Mar
18

NFPA 70E vs OSHA

You already have OSHA, so why also follow NFPA 70E? And if NFPA 70E can actually make you safer, why don't the OSHA regulations include it?

The OSHA regulations govern the employer. Their main thrust is to ensure the employer has a safety program that meets specific standards of performance and the employer properly trains the employees to conform with that program.

NFPA 70E helps employers and employees provide a practical safe working area relative to the hazards arising from the use of electricity.

So OSHA and NFPA 70E work together. Not only that, key OSHA personnel have been involved in the development of NFPA 70E for quite some time. They have worked directly with electrical industry leaders, including executives of electrical service firms.

It's not an either/or choice. The employer is legally obligated to conform to OSHA regulations. But is the employer obligated to use NFPA 70E? In a practical sense, yes. When the employer and employees utilize NFPA 70E, they reduce hazards not only to employees but to the companies they work for. The financial, operational, and emotional impact on a firm when an employee suffers an arc blast or electrocution can be severe.

NFPA 70E is a practical guide. But don't forget the value of a safety culture. This must be nurtured from the top down and from the bottom up. When everyone is thinking of how to identify hazards and protect workers from them, the way people use NFPA 70E will be far more effective than if they are trying to see what they can get by with or counting on luck (which tends to run out sooner or later).

 

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/safety/nfpa-70e-versus-osha?NL=ECM-004&Issue=ECM-004_20190315_ECM-004_545&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_3_b&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=25423&utm_medium=email&elq2=1c55ed77278742ffbb37a2e6cdaca718

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Mar
11

Innovation Days: Design Engineer Seminar

 April 9-10, 2019

807 Corporate Centre Drive
O'Fallon, Missouri 63368


The first opportunity of 2019 to see the constantly evolving
Schneider Electric Technology Center in St. Louis!

Join us for an interactive and hands on education session. See our Power Lab,
ask questions to our subject matter experts on critical power trends and learn how
Schneider Electric can help you solve your clients problems.

Get information that will keep you on the cutting edge of the latest technologies.
Meet other engineers from across the country to knowledge share & expand your network.

9 PDH credits will be given for this complimentary seminar.

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See the original full article at: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/401497/855549/

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Mar
07

Power System Studies - Load flow, power factor correction and harmonics

The Eaton Power Systems Experience Center (PSEC) explains the details and importance of load flow (lf), power factor correction (pf), harmonics and power systems studies.

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See the original video post at: http://videos.eaton.com/detail/videos/electrical-distribution/video/5595520334001/power-system-studies---load-flow-power-factor-correction-and-harmonics?autoStart=true&page=3

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Mar
04

Eaton to Spin Off Lighting

The move will create a stand-alone powerhouse in luminaires and controls. 


Eaton Corp., Dublin, Ireland, said it intends to pursue a tax-free spin-off of its Lighting business. The spin-off will create an independent, publicly traded company and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Goldman Sachs is serving as Eaton's financial advisor on the transaction.

The move will create a stand-alone powerhouse in luminaires and controls with a package of brands mostly built by Cooper Lighting, which Eaton acquired in 2012, including Halo, Metalux, McGraw-Edison, Neo-Ray, Lumiere, Lumark, Pauluhn, Corelite, Ephesus and AtLite.

In a letter this morning to customers and channel partners, Eaton Lighting President Kraig Kasler and VP Sales Joe Melchiors said the Crouse-Hinds Industrial Lighting business and the Life Safety division's emergency lighting product lines in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will remain with Eaton.

The Eaton Lighting business had sales of $1.7 billion in 2018, serving customers in commercial, industrial, residential and municipal markets.

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/product-sourcing-supply/eaton-spin-lighting

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Feb
25

IEEE Releases New 1584 Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations

According to the IEEE Standards Association, approximately 2,000 workers are admitted to burn centers each year for extended injury treatment caused by arc flash incidents.

With this in mind, the IEEE Standards Association announced last month the publication and immediate availability of "IEEE 1584-2018 - IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations." This new technical standard is sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications Society, Petroleum & Chemicals Industry (IAS/PCI).

The standard is the result of extensive research and laboratory testing conducted by the Arc Flash Research Project, which is an ongoing collaboration between IEEE and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), with the mission of providing improved models and an analytical process to enable calculation of predicted incident thermal energy and the arc-flash boundary.

