Mar
23

Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Micro Data Center Webinar

Simple. Secure. Low Profile. That's our new Micro Data Center.

Join us, Thursday, March 26th at 2:00pm EST as we deep dive into our newest 6U EcoStruxure Micro Data Center during our first webinar of 2020. This webinar will feature Gail Fredrickson, Director, Channel Marketing & Strategy Execution, Chelsie Ritarossi, Sr. Manager, Channel Marketing & Communications and Jeremy Edwards, Director, Channel Sales as they discuss...

  • The features & benefits of the new 6U EcoStruxure Micro Data Center
  • How to leverage this offer for distributed edge and network environments
  • Where you can deploy this next!
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62 Hits
Mar
18

P3: Ready to Serve - Response to COVID-19 Pandemic


Building Confidence in Power 



The U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic is requiring changes in the way we do business and redefining the new normal. Critical facilities and systems that were overlooked in the past are now at the forefront of our future. Server rooms and wiring closets can be the pivot point between what happens remotely and what is needed on-site. We specialize in keeping the power on and protecting these systems.

As we all struggle to navigate this new normal, we want to remind you that P3 - Power Protection Products, Inc. is here to help your company strengthen and reinforce your critical infrastructure and support systems. P3 has a team of experts that are on the job and available via a variety of electronic methods to support the projects we are collaborating on together and assist with any critical equipment requirements and inquiries. If you need more run time, we can provide batteries. If you need more capacity, we can rapidly upgrade your system. If you need monitoring and remote control, we can help with that as well.

If you are looking for ways to remotely manage your critical facilities, we are here for you! P3 provides remote monitoring services for ALL brands of Mission Critical equipment and it can be installed in most facilities without a site visit. We provide remote monitoring service for your critical equipment which increases resiliency and transparency through service personnel equipped with real‑time device data to quickly troubleshoot and dispatch. We make it easy for your team to respond.

P3 has a network of partner Field Service Engineers located in your area to ensure that specific needs are rapidly met. Our supply parts and service organization remain fully operational to support all critical facilities and can be reached at P3 Care 877-393-1223

With almost 25 years serving the mission critical community, P3 stands ready to serve your needs. Do not hesitate to put us to work.

We look forward to partnering with you to prepare for the new normal and the related challenges ahead.

 Leading the Industry in Power Quality Solutions

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100 Hits
Mar
17

Digital Twins Are Changing The Grid

Twinning is the process of linking the physical world and virtual reality with amazing results. 

Digital technology is getting more dynamic every day and harder to understand, but sometimes the most advanced technologies are the result of timing. It's connecting the dots, or perhaps bridging the gap because of the ability to understand the data faster or the flexibility to understand what the technology is saying. The non-technical person may talk about stars aligning or a perfect storm of events, but that isn't the case here. It is taking the old "thinking outside the box" approach to a new level by grabbing existing applications and integrating them into a different function, which is where digital twinning comes in.

The digital twin was introduced almost two decades ago, but some say the concept dates back even further to the period when the first computer-aided design (CAD) systems came into the engineering department. As CAD software matured, engineers were able to develop 3D models of the what they were designing. When combined with automation, the engineers could see how their designs worked. It gave them the ability to see simulations of the devices before they were built.

With that type of a tool, it wasn't long before engineers started asking, "What if we could monitor the actual equipment?" Maybe they could monitor the health of the device or identify problem areas, or improve efficiencies. The potential was there, and it attracted a great deal of attention. A lot of things fell into place, and keeping it simple, these 3D CAD models evolved into the early digital twin theory.

Collateral Improvements

Smart technology with its intelligent sensors and transducers moved theory into the real world. These devices needed to become markedly more sophisticated, substantially smaller, and much cheaper, which they did. This promoted the concept of interconnectivity and fed the development of sophisticated communications systems such as today's 5G technology. In this environment, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology became possible and brought about dynamic monitoring and controlling of industrial assets and processes.

It helped that HPC (high performance computing) was developed and led the way to new applications like the cloud infrastructure, which was an ideal environment for the big-data these systems generated. This setting is making data storage cheaper and more available to the entire enterprise. It is also a boost to big data analytics and the spreading of asset simulations integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality. Overall, this combination of the physical world with smart technology is being called Industry 4.0, but that subject covers a flock of interesting topics that needs exploration, and like eating the proverbial elephant, digital twinning will be our first bite.

What is Digital Twin?

The digital twin has been compared to a bridge between the real world and the virtual world that has produced tangible tools for the heavy industry. Granted, that tactic is really a simplified summation, but it reflects how everything in the digital technology realm is interrelated in one way or another. Before moving on with the digital twinning discussion, it is important to define exactly what digital twins are. Typically a digital twin is compared to a digital copy of physical assets, but that description only scratches the surface and a digital twin is a lot more than that characterization.

To quote GE Digital, "Digital twins are software representations of assets and processes that are used to understand, predict, and optimize performance in order to achieve improved business outcomes. Digital twins consist of three com- ponents: a data model, a set of analytics or algorithms, and knowledge."

The digital twin technology is being used by many industries such as aerospace, defense, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and energy. Heck, it's even been used Formula 1 racing for several years. Basically more end users are coming onboard all the time and the list of major players in the market grows every day too. This includes companies such as ABB, Accenture, Cisco, Dassault Systèmes, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Schneider Electric, and Siemens to name a few.

It is definitely a growth market and a quick check shows some interesting figures. Depending on which study is read or which expert is quoted, the global marketplace was about US$3.8 billion in 2019 and the projected growth is estimated to range from US$35 billion to US$40 billion by 2025 at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) anywhere from 37% to 40%. No matter which figures are picked, the common denominator is the market is growing and it's growing at an attention getting pace.

Growth is being driven by the benefits digital twin technology offers such as asset management, real-time remote monitoring, real-time and predictive performance evaluation, predictive equipment failure, and other money saving advantages. For the grid, probably one of the most promising digital twin features is improved reliability and resiliency by more situational awareness. Being able to mine big-data for actionable information has proven helpful predicting delays or unplanned downtime. The takeaway for any business is simple, there is a digital twin in its future.

Need For Standards

That said, the power delivery system hasn't been the quickest industry to deploy digital twin. Cloud-based applications like digital twinning bring the challenge of selecting correct data, the validity of the model, maintaining the process, and cybersecurity threats to name a few items. There are also some very real interoperability concerns (i.e., the digital twins from one supplier may not play well with digital twins from another supplier).

There are no standardized digital twin platforms, and that is a major speed bump for widespread digital twin deployment by utilities. It's not hard to imagine a utility or several interconnected utilities having a gaggle of digital twins that will not operate together. It is reminiscent of the early days of smart grid when intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) with peer-to-peer protocols were being introduced.

