Vulcan to the sky

Avro Vulcan & Kempston Controls Take To The Sky

At the start of the year, Kempston Controls partnered with Eaton to provide the Vulcan to the Sky Trust with a donation of rare fuses which are essential to keep Vulcan XH558 airworthy. The Bussmann 059-0125 and 011-9127 fuses are used in the flying control motor circuits and are susceptible to fatigue due to the cycling of the motors driving the hydraulic pumps that drive the flying control surfaces.

About the Vulcan To The Sky Trust

Vulcan To The Sky Trust is a charitable organisation who in 2005 began to restore the retired Vulcan XH558 delta-winged bomber, and in 2007, after more than 14 years of being grounded, completed three successful test flights. In 2008, after another successful test flight, the Civil Aviation Authority granted permission for Vulcan XH558 to perform at the RAF Waddington Air show.

In early 2015 the trust announced that the current 2015 flying season would be it’s last. Although the goal was to keep the Vulcan flying for a few more years, at the start of 2015 the ‘technical authorities’ (BAE Systems, Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group and Rolls-Royce) legally required to support the airworthiness of the Vulcan announced the withdrawal of their support – XH558 was forced to cease flying in October 2015. Although the aircraft was safe to fly, the structure and systems were then more than 10% beyond the flying hours of any other Vulcan and the knowledge base of Vulcan-era technologies within the technical authorities was deemed to have fallen too far to support the aircraft.

Since grounding Vulcan XH558 the Trust has established an education programme which works closely with schools, colleges and other organisations. While still being kept airworthy and capable of accelerating dramatically along the runway, the Vulcan XH558 is being used to inspire and educate new generations of young people.

Vulcan LandingAbout the Avro Vulcan XH558

Vulcan XH558 is a jet-powered delta-winged strategic nuclear bomber operated, when in service, by the Royal Air Force during the Cold War. An iconic example of British engineering with XH558 being the last Vulcan in service until 1984 when it was retired. With an impressive list of technical achievements including being the first successful large delta wing aircraft, leading directly to Concorde and the Space Shuttle, XH588 could deliver performance and agility so close to a jet fighter’s that it was given a fighter-style control column.

The XH558 first flew in 1960, and was one of the few Vulcan models converted for a maritime reconnaissance role in 1973, and then as an air-to-air refuelling tanker in 1982. In 1984, once withdrawn, it continued with the RAF’s Vulcan Display Flight, performing until 1992.

In 1993 it was sold to C Walton Ltd who used it for ground-based displays at their Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in Leicestershire until 1999. Through a combination of public donations and lottery funding, it was restored to fully functional condition by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, who returned it to flight on 18 October 2007.

To learn more about Avro Vulcan XH558 & their current project, Operation Safeguard to build a hanger and exhibition hall, head to their website:

Kempston Controls is a leading distributor of electrical process control and automation products and electronic components with a world-leading reputation for stock, service, competitive pricing and next-day delivery. Our diverse product portfolio includes; proximity and motion sensors, humidity and temperature sensor data loggers, fuses, light curtains, electrical connectors, actuators, safety relays, panel meters, emergency stops and much more.

Battery Storage Fuse Links– Protecting the Power

The demand for electrical power is continually increasing and traditional methods of energy production, such as nuclear, Hydroelectric and coal-fired power stations have been supported by growth of renewable energy technology such as wind, solar and tidal power. As countries all around the world are striving to become more reliant upon efficient and environmentally friendly electrical energy the requirements to store the energy generated by renewable and more traditional methods within battery storage systems is rapidly becoming a necessity.

Modern storage

Modern battery storage systems are modular, easy to deploy close to power generation networks and can even be retrofitted into existing systems. The batteries contained within these power banks can contain Lead Acid, lithium-ion, AGM and NiCad and any installation will feature a Battery Management System (BMS) to ensure good battery health, ensuring the batteries cannot be overcharged or over-discharged. The BMS, together with high-quality Battery Storage Fuses are designed to provide the battery storage installation with protection from dangerous overcurrents and short circuits.

