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Panel Review – Clipsal Iconic

Welcome to our Panel Review, where we ask a fearless sparky to test run new products so we can get some real life user experience and feedback for you. We look at ease of use, delivery to the supplier promise and functionality of the product. It’s a solid test of the features and benefits for us all!

Rexel energy efficiency team – Case study

Rexel’s in house team is available to perform a detailed review of key high energy areas and provide a recommendation and investment schedule to reduce energy consumption.

Available outputs

  • Feasibility
  • Solution recommendation
  • Tariff & Government rebate optimisation
  • Investment payback and project finance
  • Installation and management
  • Savings verification
  • Ongoing maintenance services

In this case study of a coal mine, the customer was seeking to significantly reduce energy costs, so there was a truly collaborative effort on site. The audit took 3 Rexel team members two day shifts and one night, with fully supervised access to all areas and approximately 2,800 light fittings reviewed.

AEMO 2018 Integrated System Plan

“AEMO’s analysis confirms that we are witnessing disruption across almost every element of the value chain. Due to the vital importance of affordable, reliable and secure power as the engine of a strong economy, care must be taken now more than ever to manage this transformation in order to minimise costs and risks and maximise value to consumers,” said AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Audrey Zibelman.

AEMO’s analysis displays the fundamental changes occurring in the energy sector:

  • Grid demand is flattening due to the growth of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) and increasing use of local storage, as well as overall increases in energy efficiency.
  • Over the next 20 years, a percentage of the NEM’s existing coal resources will be approaching the end of their technical lives, and will likely be retired, which highlights the importance of mitigating premature retirements as these resources currently provide essential low-cost energy and system support services required for the safe and secure operation of the power system.
  • The investment profile and capabilities of various supply resources have changed and are projected to continue to change radically.
  • In particular, costs of new renewable plant continue to fall, and advances and availability of storage technologies, particularly pumped hydro, flexible gas-powered generation and distributed energy resources (DER) are emerging as core components to a low cost and reliable energy future.

Commercial boom
The long-predicted jump in commercial-sized systems – those of more than 15 kW – is finally happening. Such demand accounted for a quarter of June’s PV demand, according to Ric Brazzale, chairman of Green Energy Markets.

“If we continue on at the same rate of installations we will end the year at between 1450 MW to 1500 MW – this will be more than 30 per cent higher than the 1100 MW installed last year,” he said.

However, when emerging demand for power stations of 100 kW or larger capacity is included, the full size of the market is likely to be much larger by the end of this year. So far 639 MW of such systems have been accredited this year and Green Energy Markets predicts another 1400 MW will be completed or accredited by December.

All up, total solar installations could approach 4000 MW or close to triple the previous record set in 2017. Not only did we see records falling for both rooftop solar and large-scale renewables, but the Clean Energy Regulator also announced that there are enough projects now committed to meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Rapid Payback
Commercial users can better match energy generation with their own demands than households. Payback can be measured, with expectations at 3-4 years, and that is reducing with rising energy prices.

In 2018, renewable energy represented the lowest-cost type of new energy generation that can be built. This not only makes wind and solar an extremely attractive investment, but it also means the unprecedented program of works is expected to reduce power bills by hundreds of dollars every year.

The world’s biggest battery – built after a Twitter conversation between Tesla’s Elon Musk and Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes – is now up and running in South Australia at Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm. It has already proven its worth, responding quickly when the coal-fired Loy Yang power plant tripped and went offline, effortlessly outpacing traditional generators to help stabilise the electricity system.

Renewable Energy… Will it change your business?

In recent years, solar panels installed on homes and businesses and towering wind turbines placed on hilltops have become a common sight. Currently, renewable energy is a highly debated topic in Australia and around the country, especially in the face of global warming, rising energy costs and increased instability of the grid.

Renewable Energy creates more decentralised jobs

From wind and solar farms built where there is an excellent resource, to millions of roof top solar generators, renewable energy is disrupting the traditional way we organise and regulate our power systems.

The key characteristic of renewable energy development is its distributed, decentralised form. Instead of a small number of large generators feeding power through transmission and distribution networks to electricity customers, clean energy generators are located at multiple locations across our states and regions.

The states and territories have responsibility for energy policy and have been the innovators in driving and supporting renewable energy development. Reverse auctions for large-scale renewable energy generation, awarding long-term offtake agreements (contracts for difference) was first implemented by the ACT government and has subsequently been adopted by the Victorian and Queensland governments.

AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) in its recently released Integrated System Plan identified that it was those states with legislated renewable energy targets who were capturing the majority of renewable energy development nationally between now and 2025 – Victoria seizing 38% of committed renewable energy development, and Queensland close behind with 33%.

By contrast NSW, with no renewable energy target, but the largest share of NEM demand, saw only 14% of new renewable energy development. Victoria will shortly award contracts for a further 650MW of large-scale renewables, while Queensland is conducting a tender for 400MW.

