Electricity Supply Board
Overview
 
The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) (sometimes called ESB Ireland to differentiate it from US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 utilities), is a semi-state electricity company in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. While historically a monopoly, the ESB now operates as a commercial semi-state concern in a liberalised and competitive market. It is a statutory corporation whose members are appointed by the Government.
The ESB is composed of several distinct, separate and legally demarcated companies.
Encyclopedia
The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) (sometimes called ESB Ireland to differentiate it from US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 utilities), is a semi-state electricity company in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. While historically a monopoly, the ESB now operates as a commercial semi-state concern in a liberalised and competitive market. It is a statutory corporation whose members are appointed by the Government.

Business areas

The ESB is composed of several distinct, separate and legally demarcated companies. By business area, the principal companies are:

ESB Networks: The largest part of the ESB is fleet and equipment as it owns and maintains the National Electricity distribution and takes meter readings for all operators. The transmission system is operated by independent state company Eirgrid.

ESB Power Generation: operates a portfolio of power stations across the country, along with holdings in wind and other renewables. Wholesale market share is currently below fifty percent.

ESB Electric Ireland (previously ESB Customer Supply and ESB Independent Energy): a regulated supply company functionally separate from ESB Networks and Power Generation, is one of three companies (as of February 18, 2009) operating in the domestic market. Since 4 April 2011 the Commission for Energy Regulation
Commission for Energy Regulation
The Commission for Energy Regulation-An Coimisiún Rialall Fuinnimh is the independent body responsible for overseeing the liberalisation of Ireland's energy sector regulating the electricity and natural gas sectors in the Republic of Ireland. The CER was initially established as the Commission for...

 no longer sets ESB Electric Ireland's prices, the trade off for this is that the division will be required to rebrand to remove the ESB name, to "remove confusion" between the ESB's role as operator of the electricity network and a supplier in that market. From January 2012, it will be known simply as Electric Ireland and will not use the ESB brand at all, though it will remain a part of the ESB.

ESB International: responsible for the company's unregulated activities. ESBI principally provides electrical engineering consultancy services around the world. ESBI is a dynamic company with holdings in many areas, such as power-generation joint ventures, renewables development, and computing consultancy.

Northern Ireland Electricity
Northern Ireland Electricity
Northern Ireland Electricity Limited is the electricity asset owner of the transmission and distribution infrastructure in Northern Ireland. NIE does not own generate or supply electricity. NIE is a subsidiary of ESB Group....

 (NIE)
is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the electricity network in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, and has been part of ESB since they purchased it from Viridian
Viridian
Viridian is a blue-green pigment, a hydrated chromium oxide, of medium saturation and relatively dark in value. It is composed more of green than blue. Specifically, it is a dark shade of spring green, the color between green and cyan on the color wheel...

 in December 2010
December 2010
December 2010 was the twelfth month of that year. It began on a Wednesday and ended after 31 days on a Friday.-Portal:Current events:This is an archived version of Wikipedia's Current events Portal from December 2010....

. However, ESB does not own the former supply business of NIE, which was retained by Viridian.

History

The ESB was established by the fledgling Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 government under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927 to manage Ireland's electricity supply after the successful Shannon Scheme at Ardnacrusha. The scheme was Ireland's first large scale electricity plant - and at the time, it was believed that it would meet the total energy demands of Ireland. To give an idea of the growth in demand, the output of Ardnacrusha is now approximately two per cent of national peak demand for power.

By 1937, plans were being finalised for the construction of several more hydro-electric plants. The plans called for stations at Poulaphouca
Poulaphouca
Poulaphouca, officially Pollaphuca , is a townland in County Wicklow, Ireland, on the border with County Kildare. It is primarily known for its hydroelectric generating station and artificial lake, known as Poulaphouca Reservoir, Poulaphouca Lake, or Blessington Lake...

, Golden Falls, Leixlip
Leixlip
-Politics:Since 1988 Leixlip has had a nine member Town Council , headed by a Cathaoirleach , which has control over many local matters, although it is limited in that it is not also a planning authority...

 (all in Leinster
Leinster
Leinster is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the east of Ireland. It comprises the ancient Kingdoms of Mide, Osraige and Leinster. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the historic fifths of Leinster and Mide gradually merged, mainly due to the impact of the Pale, which straddled...