The expansion of this power storage network is having a demanding effect on electrical system architecture and as a consequence their overcurrent protection needs. Battery storage system protection requirements differ compared to typical grid-connected AC systems, here they are required to operate with DC systems which may have high fault currents and a number of lower overcurrent instances.

The forefront of design

Eaton has been at the forefront of this drive, continually innovating and making sure battery storage systems for schools, offices, shopping centres and large scale utility storage systems operate safely. With their extensive knowledge and experience behind them, Eaton has created a range of Bussmann Battery Storage Fuse Links that are have been specifically designed and tested to safely protect battery storage systems with high DC voltages and low fault currents.

Battery Storage Fuses

The BSF-NH Range of Fuse Links

Eaton Bussmann’s BSF-NH series of Battery Storage Fuse Links have been specifically designed to isolate and protect battery array combiners and disconnects. The BSF-NH range is capable of interrupting low overcurrents that are associated with faulted battery storage systems. Available in bolted tag or bladed fuse link versions.

A range of associated fuse bases available in  SD1 (250 A), SD2 (400 A) and SD3 (630 A) sizes and shroud kits, fuse extractors, microswitches, neutral links and phase barrier kits suitable for the BSF-NH range of Battery Storage Fuse Links are available to help complete your installation.

BSF-NH Fuse Technical Data

Voltage rating 1000 Vdc

Current rating 63 to 400 A

Breaking capacity 100 kA

Time constant 4.5 ms t 100 kA

Compact design

Low power loss

Fuse sizes – NH1 (63-160 A), NH2 (160-250 A), NH3 (315-400 A)

Operating class – gBat proposed for full range fuse links for the protection of battery systems

Standards IEC 60269-7, RoHS and REACH compliant

Download the datasheet


The BSF-3XL Range of Fuse Links

Battery Storage Fuse 3XL


Designed for more demanding tasks, the BSF-3XL range of Battery Storage Fuse Links have been designed to isolate and protect high-power battery array combiners and disconnects. The BSF-3XL range is capable of interrupting low overcurrents that are associated with faulted battery storage systems.

Available in bolted tag or bladed fuse link versions. A fuse base (SD3L-S-PV) for knife bladed terminal fuse links and microswitches for the BSF-3XL range of Battery Storage Fuse Links are available to help complete your installation.




BSF-3XL Fuse Technical Data

Voltage rating 1500 Vdc

Current rating 250 to 500 A

Breaking capacity 100 kA

Time constant 4.5 ms t 100 kA

Fuse sizes – 3L

Operating class – gBat proposed for full range fuse links for the protection of battery systems

Standards IEC 60269-7, RoHS and REACH compliant

Download the datasheet


If you are installing a Battery Storage System you will need to ensure that you have the right Fuse Links and accessories for the job. Kempston Controls, as a supplier partner for Eaton, has access to the entire Eaton Bussmann range of Battery Storage Fuse Links and we can provide you with all the assistance you need to help you choose the right products. Give our sales team a call on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email them at to discuss your Battery Storage Fuse Link requirements.

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Panel Essentials

Panel Essentials from Kempston Controls

Kempston Controls brings you Panel Essentials, our very own brand of electrical components, devices and everyday parts that you need to ensure your electrical equipment never lets you down. A comprehensive range including BS1362 fuses, customisable contractor fuse kits, LED link lights and a DIN rail mounted multifunction timer.

Our Panel Essentials range is always expanding with new innovative product solutions being added regularly so be sure to check-in and see what’s new.

Fuses from Panel Essentials

Domestic Fuses by Panel Essentials

Kempston Controls PLUGTOP fuses are a comprehensive range of BS1362 fuses designed to fit UK standard plugs in all the popular amperage ratings: 1A, 3A, 5A, 7A, 10A and 13A.

Did you see our recent 3-part series on Industrial, Commercial and Domestic Fuses?

Boxes of 100

Our most popular option, our Panel Essentials PLUGTOP fuses are available in a handy box of 100, perfect for any toolbox and ideal for keeping onsite jobs supplied!

Currently available in 1A, 2A, 3A, 5A, 7A, 10A and 13A.

