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23 October 2017

The consequences of an arc fault include significant damage to switchgear, conductors, switchboards and the installation. However, the biggest consequence is the injury or death of operators in the area.

The best form of protection for personnel working in an electrical installation is to reduce the time spent in the area of potential danger. The area of danger is not necessarily an extremely hazardous place for the operator to be but has the potential to cause harm. This is analogous to a worksite that requires hard hats to be worn by workers. The most likely time for an incident to occur in a switchroom is during electrical and mechanical operations, such as switching, isolation and racking of larger circuit breakers.

The manual in and out racking of circuit breakers also represents a point in time where there is some dynamic disturbance through a switchboard. The simplest example of this danger would be a tool left inside the switchboard that drops on to conductors from this mechanical movement and causes an arc.

In the interest of improving switchroom safety when racking in and out switchgear, NHP has developed the TemPower Rack. The TemPower Rack is a ‘remote racking device’ for use with the Terasaki brand ‘AR’ Air Circuit Breaker (ACB). The TemPower Rack completely isolates the operator from the front of the switchboard during the mechanical ‘racking’ operation as it is controlled by a hand held pendant that is connected to the main motor racking unit via a 10 meter cable.

This technology means that the operator can be potentially outside of the switchroom away from any source of injury. The TemPower Rack is battery powered, allowing the device to be electrically isolated from the installation and avoids having hazardous power leads passing through the switchroom.

Furthermore to avoid OH&S issues The TemPower Rack features a specially designed fully integrated lifting trolley, which provides a safe and robust method of removing and transporting the often heavy ACB body. And finally to maximise safety during the closing of the ACB, the TemPower Rack features an inbuilt remotely operated mechanical ‘closing finger’ which can trigger the ACBs standard facia mounted open / close buttons.

The impressive TemPower Rack was recently specified and subsequently purchased by for use in one of Australia’s most significant mining site developments. For further information on the TemPower Rack please contact your local NHP sales specialist.   

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