May
16

Avoid Counterfeit Electrical Parts & Equipment

If you go to eBay to buy a voltage relay, you might choose Omron—oops, actually that's Omrch. It's a counterfeit part. It looks like Omron. Except, it's fake.
Omron relays are real. Omrch relays are fake. On the technology and software media website Hackaday, Al Williams describes the fakes: "Your ear can detect the counterfeits by the varying sounds they make during operation." He writes the investigation went deeper after the relays were tested at their rated voltages and heat dissipation measured.

"The results were not surprising," he writes. "At lower voltages, the relays seemed to do okay, but closer to the maximums it's obvious the components in the fakes are not rated for enough power to work. You can even see some charring of a resistor and its plastic holder from having too much power for the component's rating."

Then the clincher: "The conclusion was that these relays might work for light-duty projects, but for commercial projects or operating near the edge of the ratings, you want to give these a pass."

Scenarios like this are becoming more common, and there is no telling how many electrical products are fakes. But they are for sale all over the internet and aren't always easy to detect. In fact, it's hard to know if a website, which offers what you're looking for, is legit at all. Many are set up to sell products that are made from fabricated intellectual property.

In May 2018, Rogelio Vasquez, the owner of PRB Logics Corp. in Orange County, Calif., seller of electronic components, was arrested for selling counterfeit integrated circuits. Worse, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the products could have been used in military applications.

Vasquez used discarded integrated circuits from Chinese suppliers. They were repainted and remarked with counterfeit logos. Then they were remarked with altered date codes, lot codes or countries of origin and relabeled with more recognizable names like Xilinx, Analog Devices and Intel. It was outright deception. Customers would think they were new.

In the report, "Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Illicit Trade," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) presented a comprehensive look at this issue. Electrical contractors need to be fully aware of the prevalence of fakes and counterfeits available for sale from global sources.

The report states: "The volume of international trade in counterfeit and pirated products could amount to as much as U.S. $509 billion. This represents up to 3.3 percent of world trade. This amount does not include domestically produced and consumed counterfeit and pirated products, or pirated digital products being distributed via the Internet. The previous OECD-EUIPO study, which relied on the same methodology, estimated that up to 2.5 percent of world trade was in counterfeit and pirated goods in 2013, equivalent to up to U.S. $461 billion."

The report refers to various products and equipment—not just electrical related. Many such items are on websites that appear legitimate. The prices are attractive, but the products are fake. In 2018, approximately 33,600 website domain names were criminally seized through a joint effort with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security, Europol, Interpol and police agencies from 26 different countries.

"Caveat emptor"—buyer beware—says it's the purchaser's responsibility to research goods before buying them. For the average person, the consequences of not heeding this advice is usually benign, but electrical contractors can't afford to risk purchasing any product that is fake or counterfeit. While officials work hard to sift such products out, they still end up in finished goods, original equipment and installed systems.

In 2017, Mary Denison, trademark commissioner of the Congressional Trademark Caucus, raised caution about the cost of counterfeit goods and the safety risk they pose.

"Counterfeit goods cost the United States billions of dollars and countless jobs annually," she said. "They also undermine consumer confidence in brand integrity when purchasers encounter knock-off goods of inferior quality. They reduce tax revenue, support organized crime and terrorism, undermine national security, reduce brand owner profit and innovation, increase prevention and enforcement costs, and yes, sometimes even kill people."

The best defense is awareness and skepticism. If a price seems too good, it very well may be. If a product looks brand name, but something is missing, it may be fake. Unless a product has your full confidence, proceed with caution.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmag.com/section/safety/fakes-and-frauds-counterfeit-electrical-parts-and-equipment

Continue reading
  17 Hits
17 Hits
May
13

2020 NEC First Draft Now Open for Review and Public Comment

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the most important and comprehensive document created for the practical safeguarding of persons and property from the use of electricity and its hazards. Right now, the 2020 edition is headed through the standards development process, and you have a chance to review the changes and submit public comments.

"The NEC is developed using an open consensus process that is governed by ANSI," said Michael Johnston, executive director of standards and safety for the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). "The NEC is the industry's electrical code, the best and most widely adopted electrical code in the world. As such, the NEC development process is transparent, allowing everyone to view what is being changed for the next edition and providing an opportunity to weigh in."

