and its publications.