View the Range

Panel Essentials Fuse Box 100

Bag of 1000

The newest addition to our line up due to popular demand, you can now purchase our PLUGTOP fuses in ready-made bags of 1000. Ideal for keeping big jobs supplied, bags of 1000 are currently available in 3A, 5A, 10A and 13A.

View the Range

Fuse Kit

The CFK18 by Panel Essentials is the ideal piece of kit for electrical contractors with a wide variety of commonly used fuses in an easily transportable case.

Each fuse kit contains 180 fuses:

  • 30 Fuses for standard 13A Plugs containing: 3A, 5A & 13A
  • 60 Fast Acting Glass 5x20mm Fuses containing: 500mA, 1A, 2A, 2.5A, 3.15A & 5A
  • 90 Slow Blow Glass 5x20mm Fuses containing: 1A, 1.25A, 1.6A, 2A, 2.5A, 3.15A, 5A, 6.3A & 10A

What’s more, our fuse kits are also customisable! Contact us today to learn more on 01933 411411 or email

Learn More

Panel Essentials Fuse Kit

Blister Packs

The Panel Essentials range also includes our PLUGTOP range in handy blister packs. Available as individual packs of 4 or 10 in either 1A, 2A, 3A, 5A, 7A, 10A, 13A or Mixed, they’re ideal for homeowners and commercial customers alike.

View the Range

What’s more, for our commercial customers, we also stock a variety of POS kits. With a choice of two kits, a clip strip or counter-top display, both contain a variety of blister packs which are perfect to get you started!

Learn More: Counter-Top Display

Learn More: Clip Strip

Panel Essentials Counter Top

Link Lights from Panel Essentials

LED Link Lights by Panel Essentials

The Panel Essentials range also includes a selection of switched and unswitched LED Link Lights which are ideal for anyone wishing to work safely in areas which require portable or fixed illumination. They are supplied with 2 strong magnets for easy installation and re-usage as well as the normal fixing brackets.

Having both switched and unswitched versions available, being dual voltage and having the ability to link up to 50 lights they are a versatile addition to any workman toolbox.

Key Features:

  • Powerful 4W LED. (520Lm +-10%)
  • IP20 Protection
  • Switched and Unswitched versions available.
  • 50,000 hrs long-life energy-saving class A LED.
  • Complete with a diffuser.
  • CE, UL, TUV approved.
Link lights Panel Essentials

Other accessories available separately include a 2-metre power lead, spare magnets and spare accessories pack.

View the Range

Timer from Panel Essentials

Multi-Function Timer by Panel Essentials

The KPE4PMVMFT Multi-function timer is a unique 4PCO DIN rail mounted timer, which is modular, multi-functional, and is suitable for multiple voltages. Our versatile panel timers offer extra functionality and an extended timing range which is superior to other similar products. An ideal timer to stock which covers a multitude of applications.

Key Features:

  • Unique 4PCO relay output
  • Eight selectable functions
  • Multi-Voltage: 12-250VAC/DC
  • Multi-Timing Range: 0.1 sec – 10 days

Learn More

Panel Essentials Timer

Kempston Controls is one of the UK’s leading electrical and electronic component supplier, with a vast range of stock covering a multitude of applications including process control and automation sensors, circuit protection products, power supplies and so much more. Give our dedicated sales team a call on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email them at

Industrial, Commercial and Domestic Fuses – A Closer Look #3

The final part in the series of a close look at fuses concludes.


A Safe Installation – Fuse Holders

Fuse-holders for UK industrial and commercial applications are designed to meet the requirements of BS HD 60269-2/BS 88-2. The fuse holders normally consist of a separate base and a carrier with the base containing the main incoming and outgoing cable terminals and the carrier holding the fuse-link. Cable terminals are shrouded and the base and carrier mouldings are designed to prevent finger contact with live parts as the fuse-link is withdrawn.

Fuse holders are a popular method of using fuse-links in industrial environments.

Main versions include:
  • BS HD 60269-2/BS 88-2 fuse system E for use with bolted tag type fuse-links up to 400A
  • BS HD 60269-2/BS 88-2 fuse system G for use with clip-in offset blade tag fuse-links up to 63A

BS EN 60269-1/BS 88-1 outlines 3 states of the fuse that need to be considered when protecting personnel against potential electric shocks.