Johnston encouraged everyone to be part of the solution and tremendous work that goes into each edition of the Code.

The closing date for the public comment period is Aug. 30, 2018. Any objections or change requests must be made during this period.

After the public comment period, the technical committee will review the comments and meet to develop the second draft, which is scheduled to be posted on Apr. 5, 2019, beginning the period for notices of intent to make a motion (NITMAMs). During this time, the public may review the second draft and submit NITMAMs. The NITMAM closing date will be Apr. 26, 2019, and the posting date will be May 17, 2019.

This will conclude the public input and public comment stages; however, the NFPA Technical meeting, which is held each June at the NFPA Conference & Expo, provides a final opportunity to comment and discuss the 2020 NEC. For an opportunity to discuss proposed changes at this time, further NITMAMs must be submitted before the conference.

After that, the 2020 NEC is scheduled for issuance in August 2019.

Stay tuned for more as the 2020 NEC makes its way through the development process.

For more information and to submit a comment visit https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=70&tab=nextedition

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmag.com/section/codes-standards/2020-nec-first-draft-now-open-review-and-public-comment 

Continue reading
  58 Hits
58 Hits
May
02

Previewing Changes from the NEC 2020 Code Review

Every three years, members of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) meet to review, modify and add new National Electrical Code (NEC), or NFPA 70, requirements to enhance electrical safety in the workplace and the home. This year's code review is well underway: the second draft of NEC 2020 is complete and the annual NFPA Conference and Expo is scheduled for late June.
What follows is a preview of what are, in my opinion, the most significant code changes on track to pass. In this blog, I'll explore the reasoning for each change and the future steps the NEC may take beyond 2020 regarding:

• Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection
• Service entrance equipment
• Reconditioned equipment
• Performance testing
• Load calculations
• Available fault current and temporary power

This is a high-level overview. In the coming months, my Eaton colleagues and I will dig deeper into each topic as part of a continuing series on the 2020 code review cycle.

GFCI protection
The 2020 change
Code-making panel 2 (CMP 2) removed the reference to 15A and 20A recognizing protection for any amp-rated receptacle outlet in the identified locations.
The rationale for change
This is a movement toward streamlining both 210.8(A) for dwelling units and 210.8(B) for other than dwelling units. Feedback suggested electrical engineers, suppliers and contractors now realize it doesn't matter where a GFCI is installed and that we need not identify different locations. CMP 2 also recognized that a hazard doesn't change when a circuit is greater than 20 amps. Whether an installation is 15 to 20 amps or 60 amps, circuit risks still exist and protection is warranted.
What might the future hold?
As GFCI requirements continue to change, product compatibility (unwanted tripping) still consumes some professionals, often without cause. Nevertheless, I believe the industry will continue to create new products that align with GFCIs. In addition, some believe it's prudent to extend GFCI protection to all branch circuits. I expect spirited debates regarding increased safety versus cost as the industry contemplates future code reviews.

Service entrance equipment
The 2020 change
NEC changes continue the mission of aligning code with product advances. Updates will address an array of safety issues:
• Service panelboards with six disconnects are no longer permitted
• Fire-fighter disconnects for one- and two-family dwellings are now included
• Line-side barrier requirements are expanded to service equipment beyond panelboards
• Arc reduction for services 1200 amps and greater must ensure arcing currents activate arc reduction technology
• Short-circuit current ratings (SCCR): pressure connectors and devices must be marked "suitable for use on the line side of the service equipment" or equivalent
• Surge protective devices are required for all dwelling units
The rationale for change
The NEC recognized the vulnerabilities and hazards associated with equipment and changed many longstanding rules. Because there's no protection from a utility, the NEC began changing service codes in the 2014 cycle and today is more aware of technologies and solutions that help mitigate and reduce the likelihood of arc flash and shock.
What might the future hold?
Rules that we have lived with and accepted for years are now in question as technology continues to advance. With that, safety knowledge within our industry and the NEC will continue to challenge norms.

