Legrand, a world specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks, is to supply the Met Office with over 1,000 specially adapted Hypra Combined Units for its comprehensive electrical upgrading programme.

Due to be used to manage and isolate mains electricity in up to 180 weather stations throughout the UK, the units will be introduced over a five-year period, which began when the first site was upgraded in Crosby, Liverpool, during October 2005.

“The Met Office not only needed to upgrade all its weather stations so they comply with current wiring regulations, but also wanted an easy to service, low maintenance product with greater flexibility and improved functionality,” said Legrand’s Bob Whelan. “Put simply, our Hypra Combined Units do exactly this while also simplifying installation and maintenance, and addressing all earthing and local isolation requirements.”

The standard Legrand Hypra combined unit features a single Prisinter interlocked switched socket (16 A, 230 V, 2P+E), which is protected by a pre-wired 25 A 30 mA RCD and provides an IP 55 rating.

For the purpose of the Met Office contract these standard units were specially adapted so that two interlocked switched sockets were mounted on one compact enclosure that would be tough enough for the demanding environments in which they will be located; a development that means only one product is needed instead of two, therefore simplifying installation, reducing cost and cutting down the amount of space required.

“We are the only manufacturer in the UK able to adapt our combined units in this way due to our use of Prisinter sockets,” added Bob Whelan.

Several meetings took place with the Met Office to establish the organisation’s precise needs, following on from which a built sample was commissioned, which was then further modified prior to the contract being awarded to Legrand.

“The development process was quite lengthy, but when you consider we had to redesign an existing product in order to meet an exacting specification requirement it reflects well on our ability to offer customers flexible solutions,” continued Bob.

Legrand was initially invited to quote for the supply by Hardings of Exeter, which is part of the Edmundson Group – a preferred supplier to the Met Office.

“The service and effort Legrand put into this project has been excellent,” said Ralph James, The Met Office’s head of installations. “We are also delighted with the efficiency, flexibility and overall quality of the product and would certainly consider using them again.”

In fact the Met Office is currently testing the Legrand’s Marina (GRP) enclosure in the Scilly Isles to see if it will withstand tough weather conditions while still maintaining its IP rating.

For additional information on Legrand and its services visit www.legrand.co.uk or call 0870 608 9009.

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