A brief history of PDU

We have been making intelligent power distribution units (PDU) since the 1990s, originally through the auspices of Bryant Unlimited, then since January 2021 with our own company, eyePower Limited. Working in close collaboration with Chris Sims CEng as consultant, we pride ourselves that we are producing some of the most intelligent power distribution units in the world.

In 1999 it started with a delayed sequence-on unit (SMU) to turn on equipment in a time delayed fashion to minimise inrush current. This incorporated individual outlet relays controlled by a processor that allowed us to set sequence parameters to suit a customer’s requirements.

One year later we introduced an auto-changeover, dual inlet unit (CMU) for an installation at ITN in London. Over 20 years on they are still in service.

The next iteration, a Sequential Mains unit with Serial control (SMS) followed on. Now over 18 years old and well proven, it was developed after users asked for widely varying combinations of sequence on/off, response to GPIs etc. SMS offered total programmability with user defined macro routines.

eyePower represents the next generation after SMS, with current and various voltage measurements going beyond basic RMS measurements that do not fully represent modern, complex power loads. Switching of each mains outlet can be performed ‘live’ via the PC serial or Ethernet connection, or the eyePower PDU can be loaded with sequencing routines so the unit works autonomously.

These autonomous routines are loaded into the eyePower PDU via the serial or Ethernet port and the eyePower PDU stores them into memory that will last for decades without the unit even being powered. With no PC connected, autonomous operation can still be influenced by external events such as night-time shutdown, changeover to backup power, or a fire. This requires logic level (0V/+5V) signals to be connected into any of the four GPI (General Purpose Interface) connections of the eyePower PDU.