In those early days, IEDs offered amazing features and benefits, but only a few utilities took advantage because it meant sole-sourcing one supplier, and that kept most utilities on the sidelines when it came to deployment. It didn't take long for all the stakeholders to get behind the development of vendor-agnostic interoperability standards such as IEC-61850. It was hard work, but the results speak for themselves. IEDs have developed into plug-and-play systems that are in use around the world and that needs to happen in digital twinning, but let's look at some examples of digital twin use.

Digital Twin Projects

Back in 2015, GE Renewables introduced the first digital wind farm to the world. The turbines had sensors and transducers throughout their assemblies monitoring how each turbine was working. These monitoring devices sent big-data to a remote operations center where the digital twin powered by GE's Predix software provided visualizations and advanced analytics for the operators. Today GE reports it has more than 15,000 wind turbines operating in the digital twin mode.

American Electric Power (AEP) recently announced it has contracted with Siemens to provide a digital twin of their transmission system. Siemens reported, "The AEP project is the largest and most complex to date, partly because AEP's presence extends from Virginia to Texas. Not only is the digital twin enhancing the utility's previous data governance strategy, the system has to be flexible enough to accommodate its continued evolution by allowing 40 AEP planners in five states access to the model and to make changes as needed, too."

Siemens also said, "AEP also wanted a system to help it automatically perform functions that up to now have been executed manually, such as assuring data compliance with the number of regulatory agencies in the eleven states it serves. The system will ensure reliability and reduce outages in a network that consists of conductors (cables) made of different physical materials spanning varying topographies and differing climates."

According to a press release from Principle Power, the Department of Energy (DOE) has given a US$3.6 million grant to a consortium of partners led by Principle Power including Akselos. SA, American Bureau of Shipping, University of California Berkeley and others. The funding will be used to develop, validate, and operate DIGIFLOAT, the world's first digital twin software designed for floating offshore wind farms on the WindFloat Atlantic project.

Another recent press release announced Nation Grid was partnering with Utilidata and Sense to create a pilot project that is a first of-a-kind digital twin application. It's a virtual model that will represent an "end-to-end image of their electric grid. It will be capable of mapping power flow, voltage, and infrastructure from the substation into the home. The goal is to demonstrate the value of real-time data across the grid.

Digital twinning is making inroads into the electric grid and that isn't surprising. After all controlling the grid is all about data and being able to act on it. To paraphrase some experts, those failing to take advantage of digital twins will be left behind.

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Mar
11

An updated fault current definition and additions to NEC Article 408 help increase safety

This past summer, National Electrical Code (NEC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) committee members updated fault current definitions and added new requirements related to switchboards, switchgear and panelboards in NEC Article 408. I believe the updates will make it easier for installers, designers and inspectors to ensure this electrical equipment is applied within their rating for safer power distribution systems.

The changes
New unified terminology for short-circuit current and fault current will provide clarity as these terms had been used interchangeably throughout the NEC.

In parallel, new requirements were added to NEC Article 408 to support the proper application of electrical products concerning short-circuit current rating (SCCR) and interrupting ratings of overcurrent protection devices (OCPDs).

Together, these changes are important because they reduce the likelihood of electrical hazards. The SCCR calculations and equipment labels will instrumental to informing maintenance practices and future equipment upgrades.

 The rationale for change

Definition language

The definition now states that "available fault current" is the highest short-circuit current that can flow at a particular point in the electrical system. "Maximum available short-circuit current" and "short-circuit current" were also changed to "available fault current."

Markings
Previously, the NEC did not require that switchboards, switchgear and panelboards have labeled SCCR and available fault current values. Now, Article 408.6 does.

The NEC 2020 code review reaffirmed a straightforward practice that's proven quite successful:

  • Know the SCCR of equipment and the interrupting rating of the OCPD
  • Know the available fault current
  • Compare the two, making sure the fault current is less than the rating

What might the future hold?
In my opinion, the changes offer common-sense solutions for everyday issues encountered in the field. But, as with any Code change, I expect some in our industry will have to adjust how they work over the short- and long-term.

"As with any Code change, I expect some in our industry will have to adjust how they work over the short- and long-term. "
Thomas Domitrovich, Eaton vice president, technical sales

Short term

Getting used to the Code

The new language "available fault current" in replace of "maximum available short-circuit current" may give some readers pause. I expect the adjustment period to be short because, while the language has changed, the intent remains the same.

Calculations are a must

This is a significant change due to the sheer volume of equipment that must now be marked with available fault current. I believe the new requirement will drive home the importance of performing fundamental equipment evaluations at install.

Long term

Additional labeling

The way equipment is labeled may need to be examined and changed. For instance, when a panelboard is shipped, the manufacturer often has no way of knowing what OCPDs will be placed inside. The standards for these products require that a label reflect how to determine the SCCR, not the SCCR of the panel, which is dependent upon the lowest interrupting rating of the breaker that's installed. It's up to the installer and the Authority Having Jurisdiction to determine that panelboard's overall SCCR.

Additional SCCR marking requirements for other types of equipment during installation may come to fruition. It's important to remember there are different levels of protection available. When equipment is clearly labeled with SCCR, it will help raise awareness that any replacements or additions should have a minimum interrupting rating per the marking. I believe this will help reduce the likelihood of a technician installing an insufficient breaker when adding a circuit or replacing a faulty device and will raise the awareness of the proper continued maintenance and servicing of equipment after the fact.

Designing big from the start

It's vital to remember that electrical systems change and many organizations plan to expand their facilities. And while most design engineers account for growth, on commercial projects, where the bottom line is king, builders may look to the least expensive option without accommodating the future: motor additions, transformer increases and the like. In my opinion, stepping up to the next interrupting rating is a better choice than cutting it too close. I encourage all designers and contractors to closely align with customers on a comprehensive plan for their system:

  • Designers: Work with clients to understand their growth potential over the next five to 10 years and develop plans that allow for expansion.
  • Contractors: Refrain from "value engineering" builds. Work with customers to access future growth potential and explain how slightly higher costs today can save them time and money tomorrow.

"I encourage all designers and contractors to closely align with customers on a comprehensive growth plan."
Thomas Domitrovich, Eaton vice president, technical sales

Can we define growth overages for fault current?

While the available fault current language changes and additions to Article 408 greatly enhance safe OCPD installation, I believe the NEC can do more to provide a fault current overage baseline to help all understand when to recommend increased protections. I've spoken with numerous inspectors and many feel there's an opportunity to establish effective interrupting rating requirements, perhaps by looking to the NEC's exploration of adding overage requirements for calculations as a guide.