  • When the fuse is mounted and fully installed with the fuse-base, fuse, carrier and enclosure forming part of the fuse
  • During the replacement of the fuse
  • When the fuse-link and if applicable, the fuse carrier is removed

The two fuse holder versions mentioned above are IP2X rated in all of the outlined states.

Fuse holders feature a variety of different termination options, the most common ones you will find are:

  • Front/Front – cable termination points are at the top and bottom of the fuse base
  • Back Stud – cable termination is via two threaded studs on the rear of the fuse base
  • Front/Back Stud – a combination of the two above
  • Front/Busbar – top or bottom cable entry at one end and a special terminal block for busbar connection at the opposing end


More Fuse Holders

holders for fuses

CAMaster is a fully shrouded HRC fuse holder that features a unique cam-action that allows you to both mount the fuse with the correctly applied contact pressure and to unmount it safely.  Other options include Red Spot fuse holders, that feature finger-safe functionality for BS 88 HRC industrial fuses in ratings up to 400 Amps.

View our CAMaster Fuseholders

When several fuse holders are mounted onto a rear fixing rail and all of their incoming terminals are connected together by a common busbar are known as fuse banks. Similarly, distribution fuse boards are a step above and typically contain, fuse banks, incoming main terminals, earth and neutral bars and side rails and are contained within an enclosure.


The Domestic Scene – BS1362 Plug-Top Fuses

BS 1362 fuses are strikingly familiar to most people resident in the UK, these fuses are the domestic type you will find inside a standard British appliance plug and for sale in the local hardware store. Available in a range of Amperage ratings including 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 13 Amps.

fuses in a standard plug

Domestic appliances in the UK use a fused plug which must be fitted with a BS 1362 fuse. The use of the BS 1363 plug and socket system and the required fitting of a BS 1362 plug fuse is a legal requirement under the UK Plug and Socket Safety Regulations of 1995. The cable connected to equipment via a correctly fused BS 1363 plug is always fully protected against the effects of short circuits or overloads as follows:

  • 3A fuse protects 0.5mm² or larger cables
  • 7A fuse protects 0.75mm² or larger cables
  • 13A fuse protects 1.25mm2 or larger cables

Ultimately, the protection against damage by a short circuit is achieved even if a smaller cable size is inadvertently protected by a 13A fuse. In the UK, it is accepted that some marginal damage to small flexible cables is tolerable under short circuit conditions.

The use of BS 1362 fuses to protect flexible cords or cables from overload conditions and from faults including; short circuits, earth faults and overcurrents have been essential in the UK for many years. This system is the only one to offer total protection of flexible cables in this particular way.

View our Range


Kempston Controls is one of the UK’s leading distributors of electrical and electronic components and are a one-stop-shop for all your industrial automation process and control equipment. We stock a comprehensive range of fuses suitable for all industrial, commercial and domestic applications, give us a call on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or alternatively email to discuss your BS 88, Medium Voltage fuses and BS1362 fuse requirements.

Don’t forget to read parts #1 and part #2!


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Industrial, Commercial and Domestic Fuses – A Closer Look #2

If you missed the first edition click here.

BS EN 60269-4/BS 88-4 Low-voltage, High-Speed Fuses for Semiconductor Devices

High-speed fuses are thermal, current-controlled devices utilised for protecting semiconductor electrical circuits from short-circuits. Featuring a specially designed element profile and construction that offers all the necessary characteristics required for the protection of semiconductor devices. These characteristics include low energy let-through (l2t), low peak currents (lPEAK), low arc voltage and high-heat dissipation.

Typical devices requiring semiconductor protection

This type of fuse consists of one or more current-carrying elements enclosed within a chamber which is typically made of glass-melamine or ceramic. This chamber is fitted with terminals that allow the fuse to be inserted or removed easily from an electrical circuit. High-speed fuses don’t have any intentional time-delay features like those found in general industrial fuses and can be placed into two categories: full range high-speed fuses and partial range high-speed fuses.