"Our extensive, collaborative work with the NFPA has resulted in an IEEE standard that dramatically improves the prediction of hazards associated with arcing faults and accompanying arc blasts," said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the IEEE Standards Association. "Contractors and facility owners will benefit from IEEE 1584 by being able to more thoroughly analyze power systems to calculate the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during operations and maintenance work, allowing them to provide appropriate protection for employees in accordance with the requirements of applicable electrical workplace safety standards."

IEEE 1584 2018 includes processes that cover the collection of field data, consideration of power system operating scenarios, and calculation parameters. Applications include electrical equipment and conductors for three-phase alternating current voltages from 208 volts to 15 kilovolts.

"It has been sixteen years since the first edition of the IEEE 1584 standard was published in 2002," said Jim Phillips, vice chair of the IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Working Group, international chair of IEC TC78 Live Working, and arc flash safety columnist for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. "The new 2018 edition of this standard takes arc flash studies to the next level."

The original model was based on arc flash test using only a few enclosure sizes with the electrodes in a vertical configuration.

"Subsequent research and testing for the 2018 edition have led to the inclusion of more enclosure sizes, an enclosure size correction factor, and additional electrode configurations, as well as many other enhancements to enable more detailed modeling," Phillips said.

"The update to IEEE 1584 has empowered thousands of engineers conducting arc-flash hazard calculations," said Daleep Mohla, chair, IEEE 1584 Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations Working Group. "These efforts, conducted in partnership with the NFPA, have armed all stakeholders involved in arc-flash hazards to better protect employees and contractors in the working environment." 

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmag.com/section/codes-standards/ieee-releases-new-1584-arc-flash-hazard-calculations

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Feb
18

12 things you can do to strengthen your company’s Business Continuity Plan

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See the original full article at: https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/journey/business-continuity/infographic/12-steps-to-a-better-business-continuity-plan-slideshow

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206 Hits
Feb
11

Power Companies Facing Labor Shortage and Skills Gap

 Power companies are facing a difficult task balancing the need to address talent shortages with adapting to the changing skills needs resulting from digitalization, according to the third annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI). The world's largest energy recruitment and employment trends report was recently released by Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors, and Energy Jobline, a job site for the energy and engineering industries.


Airswift and Energy Jobline surveyed more than 17,000 energy professionals and hiring managers in 162 countries across five industry sub-sectors: oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals. According to the report, 48 percent of power professionals are concerned about an impending talent emergency, with 32 percent believing the crisis to have already hit the sector and 38 percent reporting that their company had been affected by skills shortages.

The problem is most profound in engineering, with 62 percent of respondents citing that as the discipline most affected by talent shortages, with project leadership a distant second on 22 percent. When it comes to specific skills gaps, problem-solving (29 percent), leadership (19 percent) and process management (13 percent) lead the way.

Janette Marx, chief executive officer at Airswift, says the report found that the biggest concern of the energy workforce is the skills gap.

"The need for more engineers points to an industry concerned with meeting its immediate needs, but the skills respondents identified are exactly those you need to successfully manage change – something firms will be doing a lot of as they adapt to automation," Marx says. It looks as though the power sector has one eye on the present and one firmly on its digital future."

In addition to providing much-needed insights into the skills gap, GETI also provides data about salary and mobility. Key findings within power include:

      • Remuneration is on the up. Fifty-seven percent of non-hiring professionals report an increase in pay over the past 12 months, with 29 percent citing a raise of more than five percent
      • Seventy-four percent of non-hiring professionals anticipate further pay raises in 2019 – with 44 percent expecting remuneration to rise by more than five percent.
      • Ninety percent of professionals would consider relocating to another region for their job, with career progression opportunities the number one factor attracting talent to a region.
      • Renewables provides the biggest source of competition for talent, with 47 percent of those open to switching sectors attracted to the industry, followed by oil and gas at 40 percent.

Hannah Peet, managing director at Energy Jobline, says: "Competition between sectors remains as fierce as ever, but power businesses are set up very well for success. The sector has done a fantastic job of offering stability, security and steadily-increasing remuneration. Furthermore, hiring managers understand what those skill shortages are and know where to go to alleviate them."

Peet says the next step is to take action.

"Graduate training schemes and increased use of apprenticeships will help, but the power sector needs to do a better job of marketing itself to young, digitally-inclined talent. Otherwise, transformations like the smart grid can't fulfill their full potential," Peet says.

