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/

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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.

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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)

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

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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

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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

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