Jun
24

IEEE PES ESMO 2019

 IEEE PES ESMO 2019 is coming up, June 24-27 in Columbus, Ohio. The event features two days of technical sessions and an indoor trade show and another two days of outdoor demonstrations. 

The 14th international conference on transmission and distribution construction, operation and live line maintenance offers opportunities to network with your peers and learn about best practices in the utility industry.

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Jun
17

NEMA releases Surge Protection Guide

The first in a new series of publications intended to provide guidance on the evaluation, specification, and use of surge protective devices.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., has released the first in a new series of publications intended to provide guidance on the evaluation, specification, and use of surge protective devices (SPD) in low-voltage power distribution system applications.

"Surge Protective Device Specification Guide for Low-Voltage Power Distribution Systems, Part 1" (NEMA SPD 1.1-2019) is written for those who use or specify SPDs and others affiliated with the low-voltage SPD marketplace, "so that uniformity of specifications and parameters will improve comprehension, application, and utilization," said Saad Lambaz, Global Standards Manager at Littelfuse, Inc., NEMA Low Voltage Surge Section Member.

The guide includes SPD ratings related to the operating system and performance, a specification checklist, and information on surge current ratings, modes of protection, and general grounding practices.

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/surge-protection/guide-evaluating-surge-protective-devices

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Jun
03

Top 14 Reasons Electrical Service Installations Get Red Tagged

Whether located inside or outdoors, premises wiring systems powered by an electric utility have what is known as an electrical service. It is the portion of the electrical system from the utility-defined point of connection to the input terminals of the main overcurrent device — although strictly speaking (not included in this definition), the entrance panel is generally considered part of the service.

Because the service components carry a substantial amount of current and their overcurrent protection is much higher (less sensitive) than the ampacities of service conductors and terminals, design and installation are critical. Typically, an electrical inspector will take a good hard look at the service to make sure all is in order prior to signing off on the installation. It's your job to avoid these all too common "red tag" failure points.

This list shows some common missteps electricians, and other non-professional installers, make in electrical service installations across the country. 

1. No Cover on Panelboard

An energized electrical panel should not be operated with the cover removed because: 

  • A complete enclosure is necessary to contain sparks in case of line-to-line or line-to-ground fault. 
  • Exposed energized terminals are a shock hazard. 
  • The cover helps hold the main and branch circuit breakers firmly in place, preventing arcing at the bus bars.


2. Missing or Incomplete Directory on Panelboard

A complete and accurate directory is needed to selectively de-energize branch circuits for maintenance. Entries should not refer to current occupants (e.g., John's Room).


3. Meter Enclosure Out of Plumb

All boxes, including the entrance panel, must be plumb and firmly secured.


4. Missing Knockout Closures

Unused knockouts that have been removed must be fitted with closure blanks (made for the purpose) to ensure integrity of the enclosure.


5. Missing Bonding Connection on Water Pipe

The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires metal water piping to be bonded to the electrical grounding system. This is usually accomplished by connecting to the grounded conductor at the service equipment enclosure. The bonding conductor is sized in accordance with NEC Table 250.66. The points of attachment of the bonding jumper(s) must be accessible.


6. Insufficient Grounding

The NEC requires that a single rod, pipe, or plate electrode be supplemented by an additional electrode if its resistance to earth is greater than 25 ohms. Rather than go through the hassle of measuring ground resistance, many electricians simply drive a second ground rod [as required by NEC Sec. 250.53(A)(2)], and call it a day. In addition, the grounding electrode conductor raceway, which is metallic, should extend below grade and be bonded at the bottom. Most electricians use PVC raceway here to eliminate the need for bonding.


7. Lack of Corrosion Inhibitor with Aluminum Wire


Aluminum conductors are generally used instead of their copper counterparts between the utility point of connection and the main breaker. Including the meter socket, which is usually part of this scenario, there are numerous aluminum terminations. Each one of these requires corrosion inhibitor to ensure that the connection does not oxidize with attendant heat and arcing. Manufacturer's instructions, which are incorporated in the UL listing, state that the metal is to be wire brushed before applying the inhibitor.


8. Main Bonding Jumper is Missing

The main bonding jumper is to be field-installed. It is not to be used if the box is not used as service equipment (i.e., as a downstream load center).


9. Improperly Sized Service

The service size is based on the lighting load plus other loads. Calculation requirements are detailed in NEC Art. 220. Residential and commercial occupancies are figured differently.


10. Service Wire Not Sized Properly

Service conductor sizing is based on the connected load, with different sizes for dwellings and non-dwellings. This is critical because the service conductors are not protected for their ampacity by up-stream overcurrent devices.


11. Telephone or Data Wires Attached to Masthead

A very common Code violation is connection of non-service conductors or other equipment to a masthead. The problem here is that they add to the lateral load on the masthead raceway, especially if there is ice build up or wind load present on the span.


12. Coupling in Masthead Raceway Placed Above the Roof

Because strength of the masthead is critical, there should not be a coupling between the point at which the raceway emerges from the roof and the point of attachment, which is where the lateral loading occurs. Waterpipe should never be used as a masthead.


13. Inadequate Ground Clearance

The point of attachment at the building must be 10 ft above the finished grade and high enough so that the required clearance above grade level is maintained for the entire span. For overhead service conductors over residential property and driveways — and those commercial areas not subject to truck traffic where the voltage does not exceed 300V to ground — this clearance is 12 ft.


14. No Arc Fault Breakers in Panelboard

Just as the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protects individuals against electric shock, the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) mitigates the hazard of electrical fire. Neither of these life-saving devices is effective if not in place. NEC requires specific locations in dwellings and non-dwellings to be so protected. AFCI protection usually takes the form of specialized circuit breakers installed in the entrance panel. Because of their distinctive appearance with an extra white pigtail that is to be connected to the neutral bar, it is obvious when they are missing.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/contractor/top-14-reasons-electrical-service-installations-get-red-tagged

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May
28

Why do I need a personal Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)?

With all the bad weather we have had in the area - and it doesn't look like it will lighten up soon - consider the benefits of having a UPS:

Imagine you are working on an important job for your company's most profitable client. Or perhaps you are in college and working on a final term paper. Maybe it is a massive spreadsheet or a multiple page document that you have spent hours working on. Suddenly the power at your office or home goes out! All your hard work has been lost. If only your computer was connected to a UPS, your data may have been saved.

What is a UPS?

In computer terminology, UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply. An Uninterruptible Power Supply is an electrical device, typically with internal batteries, that store power to supply energy to connected devices if normal power is interrupted.

In the event of a power failure, the UPS will instantaneously switch over to its batteries to continue to provide power to connected devices for a period of time to allow the user to save data, shut down properly, or turn on a backup power source such as a generator. The period of time that a UPS will provide power to connected devices ultimately depends on the capacity of its batteries and the load that is connected to it.

Why do I need one?

So why do you need a UPS? Consider it like an insurance policy. People and property have insurance in case something bad or unexpected happens. Most people do not want to get sick, involved in a car accident or worse but in the event that something like this happens insurance policies make us whole again.

Having a UPS is like an insurance policy for your electronics. Power outages are random, brown-outs happen unexpectedly, so why would you not want to protect your PC, server, or even just your big screen TV in your living room at home! It's better to be safe than to be sorry. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://sandstormit.com/why-do-i-need-an-uninterruptible-power-supply-ups/

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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

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