Full Range High-Speed Fuses: These fuses offer protection to both overload and short-circuit overcurrent conditions and have the category symbol gR. The first letter ‘g’ denotes full range protection while the second letter ‘R’ denotes semiconductor device application.

Partial Range High-Speed Fuses: This variant of fuse offers protection to short-circuit overcurrent condition and have the category symbol aR. The first letter “a” denotes partial range protection and the ‘R’ denotes semiconductor device application.

Typical applications for ‘aR’ or ‘gR’ variant fuses include; the protection of semiconductors such as diodes, thyristors, triacs and other similar devices that are found in power rectifiers, UPS, converters, AC and DC motor drives, soft starters, solid-state relays, photovoltaic inverters, welding inverters and many other applications where it is necessary to protect semiconductor devices.

Typical high-speed semiconductor fuses

High-speed fuses have a unique design intentionally applied to help prevent their misapplication in other general industrial applications in the field. Their classification is based on their dimension, mounting, and origin and can be found in a variety style including North American Traditional Round Body, Square Body – such as the 170M, Cylindrical or Ferrule and British Standard (BS88) Bolted.

View our range of Semiconductor protection fuses


Medium Voltage Fuses

A medium voltage (MV) fuse is utilised differently to other fuses that are rated at 600 Volts and below, the main difference is that medium voltage fuses are not intended to provide overload protection. MV fuses are typically only applied where the fuse will not be required to open as a result of a small overcurrent. When correctly installed MV fuses are intended to carry their nominal current rating continuously without failure fatigue, meaning the fuse will not age or deteriorate even under intensive duty cycles.

typical high-speed semiconductor fuses

Medium voltage fuses are available in two basic variants:

  • Expulsion Fuse. This is a vented fuse where the expulsion effect of the gases produced by internal arcing, results in current interruption. Expulsion fuses will limit the duration of an overcurrent, but not limit the magnitude of fault current.
  • Current Limiting Fuse. When in this fuse’s element is melted by a current within the fuse’s specified current-limiting range, it abruptly introduces a high resistance to reduce current magnitude and duration, resulting in a current interruption. Applications for current-limiting fuses includes the protection of feeders, transformers and motor circuits designed to ANSI, BS, DIN and IEC standards.

Current limiting fuses are further classified into three categories:

  1. Full Range. These fuses are capable of interrupting all currents from the maximum rated interrupting current down to the minimum continuous current that caused the melting of the fusible element.
  2. General Purpose: Designed to interrupt all currents from the maximum rated interrupting current down to the current that causes the melting of the fusible element in one hour.
  3. Back-up: A fuse capable of interrupting all currents from the maximum interrupting rating current down to the minimum interrupting current. The minimum interrupting current is the lowest current that the fuse will be able to clear properly.

MV fuses Typically fall into E-Rated and R-Rated Variants.

  • E-Rated fuses are used to protect feeder circuits, power transformers, voltage switches, potential transformers and have defined current response times.
  • R-Rated fuses are back-up fuses that provide short-circuit protection for motor circuits and are applied with MV motor starters, providing overload protection for the circuit.

high-speed fuse, boric acid type

Boric Acid Fuse


Typical Medium Voltage fuse types variants include:

  • DIN – IEC fuses – DIN 43625 specified current-limiting fuses for transformer protection
  • Potential Transformer fuses – British standard VT fuses with a low current rating for use in voltage transformers providing isolation of the electrical system.
  • British Standard – IEC Fuses for use in Oil Filled Distribution Switchgear – used in 3 phase 50Hz transformers in oil field switchgear.
  • Fast-Acting Fuses – space-saving fast-acting fuses, non-time delay ideal for instrument protection.
  • BBU Boric Acid Fuses – suitable for power transformers, feeder circuits, metal-enclosed and Pad-mounted switchgear

View our Medium Voltage range

Read #1 in the series

Read #3 in the series

Look out for the final part of this series.


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Industrial, Commercial and Domestic Fuses – A Closer Look #1

Fuses come in all shapes and sizes and for a myriad of applications. In this short series, we take a closer look at some of the more popular varieties, what they are, how they work and which fuse does what.

