As the damage statistics of property insurers have proved, lightning and surge voltages can cause considerable damage to buildings and facilities. Facility operators need to protect their investments with innovative technologies and in accordance with the current standards – ultimately the costs to implement protective measures are only a fraction of the cost that could be incurred through damage.
Manufacturers and users of lightning and surge protection therefore redefined the requirements of a reliable protective system to protect assets and people, and in doing so, influenced the existing IEC 61643-11 and future EN 61643-11 (in 2013) standards which apply to surge protection devices and products in the energy sector
Based on a combination of varistor and gas discharge technology, the VPU product series is primed for the future, but already meets the conditions of the new international standards, so delivering sustainable protection for buildings and plant infrastructures. It also offers users the highest level of planning security and investment protection available today.
This is because the VPU series enables users to not only secure their facilities, but also their planning process. Due to its conformity with standards lasting at least five years, users of the new VPU lightning and surge protection can minimise the iterative steps for planning in accordance with the application standard IEC61643-12 and the associated re-designs.
As stated previously, VPU customers will save on costly, time-consuming re-designs and planning iterations that are clouded by uncertainty. They do not need to re-address their existing plans after the three-year transition period from the EN standard to a national standard, as the Weidmüller VPU products have already been tested in line with the current requirements.
The new VPU series incorporating around two hundred variants, covers the different protection zones and protection classes. This enables optimal product solutions for customised protection requirements – from facilities and building infrastructure through to machine construction, process technology and renewable energies.
The solutions incorporate a complete product range of VPU types 1 and 2 for all network variants TN-C, TN-S, TN-C-S, TT and IT. The range includes leakage current-free type 1 devices that offer the best possible protection for use before the meter. Weidmüller also offers reliable type 3 protection for all important end devices
Various practical product features support installers and maintenance specialists when working with or servicing the lightning and surge protection systems. According to IEC 62305, the route from the surge protection module to the PE connection can measure up to maximum 50 cm. Each VPU module can be positioned in the cabinet in order to achieve the shortest route to lightning protection equipotential thanks to its 180° rotation.
The lower part of the base module that can be rotated by 180° also allows for a good view into the cabinet. The PE wire connection can be configured either upwards or downwards. In doing so, the arrestor can always be correctly positioned.
Also featured is a large central display window which visibly shows all the information regarding the status of the protection function. In addition, a new mounting rail clip makes installation easier as it can be operated without tools. It is fast to dismount - even from a module group - by simply pulling back the clip-in foot.
The innovative mechanics of the clip-in foot ensure the precise removal of the VPU module from the mounting rail. It can be heard and felt when the vibration-resistant designed arrestor snaps on to the base and the remote signalling contact can also then be quickly and reliably connected using the "PUSH IN" connection system.
The VPU PV group of products also offers optimum protection for photovoltaic facilities. This complete product line of lightning and surge protection devices conforms to the standard EN 50539-11, which will take effect in 2013. The VPU PV series can be installed in accordance with application standard CLC/TS 50530-12 for setting up surge protection in photovoltaic facilities.
In the case of wind power installations, where Weidmüller also offers a new extensive product range, the VPU modules offer impressive vibration-resistant interlock and ensure a high degree of safety that exceeds the conventional safety level.
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