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Portable Power Distribution

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07/03/2014 | Criteria for Choosing Power Distribution Equipment

With the wide variety of power distribution equipment available, purchasers not only have to choose between panels and boxes but also to determine their requirements for connection types, amperage, physical size and portability, and more. This can make equipment selection a bit complicated, but it also means companies can be very particular and get exactly what they need.
 
At HIPOWER SYSTEMS, we make power distribution units that run the gamut from 50A portable boxes all the way up to 1200A free-standing panels. The trick to getting the right solution is knowing what you need. Some of the main considerations include:
  • What will be your maximum anticipated total power load on the unit? 
  • What voltages will your equipment require? Will it be a combination of them, such as 120, 240, and maybe even 208 or 480? If the voltage will be 220/240, will it be single-phase or three-phase?
  • Will the power requirement for connect equipment and devices be three-phase, single-phase or both? Would it be beneficial to have a unit that can switch from one to the other?
  • What is the voltage and phasing of your generator, and will you need to step down its power output (e.g. 480V or 600V) to a lower voltage? 
  • How many outlets will you need, and in what configurations? For example, NEMA 1 and 5 are standard non-grounded and grounded outlets; C13 is a traditional “computer” connector. 
  • What specialized NEMA configurations do you need? (NEMA-rated outlets and plugs come in 13 configurations; outdoor-rated plugs that protect interior components from solid contaminants, water ingress and ice formation, for example, are NEMA 3R plugs.)
  • Do you need primary and secondary breakers (a box or panel with both provides the most flexibility), and in what amperage? Do you need plenty of bus bars to add additional circuits?
  • Will you be using the generator to power speakers or other equipment that is sensitive to vibrations? Such a need makes it sensible to purchase power distribution equipment with power filtration.
  • Is the location where you will be using the box or panel subject to special electrical restrictions by the county or local municipality?
In addition, don’t forget about common-sense attributes everyone wants, such as locking or GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) receptacles.
 
At the end of the day, whether a company uses prime or backup generators; whether it prefers a diesel generator a natural gas generator, choosing the right power distribution options can save a firm money and time while reducing operating complexity.  
 
HIPOWER SYSTEMS manufactures a wide array of convenient, portable power distribution products you can browse on our site. We also invite you to sign up for myHIPOWER to gain access to extended site benefits and to call us about your needs and criteria at 913-495-5557.

 

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