My question to the NEC: can we establish fault overage guidelines for electrical designs? For instance, how close to 10,000 amps should designers get before bumping up to a 22,000-amp breaker? Would a 1,000-amp baseline suffice? Or 2,000 amps? Whether for NEC requirements or industry practice, a dialog regarding guidelines that help designers and contractors understand when it's appropriate to go to the next level of protection to maintain safety if and when distribution systems expand would help drive change.
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89 Hits
Mar
09

As Building Infrastructures Age, Up-to-date Assessments Can Ensure High Performance and Resilience

Changes to a building that occur over time can often make building performance less efficient and less resilient. As time goes on, building use characteristics often diverge from those that were used initially to design and commission a building. A good example of this is improper outside air ventilation rates which can lead to problems with indoor air quality (IAQ), or excess operational costs. Building power and cooling infrastructure components can also wear out and fall out of calibration. As more and more powered equipment gets added, power capacities are exceeded, and unanticipated downtime issues begin to emerge.

As systems age, they decline in performance, which leads to failures that significantly impact the bottom line. A perfect example is a research facility that examines proteins and crystals in their research of bacteria and virus-borne diseases. The facility recently decided to upgrade its installed base of microscopes in response to pharmaceutical customer demand for more accuracy. Their existing building power infrastructure supported a 1-megawatt (MW) power switch, which was previously adequate as the building consumed 600 kW of power on an average day, and nosed up to 800 KW on the hottest of summer days when air conditioning systems work at full capacity.

Given the required upgrade, a cost effective, steady power supply with peaks in excess of 1MW was now required in order to accommodate stringent purity requirements and to avoid losing both data and research samples.

Our solution was to implement a lithium-ion-based energy storage solution physically located inside of the building. The battery selected for this purpose supplies stored power to the facility when demand spikes over 1MW and then recharges from the grid. This cost-effective change to the lab's existing power infrastructure successfully managed the building's increased power capacity requirements and helped the research lab remain competitive in their market.
Approaches for validating current building requirements

For organizations seeking to ensure consistent building power, cooling, and building automation performance, here are some preliminary steps that should be taken to validate requirements:

Identify common needs of both traditional and new critical infrastructure – Building owners need to periodically assess the health of different types of building critical infrastructure. This includes both generators and power distribution systems and the IT backbone – anything that keeps the building on its mission at a predictable operating cost. These infrastructure pillars need to be assessed in order to determine whether changes to the building have altered the efficiencies.
Identify needs unique to your facility – Understanding the unique requirements of the building under management also heavily impacts how technology is deployed to improve performance. Sports arenas, for instance, have a specialized need for higher dehumidification. High precision temperature control and monitoring are needed to both accommodate tens of thousands of fans and to assure that ice rink temperatures, for example, are properly maintained.

Healthcare facilities require more highly regulated environments. Circulating air has to be regularly monitored. Sophisticated backup power systems are required since connected hospitals have no real ability to shut down. In government and municipal buildings–such as prisons and K-12 public schools–a higher focus on safety and security emerges as a primary concern. Commercial buildings are focused more on comfort and lighting so that employee productivity can be maintained. Knowing the unique characteristics of your building and applying the right building automation technologies suited to those unique needs is a key performance driver.
Changing times demand more building resilience

Regardless of the type of facility, building owners also need to be aware that building resilience is emerging as a growing need. For many years, predictable building performance was taken for granted by the occupants. But now, the existing power grid has grown older. As power sources such as coal and nuclear phase out in the US, new solar and wind power are being introduced. These changes make power quality more intermittent and downtime can now occur in areas where power fluctuations were once rare. In addition, pockets of businesses continue to expand across regions driving more demand for clean, "always on" power. In these cases, building infrastructures need to be reexamined in order to withstand the demands of the "new normal."


To learn more about how digitized building automation solutions can improve building performance, visit the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure for Buildings web site.​

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://blog.se.com/building-management/2019/11/12/building-infrastructures-age-assessments-high-performance-resilience/

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143 Hits
Mar
02

Eaton's Current Thinking Broadcast Series, Episode 4: Keeping up with the Code

Watch experts from the electrical industry and Eaton offer their take on changes to the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC). Get a better understanding of how the Code is updated, recent changes and what to expect as the 2023 code takes shape.

Understand how code updates are made

Learn about the biggest factors that go into updating the Code during each review cycle, who participates in code-making panels and how updates are determined and approved. We'll also debunk some of the myths and misconceptions about how code updates are made. Hint, they're not just driven by manufacturers.

Implement updates to the 2020 NEC

We'll discuss some of the biggest modifications to the Code and go behind the scenes to understand the process that drove the changes. A wide variety of updates will be discussed: from GFCI expansion to load calculations for LED lighting to service entrance changes. We'll look at some of the drivers behind these changes and where industry can turn to get more information.

Prepare for the 2023 code

A conversation around the additions we can expect to see that weren't included in the latest update and how businesses can prepare for upcoming changes while also helping encourage adoption of the changes in their own states.

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205 Hits
Feb
20

Eaton's Surge Protection FAQ

P3 offers a comprehensive range of surge protective devices (SPDs) designed to meet the needs of virtually any environment or application manufactured by Eaton. Before determining the optimal device for your facility, it is helpful to gain a general understanding of the importance of surge protection and the key factors to consider. Learn more from the link below:

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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  234 Hits
234 Hits
Feb
17

Has Smart Grid Technology Impacted Utility Fatality Rates or Job Numbers?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported there were 5250 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2018, representing a 2% increase from the 5147 in 2017. Although there is no acceptable number of fatalities, the 44 deaths in 2018 in the North America Industry Classification System (NAICS) utilities sector were well below numerous other sectors. For all job classifications, homicides, roadway incidents, falls, and being struck by an object each resulted in more deaths than exposure to electricity. Is the lower fatality incident rate for utilities (2.6/100,000) compared with the construction industry (9.5/100,000) — which includes trade electricians — because of the implementation of digital and other smart grid technologies? Also, does the developing smart grid era portend fewer or more electric utility jobs?

BLS data historically identified being an electrician as one of the 10 most dangerous jobs. The data issued to date for 2018 provides a more nuanced story. Fatalities in the utilities sector, including all types of utility workers, were relatively low. Fatalities in the construction and extraction occupational sectors (see graphic) were high and within the 10 most dangerous classifications. The construction sector (NAISCS 23) includes specialty trade contractors (NAISICS 238), which covers electricians. While sector breakdowns do not include the number of fatalities by occupation, a straight percentage allocation of the total would indicate 160 electricians working as construction subcontractors lost their lives in 2018. To be clear, this is an estimate for comparison with the 44 utility employee deaths.

There are a host of job differences when comparing utility workers with electricians working as subcontractors, frequently on construction sites. One thought-provoking concept is that smart grid systems at utilities are affecting fatality rates by reducing or eliminating some of the most hazardous tasks. Consider advanced distribution management systems that can clear some grid faults and avoid having line workers make unnecessary trips during inclement weather. Also, look at the reduced exposure to energized cables resulting from the digitalization of substations and other grid components. The smart grid initiative also includes an increased emphasis on renewable energy and measures such as demand management. Such technologies may limit the transmission and distribution (T&D) of power, but they also place electrical systems in work settings where staff may not be adequately trained. However, there is no compelling evidence in literature to date indicating that smart grid technologies are impacting the incidence rate of workplace fatalities, even though some of the arguments both ways are logical.

