More pics (yep, I've been going mad since I got this camera!).
Many new services are now being installed into a cabinet set into an outside wall:
Meters on older installations are generally located inside the house. On overhead feeds, they're usually on a board at high level in a ground-floor room. Where the feed comes in underground, the panel is more commonly located in a cupboard just above floor level. This one is typical:
This last one also has a PoCo owned timer which switches the dual-tariff meter over to cheap-rate at night.
The watthour meter looks closest to what's called an "A-base" meter in the US and Canada. Socket-based meters seem far more common here.
In a related posting you showed a 2-pole-supported transformer—any chance you know that one's kVA rating? Slang in the US calls similar mounting an "H-frame." Are the ‘pullout’-looking 415V fuses hotstick operated by the utility?
#133274 - 07/14/0203:57 PMRe: U.K. Pics: Service entrance/Metering
Hard-wired meters instead of plug-in types seem to be the norm in most of Europe. The meters in France are of similar appearance.
The gray (2nd pic) or black (3rd pic) service fuse and cut-out you can see carries a cartridge fuse, generally between 60 and 100A for residential service, although there are still a few older services available with as little as 30A, but they're rare now. The neutral is just a bolted connection.
The service in the 2nd pic has the house ground just to a local rod, hence the absence of any grounding conductor in the box.
The 3rd pic shows the typical older service where grounding is to the cable armor.
The service neutral connection is where the grounding connection is made for houses wired for PME (Protective Multiple Earthing) -- Equivalent to normal U.S. practice.
Scott, I'm not sure of the actual rating of that xfmr on the double pole. There is an ID plate on it but I couldn't make out the details.
I'm not sure whether the PoCo uses a stick on the 240/415V fuses or not. Possibly so for emergency load breaking to prevent getting close to a potential arc, but they're far enough down the pole for somebody to pull by hand from a ladder without getting anywhere near the 11kV.
#133276 - 07/15/0210:58 PMRe: U.K. Pics: Service entrance/Metering
Great images!!! Glad you have an area here which you can post stuff and discuss power systems in the western Euopean areas - more specific the UK.
I lurk through here and really haved learned quite a bit from your area!
How's the digital camera treating you so far? Much better to simply download an image to your machine, then upload to the net - as opposed to shooting it [hoping to get the "right" shot], then scanning it, then tweaking the file size, then uploading!
I still use the film camera for stuff that is "worthy" , but the digital camera has become the tool of choice for work related stuff, or stuff to post online.
Scott " 35 " Thompson Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
#133277 - 07/16/0204:17 PMRe: U.K. Pics: Service entrance/Metering
Re the xfmr on the double pole, I drove by there this afternoon and took some binoculars to get a closer look at the ID plate.
It's rated 100kVA, manufactured 1977. The secondary (wye) side is 433V max. with taps. That was the highest rating from our old 250/433V specification (more usually called 250/440V) before everything was standardized at 240/415V.
#133279 - 07/19/0203:39 PMRe: U.K. Pics: Service entrance/Metering
the usual meters used by the ESB are big ugly black Siemens ones, some of the more modern ones now incorporate remote digital meter reading systems.
Typically they're just a big ugly black box with horizontally rotating wheel & two rows of numbers.
They "enhance" the supply if there is serious electric heating (storage / underfloor) but generally electric heating is relatively rare in Ireland other than in a few "gold sheild homes" which were a 1980s ESB (PoCo) expirement.
Natural Gas / Pressure-jet oil heating is the norm. Gas or Electric cooking (sometimes both.. Gas hob/electric oven or mixed hob) In rural areas a modern version of a big cast iron AGA type range which runs on natural gas / LPG / pressure-jet oil and provides 4 + ovens, cooking surfaces, heating via radiators and hot water is fairly common.
Also considering the current power crisis in Ireland the ESB is despearately trying to reduce consumption as they're at close to 100% safe capacity almost all of the time and are prevented by an EU competition directive from installing more generation capacity as they're supposed to be letting other people into the market. The new entrants are really arriving with too little too late.
** for international comparison sake Ireland has a population of aprox 3,700,000 and an economy based heavily on services (Software (v. v. big %), finance, banking/insurance, telecoms and of course tourism) and light industry like pharma/biotech/high end electronics (e.g. processors)
basically very few heavy industries of the type that would consume massive amounts of power. (which is a good thing from an environmental perspective!) We pretty much skipped the industrial revolution with all its smoke and steel mills and went straight into the information age.