Reconditioned equipment
The 2020 change
Updates will establish a foundation for future efforts to add clarity, expand and correct requirements within the NEC for reconditioned and used equipment. The changes are the NEC's first foray into ensuring proper reconditioning for electrical equipment.
The rationale for change
While reconditioned equipment has its merits, not all rebuilt devices are re-created equally. With that, the correlating committee put out a public comment to all code panels, asking each to consider equipment in their purview and determine what can and cannot be reconditioned per National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) allowances for refurbished equipment.
What might the future hold?
I see challenges on two fronts. First, the NEC will need to add more clarity to terminology around "reconditioning," "refurbishing" and the like. Secondly, changes do not dictate how resellers must refurbish equipment, which presents a safety concern. With that, resellers must rely on original manufacturer documentation. I believe the industry will see an increase in documentation awareness and raise more questions, such as listing refurbished equipment to one standard or many. The creation of additional listing marks may also stir debate.

Performance testing
The 2020 change
The NEC now requires primary current injection testing for some Article 240.87 equipment after installation. Following manufacturer instructions is also permitted as primary current injection testing may not always make sense.
The rationale for change
The stage was set with existing NEC requirements for field testing of ground-fault protection of equipment technologies upon installation, and no requirements exist for testing 240.87 equipment after installation. During public input phases, some in the industry expressed concerns with the cost of transporting test equipment, testing the correct areas of functionality and making sure manufacturers' test instructions are followed. The rule change addresses some of these concerns and, more importantly, advances worker safety.
What might the future hold?
The NEC determines what must be done; how changes are implemented is not something the NEC often defines. In that light, I'm working with NEMA to create testing processes and guidance and look forward to discussions that influence post-installation best practices.

Load calculations
The 2020 change
CMP 2 will reduce load calculation multipliers to account for higher-efficiency lighting solutions in other than dwelling units.
The rationale for change
The electrical industry has a strong focus on sustainability, reducing carbon footprints and creating technologies that reduce energy use. However, the NEC had yet to change load calculations to accommodate. 2020 code changes will account for lower VA usage of lighting loads and adjust calculations accordingly. Energy codes drive the changes; jurisdictions across the country enforce a variety of energy codes (or possibly none at all), and the proposed solution considers them all. Thus, the NEC will take a conservative approach toward reducing multipliers to assure circuits do not trip under normal conditions.
What might the future hold?
Opportunities exist to improve load calculations for other applications such as mission-critical healthcare systems, but the industry must proceed cautiously. The healthcare environment is one where power cannot go out, especially during medical emergencies. I believe the industry will work to understand worst-case load scenarios and determine a reasonable approach to load calculations for devices like feeders, branch circuits and service entrance equipment.

Available fault current and temporary power
The 2020 changes
The NEC will require marking available fault current on all equipment, including switchboards, switchgear and panelboards. Changes will impact temporary power equipment:
• Article 408.6 will extend to temporary power equipment and require markings for available fault current and the date of calculation
• Article 590.8(B) for temporary overcurrent protection devices between 150 volts to ground and 1000 volts phase-to-phase will be current limiting
The rationale for change
Panelboards, switchboards and switchgear were not part of the 2017 code update for marking available fault current. The NEC continues to take steps to increase the likelihood that ratings are higher than available short-circuit current. This is especially important for temporary power equipment that moves from job site to job site and experiences tremendous wear and tear. To ensure proper function, temporary equipment will reduce the power system stresses no matter where a given temporary system is installed.
What might the future hold?
The NEC continues to focus on the basics. Interrupting ratings and SCCR are important for safety, but they're not receiving proper attention in the field. I expect field marking of panels with SCCR and available fault current to drive change in the industry and raise awareness on how equipment is labeled to determine the SCCR rating. Some equipment base SCCR on the lowest interrupting rating overcurrent protection device, but inspectors and installers must be mindful of that scenario to ensure proper installation. Equipment labeling will come under scrutiny, as will the methods used to calculate fault currents.

