The Isolect power distribution system, available from Schneider Electric , enables individual circuits to be safely isolated from the main system without affecting other circuits governing functions such as data processing, automation equipment, process control and commercial and factory lighting.
The technology means Isolect users do not have to close down an installation – sometimes involving scores of circuits - when they add, inspect, change or replace individual circuits, says Relec Switchboards director Scott Emerson.
“Because advances under the Occupational Health and Safety Act mean service personnel cannot work on live equipment, users of conventional electrical equipment can face costly shutdowns, when just one or two circuits need attention.”
“Isolect effectively removes the need to close down a complete switchboard for an indeterminate time, so just these one or two circuits can be serviced in safety.”
“In addition to totally isolating the circuit, so service personnel are protected against shocks, the system means users do not have to shut down critical services such as data processing - potentially handling thousands of dollars worth of business a minute - or vital automation, processing, safety lighting or even medical services in hospitals,” Scott Emerson says.
The Isolect system has wide application for low voltage power distribution in critical applications. These span industries such as banking, data centres, hospitals, healthcare facilities, continuous production plants, mineral and resources processing, retail facilities, telecommunications and aircraft storage areas.
The system is being introduced throughout Australasia by a new company set up by Relec Switchboards in Sydney and DRC Switchboards in Melbourne.
V2 Switchboard Solutions has manufacturing in Melbourne and Sydney to supply and service the industry with this new product.
Isolect achieves its ideal protection by using the Schneider Electric Isobar chassis in combination with a special neutral feature that allows both the active and the neutral to be disconnected one pole at a time.
This complete isolation of all live conductors, including the neutral, provides a safe working state to remove cables or change circuit breakers.
The Isolect distribution system is available in different sizes from 24 to 96 poles and comes complete with Schneider Electric multi9 circuit breakers fitted on an Isobar chassis.
The Isolect distribution system has been specially designed for applications that require minimum downtime and maximum safety.
Schneider Electric product manager Justin Barrett says global research and development has produced the Isobar chassis, which incorporates many important features that have never been seen in a chassis before.
An ideal busbar disconnection system isolates supply to individual unused outgoing tee-offs. This enhances safety and protection against direct contact, as they are no longer live.
“Isobar is an encapsulated busbar system that complements our range of multi9 circuit breakers and terminal covers. The Isobar chassis was selected by Relec and DRC for its unique technology and features and is undoubtedly the safest chassis in the market for both installers and end-users,” Justin Barrett says.
The standard Isolect system features the following equipment:
- Isobar chassis 2 x 48pole
- Interpact 250A three pole isolator
- Multi9 6kA circuit breakers with terminal covers x 96
- Numbered neutral and earth connections located opposite each circuit breaker.
- Oversized neutral to deal with harmonics
- Generous cable ducting system the full height of the board including quick release covers providing easy top or bottom access.
- Safety compliance, including AS/NZS3000 compliant, OH&S compliant, inspected by Workcover NSW
- Delivered with training, instruction and maintenance record, with a training and demonstration disk designed to introduce the new technology.
Scott Emerson says proper training is the key to obtaining the greater benefits from the new technology – “Because safety is paramount for operators of the equipment, we have developed an easy-to-follow training program to make it clear for users to achieve optimum safety, as well as installation and operating efficiencies while curtailing the risk of inadvertent downtime.”
The Isolect distribution system is quick to install. “Using the system’s integrated cable management solution, we introduced new cables into the board in less than five minutes. This included stripping the ends, tying off, terminating the cable, following all safety procedures and closing the board. The old system – with drilling and cable glands – could involve a half an hour,” he said.