Most electric utility employees don't spend their time worrying about the singularity — a hypophysis concerning when technological advancement will overtake and potentially eliminate humankind. However, some may worry about technological advancements eliminating their jobs. It's clear from our experience to date that some roles are becoming less essential while others will be created or a will have a higher priority. Consider the reduced need for meter readers with the adoption of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) or the decline in customer service operators with automated response systems. Conversely, look at the increased and new roles in information services, analytics, and communications technology.

BLS data indicate utility worker jobs have declined by only 2.3% in the 10 years since the beginning of 2009. This is the same period during which we've seen huge investment in smart grid infrastructure by the electric industry. However, reviewing the data timeline below, one might argue the worker decline is more a vestige of the great recession which began in 2008 than a result of the adoption of smart grid technology.


Source: BLS — Employment in the Utilities Sector

A detailed assessment released nine years ago by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and West Monroe Partners predicted more than 100 job classifications in a range of businesses and industry subsectors would be affected by the expansion of smart grid technology. The study identified gaps between existing skills and competency levels relative to those needed for the transformation of the power industry. Further, it stated that the smart grid would bring new job duties, titles, and roles to the power industry, but stopped short of finding a major workforce expansion. In fact, the study reported that workforce growth could be hampered by learning curve pains and significant age-related worker attrition occurring in the industry. Time appears to have confirmed these predictions.

The fate of utility job numbers vis-a-vis the smart grid now squarely rests with utilities themselves. It's fair to say we are past the learning curve pains and training shortages reported in the IIT study. Further, one industry assessment after another predicts high growth for the foreseeable future in smart grid technologies and their applications. The only question is will utilities seize on the new opportunities presented by this transformation and hire the employees needed to pursue them, or allow third-party businesses to fill the void?

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218 Hits
Feb
10

T & D Linemen Photo Contest Winners

This year's 2020 Lineman Life photo gallery celebrates the linemen who put in long hours in severe weather conditions to keep the lights on. Linemen from across North America submitted images of linemen in action for the photo competition. 

Sean Daly / National Grid

 1. Restoring Power

This photo of National Grid linemen working a storm in New York captured first place in the 2020 Lineman Life phot
Ben Williams / National Grid

2. Getting the Job Done:
Voters loved the dramatic silhouette in this photo from Ben Williams of National Grid. "No matter how complicated, a lineman will always get it done," he says.

James Christopher VanHook / Davis H. Elliot Company, Inc.

3. Back-to-Back Storms:
While an overhead lineman restores power after a bad storm, another storm came through with heavy rain, thunder and lightning.

Angel Maxwell

4. Climbing Poles:
This photo of Cody Maxwell and Dustin Taylor climbing power poles came in fourth place in the 2020 Lineman Life photo competition.

Chad Agee / PAR Electric

5. Replacing a Pole:
Linemen perform a hot 138 KV pole replacement for PAR Electric.

Joe Jones

6. Installing New Infrastructure:
Linemen lay up wire on a new build job.

Dustin Garrett / Potelco

7. Scenic Backdrop:
A Potelco employee anticipates the delivery of fiber on a job in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.

Jennifer Herrmann

8. Competing in the Rodeo:
Lineman Jonathan Herrmann competes in the Florida Lineman's Rodeo.

Ben Williams / National Grid

9. Cloudy Day:
Ben Williams, a journeyman lineman for National Grid in Avon, New York, says no filter was used on this photo of line work in action.

Karl Ryan / National Grid

10. Night Job:
Karl Ryan, who works for the distribution department for National Grid out of Andover, Massachusetts, took this photo on a planned night job in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/electric-utility-operations/media-gallery/21122466/linemen-crown-the-photo-contest-champs

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271 Hits
Jan
27

EcoStruxure Micro Data Center from Schneider Electric

 Ensure peace of mind and expand your business opportunities with EcoStruxure Micro Data Center and the resiliency of APC Smart-UPS Lithium-ion for edge computing environments.

EcoStruxure Micro Data Center from Schneider Electric provides 60% faster deployment, 50% fewer onsite service visits and the resiliency of APC Smart-UPS for your Edge Computing sites. Deploying and operating multiple distributed sites with limited onsite expertise is a real challenge with edge computing deployments. With EcoStruxure Micro Data Center get easily customizable, integrated physical infrastructure for industrial, commercial and traditional IT environments. Leverage tools such as reference designs and our Edge Computing Configurator to easily and reliably customize your EcoStruxure Micro Data Center. Select our pre-integration capability to deliver a complete system in shock packaging right to your site decreasing onsite installation time. Choose EcoStruxure IT, our next-generation DCIM platform, for simple, secure and scalable remote management and operations. With EcoStruxure IT, customize how you want to monitor and manage : do it yourself or delegate to a preferred partner. In all cases, Schneider Electric's global network of experts offer a wide range of monitoring, maintenance and extended warranty services.

  P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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343 Hits
Jan
20

The use of reconditioned equipment and its safety implications

"A basic understanding of the term 'reconditioned' is critical to success." ~Thomas Domitrovich, Eaton Vice President, Technical Sales
It's common for electrical professionals to source reconditioned equipment, especially contractors on large jobs or on those projects where a quick turn-around on older equipment is needed. The practice can be cost effective and, in instances where older legacy systems require devices that are no longer manufactured, often necessary to solve an immediate requirement. But with many counterfeit devices in the supply chain and devices and equipment that may have experienced flooding or other abnormal damage, the NEC has made it clear that safety must take a higher priority.

With that, NEC 2020 will end its silence on this topic and seek to assure proper reconditioning of electrical equipment. New requirements for are found across 20 sections of the document, with changes making it clear what equipment can and cannot be refurbished for safety reasons.

 The one critical rule

Though 20 new requirements are under consideration, one is most important in my opinion: 110.21(A)(2). It states equipment must be identified as reconditioned and the original listing mark removed (though the original nameplate may remain in place). This means third-party testing marks (such as the UL listing mark) must be removed and the device identified as reconditioned.

This addition is tremendously important for the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to help them identify equipment that has been refurbished or reconditioned and ensure these NEC requirements are enforced. These changes raise the bar of safety for refurbished equipment and those that provided refurbished equipment. Refurbished products brought to market will carry the transparency needed for the specifier, installer, and ultimately the owner. A basic understanding of the term "reconditioned" is critical to success.

What does "reconditioned" mean?

As with many changes in the NEC, good definitions are necessary for proper enforcement of requirements. Discussions will occur across the industry to understand this new term. Three different Code-making Panels assembled what we have today as a definition for "reconditioned." These technical committees have done their part to create, what I believe is, a solid definition:

"Reconditioned equipment is electromechanical systems, equipment, apparatus, or components that are restored to operating conditions. This process differs from normal servicing of equipment that remains within a facility, or replacement of listed equipment on a one-to-one basis."

