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