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. 

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

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Why the Need for PQ Analysis is on the Rise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Misunderstood After All This Time: Isolated Grounding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IEEE Publishes a Guide for Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information on IEEE 1584-2018 is available here.

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The Seven Types of Power Problems

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

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

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

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

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

​Seven Types of Power Problems Summarized

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

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

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