Download the report for more information.
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Feb
04

In 2019, IIoT and the Industrial Edge Benefits Will Rely on Predictable Power

Industrial physical infrastructure and the methods for managing industrial assets are transforming before our very eyes. According to IHS Markit, the volume of Cloud/Edge analytics that support manufacturing operations are set to double by 2020 and, by 2030, the installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is projected to exceed 120 billion. 

Industrial Edge Applications

In 2019, technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and video analytics will expand their influence and will help to drive these transformations as more and more "industrial edge" applications take root (Industrial Edge enriches industrial automation through live and constantly available data and analytics, to drive operations more efficiently and effectively).

As these technologies proliferate, their business value will manifest itself in multiple ways:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI combines a set of defined rules, intelligence and information. For example, when data is coming from different sources, AI can flag information that bucks the trend as a risk or as an opportunity for savings. These tools analyze the data on a continuous basis and come up with recommended decisions or actions based on the data. The more an AI algorithm is asked to process, the more it learns and the more accurate it becomes because of the way the algorithms are organized. Such algorithms help to make predictive maintenance of industry assets possible, thus radically reducing equipment support costs while boosting production uptime.

Augmented Reality (AR)

New ways to both maintain physical assets and to train new employees are just two examples of how AR is helping to open new doors to improved efficiency. Newcomers to the industry, for example, will require very little training as visualization software combined with real-time data are tightly integrated. Such digital tools make it easy to maintain and save domain expertise (i.e., tribal knowledge of experienced employees) by capturing the ways that experienced employees resolve issues so that users in the future have access to this brain power, even after the physical people have left.

Video Analytics

Integrated video analytics (IVA) are impacting a broad set of industrial edge applications across a wide variety of environments including factories. In the case of manufacturing, video analytics applications are helping to increase throughput, reduce energy consumption, and improve overall product quality. The great enablers of these kinds of benefits, high definition video cameras, are providing information in such detail, that real-time decision-making is greatly enabled. The software supporting such applications drives hardware requirements that then feed the specifications for a micro data center which bundles IT server processing power and storage with power, cooling, rack, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and remote monitoring so that the integrated video analytics applications can run in a reliable, predictable and safe manner.

Power Protection that Backs Up the Industrial IoT

The one common element that will allow these technologies to deliver the expected ROI across the various industrial application areas is a power protection infrastructure that supports 24×7 availability. Since all compute power is fueled by electricity, the stability of the power infrastructure that generates, transmits and distributes that electricity has a direct impact on business continuity. As even the simplest of devices becomes equipped with microprocessors, the growth in device intelligence raises demand for clean power and electrical infrastructure capable of supporting such increased connectivity. In connected environments, where real-time decisions will become the norm, failure of systems is not an option.

IIoT and industrial edge frameworks must account for the power systems that enable uptime in a cyber-secure manner. To learn more about how power systems support and help to harden new generation IIoT solutions, visit Schneider Electric's Industrial Business Continuity site. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://blog.schneider-electric.com/power-management-metering-monitoring-power-quality/2019/01/30/2019-iiot-and-the-industrial-edge-benefits-will-rely-on-predictable-power/

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Jan
28

Why the Need for PQ Analysis is on the Rise

A useful tool at all life cycle stages, making PQ monitoring a part of an electrical distribution system's E3MP is critical.  

As electrical distribution systems continue to improve with the rapidly evolving technological advances, the benefits of power quality measurements and associated analysis continue to increase. One clear example is the expanding use of microprocessor-based protective relaying and metering. Electric utility power providers are using smart devices in systems to move toward a peak usage billing structure and monitor large commercial/industrial customers that are potentially inducing power factor issues into the electric utility's distribution system.

With the rise in solid-state circuits, end-use equipment is becoming more sensitive to disturbances such as voltage fluctuations, spikes or swells, voltage imbalances, harmonic distortions, or even momentary interruptions. These disturbances can arise from either the electric utility system or within the user facilities. Also, with the incorporation of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), more and more electrical equipment is interconnected with networks and industrial processes. Thankfully, the increased concern for power quality has resulted in significant advances in monitoring equipment that is capable of characterizing power disturbances and power quality variations.