State governments have also been innovators in relation to storage – just look to South Australia’s Tesla big battery and the ACT’s 5000 site distributed battery project. The Victorian government’s recently announced solar rooftop scheme to provide grant funding and no interest loans for 650,000 Victorian households to install rooftop solar and cut their energy costs is a clear example.

Panel Review – Biz’Gel

Welcome to our Panel Review, where we ask a fearless sparky to test run new products so we can get some real life user experience and feedback for you. We look at ease of use, delivery to the supplier promise and functionality of the product. It’s a solid test of the features and benefits for us all!


Copper Tape Versus Braid For Better EMC Performance

Did you know that VSD (Variable Speed Drive) cable with copper tape delivers better EMC Electro Magnetic Compatibility) performance than traditional braided cable?

Studies show that 100% coverage metallic shields such as copper tape increases shielding effectiveness compared to copper wire braids particularly at high frequencies, so it is ideal to use in a variety of VSD applications (including manufacturing, tunnels and processing plants), where noise and interference may affect performance of nearby sensitive electrical control and signaling equipment.

Looking at the graph you can see that for flexible cable, it is traditional to use copper braid which decreases in effectiveness over 1.105 Hz. If the application allows, it is possible to make cable with flexible conductor and use copper tape for maximum shield effectiveness.

For best performance of the screen, a gland must be used that connects the screen to ground inside the gland. The gland must connect to the screen around the whole circumference of the shield to provide a low impedance to ground. Ideally the VSD will be housed inside a conductive metallic enclosure that ensures low impedance between the cable screen and the VSD ground point.

What is EMC?
EMC is defined as the ability of an electrical or electronic device or system to function satisfactorily in its electromagnetic environment without introducing intolerable electromagnetic interference (EMI) to anything in that environment. EMC encompasses controls of both unintentional emissions from a range of products that can interfere with radio communications as well as protection of a range of devices that may be susceptible to intentional transmissions. Superior EMC performance for efficient operation of Variable Speed Drives can be achieved with reduced impact on nearby electrical and electronic systems.

Why Varolex® VSD NEW Flexible Cable design?
Varolex® unique design incorporates 100% coverage copper tape screen, symmetrical split earth, increased earth sizes and low capacitance insulation. It delivers superior EMC performance through better transfer impedance and shielding effectiveness.

Improves handling and installation
PVC bedding and Nexans Olex quality manufacturing processes help maintain the circular shape of the cable throughout the entire length for consistent handling. Varolex® VSD Flexibles also incorporate a flexible copper conductor for fast and easy terminating.

High voltage breakdown strength XLPE insulation and PVC best practice sheathing compounds gives you security that Varolex® VSD cables will continue to perform over time.

Create a NERO Smart Home

Home Automation is highly scalable and affordable, from basic control systems such as Clipsal Iconic through to high end C-Bus automation solutions.

With the Internet of Things there are opportunities to deliver new, value-added services to customers with higher margins and competitive benefits that enable you to build close relationships with your customers rather than in an ‘install and go’ scenario. These additional services are also in higher demand due to cost saving, energy efficiency and monitoring/maintenance innovation.

High demand and awareness is being driven by consumer campaigns from tech giants promoting voice control, but to fully enable automation you need more than a voice controlled smart device – this is where the Smart Sparky comes in!

Electrical contractors need to take some steps in areas they are less used to: on top of skillsets with electricity, they need essential IT and IoT know how with an understanding of the existing connected power solutions such as Smart Panels, smart metering and the energy management and efficiency systems in the cloud.

In June 2017 IoT investment forecasts, IDC puts smart grids (electricity) and smart buildings among the top IoT use cases in smart industry. This means that electrical contractors are poised to face disruption as the demand for energy consumption and control, maintenance and monitoring goes up.

The choices for electrical contractors are relatively straightforward: to remain in a very competitive and commoditized market with high cost pressure, low margins and no-repeat business while the uptake of smart panels and smart energy efficiency solutions goes on. or to become leaders, tapping into new revenue sources with high margins, up-sell and cross-sell opportunities as they stay longer and close to customers, up the value chain?

The solutions, benefits, programs and certification paths are there, now it’s just a matter of acting.A truly intelligent home is one that can be programmed to suit your lifestyle, but also understands that needs will change. A NERO Smart Home offers all that and more with an affordable, scalable, retrofit and wireless automation solution with a smart phone or tablet acting as the control interface for all connected devices.

The NERO platforms offers a range of innovative connected devices, such as dimmers, relays, dry contact, plug packs, security and sensors.

  • Lighting Control – Control the mood and ambience of your home with one touch. Access lighting in any room at any time from anywhere in the world providing com fort, efficiency, and security.
  • Smart Security – responds immediately to any intrusions by sending a live view of your home directly to your smartphone and can notify multiple users of the event
  • Blind / Climate Control – Provides instant privacy at the touch of a button, intelligent motorised blinds can also be programmed to respond to sunlight and glare, offering greater efficiency and comfort.
  • Monitor the environment – Discrete sensors can deliver a snapshot of the environment directly to your smartphone, including light levels, temperature, humidity and UV, whilst also allowing you trigger events based on sensor readings.
  • Energy Management technology – offers full transparency of electrical consumption and allows users to track and control the energy in their home.

