As another year ends and a new one begins, we are taking a moment to review the last year for Equiptest and looking ahead to new services we will be providing in 2023.

The cost-of-Living Crisis was the dominant presence in 2022 and presented our clients with several economic and environmental challenges.

So, what did we do to help and what new services are we providing in 2023?

Surge of interest in Power Quality Analysis and power factor correction installations

One of the main reasons we saw an increase in demand for our power correction service in 2022 is a desire and need to save energy. A power quality analysis determines the efficiency of a client’s electrical supplies. We then present our findings and provide recommendation to our clients. In every case we investigated we found that a site’s supplies were affected by plant and equipment usage. This usage was causing a detrimental effect on the power factor to each of these sites. With this knowledge we recommended, installed and commissioned de-tuned power factor correction units to help reduce energy consumption and costs.

We have had a 100% take up in the supply and installation of Power Factor Correction units for our clients after Power Quality Analysis is undertaken. This has been classed as a “No Brainer” by clients as the ROI can be as short as 12 months, due to the increasing energy costs.

We are pleased to report that our clients are seeing a return on their investment almost instantly. If you are interested in this service, you can find out more here.

Introducing bespoke Masterpact M ACB Support

We are proud to announce we have developed support for the obsolete Masterpact M ACB.

The Masterpact M air circuit breaker (ACB) became obsolete in 2003 and has been superseded twice, but it is one of the most widely fitted low voltage breakers in the world. Equiptest can support the Masterpact M range with new and pre-owned parts for the ageing breaker, which has a strong mechanical mechanism. Mechanical failures are rare on this model but Equiptest also carry a wide range of parts, complete breakers and chassis. All of these can be built to a required specification. Regular servicing, operation and testing is key, to avoid issues with the ST and STR trip units that provide protection for your site and equipment in the event of a fault.

The risk of failing St and STR trip unitsclipboard with plan

The risk posed by aging ST & STR trip units are site disturbance and downtime through spurious trip events, or a failure to operate during testing. Other than a site losing supplies unexpectedly because the breaker opens, a popular scenario is:

The trip unit spuriously trips unexpectedly and opens the breaker, often in low load periods, such as during the night. If the site has a standby generator, and the breaker opens because there is not a mains incoming supply (a phase failure), then in most cases any standby supply will not start. This is because the phase sensing is on the incoming supply side of the sites supplies. If the site does not have a generator, then it will totally lose power.

The outfall of this issue depends on the site’s nature. Some of the situations we have seen are:

  • •A water supply authority’s  water recycling plant lost supply in the above scenario causing pollution to flow into the local water course/ beach. This led to a substantial Environment Agency fine.
  • An important office building suffered a power loss, the UPS only supported key equipment for a short while and when power was fully lost, important data was lost, not to mention staff lost time.
  • A manufacturing facility was in mid process with ovens and equipment curing products when the power was lost. Several shifts of downtime were taken to recover the equipment because material was stuck in the machinery. This resulted in major process downtime cost.
  • A supermarket lost power, with no on-site generator. It lost the contents of all its freezers before temporary supply could be arranged.

Our solution for ST and STR Units

We recommend proactive replacement of the trip unit. Providing the good condition of the other parts of the breaker through our service, we strongly recommend replacing the ST or STR trip unit with the Utility Relay Company (URC) AC-PRO-MP module. This replacement trip unit has been on the market for over 8 years and we are distributors and experienced accredited installers.

Several thousand of these units are fitted throughout the world and they prove to be a reliable upgrade for the obsolete Masterpact range. This trip unit can be installed during a service and requires no modification to the breaker other than a straight replacement of the STR unit. The new unit will be secondary injection tested with our calibrated URC test equipment. The new unit brings long term resilience to the breaker protection and has the added benefit of on-screen load monitoring and the ability to record fault trip current events. A discount may be available for multiple replacements in one order. Subject to a survey or a picture of the breaker, we hold stock on our vehicles to support site works.

Make sure your building is safe in 2023

Every year, and even more so this year, our top priority is keeping people safe and ensuring our clients’ building compliance is up to date. We do this by having our engineers on site testing, making recommendations on how components can be changed to increase building efficiency and performing repairs and maintenance of equipment as required.

Contact Us today to find out more.