An electrical distribution system's purpose is to provide the required power parameters to support the proper operation of the loads. When an end device is not working properly, the first suspect is typically a power quality issue. Whether the root cause is in the distribution system or in the end device, an effective power quality analysis can lead to the appropriate corrective action to restore the device to normal operation. The bottom line is, when any electrical system fails to meet its purpose, it's time to investigate the problem, find the root cause, and initiate corrective action.

Power quality monitoring and analysis is a useful tool at all life cycle stages as part of an electrical distribution system's effective electrical equipment maintenance program (E3MP). Whether it's used for troubleshooting purposes, to obtain baseline data, or measuring and analyzing electrical system parameters, power quality analysis is a vital tool for maintaining a healthy electrical distribution system. Essentially, power quality monitoring is a process for collecting data that can be used for a variety of applications, depending on the current circumstances.

However, power quality analysis results are only as effective as the data collected for the analysis. A well thought out and planned effort is critical prior to investing time and money into the process. For troubleshooting discrete equipment issues, a plan may be as simple as determining where the incoming power connections can be easily accessed, what level of personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed to create an electrically safe work condition for metering connections, what parameters are needed to be monitored, and how long the device should be monitored for data collection.

Executing a permanently installed power monitoring capability to improve long-term system reliability requires more detailed planning to maximize effectiveness with available resources. An E3MP includes a criticality analysis on the systems and associated electrical assets. This criticality analysis, when properly performed, provides an objective list of all the electrical assets and how important they are to the facility operational mission priorities. This allows the opportunity to direct the appropriate resources toward the most critical equipment, which should, in turn, have a positive impact on the overall reliability of the system. For the most critical electrical assets, the appropriate level of condition-based maintenance may include permanently installed online power quality monitoring.

Another location to consider for permanent monitoring capabilities is as close as practical to the point of service. This will provide a baseline of the quality of the power that is coming in to the system from the electric utility provider. However, planning for this connection needs to include a risk analysis due to the high potential for large fault currents and high arc flash incident energy levels. Once installed at the point of service, this singular location can be quite useful in determining the location of power disturbances. If the facility can tolerate momentary power interruptions, individual circuits can be isolated to detect which circuit has the disturbance on it. Then, the same isolating process can continue through the distribution system of that circuit until the device causing the disturbance is identified. Obviously, more monitoring devices installed on the system will minimize the level of interruption needed during troubleshooting by allowing detection of the disturbance closer to the cause.

While the permanent installation of power monitoring devices is the recommended best practice, the same analysis can be performed using temporarily installed power quality meters on a routine basis or as needed to find the source of a problem. This can be more time-consuming due to the need to connect and disconnect a meter or multiple meters for various lengths of time to obtain enough information to meet the objective of the analysis. Although using power quality meters to troubleshoot discrete problems can be straightforward, trending the system health over time needs to be very strategic to be effective. The process for trending system health should be well planned and documented to acquire data that can be trended with prior analysis efforts to detect any developing issues.

Power quality monitoring and analysis is a useful tool at all life cycle stages and should be part of an electrical distribution system's E3MP. Abnormalities on an electrical system often impact power quality, so monitoring a distribution system's power quality can be an effective method in trending its overall health, reducing troubleshooting time after fault detection and aiding in condition-based maintenance decisions. 

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/power-quality-reliability/why-need-pq-analysis-rise

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Jan
21

Misunderstood After All This Time: Isolated Grounding

By Mark C. Ode, lead engineering associate for Energy & Power Technologies 

I recently received an email from a homeowner who was installing a high-end media room and had questions about his home's electrical system and the new circuits for the audio/video equipment. Before doing the installation, the homeowner had conducted internet research on the background requirements for audio/video installations. He also contacted an electrician friend, the audio/video equipment manufacturer from whom he had purchased his equipment, and an audio company engineer.

The audio equipment manufacturer provided a 65-page instruction manual with diagrams and illustrations to help with equipment installation. In addition, the electrician friend and the audio company engineer provided conflicting information and the homeowner was having trouble understanding the manual.

He found an article I had written for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR on isolated ground receptacles and circuits, so he contacted me to see if I could clarify the project and get him on the right path.

In the end, he relied upon the information I gave him, along with his electrician, to perform a safe installation.