As with most new changes, especially those as significant as these, NEC 2020 will benefit from public review as it rolls out across the country. Many electrical professionals will learn of what NEC 2020 now requires and develop educational materials that support it. As more people review the updated code, the more we'll see ideas arise on how to improve this text. This process is one of the best in the industry – as the code evolves over time, it improves. My colleague, Jim Dollard, IBEW Local 98 in Philadelphia, said it best: "It's a solid definition, it is comprehensive. The first sentence clarifies that reconditioned means "restored to operating conditions." That means the equipment was not useable. This also clarifies that "used equipment" that is in operating condition is not considered to be "reconditioned equipment." The second sentence is extremely important. This text provides clarification with respect to "normal servicing of equipment that remains within a facility or replacement of listed equipment on a one-to-one basis." Any "normal servicing of equipment that remains within a facility" is not reconditioned. Keep in mind that a facility is a single building, a campus or a network of cell towers for example. Replacement of "listed equipment on a one-to-one basis" clarifies that piece of equipment that is not in operating condition can be restored to operating condition through the replacement of "listed equipment on a one-to-one basis" and is not considered to be "reconditioned equipment."

Here is my opinion on a breakdown of each aspect of the definition. Keep in mind that your Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is the final say on all of these requirements including the interpretation of the definition.

Electromechanical systems

"Electromechanical systems, equipment, apparatus, or components that are restored to operating conditions." This first sentence is very broad. No matter the system, equipment, apparatus, or component, the key portion of this sentence lies in these four words; "restored to operating conditions." This means the equipment was not operable and something had to be done to return it to a functioning state.

In my opinion: If an electrical contractor removes a fully operational panelboard from a facility to either upgrade or install a larger panelboard, the contractor may reinstall that panelboard elsewhere in the facility. The panelboard is clearly used equipment and not reconditioned because no steps were taken to repair or modify it and return it to an operating condition.

Normal servicing

Continuing from the definition, "This process differs from normal servicing of equipment." There are numerous events that can affect devices including flooding, fires and other extremes. Servicing this equipment after these events will beg the question of whether or not this is "normal servicing." We won't find a definition in the NEC for "normal servicing" as commonly used, well-understood terms aren't defined. The question will remain for many though as to what exactly is meant by the use of the term "normal" in this context.

In my opinion: We have to apply common sense here. Equipment that's been underwater, in a fire, or other similar event is not normal in my opinion. Servicing equipment per manufacturer instructions for updates or maintenance reasons are normal activities. Equipment manufacturers help to define "normal" by working with service departments to identify common repairs performed on a regular basis.

Facility

"That remains within a facility." Knowing the history of equipment is the next step of this definition. It's easier to understand the history of equipment that was purchased for and remained in a single facility during its entire life. This history is important for safety. Repairing and maintaining this equipment is not considered, "reconditioning." We can't forget too that we're talking about equipment that is ". . . restored to operating conditions."

In my opinion: This asserts that the owner of equipment has a better understanding of its history. If a technician removes a device from a facility and that device is in working order when reused within that same facility, that's use of used equipment. This equipment was not in a state of condition that requires someone to return it to operating conditions. If the condition of the device is not known, steps may have to be taken to modify the equipment to replace components to raise the level of confidence that this equipment is in operating conditions addressing areas of concern. This would then meet the definition of reconditioned equipment.

One-to-one basis

"Replacement of existing equipment on a one-to-one basis." The code making panels took time to ensure that the act of replacing components within equipment per manufacturer instructions does not fall under the reconditioned equipment umbrella. Contractors and IT managers often replace existing devices for many reasons, such as equipment end-of-life or for assembly capacity increases.

In my opinion: If equipment is listed for the same purpose as the original device being replaced, it's done on a one-to-one basis and, therefore, is not reconditioned. Let's take the example of an electrician replacing a circuit breaker in a panelboard with another per manufacturer instructions. The replacement is a one-to-one example and the application was not reconditioned. On the other hand, should this replacement occur in conjunction with cleaning the internal bus and other components within the enclosure after an event such as a flood, fire or similar, we're looking at refurbished equipment.

What clarity means for the industry

These code changes were upheld at the annual meeting amidst extensive debate. Our electrical industry understands the challenges and safety concerns around reconditioned equipment. The requirements for reconditioned equipment were overwhelmingly supported on the floor of the annual meeting.

Proper governance starts with ensuring education for those focused on electrical safety. Organizations like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and others will be working to update and create their curricula based on these new changes. Consistency in what we all teach is important to success

Don't wait for the NEC. Here's what you can do now.

As with any NEC safety change, this will be a journey with many growing pains along the way. Future efforts will seek to clarify, expand and correct requirements for used and reconditioned equipment. This journey will continue over many review cycles.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? I believe buyers and suppliers of reconditioned devices can do more to assure safety today:

Suppliers – differentiate yourself from others

  • Pay close attention to product standards and perform tests that establish performance, even if standards do not exist, and document it all. Share this with your customers as a differentiator. This helps bolster the supplier's brand image and create safer products that customers ask for by name.
  • Engage with the industry and join NEC and other requirement-making institution discussions. It helps to listen in on industry concerns, get first-hand feedback and refute claims you know are incorrectly positioned. It's also a great opportunity to highlight your safety processes, which may also influence future amendments.

Buyers – know where products are sourced

  • Buy only from reputable resellers. Devices purchased from unauthorized distributors who lack important safety certifications carry tremendous risk. Remember, the solutions you install in a facility reflect on you. Do your due diligence.
  • Note the products the NEC states cannot be refurbished. Less reputable resellers do attempt to sell molded case circuit breakers and other safety devices that can't be reconditioned. It's up to you to know the facts and act accordingly.
  • If a project bid includes reconditioned devices, make sure your customer is aware. Remember that reconditioned devices are now labeled as such with third-party listing marks removed, so they're easily noticed. Some clients may not take kindly to reconditioned devices after the fact.

While creating requirements for reconditioned equipment is in its infancy, understanding the differences between used and reconditioned equipment is a great first step toward helping educators, buyers and sellers ensure the safety of people and equipment.


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

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Customer Case Studies

Check out how Schneider Electric customers have solved their problems with Ecostruxure IT in the link below!

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NEC 2020 load calculation changes can make budgets more efficient and increase safety

 by Thomas Domitrovich, P.E., LEED AP, vice president, technical sales at Eaton

Members of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently concluded discussions on updating Article 220.12 of the NEC (National Electrical Code) to align with a series of energy codes and to account for higher-efficiency lighting solutions in commercial and healthcare buildings.

Because many of today's lighting solutions are increasingly energy efficient, lower current demands exist for power systems. These efficiencies necessitate extensive revisions to the calculation table used to determine volt-amperes (VA) per square foot. Many commercial structures today are built to specific energy code editions or a standard established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). NEC 2020 updates now align the NEC with these energy codes, allowing for easier, more consistent installation in the field.