), Clady, Cliff and Cathleen's Fall (between Belleek
Belleek, County Fermanagh
Belleek is a village in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. While the greater part of the village lies within County Fermanagh, part of it crosses the border into County Donegal, a part of Ulster that lies in the Republic of Ireland. This makes Belleek the western-most village in the United Kingdom...

 and Ballyshannon
Ballyshannon
Ballyshannon is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is located where the N3 and N15 cross the River Erne, and claims to be the oldest town in Ireland.-Location:...

 in County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

), Carrigadrohid
Carrigadrohid
Carrigadrohid: is a village in the Canovee Electoral Area of Mid-Cork, Ireland, situated on the north bank of the River Lee...

 and Inniscarra (in County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

). All these new plants were completed by 1949, and together harnessed approximately 75% of Ireland's inland water power potential. Many of these plants are still in operation — however as could be expected with continuing growth in demand their combined capacity falls far short of Ireland's modern needs.

With Ireland's towns and cities benefiting from electricity, the new government pushed the idea of Rural Electrification. Between 1946 and 1979, the ESB connected in excess of 420,000 customers in rural Ireland. The Rural Electrification Scheme has been described as "the Quiet Revolution" because of the major socio-economic change it brought about. The process was greatly helped in 1955 by the Electricity Supply Amendment Act, 1955.

In 1947, the ESB, needing ever more generation capacity, built the North Wall station on a 7.5 acre (30,000 m²) site in Dublin's industrial Port area on the North side of the River Liffey
River Liffey
The Liffey is a river in Ireland, which flows through the centre of Dublin. Its major tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac. The river supplies much of Dublin's water, and a range of recreational opportunities.-Name:The river was previously named An Ruirthech,...

 on the site of an old oil refinery. The original station consisted of one 12.5 MW steam turbine that was originally purchased for a power station at Portarlington but instead used at North Wall. Other power stations built around this time included the peat fired stations at Portarlington, County Laois
County Laois
County Laois is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It was formerly known as Queen's County until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. The county's name was formerly spelt as Laoighis and Leix. Laois County Council...

, and Allenwood in County Kildare
County Kildare
County Kildare is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Kildare. Kildare County Council is the local authority for the county...

.

Because of the risks of becoming dependent on imported fuel sources and the potential for harvesting and utilising indigenous peat, the ESB - in partnership with Bord na Móna
Bord na Móna
Bord na Móna , abbreviated BNM, is a semi-state company in Ireland, created in 1946 by the Turf Development Act 1946. The company is responsible for the mechanised harvesting of peat, primarily in the Midlands of Ireland...

- established those stations and ESB also built Lanesboro power station in 1958. Located in County Longford
County Longford
County Longford is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Longford.Longford County Council is the local authority for the county...

, the plant burns peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

, cut by Bord na Móna in the bogs of the Irish midlands. In 1965 the Shannonbridge
Shannonbridge
Shannonbridge is a village located on the River Shannon, at the junction of the R444 and R357 regional roads in County Offaly, Ireland. It lies within the townland of Raghra , at the borders of counties Offaly, Galway and Roscommon, with the majority of the population living east of the bridge in...

 station was commissioned. It is located in County Offaly. The two stations have been replaced by new peat-fired stations near the same locations, and peat is also used to power the independent Edenderry Power plant, in County Offaly.

As in most countries, energy consumption is low at night and high during the day. Aware of the substantial waste of night-time capacity, the ESB commissioned the Turlough Hill pumped storage hydro-electric station in 1968. This station, located in County Wicklow
County Wicklow
County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Wicklow, which derives from the Old Norse name Víkingalág or Wykynlo. Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county...

, pumps water uphill at night with the excess energy created by other stations, and releases it downhill during the day to turn turbines. The plant can generate up to 292 MW of power - but output is limited in terms of hours because of the storage capacity of the reservoir.

The 1970s brought about a continued increase in Ireland's industrialisation and with it, a greater demand for energy. This new demand was to be met by the construction of the country's two largest power stations — Poolbeg
Poolbeg
Poolbeg Generating Station is a power station owned and operated by the Electricity Supply Board of the Republic of Ireland. There are two stations on the site, the older thermal station containing units 1, 2, and 3 and the combined cycle gas station containing units CG14, CG15 and ST16, which is...

 in 1971 and Moneypoint
Moneypoint
Moneypoint is Ireland's largest electricity generation station and only coal-fired power station. It is located on the River Shannon near Kilrush, County Clare and was constructed at a cost of more than £700m, in one of the largest capital projects in the history of the Republic of Ireland...

 in 1979. The latter, in County Clare
County Clare
-History:There was a Neolithic civilisation in the Clare area — the name of the peoples is unknown, but the Prehistoric peoples left evidence behind in the form of ancient dolmen; single-chamber megalithic tombs, usually consisting of three or more upright stones...