According to my interpretation of his email, the homeowner had a service panelboard on the outside of the house and wanted to install a six-circuit panel in his media room with four dedicated 20-ampere (A), 120-volt (V) circuits to supply the audio/video equipment. He wanted to install EMT from his service panel to the media room panel and to four separate metal boxes in the room with a single 20A, 120V dedicated circuit in each box. He also wanted a separate isolated and insulated equipment grounding conductor for each circuit. At the media room panel, he wanted a separate isolated equipment ground bar for the four isolated, insulated equipment grounding conductors.

He was confused about what was permitted and what was required.

The audio company engineer told him to install a "2/0 welding cable from the isolated equipment ground bar in the media room panel to two separated ground bars" located outside of the building. (I assume the engineer meant two ground rods.) This concept was proposed in the 1980s to help isolate computers, audio and video equipment, and other high-frequency sensitive equipment from the normal electrical grounding system. However, this installation would have created an isolated ground without a path for fault current back to the source and would not have adequately cleared a fault in one of the circuits by tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse.

This incorrect concept prompted an addition to the 1990 National Electrical Code (NEC) in 250-21(d) (covering objectionable current over grounding conductors), which states: "the provisions of this section shall not be considered as permitting electronic equipment being operated on AC systems or branch circuits that are not grounded as required by this Article. Currents that introduce noise or data errors in electronic equipment shall not be considered the objectionable currents addressed in this section."

In other words, totally isolating the equipment grounding conductors from the electrical system using two separate ground rods was not acceptable in 1990, and it is not acceptable now. Thankfully, I quickly cleared up that misconception for the homeowner.

High-frequency noise, other unwanted frequencies and signals, harmonics, and even a signal that originates within the electronic equipment itself may be capacitive and inductively coupled into the ferrous metal raceway, connecting the equipment and the panel, and can be reflected back into the equipment, causing major disruption and noise in the audio and video equipment. There are two sections in the NEC that will help someone trying to reduce electrical noise (electromagnetic interference) on the grounding system. Isolated grounding of permanently installed electronic equipment is dealt with in 250.96(B) and 250.146(D) with isolated grounding of cord-and-plug-connected electronic equipment.

In both cases, a separate insulated, isolated equipment-grounding conductor can be installed from the equipment (a nonmetallic bushing isolates the metal raceway from the metal frame of the electronic equipment) or from the isolated ground receptacle (the ground pin of the receptacle is not connected to the yoke of the receptacle) back to the main service or the source of the separately derived system without being connected to metal boxes or subpanels. This separation and isolation keeps unwanted noise and other frequencies from being coupled into the electronic equipment and still provides a path for fault current back to the source.

Metal boxes, metal subpanels, metal raceways and other metal enclosures from the permanent electronic equipment or isolated ground receptacles still are required to have normal equipment grounding. 

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmag.com/section/codes-standards/misunderstood-after-all-time-isolated-grounding

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Jan
10

IEEE Publishes a Guide for Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations

 This guide provides mathematical models for designers and facility operators to apply in determining the arc-flash hazard distance and the incident energy to which workers could be exposed during their work on or near electrical equipment.

The IEEE Standards Association, Piscataway, N.J., has published a new guide for understanding and calculating arc-flash hazards in electrical equipment. The new IEEE 1584-2018—IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations was produced in collaboration with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as part of an effort to provide the industry with improved models and an analytical process to enable calculation of predicted incident thermal energy and the arc-flash boundary, IEEE said in a release announcing the guide's publication.

Sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications Society, Petroleum & Chemical Industry (IAS/PCIC), this new technical standard is the result of extensive research and laboratory testing conducted by the Arc Flash Research Project.

"Our extensive, collaborative work with the NFPA has resulted in an IEEE standard that dramatically improves the prediction of hazards associated with arcing faults and accompanying arc blasts," said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the IEEE Standards Association. "Contractors and facility owners will benefit from IEEE 1584 by being able to more thoroughly analyze power systems to calculate the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during operations and maintenance work, allowing them to provide appropriate protection for employees in accordance with the requirements of applicable electrical workplace safety standards."

IEEE 1584-2018 includes processes that cover the collection of field data, consideration of power system operating scenarios, and calculation parameters. Applications include electrical equipment and conductors for three-phase alternating current voltages from 208 V to 15 kV.

"The update to IEEE 1584 has empowered thousands of engineers conducting Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations," said Daleep Mohla, chair, IEEE 1584 Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations Working Group. "These efforts, conducted in partnership with the NFPA, have armed all stakeholders involved in Arc-Flash hazards to better protect employees and contractors in the working environment."

