May
07

Best States for Energy

Energy Rankings: Measuring states' energy infrastructure

Energy represents one-third of the weight in ranking the Best States for infrastructure. This subcategory evaluates three major metrics: renewable energy usage, reliability of power grids and the average cost of electricity. Metrics were evaluated using the most recent data from the Department of Energy. Most of the energy consumed in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels, including petroleum, coal and natural gas, while about 10 percent of energy consumption comes from renewable sources. In 2016, 29 percent of all energy usage was in transportation, while 6 percent came from the residential sector and just 4 percent from the commercial category, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Oregon, which ranks No. 1 in energy, comes in third for infrastructure. Five of the top 10 states for energy also rank in the top 10 Best States overall: Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Nebraska and North Dakota. And West Virginia, which is the worst state for energy, is also one of the poorest-performing states overall, coming in at No. 47. Montana, however, falls in the bottom half of states for infrastructure despite being top 10 states for energy.

Best States for Energy

Energy Rank State Electricity Price Power Grid Reliability Renewable Energy Usage
#1 Oregon 13 17 1
#2 Washington 2 25 2
#3 South Dakota 28 6 4
#4 Nebraska 17 1 10
#5 Iowa 10 15 6
#6 North Dakota 15 3 11
#7 Montana 14 30 5
#8 Nevada 7 5 15
#9 Arizona 34 2 21
#10 Minnesota 32 14 12

Power Grid Reliability

The Department of Energy measures the number of minutes of power outages each customer experiences on average every year. Excluding major events, customers in both Nebraska and Arizona experienced less than an hour of power outages in 2016. With 439 minutes – or more than seven hours – of hours of power outages in 2016, West Virginia was the No. 50 state in reliability of power grids, far exceeding No. 49 Maine's nearly four and a half hours, or 264 minutes. The Southeast had the greatest power disturbance by far, with an average of more than two hours per customer, while the average for the Great Plains region was only 86 minutes.

Best States for Power Grid Reliability

 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial full article at: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/infrastructure/energy

Continue reading
  898 Hits
898 Hits
Apr
30

Century-Old Contractors Power America’s Past and Future

oldest contractors intro 1 12

Some of the nation’s oldest electrical contracting companies have discovered the secrets to staying in business and evolving to satisfy their customers’ changing needs.

One-hundred years ago, less than 35% of U.S. homes were powered by electricity. During this golden age of opportunity, trail-blazing electricians founded their own electrical contracting companies in American cities nationwide. Oftentimes, these entrepreneurs opened their doors with little more than a dream, a storefront, and a passion for electrification. Some of these business ventures eventually disappeared from the industry, but others stood the test of time — and are still standing today.

oldest contractors intro 2 12

Succeeding in the electrical construction market for a century or more requires lots of determination — and a little bit of luck, says Fred Sargent, who retired from Sargent Electric after many years of leading the company.

“Once a company is within striking distance of reaching its 100-year mark, its owners and managers begin to eye that as a goal for the company and a legacy of their tenure,” Sargent says. “A contracting business equals the contracts it has in effect. Finding new business opportunities that will sustain its operation is a fundamental requirement.”

oldest contractors intro 3 11

Seven Secrets to Staying in Business for 100 Years or More

Some of the nation’s oldest electrical contracting companies have been able to stay in business for at least a century by adapting to changes in the industry and embracing new markets. Here are some of their strategies for not only surviving for 100 years, but also for planning for future growth and expansion.

  1. Adapt to customers’ changing needs. By keeping its customers at the forefront of its business plans, Sargent Electric can prepare its teams for the projects and technologies of the future. “Most of the emerging trends in our industry favor contractors that are providing full-service solutions for their customers, able to go wherever the customer needs them, and with the flexibility to work in a variety of team structures and contracting models,” says Rob Smith, president of the company.
  2. Train your workforce. Cache Valley Electric fosters a company culture that builds loyalty, camaraderie, and common purpose, treats each employee as irreplaceable, and invests in advanced training. “This training doesn’t just grow their value within our industry — it also builds their own sense of self-worth and accomplishment,” says Nate Wickizer, CEO of the company.
  3. Invest in technology. Hawkins Electric Service has strived to stay on the leading edge of technology through use of 3D modeling and GPR robotics on new construction projects. In addition, the field workforce uses iPads loaded with project management software and advanced equipment to troubleshoot underground faults.
  4. Treat your customers with respect, honesty, and fairness, according to the third-generation leaders of Hawkins Electric Service, who were always taught to “do the right thing.”
  5. Serve your community. At Hawkins Electric, the company’s executives and employees have made a strong commitment to the community through monetary, material and labor donations. In addition, the company executives are active in leadership roles in industry associations and encourage their employees to do the same.
  6. Secure repeat contracts. As Hawkins looks to solidify its regional presence and expand geographically, the contractor is focusing on building trusting and nurturing relationships with its industry partners.
  7. Network with other contractors. For the last 35 years, H.B. Frazer has served as a member of the Federated Electrical Contractors, which includes 37 other contractors, including Guarantee Electrical, OESCO, and Cache Valley Electric. These companies work together on joint ventures for clients both in the United States and abroad. “Being a Federated contractor is a great opportunity to meet and grow our business and learn from one another,” says Bill Holleran, president of H.B. Frazer.

