Switchboard ready for outdoor conditions

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  • Plant & Equipment

Fuji SMBE Macquarie’s new switchboard can meet all the rigours that the outdoors can throw at it, a series of recent tests reveal.

Switchboard ready for outdoor conditions
Fuji SMBE Macquarie’s tough new outdoor switchboard at the testing facility in NSW


The new switchboard which Australian manufacturer Fuji SMBE Macquarie says is its toughest ever has passed a series of rigorous tests to ensure safety, performance and longevity.

Company director Peter Silsby says the switchboard was fully type-tested against the AS/NZS 61439 standard, adding that the new model complements the company’s existing switchboard range.

"We wanted to provide the local market with an outdoor switchboard tested to all aspects of the standard, so we put it through the most onerous testing to prove its reliability, even in the harshest of environments," he says.

Among the tests conducted on the new switchboard was corrosion testing to Severity B – a month of intense corrosion testing designed to simulate years of service in harsh environments, including coastal areas.

It was also subjected to temperature testing, IP66 water and dust testing and short circuit testing, to prove it could handle any application with 100kA for 1 second on the main busbars.

Fuji SMBE Macquarie also completed arc fault containment testing to stringently test the structure of the switchboard, with the company saying it achieved Appendix ZD arc fault containment on the outgoing units.

Silsby says the same switchboard was then converted for indoor applications and passed the special arc fault containment test on the line side of the outgoing units.

"An outdoor switchboard with special arc fault containment is rare, but we wanted to set a new benchmark for safety, reliability and performance in Australia," he says.

"To further enhance ease-of-use, we also designed a unique Form 4b terminal enclosure for easy connection of outgoing cables."

The news comes after Fuji SMBE Macquarie, a subsidiary of Fuji Electric, moved to new purpose-built premises in Prestons NSW.

This, the company says, is to meet growing demand for Australian-manufactured low-voltage switchboards, particularly with COVID-19 causing businesses to re-evaluate their supply chain and source more local products.

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