Looking to the future

2020 code changes will be substantial in that the code-making panel looks to soon modify tried-and-true requirements—some of which have existed for decades. Of course, there are many details to consider both now and in the future. As part of this continuing series, my Eaton colleagues and I will dig deeper into each of the topics I've listed and offer opinions on where the NEC may take safety tomorrow. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/for-safetys-sake-blog/the-NEC-2020-code-review.html

Continue reading
  131 Hits
131 Hits
Apr
29

Harold P. Kopp, 77, invented the first electronic surge protector

This month P3 hosted the Power Quality University seminars on Surge Protection. It is only fitting that we acknowledge the inventor of SPDs: 


Harold P. Kopp: May 31, 1941 — Aug. 16, 2018

When Harold P. Kopp got his initial patent, it was for a device called the Zap Trap. It was the first electronic voltage surge suppressor, the predecessor to the power strips in widespread use today.

David Quagliana, his high school classmate and longtime friend, said it was inspired by a visit to the Standard Electronics store on Main Street in Buffalo to purchase metal oxide varistors, which protect electronic devices from power surges.

"They're the size of a dime," Quagliana said. "The store told him to solder them to the wire coming from a power plug and ground the other wire and if a surge comes along, instead of blowing up your television, these little things will absorb the shock. He invented this little box. You plug it into the wall and you plug the TV into the box."

It was enormously successful.

"I was at his office one day," Quagliana said, "and he showed me an order for a million of these surge protectors."

When Mr. Kopp discovered Radio Shack copied his design, he filed a successful lawsuit for patent infringement and received royalties for the device.

He died Aug. 16, 2018 after a short illness in Banner Gateway Medical Center, Gilbert, Ariz. He was 77.

Born in Buffalo, as a teen he led ponies for a children's ride, was a golf caddy, set pins at a bowling alley, sold baked goods door-to-door, bused tables, shined shoes and bagged groceries.

He graduated from Seneca Vocational High School in 1959 and enlisted in the Navy as a radio repair technician, attaining the rank of petty officer second class. He was stationed in St. John's, Newfoundland, maintaining radar equipment, when he met Sarah Boland in a restaurant near the base. They were married in 1961.

Returning to Buffalo, he began working for Ross Pfaff at Sharpe Instruments and the two became not only close friends, but business partners. Forming a company called Sarron, they developed a speech compressor to improve citizen's band (CB) radio transmissions.

He went on to work at Magtrol, Delevan Electronics, Gaymar Industries and Taber Instruments, where he developed and fabricated a variety of electronic items.

He also had been repairing electronics in his basement until 1970, when he purchased a television repair shop at Cleveland Drive and Union Road in Cheektowaga. H. P. Kopp Electronics became one of the earliest factory-authorized warranty repair shops, eventually working with 86 different companies.

After joining with a childhood friend in Polytronics — which produced the Zap Trap — he founded Industrial Commercial Electronics Inc. in 1979, initially offering electronic repair services to industrial and commercial customers. It went on to develop and manufacture more of his inventions.

One of them was SureTest, a portable device for testing power circuits. Another was the Motor Miser, which reduced the use of energy in industrial electric motors.

Writing about the company, Buffalo News reporter Brian Meyer noted: "The SureTest analyzer is to wiring what smoke detectors are to homes. Plug the bright yellow analyzer into an electrical outlet and it will detect deficiencies that could cause fires, equipment malfunctions or other problems."

"Every electrical inspector in New York City has one of those SureTests," Quagliana said. "It will verify if a line can carry 15 amperes or 20 amperes."

Mr. Kopp stepped down as president of Industrial Commercial Electronics in 1993 and continued as executive vice president for engineering until it closed in 2000.

As a result of radiation from radar, he developed cancer and underwent surgery while still in the Navy. He was stricken with esophageal cancer in 1997.

"The surgery was 13 hours long," his daughter, Sarah "Sally" LaPorte said. "When he woke up from the surgery, he was blind."

In recent years, he occasionally regained partial sight in his left eye as he worked on developing Tuff Block, an unbreakable LED lighting system inside glass blocks for driveways and landscaping.

A lifelong amateur radio operator, he got his first license at age 9 and at the time was the youngest person in the United States to receive one. With call letters K2YZO, he was known around the world.

After he and his second wife, the former Kay Metz, moved from Clarence to Gilbert in 2008, he changed his call sign to K7YZ0.