Firstly, what is a fuse?

You will find a fuse utilised as a safety device within an electrical circuit, installed between the power source and its respective load. If the current becomes too high then the fuse will blow, disconnecting the load from its source of power, reducing potential damage to electrical equipment and perhaps preventing a fire. Typically, fuses are then discarded and replaced with a fuse of the same voltage and current capacity, unless they are resettable variants.

How do they work?

Fuses, in simplistic terms, usually feature a thin metal strip inside which is the resistor component which completes the electrical circuit. When a current passing through the circuit is too high, this metallic strip heats up and melts, breaking the circuit and stopping the flow of current. This helps prevent overheating and removes the danger of electrical issues that could result in a fire.

Choosing the right fuse

Fuses come in all shapes and sizes with many different current ratings which inform the user of just how much current is capable of passing through it before it fails. A fuse speed relates to just how fast it will fail when the current passing through it is beyond its rating. Quick blow fuses are ideal for sensitive devices that could be critically damaged by high currents and temperatures.

A fuse buyer needs to consider a variety of factors to make sure they purchase the correct fuse for their respective application, it’s not just a question of its current rating, size and speed. Consideration needs to be given to how much energy is released when it fails, too much could pose a threat to machinery and equipment and their users. With low voltage applications awareness of the voltage drop is good to know, as too much of a drop-through a fuse could affect the operational ability of the equipment it’s protecting.

A selection of BS 88 Fuses

Industrial Spec BS 88 Fuses

The BS 88 standards are the UK equivalent to the International Standard IEC 60269. This international standard was created to unify the electrical characteristics for fuses that are dimensionally interchangeable with fuses adhering to earlier British, German, French and Italian standards.

BS 88 Parts 1 and 2

Fuses that comply with BS 88 parts 1 and 2 can typically be broken down into two categories and are identified by their breaking capacity and utilisation category by using a two-letter code, for example, gG or gM.

The first letter indicates the breaking range, in the case of the letter ‘g’.
  • ‘g’ is a fuse-link with a full range breaking capacity from its conventional fusing current to its rated breaking capacity.
Other types include:
  • ‘a’ fuse-links, partial-range breaking capacity fuse-link, typically used for short circuit protection only.
The second letter indicates their utilisation which is a combination of requirements specified for each category.
  • G specifies a fast-action fuse-links for general purpose usage
  • M specifies a slow-action fuse-link for the protection of motor circuits
Other examples include:
  • R – Semiconductor protection, fast-acting
  • S – Semiconductor protection including cable overload protection
  • U – Electricity supply networks
  • PV – Photovoltaic module and array protection
  • Tr – Transformer protection


BS EN 60269-1/BS 88 Part 1 – Low Voltage Fuses – General Purpose Applications

Type gG is a fast-acting, low voltage fuse for general purpose use and features a full-range breaking capacity and is the most commonly used within the UK. The speed or time at which a fuse reacts to an overload situation is called the curve. These fuses are designed to protect less sensitive components and cabling from melting or igniting during overload.

fuses will be used to protect these powerful motors

BS EN 60269-2/BS 88 Part 2 – Low Voltage Fuses – Industrial Applications

Slow acting fuses (gM) feature a built-in delay allowing harmless inrush currents to pass without blowing the fuse, but it will open if there is a sustained overload or short circuit. This type of fuse is ideal for use within industrial motor control applications to accommodate their start-up inrush current.

Fuse manufacturers will provide time/current curves to demonstrate the speed of a fuse for differing overloads. Both the gG and gM fuse versions offer superb current limitation for all overloads in a large range of applications. Designed to limit interchangeability with a counterpart fuse of a differing value these fuse variants are broken down into further subsets which outline their physical size, design and mounting options and current capacity, thus improving system safety.


View our BS 88 Fuses


Kempston Controls is one of the UK’s leading electrical and electronic component supplier, with a vast range of stock covering a multitude of applications including process control and automation sensors, circuit protection products, power supplies and so much more. Give our dedicated sales team a call on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email them at

Read part two here.

Read part three here.


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