More information on IEEE 1584-2018 is available here.

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Jan
07

The Seven Types of Power Problems

Many of the mysteries of equipment failure, down-time, software and data corruption, are the result of a problematic supply of power. There is also a common problem with describing power problems in a standard way. This white paper describes the most common types of power disturbances, what can cause them, what they can do to your critical equipment, and how to safeguard your equipment, using the IEEE standards for describing power quality problems.

Our technological world has become deeply dependent upon the continuous availability of electrical power. In most countries, commercial power is made available via nationwide grids, interconnecting numerous generating stations to the loads. The grid must supply basic national needs of residential, lighting, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, and transportation as well as critical supply to governmental, industrial, financial, commercial, medical and communications communities. Commercial power literally enables today's modern world to function at its busy pace. Sophisticated technology has reached deeply into our homes and careers, and with the advent of e-commerce is continually changing the way we interact with the rest of the world.

Many power problems originate in the commercial power grid, which, with its thousands of miles of transmission lines, is subject to weather conditions such as hurricanes, lightning storms, snow, ice, and flooding along with equipment failure, traffic accidents and major switching operations. Also, power problems affecting today's technological equipment are often generated locally within a facility from any number of situations, such as local construction, heavy startup loads, faulty distribution components, and even typical background electrical noise.

Widespread use of electronics in everything from home electronics to the control of massive and costly industrial processes has raised the awareness of power quality. Power quality, or more specifically, a power quality disturbance, is generally defined as any change in power (voltage, current, or frequency) that interferes with the normal operation of electrical equipment.

The study of power quality, and ways to control it, is a concern for electric utilities, large industrial companies, businesses, and even home users. The study has intensified as equipment has become increasingly sensitive to even minute changes in the power supply voltage, current, and frequency. Unfortunately, different terminology has been used to describe many of the existing power disturbances, which creates confusion and makes it more difficult to effectively discuss, study, and make changes to today's power quality problems. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has attempted to address this problem by developing a standard that includes definitions of power disturbances. The standard (IEEE Standard 1159-1995, "IEEE Recommended Practice for Monitoring Electrical Power Quality") describes many power quality problems, of which this paper will discuss the most common.

​Seven Types of Power Problems Summarized

For more information on this topic, please download White Paper 18, The Seven Types of Power Problems.

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See the original full article at: https://www.apc.com/us/en/support/resources-tools/white-papers/the-seven-types-of-power-problems.jsp

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Dec
31

We can all do more to advance NEC 210.8

Our industry has made numerous technological advances designed to protect homeowners, businesses and electrical workers. That makes every fatal electrocution in the home all the more distressing. Between 2010 and 2013, the U.S. saw an estimated average of 48 electrocution fatalities associated with consumer products per year, with large and small electric appliances chief among them1. Tragedies like these can be avoided, especially when the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) technologies needed to prevent dangerous events are readily available.

As the principle NEMA representative at the National Electrical Code (NEC) Code-Making Panel Two, I saw public input asking for increased GFCI protection for the home during the 2017 code cycle. The code panel expanded the GFCI requirement for facilities other than dwelling units as part of section NEC 210.8(B). However, residential standards improvements were sidelined.


GFCI challenges and misconceptions

The rationale behind forgoing residential standards improvements was cost and convenience. One could argue, for example, that if GFCI requirements in a kitchen were to expand beyond sink and water areas and be specified for an appliance like a refrigerator, a potential nuisance trip could result in mass amounts of spoiled food. This inconvenience translates into real dollars for homeowners. Another barrier to code change is cost impacts for builders as increasing the number of GFCIs in a home raises electrical infrastructure expenses that must then be passed on to homebuyers.

As both an industry expert and a homeowner, I completely understand code update consequences. The change could likely put builders in an uncomfortable position of explaining why their costs have gone up seemingly overnight. Speaking as a VP of sales, justifying a price increase is always a challenge, and I take great pains to make sure my customers understand how the technology is worth the investment and can result in safer environments. The reality is that a residential requirement won't put much of a financial burden on contractors and homeowners. For instance, expanding GFCI requirements throughout a home in the $200k price range would increase the cost of a 30-year mortgage by mere pennies a month. By highlighting the features and benefits of GFCIs, homeowners are more likely to accept minimally higher costs to protect their loved ones.