In Gilbert, Mr. Kopp was a mentor to many start-up business owners and was always ready to share stories of his successes and failures.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://buffalonews.com/2018/09/26/harold-p-kopp-77-invented-the-first-electronic-surge-protector/

Continue reading
  165 Hits
165 Hits
Apr
18

Become part of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES)

P3 works in coordination with IEEE and provides seminars through Power Quality University offering IEEE educational credits. If your work involves engineering or working with engineers in electric power and energy, consider belonging to IEEE Power and Energy Society.

As a member of PES, you can make a significant impact on the future of the industry, and thereby humanity. IEEE PES provides numerous ways to make a difference, including lending your expertise to develop standards and other technical works, mentoring young engineers, publishing research, educating your colleagues, participating in humanitarian and other volunteer activities.

Just as importantly, a PES membership can really help you:
• Grow and maintain your technical expertise
• Keep you connected to other like-minded professionals
• Provide ways for you contribute to the future of our industry
• Save you money
... and ultimately help advance your career.

Join the IEEE PES global 38,000+ member organization -- the leading provider of information on electric power and energy for the betterment of society. 

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

Continue reading
  395 Hits
395 Hits
Apr
15

Crazy Electrical Miracle Cures of the Past

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the mysterious power of electricity was promoted as a secret to health and vitality with some pretty wacky devices.

A century and more along the way, it's difficult to recapture the excitement that surrounded electricity in the early days, when it first became widely available and visionaries and hucksters began exploring its many possible uses. But the Internet bears some hints.

Here is a gallery of some of the fanciful, frightening and truly strange devices that were promoted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as miracle cures for just about any ailment you can name. It's a reminder of how far we have come in the scientific testing and verification of claims about the health effects of electricity, and perhaps a cautionary note that we shouldn't take modern cures at face value either.

Since that time, of course, many medically valuable forms of electrotherapy, such as electrical muscle stimulation used in physical therapy, have brought relief to many patients, but a look back at the way it all started provides some valuable context. Enjoy. 


"Hercules" Tesla Coil 

A high voltage Tesla coil used for patient treatment in the Victorian era quack medical field of electrotherapy around 1907. This was the "Hercules" model manufactured by Frederick Finch Strong. It produced radio frequency voltages of several hundred thousand volts and low current levels at frequencies of around 1 MHz. A pointed electrode connected by a wire to the high voltage terminal of the coil was held by the physician, and the luminous sparklike brush discharge was played over parts of the patient's body to treat various medical conditions. This was not painful for the patient, because electric currents with frequencies over 10 kHz do not cause the sensation of electric shock.

​ The Electra-Vita Therapeutic Electric Belt

"To people who suffer from chronic troubles of any kind...we offer a cure at a price within the reach of all. We have no drugs to sell you. The remedy we offer is electricity - that's nature's medicine...Electra-Vita is a scientific device for saturating the nerves and vitals with a steady, unbroken current of electric life for hours at a time while you sleep, without the least shock or unpleasant situation," says the ad. University of Washington, Special Collections

Auto-Conduction Cage​ 

"Treatment of a patient with high frequency electric currents using an "auto-conduction cage" in 1903, used in the Victorian-era quack medical field of electrotherapy. A Tesla coil in the cabinet (left rear) produces high voltage high frequency alternating current which is applied to the metal cage with the patient inside." Wikimedia Commons description.

 Treatment of Cancer by Cytolsis

"The treatment of cancer by high frequency cytolysis using the d'Arsonval-Gaiffe apparatus." Wellcome Collection description

 Oudin Coil for Electrotherapy

An Oudin coil used for 'electrotherapy' treatment of a patient's knee around 1907. The Oudin coil (left), invented in 1893 by physician Paul Marie Oudin, was a spark-excited resonant transformer circuit similar to a Tesla coil which generated very high voltage, low current radio frequency electricity, used until perhaps 1925 in the Victorian era field of electrotherapy.

 Electrotherapy Machine for Home Use

This ornate machine looks like an elaborately made clock but is actually used for electrotherapy. This involved the delivering of electric shocks to the patient for its supposed therapeutic value. It was very popular during the 1800s and was claimed to help a wide variety of illnesses, including neuralgia, asphyxia, sciatica, toothache, rheumatism, and tic douloureux; which are painful nervous spasms in the face. The electric current is created by electromagnetic induction. The machine could have been used by doctors, professionally qualified or not, but was also intended for home use.

