Electrical Installations in the Information Age
In the increasingly data driven world that we live, it is easy to get carried away thinking about the significance of data cabling. However when planning your office move or upgrade there are many additional elements to consider. But with this increased reliance on information technology, it is vital that we don’t overlook the traditional cabling. In addition we have to consider the electrical installations that are required. Ultimately, everything needs power.
What does electrical installation mean?
An electrical installation is a set of electrical equipment that originates from a common electrical supply. Furthermore it supplies a set of electrical outlets, connections or equipment. In addition these are designed to meet a particular purpose or performance
What are the benefits of electrical installation by a qualified electrical company?
- Increased efficiency of your electrical systems leads to better operation of your equipment. Furthermore lower costs from reduction is lost electrical loading and inefficient equipment
- Increased safety but better design. The end result is an installation and termination with no hazards caused by quick cheap installations
- Preventative maintenance by avoiding damage to your expensive technology. In this case damaged equipment from surges, shorts and overloading
- Avoidance of power outages, data loss and employee downtime
Planning For Electrical Installations
There are several things that you should keep in mind when planning Electrical Installations for IT, cabling and power outlets for your project, including:
– The number of plug points that we need has exploded in recent years. We have become attached to such a plethora of electronic devices. Specifically mobile phones, laptops, tablets, digital cameras. Thus it is better and easier to plan for multiple access points, rather than having employees annoyed. Furthermore having them using extension leads which can be dangerous.
- Our standard recommendation is 4 sockets per desk location and in several cases 6-8
– The way that people work is changing and often people won’t spend their whole day sat at a desk. Conversely they will use meeting rooms or break out areas. Employees will still have a need for power sockets in these areas. Therefore it is important that you anticipate this and put extra sockets where they may be required. Nonetheless hot desks should have the same power requirement as a standard desk location
Floor Boxes or Grommets
- The choice between a grommet or floor box in a false floor with come down to how the current desk plan will look and how any future relocations may affect this layout
A grommet allows a very precise location of cables exiting the floor and into the desk area as these can be installed exactly to a location under a desk and more accurately within a floor tile. The cables come directly from the floor to the desk and are sealed with no lid, box or cable tangles.
Floor boxes are harder to place accurately as they cannot be cut as close to the edges of the floor tiles. However when left in an open area the floor box lid seals the cabling and its ready to use when required. With a grommet the power and data have to be fed back under the floor to close the grommet which isn’t always suitable
Consider specialist requirements
– Some parts of the electrical installation may have very specialist requirements that are different from the rest of the build. This is particularly application to areas like comms rooms that have a very high density of high powered computing equipment. Consider the power needs for these spaces, but also any additional safety measures that may need to be put in place.
Think ahead – Electrical Installations for IT
– Modern businesses need to be far more flexible and adaptable that they ever where in the past. This applies to their office space as well. Using methods such as floor box electrical installations with false floors will make it much easier should you need to reconfigure the space in the future.
Back Up Power Installations
Another often overlooked but vitally important area is back up power supplies. For digital businesses that rely on being online to generate revenue, power cuts can be extremely costly. Take proper measures, such installing UPS systems to ensure that you keep your servers running even when the power fails.
Once you reach a certain scale it would also be worth considering installing a generator. A generator could keep your business operational even during longer power outages.
How do UPS Systems Work?
The UPS is used in supporting the functioning of the data cabinet and the hardware. Hardware that is plugged into the UPS is supported with power in the event of a power outage in the building. During the outage the battery of the UPS will power the hardware until the overall power is resumed.
The duration of support with depend on the amount of hardware, its power requirements and the number and size of batteries within the UPS
Once you reach a certain scale it would also be worth considering installing a generator, which could keep your business operational even during longer power outages.
The generator is based externally in most cases and coverts mechanical energy into electrical to send electrical power to the UPS. Such a case would be a diesel generator that would start to power the UPS in a power outage by running off diesel. The fuel could be replenished until the overall power supply is reinstated
There is a time delay with a generator starting during a power outage and the role of the UPS in the system is to maintain constant power with no downtime to the hardware while the generator then fires up to support the systems also
Electrical Installations for IT -Safety and Standards
It goes without saying that for all electrical installations for IT, safety is of the utmost importance. Therefore correct guidelines should be followed in terms of both the implementation and the materials used.
There are various standards that much be met to ensure the safety of electrical installations, such as the British Standard “Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations” or BS 7671. In accordance with this, all works should completed by properly accredited experts.
Safety considerations should continue well after the initial installation. With regular PAT testing of electrical equipment and periodic reviews of electrical wiring. This is particularly important in high use areas such as offices that will receive a lot of wear and tear.
For more information on guidance on electrical installations you are considering, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our expert engineers.