Nuisance tripping is a valid concern from a convenience perspective. For the most part, however, the greater majority of unwarranted trips are behind us. When GFCIs first hit the market in the early 1970's, appliances inherently had leakage currents that flowed over the equipment grounding conductors, causing false trips. The development of appliances and their standards have come a long way as standards now place a cap on how much leakage current any single appliance is permitted to have. It would be bullish to say homeowners will never experience a false trip with a GFCI, especially if there's an un-listed product that generates nuisance currents on the circuit. But when we compare the small number of nuisance trips against markedly increased safety, there's simply no way to justify leaving the residential code as is.


Installing more residential GFCIs can help the industry

I understand how the wheels of progress spin; affecting change takes time. While I'm hopeful we can collectively approve GFCI changes for the whole home, realistically I'd be pleased with any positive strides. Something as simple as including 30-amp GFCI receptacles on clothes dryer circuits, for instance, would greatly enhance safety since dryers are often within proximity of a water source. If we demonstrate to homeowners how installing the additional GFCI on this circuit makes for a safer home, the hope is the industry will acclimate to slight cost increases and, over time, routinely install GFCIs throughout entire households.

The challenge ahead of us is to generate more dialogue during the 2020 code-review cycle, and we need new data to spawn conversation. Collecting data starts with one small step, one change in the way we do business. I ask that we as an industry consider going above and beyond NEC 210.8 guidelines and install additional GFCI protection in homes to increase safety and acquire the information needed to make change possible. 


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See the original full article at: http://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/for-safetys-sake-blog/advance-nec.html

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319 Hits
Dec
17

9 ways beer and UPSs are alike

Here is a little fun before the holidays, by Eaton: 

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See the original full article at: https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/journey/business-continuity/infographic/9-ways-beer-and-UPSs-are-alike-infographic

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375 Hits
Dec
03

For safety's sake: It's time for honest conversations about overcurrent protection

We're all human and we all make mistakes. But mistakes in the electrical field can prove costly. Codes and standards work together to reduce mistakes and save lives, which is what makes NEC (National Electrical Code) Section 240.87, Incident Energy Reduction, so significant. It was introduced to the NEC in 2011 as the first requirement focused on incident energy reduction since Ground Fault Protection of Equipment (GFPE) entered the NEC in 1971. Section 240.87 provides electricians and maintenance workers the overcurrent protective device technologies necessary to reduce distribution system energy. This mitigates damage to electrical equipment and, more importantly, reduces loss of life and injury from arc flash events.

Learn more about these topics by clicking the button below:

          • Why NEC Section 240.87 matters
          • Taking steps forward: perks and pitfalls
          • Striking the balance between safety and sales

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://eb.informabi.com/utility-operations-outage-planning-performance?partnerref=UM_UAI_DTNDec18WP_001

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447 Hits
Nov
26

The costs and causes of downtime...

The U.S. experiences more power outages than any other developed nation. And when the grid goes down, companies like yours suffer; every minute of downtime results in thousands of dollars lost in productivity. But what causes downtime? The truth is unforeseen mishaps and grid maintenance issues are often to blame. See how much downtime costs U.S. businesses and learn about all the crazy reasons the power suddenly goes out. What you discover may surprise you! 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://switchon.eaton.com/plug/journey/business-continuity/infographic/costs-and-causes-of-downtime-infographic

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  444 Hits
444 Hits
Nov
19

For Safety's Sake - A News Blog by Eaton

Eaton has started a new education blog series that features their point of view about codes and standards to help educate and protect people and property from electrical hazards. They invite you to stay informed on the latest topics around electrical safety. 

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

Click the button above to be taken directly to the Eaton blog: http://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/for-safetys-sake-blog.html?wtredirect=www.eaton.com/forsafetysake

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  508 Hits
508 Hits
Nov
12

Is it necessary for utilities to "go digital"?

New technologies are fundamentally transforming the utility industry. As this transformation occurs, it is necessary for utilities to "go digital" and to take advantage of the massive amounts of data being produced. In leveraging data, companies can make faster, better decisions; improve operational efficiency; and reinvent how they operate.

Discover how IBM is working with businesses to help develop digital strategies that leverage data to address the complex challenges companies are facing.

This executive summary contains insight from Paul Davis, Executive Partner, IBM and Bryan Sacks, Head of Work and Asset Optimization Solutions, IBM. It covers the following key takeaways:

  • ​Technology is driving fundamental change in the utilities industry.
  • Utilities need to go digital.
  • Mobility offers unrealized potential, especially for field workers.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are technologies that are coming fast.

