Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider tackles energy distribution in multiple-occupancy buildings

Steve Rogerson
January 17, 2018
French energy management and automation company Schneider Electric has launched a 54-product distribution range for multi-occupancy buildings.
Urban centres are becoming more densely populated. Faced with a chronic lack of space and rising property and land prices in modern cities, landlords and developers are increasingly turning to multi-occupancy buildings to increase their property use. However, this poses a challenge for electrical distribution.
Building network operators can often struggle to split differing units of energy safely and efficiently between various dwellings with their own energy needs. This can result in unexpected power surges, overheating and damaged equipment, as well as the added costs and downtime required for maintenance. Distribution can be especially difficult in large commercial buildings where three-phase electrical currents are usually split between big energy consumers such as lifts and CCTV systems.
Schneider Electric’s Mode multiple occupancy distribution equipment range tackles this challenge head-on. Mode serves as a low-voltage indoor distribution point, safely ferrying the appropriate loads from the building’s supply to its various energy users. It is said to provide cost effective, safe and reliable fused protection for the distribution of electrical supplies in large buildings such as apartments, hotels and retail outlets.
The range is designed to increase the use of space, with easily installable components and options that reduce the need for excess cabling. Where space is at a premium, developers can make more efficient and profitable use of the extra room.
Mode is suitable for any building or facility where multiple-occupancy or mixed-use is prevalent. Its many variants provide for different power requirements across a wide range of multi-purpose buildings. For larger power supplies, it can accommodate several shielded fuseways for outgoing distribution circuits, providing safer distribution and access for engineers than uncovered fuseways. The range also includes additional accessories, such as adjustable cable cleats and optional extension boxes, for different termination arrangements.
The range is engineered for efficiency, safety and ease of installation. Reliability is improved through the one-piece comb busbar design of the units and high-intensity temperature testing. Specially designed vents at the top and bottom of each unit improve natural air circulation and cooling, reducing the chances of overheating and allowing the units to be installed in enclosed spaces.
The unit’s doors are removable and secured with captive screws, enabling easy access while providing operator protection from electrical shock.
All units are constructed from raw materials in Schneider’s manufacturing base in Scarborough, UK. The components, steelwork and devices are Schneider designs created to work together. The range is customisable, with Schneider’s engineering teams able to advise and offer packages tailored to individual needs.
For installation speed and efficiency, the plug-and-play Mode Canalis is also available. The presence of embedded Canalis plug-on distribution boards allows the unit to connect directly to the building’s rising main busbar. It serves as an effective alternative to traditional cabling, eliminating the need for a standalone distribution board and cabling, as well as saving space, costs and installation time.
“Schneider Electric has been the premier supplier of Mode solutions for distribution network operators for 15 years,” said Seth Townsley, marketing manager at Schneider Electric. “We’re confident that we’ll deliver the same experience, expertise and innovation for building operators. We understand the challenges of supply distribution in our increasingly complex buildings and facilities, and we’ve tailored Mode expressly to answer them. By keeping our manufacturing, design and engineering in-house, we’ve crafted a market-leading solution that improves efficiency and safety while cutting costs for our customers.”