, remains Ireland's only coal-burning plant and can produce 915 MW - just shy of the 1015 MW capacity of Poolbeg. In 2002 and 2003, new independent stations were constructed - Huntstown Power (north Dublin) and Dublin Bay Power (Ringsend
Ringsend
Ringsend is a southside inner suburb of Dublin, the capital of Ireland. It is located on the south bank of the River Liffey, about two kilometres east of the city centre, and is the southern terminus of the East Link Toll Bridge....

, Dublin).

In 1991, the ESB established the ESB Archive to store historical documents relating to the company and its impact on Irish life
Culture of Ireland
This article is about the modern culture of Ireland and the Irish people. It includes customs and traditions, language, music, art, literature, folklore, cuisine and sport associated with Ireland and Irish people today. However, the culture of the people living in Ireland is not homogeneous...

.

On 8 September 2003, two of the last remaining places in Ireland unconnected to the national grid - Inishturbot and Inishturk islands (off the coast of Galway
Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

)- were finally connected to the mains supply. Some islands are still powered by small diesel-run power stations.

60 wind farms are currently connected to the power system (July 2006) and have the capacity to generate 590 MW of power, depending on wind conditions. These wind farms are mainly owned by independent companies and landowners.

On 16 March 2005, the ESB announced that it was to sell its ShopElectric (ESB Retail) chain of shops, with the exception of the Dublin Fleet Street and Cork Academy Street outlets, to Bank of Scotland (Ireland)
Bank of Scotland (Ireland)
Bank of Scotland was a bank based in the Republic of Ireland, a subsidiary of the Bank of Scotland, which in turn is a part of the Lloyds Banking Group. It was more widely known under the trading name of its former retail division, Halifax. Since 10 February 2010 the bank has no longer accepted...

, converting them into main street banks. Existing staff were offered positions as bank tellers.

On 27 March 2008, the ESB announced a €22bn capital investment programme in renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 technology, with the aim to halve its carbon emissions within 12 years and achieve carbon net-zero by 2035 http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhojeyidsnsn/rss2/.

EirGrid

On July 1, 2006, a new state owned company, EirGrid plc, separate from all parties in the Irish electricity sector, took over responsibility for the operation of the Irish national grid. It has its own separate board and it reports to the CER and its main shareholder, the Irish government. It was established as the operator of the Irish transmission system with ownership remaining with ESB Networks. On March 12, 2007, the Irish Government Policy on Energy stated that ownership of the transmission system would be vested in EirGrid from end 2008. EirGrid is responsible for balancing electricity consumption and generation and for the development of the power transmission system. Eirgrid, in conjunction with System Operator Northern Ireland, operates the all-island wholesale electricity market.

Facilities

Generation
Capacity MW
Plant Location Fuel Year First Commissioned
510 Poolbeg
Poolbeg
Poolbeg Generating Station is a power station owned and operated by the Electricity Supply Board of the Republic of Ireland. There are two stations on the site, the older thermal station containing units 1, 2, and 3 and the combined cycle gas station containing units CG14, CG15 and ST16, which is...

County Dublin
County Dublin
County Dublin is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Dublin Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Dublin which is the capital of Ireland. County Dublin was one of the first of the parts of Ireland to be shired by King John of England following the...

Gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

1996
915 Moneypoint County Clare
County Clare
-History:There was a Neolithic civilisation in the Clare area — the name of the peoples is unknown, but the Prehistoric peoples left evidence behind in the form of ancient dolmen; single-chamber megalithic tombs, usually consisting of three or more upright stones...

Coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

1985
430 Aghada
Aghada
Aghada is a small fishing town situated on the south-east coast of Cork in County Cork, Ireland. Aghada is most famous for the Aghada GAA and its neighbouring villages are Whitegate and Rostellan...

County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

Gas 1981
292 Turlough Hill County Wicklow
County Wicklow
County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Wicklow, which derives from the Old Norse name Víkingalág or Wykynlo. Wicklow County Council is the local authority for the county...

Pumped Storage
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is a type of hydroelectric power generation used by some power plants for load balancing. The method stores energy in the form of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Low-cost off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps...

1968
266 North Wall County Dublin Oil and Gas 1947
150 West Offaly Power County Offaly
County Offaly
County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Uí Failghe and was formerly known as King's County until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. Offaly County Council is...

Peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

2005
85 Marina County Cork Gas 1953
100 Lough Ree Power
Lough Ree
Lough Ree is a lake in the midlands of Ireland, the second of the three major lakes on the River Shannon. Lough Ree is the second largest lake on the Shannon after Lough Derg. The other two major lakes are Lough Allen to the north, and Lough Derg to the south, there are also several minor lakes...

County Longford
County Longford
County Longford is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Longford.Longford County Council is the local authority for the county...

Peat 2004
86 Ardnacrusha County Clare Hydro
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

1929
65 Erne / Cathaleen Falls County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

Hydro 1945
38 Liffey County Kildare
County Kildare
County Kildare is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Kildare. Kildare County Council is the local authority for the county...

Hydro 1937
27 Lee / Inniscarra Lake County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

Hydro 1956
4 Clady County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

Hydro 1953


Tarbert and Great Island were sold-off to Endesa
Endesa (Spain)
Endesa, S.A. is the largest electric utility company in Spain. The firm, a majority-owned subsidiary of the Italian utility company Enel, has 10 million customers in Spain, with domestic annual generation of over 97,600 GWh from nuclear, fossil-fueled, hydroelectric, and renewable resource power...

 in 2008 under the asset-divestment strategy agreed with the CER. This aims to lessen ESB Power Generation's market dominant position.

The ESB also has significant holdings in wind generation, principally through its wholly owned subsidiary, Hibernian Wind Power.

Standards

The Shannon Scheme was the start of the ESB's heavy reliance on German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 electro-technology. Siemens
Siemens AG
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

, AEG
AEG
Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft was a German producer of electrical equipment founded in 1883 by Emil Rathenau....

 and ASEA
ASEA
Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget was a Swedish industry company. It merged with the Swiss Brown, Boveri & Cie in 1988 to form Asea Brown Boveri...

 (Now ABB) equipment was used throughout the Irish generation and distribution system. The Irish system standardised on the 220 volt
Volt
The volt is the SI derived unit for electric potential, electric potential difference, and electromotive force. The volt is named in honor of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta , who invented the voltaic pile, possibly the first chemical battery.- Definition :A single volt is defined as the...

 50Hz
Hertz
The hertz is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications....

 (now 230 volt) single phase and 380volt
Volt
The volt is the SI derived unit for electric potential, electric potential difference, and electromotive force. The volt is named in honor of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta , who invented the voltaic pile, possibly the first chemical battery.- Definition :A single volt is defined as the...

 (now 400 volt) 3 phase supply systems which had been developed by Siemens and AEG in Germany. Residential installations followed a mixture of British (BS) and German (DVE) & (DIN) standards.

Siemens standard diazed and the more modern neozed fuses
Fuse (electrical)
In electronics and electrical engineering, a fuse is a type of low resistance resistor that acts as a sacrificial device to provide overcurrent protection, of either the load or source circuit...

 remain the standard type of fuse used in domestic and industrial installations and modern circuit breakers comply with German DIN standards.

British core colours Live (Red), Black (Neutral) and Green (Earth/Ground) were used.
These were later updated to Live (Brown), Neutral (Blue) and Earth/Ground (Green & Yellow) as per CENELEC and European standards.
Three phase core colours also comply with EU standards: L1 (Brown), L2 (Black), L3 (Grey), N (Blue), Earth/Ground (Yellow & Green)

British wiring accessories have generally been used in residential and light commercial installations e.g. junction boxes, light switches, wires and cables etc. However, in recent years European standard wiring accessories are beginning to replace some of these.

In industrial installations, Irish standards have always tended to follow German (DIN) and (DVE) norms.

Earthing/Grounding System
  • TN-C-S is preferred. This is referred to in Ireland as a "Neutralised" supply. Most homes and businesses are connected to such a system.
    Where this system is used, all metal pipe work must be bonded i.e. connected to the system's earth/ground creating an equipotential zone.

In such an installation earth straps and yellow & green earth wires can be seen connected to pipework under sinks, in heating systems etc.
  • TT system is used where TN-C-S earthing is not possible due to the design of the local distribution network, or the geology. This system is referred to as 'unneutralised' or 'not neutralised'.


Where a TT network connection is used, the entire supply must be protected by an RCD
Residual-current device
A Residual Current Device is a generic term covering both RCCBs and RCBOs.A Residual-Current Circuit Breaker is an electrical wiring device that disconnects a circuit whenever it detects that the electric current is not balanced between the energized conductor and the return neutral conductor...