See Below:​

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See the origial full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/white-papers/data-renewable-resource-digital-reinvention?partnerref=UM_TDWUAIOct18_ES_004&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=22908&utm_medium=email&elq2=195afa440059413e81e2b758a65e0d65

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  478 Hits
478 Hits
Nov
05

Trump names Chatterjee FERC chair

President Trump designated Commissioner Neil Chatterjee to be the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The White House announcement on Wednesday ends weeks of speculation over the status of McIntyre, who has not made a public appearance since July and missed FERC's monthly meetings in September and October.

In a letter dated Oct. 22, the outgoing chairman wrote to President Trump, proposing that he "step aside from the position of chairman and its additional duties so that I can commit myself fully to my work as commissioner."

McIntyre's decision to stay on FERC will allow Republicans to preserve partisan parity on the five-person commission until GOP nominee Bernard McNamee is confirmed by the Senate. If he left FERC entirely, the commission would be left with two Democrats and a Republican chair.

The reshuffling will allow Chatterjee, a former staffer for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a second chance to leave his mark on FERC.

During his first stint with the gavel, Chatterjee oversaw FERC's initial response to the Department of Energy's proposed coal and nuclear bailout, filed in late Sept. 2017.

During debate over the plan, Chatterjee ruffled feathers at the commission for floating a short-term coal and nuclear subsidy proposal to the press before notifying fellow regulators and their staffs.

Though he eventually voted against the DOE's proposal, Chatterjee's presentation of that plan and subsequent comments defending it were unusual for a FERC regulator, who typically do not comment extensively on pending issues before the commission.

Chatterjee also received some criticism for social media posts mocking pipeline activists that disrupted a FERC meeting, particularly actor James Cromwell.

"Come at me bro!" Chatterjee wrote on Facebook in response to a post from Cromwell.

In recent months, however, Chatterjee has stayed away from controversy, instead focusing on pipeline cybersecurity and energy storage, two emerging areas of FERC concentration.

Chatterjee also said in July that he believes humans are causing climate change, though he has refrained from factoring greenhouse gas emissions into FERC decisions to the degree of his Democratic colleagues.

Chatterjee will take the reins at FERC amid concerns in the power sector that the commission — typically a nonpartisan policymaking body — is falling under the political influence of the Trump administration.

The concern centers on a figure he brought to the commission — Chief of Staff Anthony Pugliese.

The controversy began in July when Pugliese appeared on a podcast run by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart, denouncing New York Democrats for opposition to pipeline infrastructure in a manner unusual for FERC staffers.

Then, at a nuclear energy conference in August, Pugliese told the audience that FERC was working to identify power plants critical for national security — the first step in a leaked White House memo from the spring detailing bailout plans for coal and nuclear plants.

The power sector widely took the comments as an indication that FERC was working with the White House on the plan. Leading Congressional Democrats wrote a letter to FERC saying the comments "call into question the impartiality and independence of the Commission."

McIntyre defended Pugliese in the press, but the controversy deepened the next month when E&E News published emails from the chief of staff lauding far-right European politicians. A former Republican FERC staffer called for the chief of staff to step down.

Chatterjee appointed Pugliese to FERC during his time as acting chair but has repeatedly refused to answer questions about the controversy since it emerged this summer.

Besides political concerns, the new chairman will have a full slate of issues to address.

FERC is in the middle of a high-profile investigation into grid resilience it ordered when it rejected the DOE bailout plan in January. It also has pending dockets to reform the capacity markets in PJM and ISO-NE, as well as ongoing reviews of its natural gas pipeline policy and its implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, a key renewable energy law.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial full article at: https://www.utilitydive.com/news/trump-names-chatterjee-ferc-chair/540532/

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  514 Hits
514 Hits
Oct
29

Haunted Encounters of the Electrical Kind

Halloween is right around the corner, so as our treat to you, we've unearthed 10 scary stories based on allegedly true events and involving — what else? — electricity. 
Read on if you dare!

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/accidents-investigations/haunted-encounters-electrical-kind?NL=ECM-06&Issue=ECM-06_20181023_ECM-06_635&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=22813&utm_medium=email&elq2=bb960727bb8644d7af0737f18ed19b30

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  475 Hits
475 Hits
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