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02/23/2015 | Considerations for Rental Power Distribution Units

Portable Power Distribution UnitIn the rental industry, portable power distribution (PPD) equipment serves a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. These range from electrical power generation for industrial plant shutdowns/maintenance, oilfield sites or military operations to power distribution products for outdoor events, movie sets and other entertainment settings.

Due to the diverse market for rental PPDs, it’s important to rental companies that they have access to equipment that is a versatile and portable as possible. At HIPOWER SYSTEMS, the rental industry is one of our primary customer bases, so many of our power distribution products are designed and built with flexibility and portability in mind.

Based upon the information we receive from rental operators, we have developed a list of questions and considerations that make it easier for rental companies—and their customers—to match the equipment to the job.

Equipment-Related Questions to Ask

  • What types of devices are being connecting to the PPD equipment, and what are their voltages?
  • What is the expected total power load that the PPD equipment must support?
  • Will there be a need to step down a 480V or 600V power supply to a lower voltage?
  • Will the primary power load be three-phase or single-phase? Will the customer need units that can handle both or switch from one to the other?
  • How many outlets are needed, and in what configurations? (C19, C13, NEMA 5-20R, etc.)
  • If a generator is the primary source of power for the project or site, will the PPD need power filtration to protect power speakers or other audio equipment sensitive to vibrations?

Equipment-Specific Attributes

There are a number of specific features that extend the flexibility of equipment, for rental and other purposes. Following is a list of key attributes:

Portable Transformers

  • The transformer should be able to step up/step down various configurations (for example, from 600V or 480V to 120V).
  • The unit should have primary and secondary breakers.

Standard 50A Distribution Boxes

  • Boxes should be rated for indoor/outdoor use (Nema 3R designed for industrial and harsh environments).
  • Every 20A 125V GFCI duplex receptacle should be protected by a separate 20A 1P branch circuit breaker.
  • Receptacles should be NEMA 5-20R GFCI Duplex Receptacles suitable for damp locations.
  • Receptacles should be locking or GFCI protected.

Portable Distribution Panels

  • PPD panels come in a variety of enclosures, with durable aluminum enclosures being the most versatile. However, companies that rent to the events and entertainment industry should be prepared to supply bright yellow or other colored panels.
  • Customers that use their PPDs outdoors will need equipment with NEMA Type 3R Weatherproof boxes.
  • Every individual 20A 125V GFCI duplex receptacle should be protected by a separate 20A 1P branch circuit breaker.
  • Receptacles should be locking or GFCI protected.

To learn more about rental power distribution or any other HIPOWER SYSTEMS equipment, please call us at 913-495-5557. We also invite you to browse our site and sign up for myHIPOWER to gain access to extended site benefits.



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