Mersey prestige for Eaton

Eaton switchgear and distribution boards have been used for the new Mersey Ferry Terminal, one of many prestigious construction projects linked to Liverpool’s reign as European Capital of Culture in 2008. 

The main low voltage switchboard and a special low voltage panel were both delivered in record time of four weeks.  They feature both comprehensive metering, compliant with the most recent UK Building Regulations, and power factor correction to improve the energy efficiency of the building and thereby reduce the carbon footprint of the ferry system.

The Mersey ferries linking Liverpool and The Wirral have operated for more than 800 years and gained celebrity status in 1964 with the song Ferry Cross the Mersey by Gerry and the Pacemakers. 

The new £10.5 million Pier Head Ferry Terminal will offer greatly-improved facilities for the thousands of visitors and regular ferry passengers who use the terminal every year. 

Designed to be one of the most environmentally-friendly buildings of its type, it has been developed by Merseytravel. The three-storey structure includes a Beatles-themed visitor attraction, restaurant and retail facilities on the two upper floors while Merseytravel offices and terminal facilities occupy the Ground and Mezzanine levels.

The main supply is provided by a transformer substation which feeds the special low voltage panel.  This comprises an Eaton Glasgow busbar chamber feeding three fuse combination switches – two serving the lifts and a third feeding the main LV switchboard.

The three-section Capitole 20 main switchboard was chosen for its compact design and excellent cabling facilities.  Eaton components were specified throughout with the 800A incoming fused combination switch feeding a total of 20 outgoing fused combination switches, a surge protection device and the automatic power factor correction module.

With an eye on energy efficiency, meters were fitted to 75% of the circuits and a five-stage 250kVAr power factor correction module was incorporated.  The compact Capitole 20 switchboard supplies power to all parts of the building including the Beatles attraction and the restaurants. To allow for fast and easy expansion in the future, 25% additional spare outgoing circuits were fitted to the switchboard. 

Final distribution around the building is provided by Memshield 2 miniature circuit-breaker distribution boards.   Eaton also supplied 63A auto-changeover units to provide dual supplies to two evacuation lifts.

Installation design for the Ferry Terminal was by Faber Maunsell/AECOM and electrical installation work was carried out by Rotary North West who were responsible for all mechanical and electrical services including fire alarms, heating and ventilating systems. 

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