Notable Changes Over the Last 100 Years

Rob Smith, president of Sargent Electric, shares three ways his company and the electrical industry has changed since his business first opened its doors.

  • More reliable and safer solutions at a lower cost.
  • Improved electrical safety for the end-user and owner/ operator of the facilities and for the electricians who make it all happen.
  • Innovations through all aspects of the supply chain, which reduces labor hours and costs. Also, the shift from building in the field to assembling advanced components and preassemblies boosts productivity.

Early Years of Electrification: A Timeline

1752: Ben Franklin ties a kite to a string during a thunderstorm.

1800: The first electric battery was founded by Alessandro Volta.

1821: Michael Faraday first discovered electro-magnetic rotation.

1826: Georg Ohm created Ohm’s Law.

1837: Thomas Davenport invented the first electric motor.

1878: Joseph Swan invented the first incandescent light bulb, which burned out quickly, and Thomas Edison founded the Edison Electric Light Co.

1879: Thomas Edison invented the first long-lasting incandescent light bulb, which could be used for at least 40 hours without burning out.

1882: Thomas Edison opened a power station, which could power 5,000 lights.

1883: Nikola Tesla invented the Tesla coil.

1893: The Westinghouse Electric Co. used AC current to light the Chicago’s World’s Fair.

1936: The Rural Electrification Act was aimed at providing electricity to farms in America.

1942: About half of the American farms had electricity.

 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial article at: http://www.ecmweb.com/construction/century-old-contractors-power-america-s-past-and-future

Continue reading
  928 Hits
928 Hits
Apr
23

Electrical grounding technique may improve health outcomes of NICU babies

A technique called "electrical grounding" may moderate preterm infants' electromagnetic exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and improve their health outcomes, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Image result for premature baby in incubator

Equipment in the NICU produces low-frequency electromagnetic fields that can have subtle yet measurable effects on the autonomic nervous system, the system that regulates involuntary body functions. Preterm infants may be especially vulnerable to these effects.

Previous research in adults has shown that exposure to electromagnetic fields can affect the vagus nerve, a key component of the autonomic nervous system which regulates the body's internal organs during rest. Previous research also has shown that electrical grounding, which reduces the electrical charge to the body, can improve the functioning of the autonomic nervous system and the vagus nerve, producing improved vagal tone.

Vagal tone, which is measured by analyzing heart rate variability between inhalation and exhalation, is a valuable indicator of health. An earlier study performed with colleagues at Penn State found that low vagal tone in preterm infants is a marker of vulnerability to stress and a risk factor for developing necrotizing enterocolitis, an intestinal disorder that can have severe consequences. Strengthening vagal tone may reduce inflammation, guard against the development of necrotizing enterocolitis and offer protection from a variety of other conditions that can affect preterm infants.

Additionally, a separate study involving preterm infants in the NICU revealed that when the incubator's power was switched off, thereby eliminating the electromagnetic source, the vagal tone of the infants improved. But until this Penn State study, published in a recent issue of Neonatology, no other research had directly evaluated the effect of electrical grounding on vagal tone in preterm infants in the NICU.

To evaluate the connection between electrical grounding and vagal tone in preterm infants, the researchers conducted a prospective observational study that included a total of 26 preterm infants who were between six and 60 days old and in the NICU at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center between October 2012 and January 2014.

"Preterm babies in the NICU have a lot of health challenges due to the immaturity of their lungs, of their bowel and of all their organs, so we decided to look at how electrical grounding could help improve vagal tone and mitigate some of those challenges," said Dr. Charles Palmer, professor of pediatrics and chief of newborn medicine at Penn State Children's Hospital. "Anything we might do to improve the babies' resilience would be good."

After measuring the environmental electromagnetic levels in and around the incubators, the researchers electrically grounded the babies by connecting an electrode wire from the infants' incubators or open cribs to the ground. Twenty of the 26 infants were measured for both skin voltage -- the voltage measured between the patient's skin and electrical ground -- and heart rate variability -- to assess vagal tone -- before, during and after grounding. Six of the infants were measured only for skin voltage.

