Control panels come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and applications, but as is the case with anything else – quality control panels share many of the same traits, many of which we’re going to talk about today.
If you’re out in the market for a control panel for your lift station or wastewater treatment plant, here are some of the common themes you’ll want to look for so that you know what you’re buying is of the highest quality. Let’s jump right in!
The layout of the panel, itself
It seems a little trivial on its face it would seem – but components of a good panel should be laid out in a way that meet both form and function. This means a lot because in the event you have an issue with the panel or it’s not working properly – maintaining it will be significantly easier. Here’s what you should want to see:
First, you’ll want to see dedicated breakers for specialized power levels with fuses and terminals. I/O terminals and PLC racks should be directly below because they give off less heat. Heat rises, so it’ll help keep the more important circuits higher up in the board cooler. Cooler circuits means fewer problems. Also make sure you see sensible wiring. Some panels look like a picasso and that’s no good. There should be organized wiring so that any maintenance pro can get in there and have a clear idea of what is feeding what.
And last but not least- you’ll want to see some additional space. Just like anything else – you can expand the capacity of a digital control panel – so in the event that you want to, you won’t have to buy a whole new panel – instead you can just add to the one you have.
Every good panel should be clearly labeled so everyone knows what everything inside the panel actually is. Labels should be on the power distribution terminals, power supplies, breakers and all other components. Again just as is the case with anything – the lifespan and quality of your panel will depend on your ability to maintain it. Making it easier for your service pro to navigate makes it easier to maintain.
Make sure your components are spaced out within your panel. There are a few reasons for this. First and the most obvious – it prevents heat from being trapped. Second, it makes it easier in the event of expansion. Especially if you’re in hot climates like we have here in Largo, FL – overheating can be an issue when your components aren’t spaced appropriately. These can lead to not only malfunctions – but expensive repairs.
If you want to learn more about what digital control panels can do for your lift station or company – give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – we hope today’s blog was helpful and good luck!