Not only do changes to Article 220.12 streamline industry codes and standards language, they also help design engineers create load calculations that recognize more efficient lighting loads. This, in my opinion, may result in lower infrastructure costs and help fund enhanced safety solutions.

Article 220.12's new load calculations do more to help designers get it right the first time.

Thomas Domitrovich, vice president, technical sales 

The 2020 change

Changes were made for healthcare and commercial buildings. In healthcare, the NEC's Code-making Panel 2 (CMP2) removed demand factors from the lighting load calculation. Hospitals are drastically different from the large facilities that were common 40 years ago. Today, the healthcare industry looks to smaller surgical and outpatient facilities, which require a different approach to lighting load calculations. In addition, CMP2 lacked the data from ASHRAE and other organizations needed to validate regulations reducing hospital lighting to 32 percent. Without the data required to permit the reduction, the derating values for hospital lighting were deleted.

In commercial buildings, VA per square foot values were reduced (with some exceptions) to align with occupancy energy codes. Examples of VA per square foot changes include banks from 3.2 to 1.3; hotels and motels from 2 to 1.7; garages from .5 to .3; hospitals from 2 to 1.6; courthouses from 2 to 1.4. Armories and auditoriums were raised from 1 to 1.7.

Also, commercial occupancies now align with those set by ASHRAE. The calculation table includes footnotes that help NEC users understand the change in occupancy-type designations and clarify older vs. newer occupancy types and language translations. Here are some designation examples:

  • Armories and auditoriums, considered gymnasium-type occupancies
  • Lodge rooms, considered similar to hotels and motels
  • Industrial commercial loft buildings, considered manufacturing-type occupancies
  • Banks, considered office-type occupancies
  • Garages and commercial storage, considered parking garage occupancies
  • Clubs, considered restaurant occupancies
  • Barbershops and beauty parlors, considered retail occupancies
  • Stores, considered retail occupancies

The rationale for change


While Article 220.12 has changed little since its NEC adoption in 1971, technology and sustainability initiatives have greatly advanced. Because of energy-efficient technologies for structures, LEED and other energy conservation efforts and energy codes and standards updates, the NEC needed to create parity.

Industry chatter regarding the size of service entrance equipment in relation to actual load, transformers and the like has been heard for at least the last two code cycles. Industry professionals realized that energy-efficient technologies had advanced to a point where load calculations were suspect of being grossly overestimated. Some in the industry claimed load calculation results no longer represented what happens in real-world applications thanks to technologies that use less energy, such as LED lights, fluorescents, high-efficiency transformers and variable frequency drives. Lower energy footprints impact the load calculations used to determine branch circuit size, feeders and everything else associated with power delivery, thus prompting the NEC to make changes that better ensure safety.

The basis of ASHRAE alignment

When many structures are built, ASHRAE requirements adopted by a state or local jurisdiction dictate VA per square foot, and builders may not exceed those requirements. However, CMP2 understood that not every jurisdiction adopts the latest ASHRAE standard. Some states use older ASHRAE requirements, and some jurisdictions don't adopt the requirements at all. This played a factor in the language included in the NEC.

Lower VA per square foot values influence smaller feeder and service sizes, which, if incorrect, could be very expensive to fix after the fact. NFPA members looked at different types of buildings and ASHRAE research data. The task force associated with this effort plotted VA curves for buildings of various sizes. To gain consensus and achieve change, the NEC lowered the VA values somewhat to account for those jurisdictions that do not adopt the latest version of ASHRAE standards or other energy codes. A compromise was reached in using the 2000 version of ASHRAE 90.1 as the uniform reference for VA values.

Financial impacts and safety implications

Some industry professionals reported that, when placing an ammeter on a structure's service conductors, load currents showed a considerable margin between capacity and actual usage. Facilities typically consume less power due to higher-efficiency lighting equipment that's installed and conservative factors that design engineers may use to ensure future capacity for growth. (Energy-efficient solutions are not required by the Code but are installed because of the energy savings they offer.)

I believe it's important to include right-sized services in structures that meet design goals driven by customer wants and needs. The Code changes will offer financial relief for electrical infrastructures by foregoing equipment that's not needed—but the design engineer must always keep a close eye on the needs of the customer. The changes help the design engineer reduce the size of electrical distribution equipment where permitted by the design goals. This could translate into less wire and other related gear. With that, I hope a focus on providing safety technologies for our electrical workers will grow. Funding originally intended for power distribution can be reallocated to safety solutions for branch, feeder and service entrance equipment.

A thought on using the Code as a design guide

NEC Article 90 states that the Code should not be used as a design reference. Language in Article 220.12 exemplifies why. As mentioned, there's an informational note attached to 220.12. It states, "The unit values of Table 220.12 are based on minimum load conditions and 100 percent power factor and may not provide sufficient capacity for the installation contemplated." In essence, this means guidelines may not be sufficient for an installation. So, while the installation may be safe, it may not turn on because there isn't enough power to serve the load.

In my opinion, designers must focus on customer wants and create load calculations based on a distribution system's current and future needs. Many designers look to the Code before creating their designs, but they should do the opposite. I encourage all planners to meet customer wants and needs first and then check their designs against the Code to assure alignment.

Designers must focus on customer wants and create load calculations based on a distribution system's current and future needs.

Thomas Domitrovich, vice president, technical sales 

What might the future hold?

While financial efficiencies and safety improvements were made, the NEC looks to do more to influence load calculations in healthcare environments and commercial structures.

Healthcare

Healthcare representatives believe load calculations are often high because, in an operating room, for example, many receptacles are installed. This makes sense—doctors never want to be without power options when lives hang in the balance. But the additional receptacles cause excessive infrastructure sizing. And practically speaking, many receptacles aren't used. The NEC is currently researching what, if anything, can be done to improve receptacle load calculations for hospitals and other occupancy types, such as clinics, medical offices and ambulatory care centers.

Commercial structures

A task group launched a research project in collaboration with the NFPA Research Foundation. The team is actively measuring the energy usage on receptacles in a variety of commercial buildings to determine if additional load calculation recommendations are an option. I believe the task group's report will heavily influence the public input phase for the 2023 code review.

Better calculations improve efficiency and safety

It's essential to strike a balance when calculating VA. If load calculations are too low, designers may likely plan for and install insufficient equipment, resulting in a situation that's expensive to fix after the fact. If load calculations are too high, it's possible to overpay for equipment that's not needed. I believe Article 220.12's new load calculations do more to help designers get it right the first time. The changes will help designers save money, which will hopefully inspire their clients to reallocate funds for the safety devices used to reduce maintenance on energized equipment in the field. 

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

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The NEC helps the industry understand the safety implications of performance testing

New requirements in NEC Sections 240.67 and 240.87 impact overcurrent protection devices (OCPDs) 1,200 amps and higher or those that can adjust to 1,200 amps and higher. These updates mandate performance testing at the time of installation. Ground-fault protection of equipment (GFPE) at service equipment is an example of an NEC requirement that mandates performance testing to ensure safety technologies are functioning correctly when installed.

