BS3676 & Power Distribution Units


Whilst featuring over 800 standard products within the PDU range of products our strength is in our ability to provide bespoke products to satisfy our customer’s needs. As a proud to be British manufacturer we have had to concentrate on what we are good at: listening to our customer’s requirements; providing technical drawings for approval if required and having the ability to manufacture and deliver if not next day, the day after.

The rack market was the entry level providing 19” horizontal and larger vertical mount units as standard. Initially with UK 13 amp outlets the range now includes European Schuko, French Belgian, North American plus IEC C13 and C19 outlets and combinations of all the above. Control devices moved from simple switches to MCB’s, RCD’s then RCBO’s as capacities increased from 13 amps to 25 then 32 requiring much more than simply fixing a EN60309 plug on the end of the lead. Surge protection, EMC filters and sequential start all followed as did the provision of three phase PDU’s – three phase power generation being attractive to data centre and facilities managers. As is also the matter of heat generation which our unique design of PDU by bus bar clip together technology has been tested and proven run up to 23% cooler under load than conventional hard wired products.

However, power distribution units have many varied applications outside the datacomms environment . Other applications include shop fitting for check outs or product displays and many PDU’s are designed into office or laboratory furniture for schools, universities and throughout the healthcare sector.  Such special applications as a recent contract to supply units to be fitted in lockers that permit the recharging of equipment overnight is typical. The applications appear endless.

PDU’s are manufactured to the relevant British and International standards and some applications have their own particular standard. BS7676:2008 for instance specifies the requirements for the safe provision or installation of electrical power, data and telecommunication systems in office furniture, office screens and educational furniture. A way of demonstrating compliance of the duty of care as defined in the Electricity at work Regulation and the Health and Safety at Work act is to use products compliant to the relevant British Standard.

Any electrical system being fed from one 13 Amp UK plug must not consist of more than six individually fused sockets rated at no greater than 3.15 amps each or four individually fused sockets rated no greater than at 5 amps each. Equipment rated higher than 5 amps or products encompassing a greater number of socket outlets should not be used. Additionally, products should be provided with an earthing terminal and the whole construction should be made from durable materials. Obviously the intention to discourage the use of extension trailing sockets in the workplace is clear and is not lost on the H&S fraternity or the insurance companies who wish to minimise actions in the claims culture we currently find ourselves in.

RPP currently manufacture products to meet this standard. The various designs utilise aluminium profiles to give strength and rigidity to the main construction with the individual modules being made from polycarbonate; known to be one of the most durable thermoplastics. To meet the required standard should be a minimum, it is what else we can offer that should be exciting. With no third parties or call centres we encourage direct dialogue with our customers which enable us to offer the latest technology as it is developed that can include HDMI or USB changer modules, Cat 6 data, phono or microphone outlets.