Rexel has partnered with Schneider Electric launching the Nero Automation platform across 30 specialist branches within the network.

The branches have a NERO Hero trained staff specialist, POS displays, Nero stock available on the shelf and the backing of the local Clipsal Technical representative.

Call Rexel on 1300 224 952 to find your nearest Nero stockist.

The IOT and Smart Home Automation

Set to change the way we go about our lives forever…

What is IoT?
The IoT is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or inter-act with their internal states or the external environment. (Gartner definition)

The connection of IoT ‘things’ and usage of IoT data drives various purposes in the lives of consumers and in business, healthcare, innovation, mobility, cities and society. IoT is seen in health monitoring, asset tracking, environmental monitoring, predictive maintenance and home automation.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one phenomenon worth knowing about – it has the power to make life simpler and safer and bring opportunities for your business. Understand-ing the concept and how to sell it to your customers brings significant opportunity to upsell home installation projects while giving you the reputation delivering innovative solutions in the market.

Forecasts show an expected Internet of Things universe with between 20 and 30 billion connected devices by 2020. The Internet of Things is the logical next step in the evolution of the Internet and is a continuation of M2M (machine-to-machine) networks and technologies, RFID and more. The IoT is an additional layer of information, interaction, transaction and action which is added to the Internet thanks to devices, equiped with data sensing, analysis and communication capabilities, using Internet technologies. The Internet of Things further bridgesdigital and physical realities and powers information-driven auto-mation and improvements on the level of business, society and people’s lives.

The usage of the Internet of Things also happens at different speeds. IoT investments in the manufacturing industry are far higher than in any other vertical industry and in the Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) space. The manufacturing industry, along with transportation and utilities are the three main IoT investment areas and are part of what is known as the Industrial Internet of Things.

Smart Building
Building management systems are becoming centers of connectivity whereby the building owner wants a central platform for analytics and actions leading to benefits in building management areas such as:

  • Smarter building security systems.
  • Smarter Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
  • Cost reductions, also in a green building context and in reduction of energy and water consumption.
  • Predictive maintenance and facility maintenance planning.
  • Facility equipment control, configuration and regulation.
  • Building management and building automation.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Light and room control, comfort.
  • Remote healthcare monitoring and medical/hospital asset tracking, monitoring and maintenance

Some of the players in these segments have a more mechanical background, others an electrical background and still others, such as system integrators, a background of customization and software (PLCs).
Among these providers we find:

  •  Light and room control experts.
  • Experts in very specific areas such as HVAC.
  • Players in the broader building management field, mainly in large buildings.
  • Electrical contractors who are often more involved with smaller and medium buildings where they can offer smart energy solutions or, for instance specialize in home automation.
  • Experts in critical power, which you typically find in airports, hospitals and other buildings where quality and reliability of power is critical

IoT technology for a Smart Home
The smart phone is taking on the next level of capability, managing its users environment. With a few clicks we can turn on the heating, switch on indoor or outdoor lights remotely, use smart appliances, security and energy systems – to manage the home’s comfort and safety levels – and free up time too.

IoT devices within the home are directly controlled by an app on a smartphone that will access these devices wherever and whenever it is required, as long as there is a phone and an internet connection.

While the consumer may think they can pick up Google home at the local JB Hifi, the connectivity solutions that make it all work are still sold only through the electrical trade, and need to be installed by an electrician if they want a system with product quality and reliability.
There are a few different types of home automation systems on the market, but all are designed with comfort, safety and convenience in mind. These are the reasons why that you need to understand to be able to sell the concept to your customers, so let’s talk about them so you can too.

1. Making things easy at home
As creatures of habit, we all have a before bedtime routine – pull down the blinds or draw the curtains, switch off the TV, turn on the alarm, switch off all the lights, and then finally collapse under the covers – exhausted. In the morning you do the reverse, ad nauseam. Home Automa-tion systems do these things, and a few more, for you.
You can:

  • Adjust lighting and temperature controls
  • Activate security cameras
  • Turn on (or off) audio-visual items
  • Control outdoor gates and sprinkler systems
  • Screen visitors and answer the door wherever you’re in the house

Some systems have customised features that take you to the next step – you can create bespoke commands to turn off everything before you go out or to bed. You can also set up some favourite ‘atmospheric scenarios,’ like a movie command to dim lights and close your blinds when watch-ing the latest flick. Or, program an outdoor entertaining command that automatically plays your party playlist, turns on your patio lights and lights up the garden.

2. Keep in contact with your home
There are systems that keep you connected to your prop-erty when you’re at work, out and about, or on holidays. The internal video unit speaks directly to an app on your phone giving you control over a myriad of functions within your home.
Use it to:

  • Answer the door when you’re away
  • Monitor your home inside and out
  • Switch on lights and sprinklers

3. Security for your family
There are systems that provide constant connectivity and real-time data communication, bringing a whole new sense of comfort and security for your family.

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