"When we looked at the signal on the skin, it was an oscillating signal going out at 60 hertz, which is exactly the frequency of our electrical power. When we connected the baby to the ground, the skin voltage dropped by about 95 percent and vagal tone increased by 67 percent," Palmer said. After grounding, vagal tone returned to the pre-grounding level.

"What we can conclude is that a baby's autonomic nervous system is able to sense the electrical environment and it seems as though a baby is more relaxed when grounded," Palmer said. "When tied to our previous work, which found that vagal tone was an important risk factor for necrotizing enterocolitis, this new finding may offer an opportunity to protect babies even further."

A limitation of this study is the sample size, and further research is needed, said Palmer.

"If more research confirms our results, it could mean, for example, redesigning incubators to ground babies and cancel out the electrical field," he said.

Palmer also said that more study is needed to evaluate the long-term effects on preterm infants of exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields in the NICU.

 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial article at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170803120627.htm

 

Continue reading
  1042 Hits
1042 Hits
Apr
16

How does your state rank in Electrical Safety

Mike Holt's State Rating of the Electrical Industry - 2018

Map Safest States2018

As part of our ongoing focus on electrical safety, we annually update our report that assigns a grade to US States for electrical standards that are mandated state-wide.

State-wide mandates considered.

The following criteria are all required at the state level for points to be assigned for this report:

  • The NEC® edition adopted (current = 2017 NEC issued on 8/4/2016)
  • Licensing and/or certification required for Apprentice, Journeyman, Master/Contractor, Inspector, and Engineer licenses
  • Continuing Education (CEU or PDH) required for license renewal

What's NOT included in our report.

  • County and Municipality adoptions. We recognize that there are many local adoptions, and that in many cases county and municipalities adopt the most recent building and electrical codes ahead of their State. The scope of anything other than state-wide mandated requirements is beyond this report.
  • Enforcement or effectiveness. We are unaware of a way to track or correlate enforcement as it relates to rates of incidents or accidents.

Congratulations!

  • The following states have an A+ rating: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming.
  • We applaud all those states, counties and local municipalities that continue to set high standards in electrical safety.

The Chart below shows the rankings.

If there is a green up arrow next to the state name, it indicates an improvement in grade over the last 5 years from 2014 to 2018; a down red arrow indicates a decline.

For history and details of how grades are calculated, click here.

Note: All 12 points are required for an A+ grade.

STATE GRADE 2014 GRADE 2015 GRADE 2016 GRADE 2017 GRADE 2018
ALABAMA C+ B- C+ C+ B
ALASKA A A A A A
ARIZONA F F F F F
ARKANSAS A+ A+ A+ A A+
CALIFORNIA B+ B+ B+ B+ B+
COLORADO A+ A+ A+ A A+
CONNECTICUT B+ B+ B+ B+ B+
D.C. C+ C+ C+ C C
DELAWARE A- A- A- A A
FLORIDA B- B B B- B
GEORGIA B- B- B- C+ B-
HAWAII C+ C+ C C- C+
IDAHO A A A A- A
ILLINOIS D D D F F
INDIANA D+ D+ D+ D D
IOWA A A+ A+ A A+
KANSAS F F F F F
KENTUCKY A A A A- A-
LOUISIANA C+ C+ C+ C C+
MAINE A+ A+ A+ A A+
MARYLAND C C C+ C C
MASSACHUSETTS A- A- A- A- A-
MICHIGAN A A+ A+ A A
MINNESOTA A A A A- A
MISSISSIPPI D D D F F
MISSOURI F F F F F
MONTANA A A A A- A-
NEBRASKA A A A A- A
NEVADA D D D F F
NEW HAMPSHIRE A- A- A- B+ A-
NEW JERSEY A- A- A- A- A-
NEW MEXICO A- A- A- B+ A-
NEW YORK D+ D+ D+ C- C+
NORTH CAROLINA B B B B B
NORTH DAKOTA A+ A+ A+ A A+
OHIO B B+ B+ B- B
OKLAHOMA A A A A- A-
OREGON A A A A- A
PENNSYLVANIA C C C C- C-
RHODE ISLAND A- A- A- B+ B+
SOUTH CAROLINA B- B- B- B- B-
SOUTH DAKOTA A+ A+ A+ A A+
TENNESSEE B- B- C+ C C
TEXAS A- A- A- B+ A-
UTAH A A A A A
VERMONT A- A- A- B+ A-
VIRGINIA A- A- A- B+ B+
WASHINGTON A A A A- A
WEST VIRGINIA B B B B B
WISCONSIN A- A- A- B+ B+
WYOMING A+ A+ A+ A A+

 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial article at: https://www.mikeholt.com//newsletters.php?action=display&letterID=1875

Continue reading
  993 Hits
993 Hits
Apr
09

Updating Legacy Power Systems

Why you need to deploy the newest solutions for greater reliability in security and access control specifications

It is exciting times for physical security today. Technology has advanced at breakneck speeds, quite significant for an industry that seemed to stand still for decades. Now, with networked and Internet Protocol (IP) products in video surveillance and access control, edge intelligence and connected data coming from a host of integrated devices and sensors, there’s a whole new proving ground emerging for power in these types of security solutions.