​Hydro-Electric Bath​ 

he hydro-electric bath is useful in many diseases for its stimulating and tonic effects as well as for its trophic influence. It is applicable in anaemia, chlorosis, rickets, rheumatism, gout, sciatica, etc." From Röntgen rays and electro-therapeutics: with chapters on radium and phototherapy, by Mihran Krikor Kassabian (1910)

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/galleries/electric-snake-oil-quack-miracle-cures-past

Continue reading
  258 Hits
258 Hits
Apr
05

NFPA 70E takes a leap forward in defining risk assessment for energized work

Understanding the improvements

Just a few years ago, the standard was comprised of five "hazard-risk" categories that outlined the required personal protection equipment (PPE) a worker had to wear to reduce electrical arc flash exposure. But today's version addresses hazard and risk separately, to help site managers and technicians better understand the dangers of energized work via a series of linear steps.

For this process to work, all parties must have an understanding of "hazard" and "risk."

  • A hazard is the calculated heat energy at any given point of an electrical system and is used to determine the correct level of PPE. A hazard is either present or not present.
  • Risk is the combination of likelihood and severity of a potential injury while performing the work task.

To further illustrate risk, consider an electrician at a manufacturing plant operating a circuit-breaker disconnect on a 480-volt low-voltage motor control center (MCC) with the enclosure door closed. The likelihood of a shock injury is near zero, with no exposure to energized conductors, and the likelihood of an arc flash event is extremely low. Now consider a task where the electrician is testing or troubleshooting using a multi-meter to test phase voltages with the MCC enclosure door open. The hazard is the same, but the risk of electrical injury from shock hazard and arc flash is higher because the electrician is exposed to energized conductors.


Know the chances of an arc flash with a thorough risk analysis

NFPA 70E requires an exhaustive risk assessment before energized work begins — a great safety advancement. A risk assessment reviews electrical hazards, the planned work task and the protective measures required to maintain an acceptable level of risk. In practice, this means scheduling a work-plan meeting to discuss and document issues for the task at hand, the tools required, maintenance history of the equipment, test records of the equipment requiring energized work and the calculated amount of heat-energy exposure. The following summarizes the steps technicians should follow before performing energized work:

  1. Characterize the hazard or the electrical process involved.
  2. Identify the energized work to be performed.
  3. Define failures that could result from exposure to electrical hazards and the potential for harm.
  4. Assess the severity of the potential injury.
  5. Determine the likelihood of the occurrence for every hazard. This includes consideration of the resulting impact of possible human error based on the planned work task, such as a tool dropped near energized conductors at a worker's feet.
  6. Define the level of risk for the associated hazard.
  7. Wear appropriate PPE as determined during the hazard analysis. If the risk is too great, do not perform the energized task.

"The changes result in a clearer understanding of energized work and help reduce electrical incidents."
David B. Durocher, global mining, metals, and minerals industry manager

We're all human… and NFPA 70E takes that into account

One new and important aspect of NFPA 70E's prescribed risk analysis is the recognition of human error, as seen in step five, above. Per the standard, "Risk assessment procedures shall address the potential for human error and its negative consequences on people, processes, the work environment and equipment." With that, standard users should not only look to have a detailed process for performing energized work, but also maintain some method of quantifying human error.

In my opinion, accounting for error is an important addition to this evolving standard. To this end, some organizations require the issuance of energized work permits that account for the human element. This puts the onus on site leadership to double-check every detail before giving energized work the go-ahead, ensuring an extra level of business accountability. If work involves unacceptable levels of hazard and/or risk, a decision to perform the work during a future planned outage can be made.


Leadership must take the lead on safety

NFPA 70E is an industry-consensus guide, not binding law, so it's up to an individual business to choose to implement a site-specific electrical safety program. And it's important to note that industries do exist where turning off the power can lead to more severe problems. There are instances in the oil and gas industry, for example, where turning off the power can lead to a greater hazard than working on energized equipment. That said, I believe it's in everyone's best interest to wait for a planned future outage whenever possible instead of working on energized electrical equipment.