Converting a TT supply to a TN-C supply "Neutralisation" may only be carried out by an ESB engineer with the approval of ESB Networks. Under no circumstances should a home owner, or an electrical contractor make any connection between the Earth/Ground and Neutral. To do so inappropriately could expose people to a risk of serious shock or electrocution.

Plugs and Socket Outlets

German Schuko
Schuko
"Schuko" is the colloquial name for a system of AC power plugs and sockets that is defined as "CEE 7/4". A Schuko plug features two round pins of 4.8 mm diameter for the live and neutral contacts, plus two flat contact areas on the top and bottom side of the plug for protective earth...

 socket outlets were once widely used alongside the British standard BS546 round pin plugs (both 3 pin and 2 pin verities). However, both of these systems were replaced by BS 1363
BS 1363
BS 1363 is a British Standard which specifies the most common type of single-phase AC power plugs and sockets that are used in the United Kingdom. Distinctive characteristics of the system are shutters on the line and neutral socket holes, and a fuse in the plug...

, standarised as Irish Standard IS 401 (Plug) and IS411 (Socket outlet). This standard eliminated incompatibilities between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and was chosen as it was completely incompatible with both the old Schuko
Schuko
"Schuko" is the colloquial name for a system of AC power plugs and sockets that is defined as "CEE 7/4". A Schuko plug features two round pins of 4.8 mm diameter for the live and neutral contacts, plus two flat contact areas on the top and bottom side of the plug for protective earth...

 or BS 546
BS 546
BS 546 is a pre-Second World War British Standard for domestic AC power plugs and sockets that is also the precursor of current Indian and South African plug standards. This plug is also used in Singapore to a limited extent...

 installations and encouraged people to rewire their homes to comply with the new standard. It removed the possibility of connecting Class I (requiring an earth connection) appliances, to socket outlets that are either unearthed (ungrounded) or with incompatible earthing contacts - e.g. 2-pin side-earthed Schuko
Schuko
"Schuko" is the colloquial name for a system of AC power plugs and sockets that is defined as "CEE 7/4". A Schuko plug features two round pins of 4.8 mm diameter for the live and neutral contacts, plus two flat contact areas on the top and bottom side of the plug for protective earth...

 plug will not make earth contact with a 3 hole, 5 amp BS 546
BS 546
BS 546 is a pre-Second World War British Standard for domestic AC power plugs and sockets that is also the precursor of current Indian and South African plug standards. This plug is also used in Singapore to a limited extent...

 socket. This harmonisation occurred before the advent of pre-fitted 2-pin plugs on appliances destined for the European 220 volt market, which might have led to a different outcome. Until UK and Irish voltages were standardised at 230 volts in the 1990s, it was common for such plugs to be pre-fitted on appliances destined for the Irish market, although they were prohibited on appliances destined for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 market. Both countries now require the pre-fitting of BS 1363 plugs on domestic appliances.
It is now extremely rare to find a non BS 1363 plug in use.
The 5 Amp version of BS 546 is sometimes used for lamps controlled by a central switch or dimmer. They may also be used for other specialist purposes. It is therefore, not advisable to connect an appliance to such a socket outlet and tourists should not use adaptors to connect to them if they are present in hotel bedrooms. They are exclusively for lighting are specialist purposes.

Industrial, heavy commercial and stage/studio installations use European standard IS EN 60309:1999 / IEC 60309
IEC 60309
IEC 60309 is an international standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission for "plugs, socket-outlets and couplers for industrial purposes". The highest voltage allowed by the standard is DC or AC; the highest current, ; and the highest frequency,...

 plugs and sockets. These are also used for stage and studio lighting, in recent preference to BS 546 15 amp fittings.

The distribution board system used in Irish homes also differs substantially from those used in the UK and elsewhere. All distribution boards (fuse boxes) are required to have a 'main fuse' or 'main breaker' rated at the maximum permissible load for that installation. Typically, this is a 63 A fuse and a switch, or a Minized fuse isolator which accepts a Neozed fuse.

The distribution boards have been using DIN rail
DIN rail
A DIN rail is a metal rail of a standard type widely used for mounting circuit breakers and industrial control equipment inside equipment racks...

 modular mounting systems for several decades. Even older fuse systems may be mounted on DIN rail
DIN rail
A DIN rail is a metal rail of a standard type widely used for mounting circuit breakers and industrial control equipment inside equipment racks...

s.