Consumers and end-users expect to connect to their systems at any time, from anywhere. End users need their solutions up and running 24/7, especially in critical infrastructure or government security applications. Everything is interconnected and talking to each other— and power is the heartbeat of the integrated solution.

Power systems have undergone a substantial transformation in performance and design, resulting in better efficiency, reliability and stability. Now, it too has joined the growing fray of networkconnected products—with new remote monitoring and management capabilities yielding a more robust power and security system specification.

History of Power

The basic design of power systems has changed dramatically during the last several decades. In the 70s, power systems used linear regulation, an older technology that was inherently inefficient. With linear systems, a large, step-down transformer was required and the regulator operates by “burning off” extra voltage as heat. Heat generation, an enemy of electronics which degrades performance over time, is much greater in linear power supplies. Efficiency levels for linear power supplies were typically in the 65 percent range and generally limited to a single, preconfigured output voltage dependent on the input transformer. Linear power supplies are generally being phased out, driven also by state and federal regulations, in favor of offline switching supplies (OLS).

OLS is a widely used technology capable of operating with a cleaner power output than linear. It offers less noise and ripple as opposed to linear, especially during high-power operation. An OLS power system operates on the same principles as a low-voltage switching mode power supply, but eliminates the need for a step-down transformer, improving efficiency while reducing weight and heat output. OLS is able to achieve nearly 90 percent efficiency and far lower operating temperatures than either linear or switching mode, with the result being greater long-term product reliability.

When power supplies began to move to OLS the higher efficiency presented a greater feature set and ultimately it began its transition from dumb hardware to an integral part of a network-connected system.

The efficiency, feature sets and available diagnostics of power solutions will only improve with the future generation of products. Devices will continue to integrate—with the ability of hardware and software to communicate more wholly through protocols such as Physical Logical Access Interoperability (PLAI) profile and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)—as well as foster easier use and user transparency.

The power supply is now a complete solution, offering single and dual voltage, power distribution, lock and output control, remote test capability, remote diagnostics and remote reporting capabilities.

Big Picture: Access Control, PoE and Wireless

Power also plays a significant role in many emerging trends in access control. There’s quite a large infrastructure of legacy access control solutions still operating in the industry today, but they are being migrated to integrated open solutions. In addition, the rise of wireless locking products, power over Ethernet connectivity and edge intelligence in access control is also dictating the need for more robust power solutions to keep systems up and running competently.

With an IP edge-based solution, each door operates independently of other openings in the system. Edge access control systems require networked power solutions that can provide predictive capabilities, remote monitoring and maintenance, so integrators and users can maintain them proactively.

Networked access control systems are an integral part of security at the protected premises. And wouldn’t it be great if an end-user knew, ahead of time, of impending lock failure or battery fatigue— offering the ability to replace components in a timely manner and maintain system uptime? That’s what’s possible today with proactive power system management from networked components. In addition, reliable and predictable power systems provide greater efficiencies and yield substantial cost savings for customers and integrators.

Modern power systems provide these capabilities:

  • The ability to access real-time data and detect historical trends, with 100 percent visibility into the system, globally or locally, or to each connected device.
  • The ability to identify and prevent potential power problems to critical security systems before they fail.
  • Powerful analytics that deliver information in a highly intuitive form that helps security integrators manage systems to a healthy, optimal performance.
  • An integrated solution that combines access control hardware with intelligent power networking capabilities in a single enclosure to reduce installation time and yield easy standardization across enterprise specifications and from installation to installation.
  • Proactive real-time reporting and the continual delivery of mission critical information on the overall system health and viability, leading to less downtime or failure.

Networked enterprise or multi-tenant sites can effectively use power solutions to pinpoint potential connectivity and device issues with proactive, intelligent analytics. At the ready for integrators and end users are many predictive tools to automatically manage power solutions and receive alerts in advance of issues so preventative actions and response can be administered through managed services. These managed services could include: remote battery management and testing; remote device monitoring and restart/power cycle functionality; proactive detection and assessment of problems; and system solution health and connectivity reports generated on demand or at any designed schedule or interval.

What once was considered a dumb device now has attained mission critical stature for integrated solutions at the protected premises. Power is knowledgeable, connected and intelligent, culling constant realtime information on the status and operational history of systems installations.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the origial article at: https://securitytoday.com/Articles/2018/03/01/Updating-Legacy-Power-Systems.aspx?Page=3

Continue reading
  934 Hits
934 Hits