Of course, leadership teams have the right to make their own choices. While one group may choose to issue energized work permits, another may skip that step, which is completely within its purview. However, organizations that forego work permits can pay a price. If someone is injured or killed during energized work, regulatory organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) may require an explanation as to how the work was allowed and ask for detailed safety program documentation, including a work permit.

Beyond the standard, new technologies support recent trends of performing energized work outside a defined NFPA 70E flash-protection boundary. Site managers can look to network-connected devices, such as motor management relays, partial discharge on-line monitors and motorized racking technologies, to gather the information they need to troubleshoot electrical systems without requiring workers to suit up and work on energized equipment.


To increase safety, follow NFPA 70E

While it's always better to wait for a planned outage to work on electrical equipment, that's not always an option. Should you need to perform energized work, be sure to identify the hazards and risks and complete a thorough risk analysis that considers all potential risks, including human error. With a clearer understanding of the consensus standards and maintenance/troubleshooting requirements of a defined energized task, you can do more to advance a safety culture at your site, helping to reduce the chances of future shock and arc flash events. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/for-safetys-sake-blog/risk-analysis.html

Continue reading
  165 Hits
165 Hits
Apr
02

Up to Code: LED Lighting and Compliance Standards

Evolving guidelines for building energy usage, occupant comfort increasingly put LED lighting systems at the heart of code compliance

In a world where building energy efficiency is increasingly prized, pursued and rewarded, it's no surprise that it's also becoming not only expected, but mandated.

Energy-related codes and standards developed by entities committed to setting a high, but attainable bar for efficiency in new and refurbished structures are gaining more visibility and buy-in from jurisdictions that oversee and regulate development.

From the ASHRAE/IES 90.1 building energy standard to ICC's International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to California's Title 24 Energy Code, needlessly wasted energy in buildings is in the crosshairs, becoming less tolerable with each revision cycle. They all continue to raise the performance bar, reflecting heightened interest in environmental stewardship and operational cost savings, as well as technology advancements.

Over time, many states have incorporated these energy standards and codes into their building codes. But most have been slow to regularly adopt updated versions, resulting in a patchwork of codes of varying rigor. But the pace and breadth of modernization could begin to pick up in the wake of the U.S. Department of Energy's decision last year to anoint the 2016 version of ASHRAE 90-.1 – ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2016 – as the national energy reference standard, and to require state building codes to incorporate it, or an equivalent standard such as the 2018 IECC, by February 2020.

Then, presumably, many state building codes will become more demanding in terms of how structures are designed and built from an energy efficiency perspective. Building designs will have to advance to the next level, incorporating upgraded materials, architecture, mechanical equipment and other components of the infrastructure that together reduce structures' energy footprint.

And a prime focus will continue to be building lighting, a big energy user that has drawn increasing amounts of attention in energy code revisions over time, especially as solid-state lighting technology has advanced and brought energy-saving LED lighting into the mainstream. More demanding energy codes, required to be reflected in more state building codes, translates to the near-inevitability of LED becoming the default lighting choice.

Lighting gets a wealth of attention for good reason: it's one of the single largest contributors to a building's energy load and overall electric grid demand. DOE estimates from 2016 put the annual energy consumption from the nation's 7-billion installed lighting systems at about 5.5 million quads, or 15 percent of the nation's total electricity usage.

Lighting, in other words, is low-hanging fruit ripe for the picking in energy savings pursuits. And it's been made much more possible with the advent of solid-state lighting technologies. Advances in LED lighting that have improved performance and lowered costs of solutions have propelled adoption and yielded significant energy savings for users replacing traditional incandescent or fluorescent lighting. DOE says that installed LED lighting systems in the U.S, estimated to number 874 million in 2016, probably saved some 458 trillion BTUs of source energy.

Little wonder, then, that LED lighting is becoming a foundational element of energy codes and standards. While energy savings is still achievable with enhancements to legacy lighting system design and products, LEDs provide the most direct, though often not the cheapest up-front path to long-term savings on energy needed for lighting. As newer generations of building lighting efficiency targets are developed to reflect new technology and higher aims, LEDs are a primary means to an end.

"The 2019 version of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 has shifted to an all-LED baseline in developing the lighting power density values," says Michael Myer, senior lighting researcher with DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which assists code-making bodies.

