Electrical Distribution Cost Calculator Demonstrates the Project Cost Savings of Locating Circuit Breaker Panels as Close to The End Loads As Possible
February 15, 2021 — LynTec, a leading manufacturer of innovative electrical power control solutions for professional audio, video, and lighting (AVL) systems, announced the release of its new Narrow Profile Panelboard in early February 2021. The Narrow Profile Panelboard is less than 9” wide and can hold up to 42 circuit breakers. The Narrow Panel was introduced to give Pro AVL system designers an electrical distribution option that fits inside an I-Beam support or similar surface. This enables electrical panels to be installed significantly closer to the end loads than ever-before possible.
It’s a truism within the electrical design community that it is always more economical to locate distribution panels as close to the end loads as possible. It is less costly to run the fewest number of wires as deep into the structure as possible. For example, it is more cost-effective to run a single electrical service conduit for a single breaker panel over a distance of 80-100 feet than to run upwards of 11 conduit runs for 42 branch circuit breakers over that same distance. This could save a project upwards of $17,000 on a single panel. This strategy has become standard operating procedure within other industries because it lowers installation materials expenses and saves substantial labor costs.
Historically, the Pro AVL community has considered distributed electrical design impractical. Almost every lighting fixture in a performance venue was fed from a dimmer. Dimmer racks typically require large amounts of space and generate a great deal of heat and noise. For that reason, performance venue designers wanted to keep electrical panels and dimmer racks as isolated as possible to avoid interfering with the audience’s experience.
Today, large dimmer racks are being phased out of designs as the technology becomes antiquated. Modern LED fixtures have integrated dimming. This has eliminated the vast majority of dimmers within a performance space. Now we are in a position to take advantage of the economic benefits of positioning electrical breaker panels as close to the end-loads (e.g. lighting fixtures) as possible. Nothing makes this easier to accomplish than narrow profile panels that are designed to fit within the flanges of support columns. By utilizing these narrow or otherwise unusable spaces, circuit breaker panels can be mounted much closer to the end-loads, saving tens of thousands of dollars in materials and labor cost.
LynTec has built an interactive workbook that provides a simple, yet realistic template that shows how changing the location of the circuit breaker panels can create significant cost savings. The workbook is initially setup to present the cost savings from a basic sample project, but can be modified for specific projects. The workbook uses national average prices for electrical materials and labor obtained from a national project cost-estimating calculator. In the sample job, shifting the install location of four circuit breaker panels just 40 to 80 feet closer to the end-loads creates savings in the range of $50,000.
The new Narrow Profile panel line is the only power solution of its kind designed to maximize space efficiency while providing comprehensive power control to AVL installations. It is ideally suited for theaters, stadiums, performance spaces, and worship spaces with robust AVL demands and limited electrical real estate or unique infrastructure requirements. Customers can mix and match the Narrow Profile panels with LynTec’s leading range of comprehensive power control panels, including the RPC Remote Control Breaker Panels, RPCR Automated Relay Panels, and NPAC Multi-Circuit Rackmount units within the same network on a single interface. From a single IP address, customers can set up, control, and monitor all their AVL sequences or controllable lighting zones across the facility with incredible ease and affordability.
To view the worksheet and see the cost advantages of a distributed electrical distribution network for yourself, click the link to the spreadsheet below.
LynTec Centralized vs Distributed Electrical Worksheet (Enable editing to see full workbook)