Eaton was awarded Innovative Residential/Domestic Product of the Year at this year's Electrical Industry Awards. Eaton's Trading Standards and Policy Manager, Kevin Harris, also won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Electrical Excellence. Additionally, Eaton was highly commended in the Innovative Power Product of the Year category. The awards were presented at a ceremony held in London on 20 October, which coincidentally, was also the eve of Eaton Corporation's 100 year anniversary.
Winning the award for Innovative Residential/Domestic Product of the Year was Eaton's PV Switch & Surge Unit, developed in conjunction with Solarcentury. This innovative unit integrates all of the key switching and surge protection components that are needed to ensure the safety, reliability and serviceability of domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in a single assembly. Using the PV Switch & Surge Units means that it is no longer necessary to source switching and surge protection components as separate items, and the components selected are guaranteed to be properly co-ordinated and correctly rated for use in PV applications. Another important benefit is that the units are supplied fully pre-wired and tested, which means that they are much easier and faster to install on site than separate components.
The award for Outstanding Contribution to Electrical Excellence went to Eaton's Trading Standards and Policy Manager, Kevin Harris, who was nominated by Eaton and BEAMA colleague Alan Birks. On presenting the award, Alan told the assembled industry guests why: "For more than a decade, Kevin has been a driving force in the battle against counterfeit electrical goods that threaten people's safety and rob the electrical industry of its rightful profits. He has personally taken part in numerous raids and worked ceaselessly in his roles for BEAMA and Eaton to reduce the manufacture of these products. It is no exaggeration to say that every single manufacturer of electrical products, and probably every single person in this room tonight, has benefitted from the diligence and passion with which he has gone about his tasks."
Kevin Harris said of his achievement: "I am very passionate about the fight against counterfeit products and so naturally I am honoured that my work has been recognised in this way. More importantly, I hope that this will also help to raise awareness of the issues surrounding counterfeit electrical goods and the importance of taking measures against these such as those outlined in the Electrical Installation Industry Charter."
Eaton was also highly commended in the category of Innovative Power Product of the Year for its FMX range. The FMX range was developed specifically to address the need for safe, dependable and cost-effective medium-voltage switchgear that avoids the use of environmentally damaging SF6 gas. Key innovations that contributed to this commendation were the product's new electromagnetic control mechanism that enhances the life and reliability of the circuit breakers used in the equipment; an integrated cable test facility outside the high voltage compartment, which enhances safety and convenience; and moulded cast-resin insulation that is contoured to provide effective electric field control.
Eaton's Intelligent Power Manager (IPM) software package was also shortlisted as a finalist for Innovative Software Product of the Year. Developed to complement Eaton's range of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS's) for use in data centres, IPM provides innovative and extensive support for use in virtualised environments.