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Solutions-based electrical products prove a winner for the Irish government

Jul 2011 Busbar & Trunking | Comments Off on Solutions-based electrical products prove a winner for the Irish government
Solutions-based electrical products prove a winner for the Irish government

A high-profile refurbishment of two buildings housing Ireland’s Department of Transport and the Irish Coastguard has shown how listening to customer requirements and using flexible products from a UK cable management manufacturer leads to success. Michael Ballard tells the story.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) was tasked with the complete modernisation of the Department of Transport’s five-storey base in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The customer was looking for a power distribution system for its Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) within the coastguard facility, with fail-safe UPS. Any solution needed to creatively show cost benefits for the customer if it were to be successful.

OPW was also tasked with refurbishing a five-storey Georgian building next door, used for office accommodation for the Department of Transport. Any work carried out there would need to cause as little disruption as possible to this historic building.

To meet the customers’ requirements, Marshall-Tufflex chose to offer a number of products for the project – its MT32 underfloor power delivery solution, the all-curved profile Odyssey trunking system, Power Poles to deliver power and data to ‘island’ locations and EMC/LSOH conduit MT Supertube for use within partition walls.

Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland Marshall-Tufflex distributor Core Electrical supplied all of this equipment.

Power distribution – flexible and cost-effective

MT32 was chosen by OPW as the preferred power distribution system for the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) within the coastguard facility, as the product is perceived to offer greater flexibility for future proofing of the Department of Transport’s requirements.

MT32 is a modular, pre-wired and pre-tested 32A system that clicks together. It is a customised solution delivered to site marked with circuitry and ready to feed to distribution boards. It works on a radial circuit rather than a ring main (thereby using less copper cable) and offers quicker, safer, more cost-effective and future-proofed electrical installations by extending and inter-linking pre-designed and pre-wired products via easy plug and play connection.

More flexible than traditional powertrack options, MT32 allows power to be delivered up to three times as much floor area than a powertrack offering. MT32 is well suited for complex fit-outs with a high density of outlets, such as within the MRCC and also for older buildings with irregular layouts. Importantly it is easily reconfigured for future re-positioning of sockets, plus faults are far less likely and more easily identified.

The modular design of MT32 allows significant cost savings over other solutions to be made as well – prefabricated MT32 eliminates the need to hard wire floor boxes and trunking accessories, reducing project and labour costs and meeting crucial specification requirements for the re-fit of the coastguard headquarters, from where its emergency search and rescue operations are coordinated. Labour time was reduced by about 200 hours which proved to be a significant cost saving (as labour is one of the largest costs in any major capital project).

Mercury Engineering installed both MT32 floor units and MT32 floor boxes, which were supplied with 5m of steel conduit ready for plug and play connection. Core Electrical was involved with the design, planning and supply of the MT32 provision. The improvements have provided the MRCC with UPS back-up on all power and general service circuits on an A+B parallel arrangement. Each MT32 floor unit connects power to the workstations, which now carry an A & B failsafe provision, by either using MT floor boxes or a floor grommet and fused desk module terminal unit solution.

Each workstation in the MRCC Operations Room has 16 socket and data outlets presented at the desk using desk power or data modules fixed to a downstand. Each workstation in the Marine Emergency Room (MER) has four socket outlets and four data outlets. In addition, there are four LCD screens per workstation in the MRCC Operations Room. To meet this requirement, Mercury Engineering installed Marshall-Tufflex Power Poles, which are suitable for large amounts of power and data supplies, to carry services from ceiling level to desks in the DoT offices.

Where the cabling services are contained within partition walls, EMC/LSOH MT Supertube was used because of its ease and speed of installation, combined with ‘bendability’ over traditional steel conduit. Comprising an innovative three-layer LSOH polythene and aluminum construction, MT Supertube offers EMI protection and resistance to extremes of temperature.

Refitting a Georgian building

The project also included the refit of a five storey Georgian building next door to the main Department of Transport building, which provides further office accommodation for the department. Here the all-curved profile Odyssey PVC-U containment management system, which is CAT 6 compliant, was used as a surface mounted solution to carry power and data cabling, allowing minimal interference to the existing structure and fabric of the period building.

Cat 6 compliant Odyssey PVC-U trunking system is popular for its all-curved lines, which is dust deterrent and very difficult to clutter. The three-compartment system has adjustable internal and external bends and a built-in cable tray. Its design minimises the need for external couplers, further enhancing its aesthetic appeal. On top of that its clip-on lid function allows the trunking to compensate for surface irregularities, creating a smoother, cleaner and far quicker installation than traditional trunking systems allow.

Careful design and a comprehensive product portfolio wins business

The Department of Transport project shows perfectly what can be achieved when electrical design was considered at an early stage and electrical consultants worked closely with the supplying manufacturer to come up with the perfect solution.

For success in today’s market, a comprehensive portfolio of products and systems all designed not only to do the best job possible, but also to make life easier for electrical engineers, contractors and, ultimately, end users is essential. The end result is the ability to offer a service that is solutions based rather than solely product related.