Electric power is an essential element of every building and event, power distribution is the final delivery point of electricity. To make power safe and readily available for multiple users a rugged power distribution box is a good solution. Power Distribution Units (PDU) are often referred to as a Spider Box, Pagoda Box or a Circuit Box. For the sake of this article we will refer to them as PDU’s. They are used in temporary power situations to power tools, computers, fans, HVAC units, and lights. Whether you work at a construction site or organize events in remote areas, you always need electric supply. As electric supply lines are not available everywhere, you can always use an electric generator along with a temporary power distributor to build a safe power system for uninterrupted power supply.
Apart from using these PDUs at temporary locations, they are also used in events where electric supply is easily accessible. Imagine your electric supply cuts off right in the middle of an event; would you risk losing electric supply in such a situation? This is where Generators and Temporary Power Distribution Units come to the rescue; you can always keep a generator and a PDU for backup at important venues; it ensures smooth functioning of electrical appliances even in case of a power outage.
Since the generators are usually heavy and consume quite a large space, they are usually kept at a distance from the power consumption devices. But without a reliable and safe power distribution system, your electric supply is always vulnerable to interruptions and hazards. In order to safely distribute power from the generator to the consumer devices, a Temporary Power System PDU can be used.
Although a PDU may look very technical, it is extremely easy to operate, and any adult can be trained to use it safely.
PDU: Intelligent Temporary Power
PDU’s are smart, portable, compact, and robust power distribution systems that are easy to carry and are energy-efficient. Industry jargon often refers to these as a “Spider Box”. Its name comes from its spider-like connection of power cables, low heightened structure, and its mobility. It has been designed according to the North American needs of temporary power distribution systems, especially outdoor atmospheric conditions and safety measures.
Portable Power Distribution Units are sized based on current draw and will come with the appropriate circuit protection devices. This usually consists of a main breaker for the overall current consumption and several branch protectors for each outlet. They are compatible with multiple connection standards, and once deployed with necessary accessories, it can function silently without being noticed.
Usually, network power cables and quad boxes are laid to supply power at multiple locations. In some cases, the generator carriage has to be parked on the other side of the road. The cables connecting the generator and the PDU must be taken across the road. In such scenarios, where cars or pedestrians need to go over these cables; Cable Ramps, also known as Crossovers or Cable Bridges, are used to cover the cables and ensure smooth and safe power flow.
Not all PDU's are created equal
A heavy duty rubberized enclosure is fully insulated, and resistant to shock, impact and corrosion. What if a power wire came loose inside of your portable PDU before or during use? What if liquid has puddled near the box over time? What is the path for electric current in an ungrounded system? If the box is made of metal or sitting in water it's path will be the be next grounded thing that touches it. This could be a person and with a higher voltage 480V system could lead to electrocution or death.
Despite being an efficient temporary power system with various technical features, the temporary PDU’s need to be designed properly for safety and regulatory compliance. Furthermore, the design needs to be economical, there are so many variations and specifications to follow that consumers may choose the wrong set-up for their needs. A typical domestic-level Power Distribution Unit costs around $600, whereas the cost of a commercial scale PDU can cost in upwards of $2000.
How to Choose a Suitable Spider Box PDU?
The best way of choosing a PDU is to assess your power demand and the generator specifications. Additionally, you need to select the type of input connection. They can be hardwired, a pin and sleeve device, twistlock or camlock connection. You will also need to know the full load power consumption needs for the site.
Finally, the type of outlet connection the power consumers will need and to ensure those connections are rated for the proper current levels. Other considerations factors such as the duration for which the PDU is needed and the location where it will be placed are also important. Although the Spider PDU is weather-proof, it is recommended to keep it in the shade when used outdoors.
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