Power Module Guide

Several factors will influence the type of power module you require. When choosing a power module for your place of business, it is useful to consider the following points:

Click on previous links to jump to the relevant sections.

Purpose

The main consideration you face is the purpose to which your power module will be put. Are you in need of a fixed module or something that offers great accessibility? Do you simply require a classic three-pin plug port or is there a need for additional USB, media or international ports?

The following sections will offer some ideas on what power module is best for your needs, as well as outline what’s on offer:

Three-pin plug socket



By far the most popular use for a power module is as a classic plug socket.  These are required for most forms of electronic equipment found in the UK, from computers towers to vacuum cleaners. However, it is important to be aware that using a high-amp device in a low-amp socket will result in a blown fuse. Make sure power module has the correct specifications for the device you are using.

The majority of power modules sold by CMD are plug socket power modules.


Example: Contour Power USB Charging, Data & Media

USB power socket

Increasingly necessary in many work environments, the USB charger is now a common sight within the office.


Example:  Chip On Desk 4A Twin Port USB Charger

CMD stocks a range of power module products that feature both plug sockets and USB ports. This combination conveniently saves space while increasing work station options.


Example: Affinity Power, USB Charging & Data

Wireless Charging

Some offices like to keep their visible wiring to a minimum. The wireless charger provides a space on which you can charge smartphones, tablets and other devices without the need for a lead or plug. The charger itself can be installed flush to the desktop and connected to the mains underneath, leaving the surface free for laptop, notepads and documents.

If you require a clean, uncluttered space then a wireless charger may best the best solution.


Example: Porthole Qi Wireless Induction Charger

Adaptable and extendable power modules

Sometimes the best option is one that is not permanently attached to the internal wiring of a building. CMD offers a wide selection of power modules that connect to under floor busbars and can be easily moved from one location to the next.


Example: Elite+ Power and Data

How much power do I need?

When choosing a power module, it is vital to first calculate the amount of power you expect to go through the system. This will help you avoid overloads that at best can result in a blown fuse, and at worst, cause a fire.

To find out how much power you expect to go through your power module, use this calculator from Electrical Safety First.

To choose the best products for your power needs, refer to the power module chart from CMD.

Location

The ‘location’ of your power module can refer to both the type of space in which your module will be used — such as an office or warehouse — and the specific area you want it placed; for example, on the desk or in the floor.

Here we outline a variety of locations and offer some advice on what to consider when choosing the right power module for each area:

Office

Power modules are vital to the day-to-day workings of any office. As many offices are client facing, aesthetics is a major consideration. Factors such as ‘hot-desking’, the increasing daily use of electronic devices and the desire by many offices to change regularly change their layout (often due to company expansion) mean choosing the best power module for your needs is an increasing important issue for many facilities managers.

Most offices are much more than the standard desk set up — many will include distinct areas, each requiring their own specific power needs.

Individual desks

When thinking about ‘location within a work station’, there are three main options:

Location Example Image

On desk

Harmony Power, USB Charging, Data & Media

In desk

Porthole IV Power & 4A USB Charger

Under desk

Elite+ Power and Data

Conference rooms

These spaces usually require power modules that integrate seamlessly into a conference table in order to reduce clutter. Due to the activity that goes on in these rooms, a variety of sockets may be required, including media sockets and international sockets.

Communal areas

Where office communal areas were once a kitchen with a kettle and a tap at best, companies increasingly recognise the importance of setting aside a discrete space in which staff can relax and interact. The current prevalence of personal electronic devices and the desire of many to check social media in their spare time make wireless charging options the perfect solution for this type of location.

Industrial

When supplying power to an industrial complex such as a warehouse of factory, you should take into account the amount of power that will be required by the machine it is supplying, as well the physically challenging environment into which it will be installed. A metal box will fare better against knocks and bumps than something made of plastic, while the large spaces that comprise most warehouses might mean a heavy-duty supply sunk into the floor is the best option.

The following table gives examples of power modules appropriate to an industrial setting:

Type Description Image

Slab Boxes

Manufactured from 0.9mm Galvanised Steel. Available with 1,2,3 or 4 Compartments.

Integral RCD/RCBO Floor Box

Quick release lid for easy access to accessory plates. Boxes are 4 compartment but use the first compartment to house the RCD/RCBO.

Large commercial space

Large commercial spaces such as airports and conference centres have similar requirements to offices, though these larger spaces have to cater for large volumes of constantly changing users. This makes ‘ease of access’ and ‘availability’ the main considerations. Typical power module locations include:

  • Communal power points
  • Conference table

The following table highlights some of the power modules available for these locations:

Type Description/Location Image

Inca Power, USB Charging & Data

Ideal module for communal/meeting areas. Features 4 plug socket locations, allowing various plug socket, USB charging, RJ45 and HDMI configurations.

Porthole Power, USB Charging, Data & Media

Available with a choice of power including USB Charging, data/media (USB data transfer, HDMI and 3.5mm Audio Mini Jack) sockets. Option for 2 independent USB charging ports.

Aesthetics

Whether it’s discretion you are after, or simply uniformity with other desktop fixtures, aesthetics is clearly an important factor, especially in a public-facing environment.

Some design aspects you may wish to consider include:

  • Shape. Power modules now come in a range of shapes, such as pyramids or circles, along with the standard bar shape.
  • Style. Are you looking for a metallic, shiny, hi-tech or simply a port that blends into the floor unnoticed?
  • Colour. Match the power module fixtures to your company livery or logo. Alternatively, choose grey/beige items and make a set with your computer tower and monitor?
  • Visibility. A number power modules options can be fitted under the floor or into a desk to make them all but invisible when out of use.

Power modules come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs. Consider these points before making a purchase to save time, money and peace of mind.

For more information about the type of power module that is best suited to your circumstances, talk to our experience staff on 01709 385485 or click here for more contact details.