Noting that the newest Title 24 standard also is entirely LED-based, Myer says LED is developing a stronger foothold, and that that's being reflected in code revisions.

"Specifiers, engineers and designers are all primarily specifying LED products," he says. "Shipments of incandescent, fluorescent and HID lamps are all down significantly since 2011."

Energy codes and standards aren't the only building-design-guideline trends that bear watching from a lighting perspective. Those that address the building environment for occupants and users, such as the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standard and the International Well Building Institute's WELL standard, promote user-friendly lighting systems as an element of occupant experience-focused design. They prioritize systems that are highly controllable from a light delivery, quality and intensity perspective and reflect growing knowledge of the effects that both poor-quality and high-quality light, broadly defined, can have on human beings.

LED lighting, increasingly offering capabilities for high-level control of elements such as dimming and color rendering, stands to become a cornerstone of building design projects that seek LEED and WELL certification. And LED is on track to have a central role in the emerging study of human-centric lighting (HCL), which posits that subtle, but controllable light qualities related to color and intensity affect human circadian rhythms that are linked to health and well-being. HCL is a concept that could find its way into future lighting designs, as well as next-generation building standards.

As knowledge of the impact that the built environment has on the human experience grows, the evolution of codes and standards that address it should be closely watched. And given the central role of lighting in that environment, lighting designers and contractors should pay extra close attention. Moreover, the place that LED lighting technology will have in reducing energy usage and improving occupant experience means they should be investing in greater understanding of LED options and the changing code and standard specifications that relate to LED technology.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ewweb.com/lighting/code-led-lighting-and-compliance-standards?partnerref=UM_SIGWP_EW_001&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=25586&utm_medium=email&elq2=a8024c34bba448589376c72f5778fe60

Continue reading
  240 Hits
240 Hits
Mar
25

NEC Requirements for Information Technology Equipment

Article 645 of the 2017 Edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) covers equipment, power supply wiring, equipment interconnecting wiring, and grounding (bonding) of information technology (IT) equipment and systems in IT equipment rooms.

Many other areas in the NEC apply to these rooms [Sec. 645.3(A) through (I)]. For example, the non-current-carrying conductive members of optical fiber cables within such a room must be bonded per Sec. 770.14 [645.3(C)]. And you'll find sections of half a dozen other Articles referenced in Sec. 645.3(B)(1) through (6).

You can use Art. 645's wiring methods instead of the wiring methods of Chapter 3 and Parts I and V of Art. 770, but only if you meet the conditions listed in Sec. 645.4(1) through (6).

Branch circuits supplying one or more units of IT equipment must have an ampacity of at least 125% of the total connected loads. If you run branch circuit supply conductors under a raised floor, you must install them per the requirements in Sec. 300.11. You must also use the wiring methods of Sec. 300.22(C) and/or the 17 wiring methods listed in Sec. 645.5(E)(1)(b)(1) through (17).

OCPDs supplying critical systems must be selectively coordinated [645.27] with all supply side OCPDs. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/national-electrical-code/nec-requirements-information-technology-equipment?NL=ECM-05&Issue=ECM-05_20190319_ECM-05_558&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_5_b&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=25468&utm_medium=email&elq2=4a6b598dae6d4810aba42b16be4826e9

Continue reading
  259 Hits
259 Hits
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).

 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Continue reading
  268 Hits
268 Hits
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.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Continue reading
  2555 Hits
2555 Hits
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.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Continue reading
  223 Hits
223 Hits
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.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Continue reading
  351 Hits
351 Hits
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." 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.


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

Share Tweet 0Save

Continue reading
  2438 Hits
2438 Hits
Feb
18

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

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/12-steps-to-a-better-business-continuity-plan-slideshow

Continue reading
  359 Hits
359 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.
Continue reading
  352 Hits
352 Hits
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/

Continue reading
  344 Hits
344 Hits
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. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Continue reading
  812 Hits
812 Hits
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. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Continue reading
  365 Hits
365 Hits
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.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

Continue reading
  384 Hits
384 Hits
apc confidence eaton dependable mge experience rm integrity schneider reliability apc confidence eaton dependable mge experience rm integrity schneider reliability apc confidence eaton dependable mge experience rm integrity schneider reliability