With changes including performance testing per manufacturer instructions and recommended test procedures, the electrical industry will soon see significant improvements in power system design and arc flash protection performance. 

  Overview of changes

New text in NEC Sections 240.67 and 240.87 identifies that, when technologies are installed to reduce incident energy, technicians must conduct performance testing at the time of installation. In addition, changes make clear to installers, designers, inspectors and equipment owners that requirements regarding larger OCPDs must respond to lower arcing currents that can occur in equipment.

The arc reduction requirements that began as part of the NEC 2011 code review took a significant step forward in NEC 2020, with changes found in three key areas:

  1. Installation documentation
  2. Safety methodologies
  3. Testing procedures

1) Installation documentation

Documentation requirements changed slightly. A new requirement now mandates proof that installations have arc reduction technologies operating based upon arcing fault current. As always, documentation must be made available to those authorized to design, install, operate or inspect an installation as to the location of all OCPDs impacted. It's critical to understand when these requirements apply and to realize that organizations can always exceed minimum Code requirements by approaching every design with an eye on arc flash hazards.

2) Safety methodologies

When required

Installers, designers and authorities having jurisdiction must understand the entry point of requiring arc reduction technologies as part of 240.67 and 240.87. Circuit breaker requirements of 240.87 establish an arc reduction technology entry point based on circuit breaker ratings and the ability to adjust to 1,200 amps and higher. Fuse applications in Section 240.67 advise that arc reduction technologies are required on applications when a fuse is rated 1,200 amps and above, and only when arcing currents have a clearing time greater than 0.07 seconds. Whether fuse or circuit breaker, an arcing current evaluation must be conducted, documented and made available.

Arcing current

First introduced in 2017, "arcing current" is a term the NEC has yet to define. An informational note was added to NEC 2017, referencing IEEE 1584–2002, IEEE Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations, as a method of providing guidance when determining arcing current.

IEEE 1584-2018 defines arcing current as, "A fault current flowing through an electrical arc plasma." Arcing current is less than the available fault current (short-circuit current) at any point in the power distribution system due to the impedances of plasma and other materials present during an arc flash event. The additional impedance reduces current flow. This value of current will be critical in determining whether or not 240.67 and 240.87 requirements have been met, and in the case of fuses, whether or not an arc reduction technology is required.

Method to reduce clearing time

When an incident energy reduction technology is required, designers and installers may elect to use one of the following means to operate at less than the available arcing current to reduce the clearing time of larger OCPDs:

  • Zone selective interlocking (240.87)
  • Differential relaying (240.67 & 240.87)
  • Energy-reducing maintenance switching with a local status indicator (240.67 & 240.87)
  • Energy-reducing active arc flash mitigation system (240.67 & 240.87)
  • An instantaneous trip setting (temporary adjustment of the instantaneous trip setting to achieve arc energy reduction is not permitted) (240.87)
  • An instantaneous override (240.87)
  • Current-limiting electronically actuated fuses (240.67)

An approved equivalent means is a caveat for the requirements as arc energy reduction technologies continuously improve. The code making panel did not want to limit possibilities for future technologies.

The NEC clarified two issues during the 2020 code review. First, for circuit breakers with an adjustable instantaneous pickup, a "roll-down and back up again" instantaneous trip is not permitted to meet requirements. Field modification of setpoints via dials on the face of circuit breakers is not a good idea for many reasons reviewed and discussed by the code panel. Secondly, these changes help ensure that specified technologies respond to arcing currents provide the protection desired.

3) Testing procedures

Arc energy reduction systems must now be performance tested when installed. Because some of these technologies are complex, requirements mandate that testing be performed only by qualified individuals who follow manufacturer instructions. Qualified individuals must understand that it's possible to damage equipment during tests (e.g., injecting high currents through a fuse can open the fuse, which must then be replaced.) The qualified individual must also understand that some arc reduction technologies do not respond to current alone, demanding a mixture of tools and methods necessary to ensure proper installation.

Qualified individuals must provide a written test record and make that record available to the authority having jurisdiction. The record should be provided to the facility within which it is installed, with files available for future reference.

The rationale for change

Energy reduction requirements evolved with debate and due process of language improvements. While language was first introduced in 2011, it's my opinion that a focus on performance testing wasn't possible until today—code panel members and others in the industry needed time to reach a language consensus. Some argue more should be done, but I believe the overall intent is heading in the right direction.

During the 2020 code review, the code panel and others determined the NEC had to assure technologies are installed and that they are installed correctly at the time of installation, as is done with GFPE. The NEC requires GFPE testing (for equipment protection) when installed, yet did not require performance testing on installed worker-safety technologies.

The code making panel governing GFPE requirements for devices 1,000 amps and above (found in Sections 210, 215, 230 and 240) is the same code panel responsible for Sections 240.67 and 240.87. In some sense, 240.67 and 240.87 requirements are merely a continuation of what began with the GFPE requirements of NEC Section 230.95. Those requirements entered the NEC in 1971, but it wasn't until NEC 1978 that performance requirements at the time of installation were put in place. Section 240.87 followed a similar track. It entered the NEC in 2011; after three code review cycles, the NEC finally began discussing performance testing requirements at the time of installation.

Performance testing

Performance testing is a line item one can't afford to miss when bidding a project. The equipment and performance testing process of GFPE and arc reduction technologies can add significant cost if forgotten. It's essential to address their requirements upfront to maximize project efficiencies.

Here are some things to consider when developing a plan to meet NEC 2020 performance testing requirements:

Combined testing
Combine new performance testing requirements with those of GFPE (230.95 for OCPDs 1,000 amps and above). Projects must have on-site equipment to perform GFPE testing. This equipment can also be used to conduct additional testing for arc reduction.

Solution capabilities

The zones of protection offered by each technology are important to understand; test results may not make sense otherwise. Make sure you follow manufacturer instructions to test solutions correctly.

Current usage

Arcing currents are a function of available short-circuit current and can be quite high. However, technicians do not need to inject high currents to prove that transformers are installed properly and electronic trip units operate correctly. Verifying the entire system with a mix of low primary current injection testing and secondary current injection testing is the safest and most efficient method for success.

Unique conditions

Technologies like arc quenching equipment and active arc flash mitigation systems require more than primary current injection testing to ensure functionality. Light sources and manufacturer testing fixtures may be required.

What might the future hold?

The success of safety to a three-legged stool; one leg is no more important than the others. Today, three critical documents work in unison: the NEC (NFPA 70) provides installation requirements; NFPA 70E provides requirements for safe work practices; NFPA 70B reminds us of the critical role maintenance plays over time. Today the NEC mandates arc reduction technologies and requires assurances that these technologies work at the time of installation. 70E instructs all to leverage these technologies when justified energized work is performed, and 70B dictates periodic testing of these technologies throughout the life of the installation.