30 mA RCD
Residual-current device
A Residual Current Device is a generic term covering both RCCBs and RCBOs.A Residual-Current Circuit Breaker is an electrical wiring device that disconnects a circuit whenever it detects that the electric current is not balanced between the energized conductor and the return neutral conductor...

 protection is required for all socket outlets since 1981, however it may also be present on older installations.

Homes are typically wired as follows:
  • Lighting : 10 Amp Radials
  • Socket outlets: 16 Amp or 20 Amp Radials (RCD Required) (32 A Ring circuits are permitted, but are not generally used as frequently as in the UK and are quite rare)
  • Fixed appliances : 16 Amp or 20 Amp Radials (RCD may be required)
  • Water heater : 20 Amp Radial (RCD Required)
  • Cookers : 32-45 Amp Radial (RCD not required, but may be fitted optionally)
  • Hob : 32-45 A Radial (RCD not required, but may be fitted optionally)
  • Showers: 32 - 45 Amp Radial (RCD protected)
  • Outdoor sockets : 16 or 20 A Radials (RCD required)


Lighting :

Bayonet mount
Bayonet mount
A bayonet mount or bayonet connector is a fastening mechanism consisting of a male side with one or more pins, and a female receptor with matching L slots and spring to keep the two parts locked together....

 bulbs are used in most standard fittings and have been the dominant standard in most installations since the introduction of electric lighting in Ireland.
Various styles of bayonet cap and mounts are used for a variety of sizes and types of bulbs, including spots and halogens.

Edison screw
Edison screw
The Edison screw fitting is a system of connectors used for light bulbs, developed by Thomas Edison and licensed starting in 1909 under the Mazda trademark. Most have a right-hand threading, so that it goes in when turned clockwise and comes out when turned counterclockwise, like a hardware screw...

 fittings are not as common, but may be found on some imported lighting equipment, particularly from Southern Europe.

Low voltage halogen bulbs use bipin
Bipin
A bipin or bi-pin, , is a standard from the IEC for lamp fittings. These are used on many small incandescent light bulbs , and on most fluorescent lights as well, where the filaments are involved in starting the tube when it is turned on.Some lamps have pins placed closer together, preventing...

 fittings.

Standards are controlled by:
and

Employees

The ESB is one of the largest companies in Ireland and employs around 7,000 people. It is 5% owned by its workers - this ownership is known as ESB ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Trustee Limited. The company is heavily unionised with the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) being one of the largest unions in the company. The last major strike was in 1991, though strike action has been threatened as recently as February 2005 and often at times of industrial dispute. National surveys show, in line with other similar semi-state sector workers, that wages are above the national average - one recent survey http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0207/mibusiness-business.html showed that the average salary costs are twice the national average. It should however be remembered that workers of the company may be "on call" after hours, weekends and at holidays because of the unpredictability of emergencies.

See also

  • Economy of the Republic of Ireland
    Economy of the Republic of Ireland
    The economy of Ireland has transformed in recent years from an agricultural focus to a modern knowledge economy, focusing on services and high-tech industries and dependent on trade, industry and investment. In terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the...

  • History of Ireland
    History of Ireland
    The first known settlement in Ireland began around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from continental Europe, probably via a land bridge. Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were...

  • List of Irish companies
  • Public ownership
  • State-owned enterprise
  • Viridian Group
    Viridian Group
    Viridian Group plc is a Northern Ireland-based energy business with interests in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Viridian organises its business in two main groups: Power NI and Viridian Power & Energy.-Businesses:...

     Northern Ireland Electricity Company
  • rolling blackout
    Rolling blackout
    A rolling blackout, also referred to as load shedding, is an intentionally-engineered electrical power outage where electricity delivery is stopped for non-overlapping periods of time over geographical regions. Rolling blackouts are a last-resort measure used by an electric utility company in order...

     The "Zone rota" system used during labour strikes
    Strike action
    Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...


Print

  • R. O'Connor, J.A. Crutchfield, B.J. Whelan. Socio-Economic Impact of the Construction of the Esb Power-Station at Moneypoint, Co. Clare (Economic and Social Research Institute, 1981) ISBN 0-7070-0041-6
  • Tim Hastings. Semi-States in Crisis: The Challenge for Industrial Relations in the ESB and Other Major Semi-State Companies (Oak Tree Press, 1994) ISBN 1-872853-79-X
  • Michael Shiel "The Quiet Revolution - The Electrification of Rural Ireland" (O'Brien Press) ISBN 0-86278-840-4

Online

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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