As equipment ages, and as devices are removed from and added to power systems, arcing currents change. Designers must remember to update single-line diagrams and systems analysis studies and make sure the technologies effectively provide arc energy reduction well after installation. In short, proper maintenance is vital.

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

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12

Arc flash: are you prepared?

Arc flash safety and NFPA 70E, OSHA's OSH Act -  is your facility in compliance?

Have you taken the proper steps to help protect your facility and its employees against the dangers of arc flash? Find out now. Simply answer a brief set of questions with Eaton's Reset Safety tool, and they will send you a customized preparedness profile to help you identify ways to reset safety in your facility. 

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02

CEDIA Releases Power Quality White Paper

Paper helps break down topics of electrical noise and power anomalies

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) recently released The Quality of Power, a white paper that explores conditions and causes of electrical problems, and the solutions to deliver a better quality of power.

"There is no denying that technology is more a part of our daily lives than it has ever been before. The digital native generation does not know a world without the internet. With this demand for access to technology comes another sometimes overlooked need – the need for power that is free from transients, interruptions and noise," says Walt Zerbe, senior director of technology and standards. "CEDIA's new white paper explores why it is important to have quality power and how integrators can deliver better quality power to their clients."

The white paper helps break down the complex topics of electrical noise and power anomalies and what can be done to mitigate their effects.

CEDIA members can download a complimentary copy of The Quality of Power through the CEDIA Resource Catalogue. It is available to non-members for $99. 

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Creating safer conditions for electrical workers and protecting equipment through safety by design

Electrical workers and facility owners rely on technical professionals to take prudent and economical steps towards increasing worker safety and protecting facility equipment. "Safety by design" describes, what I believe to be, a comprehensive approach to incorporating practical and feasible electrical distribution system design solutions. The three pillars of success for electrical safety include:

  1. Eliminating hazards by establishing electrically safe working conditions.
  2. Implementing designs that reduce the likelihood of a hazardous occurrence.
  3. Reducing the potential severity of injuries should an accident occur when justified energized work is required.

When our industry is focused on these three pillars, the result is safer conditions for electrical workers and better protected equipment.

Safety by design – A three-part approach

Every electrical product and system must be designed with worker and equipment safety in mind. The following section explores in more detail the safety by design approach and its three components.

Part 1 - Eliminate the hazard

Hazard elimination is the act of establishing an electrically safe working condition. The NFPA 70E (National Fire Protection Association) committee helped provide clarity around this topic by adding an informational note to the definition of an electrically safe work condition which reads as follows:

"An electrically safe work condition is not a procedure, it is a state wherein all hazardous electrical conductors or circuit parts to which a worker might be exposed are maintained in a de-energized state for the purpose of temporarily eliminating electrical hazards for the period of time for which the state is maintained."

Establishing an electrically safe working condition is critical. While de-energizing equipment is an important goal, a worker will always have to dress in appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and use a test instrument to verify absence of voltage. Lock-out/tag-out procedures have to be followed which can range from simple to complex. In fact, there can be situations (e.g., verifying absence of voltage) when there isn't PPE with a rating high enough to protect the worker. For those situations, I believe we must incorporate system designs and solutions that minimize the likelihood of an occurrence and the severity of injury should an accident occur.

Part 2 - Designing for a reduction in the likelihood of occurrence

The following examples illustrate the many layers of safety that can be employed to reduce the likelihood of arc flash, arc blast and/or shock:

  • ELECTRICAL ONE-LINE DIAGRAMS: An important part of a facility's electrical infrastructure life begins even before ground is broken. This document is developed and used by engineers, suppliers, inspectors, workers and designers. Workers could be put at risk if one-line diagrams are not maintained and power system capabilities reviewed and updated as they change over time.
  • BARRIERS: Adding a local disconnect next to a panelboard or industrial control panel (ICP) that is accessed frequently for service provides electrical workers with clear visible indicators that the panel or ICP has been de-energized when the circuit breaker or switch is in the off position. When required absence of voltage testing is performed, the likelihood of an incident has been reduced.
  • DISCONNECTS: By placing a circuit breaker or fuse and switch in its own enclosure next to equipment, electrical workers have a readily accessible disconnect to remove voltage and establish an electrically safe working condition.
  • VISIBILITY: Equipping a panelboard with a window that allows workers to visibly see the blades being disconnected aids in worker verification reducing the likelihood of an incident.
  • INDICATORS: The presence of voltage indicators employed on equipment provides electrical workers a visible indication of which side of the disconnect is energized and which isn't.
  • KNOWLEDGE: Information on the condition and maintenance of equipment can provide electrical workers details that are critical to safety when performing justified energized work. Knowledge of the equipment itself is critical to recognizing hazards.
  • WORKING SPACE: Sometimes safety doesn't come in the form of a product, it can simply be in the fact that a design provides adequate working space for the electrical worker to safely perform functions.

Part 3 - Designing for a reduction in the severity of injuries

When justified energized work must occur, minimizing the danger associated with electrical hazards to the point at which injuries may be minor can be designed into the system. To that end, there are a variety of ways in which the electrical industry is making efforts to reduce the severity of injuries to workers should an accident occur.

  1. DECREASED CLEARING TIME: By placing a circuit breaker with arc reduction maintenance switch technology or a fuse and switch in its own enclosure next to an upstream of electrical equipment likely to be a part of justified energized work, provides reduced clearing times for arcing currents reducing the level of incident energy exposure. The achieved incident energy reduction downstream can be significant such that minimal PPE is required which could also decrease the likelihood of an event occurring.
  2. GFCI shock protection: GFCIs are specifically designed to protect people against electric shock from an electrical system, and to monitor the imbalance of current between the ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductor of a given circuit.
  3. IEEE 1584 and arc flash calculations: New updates to the 2018 Guide for Performing Arc Flash Calculations offer significant changes that impact the way arc flash hazards in electrical systems are analyzed. More precise calculations help reduce the risk to employees and contractors.
  4. Arc reduction technologies: Arcing faults that occur within equipment need to be cleared as quickly as possible. Arc flash reduction technology reduces clearing times of arcing fault currents should a problem occur when working on energized electrical equipment. Arc Quenching equipment can extinguish an arc flash in approximately 4 milliseconds. Eaton's Arc Quenching Magnum DS low-voltage switchgear is a great example of such equipment. 

A trio of documents critical to safety

All of us in the electrical industry look to three key documents from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that strategically work together to help increase safety for electrical workers by providing guidance and recommendations:

  • NFPA 70 The National Electrical Code (NEC) provides installation requirements
  • NFPA 70E-2021 covers the topic of electrical safety in the workplace
  • NFPA 70B covers electrical equipment maintenance

In particular, NFPA 70E includes requirements for safe work practices to protect personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards, including shock, electrocution, arc flash and arc blast. These requirements rely on the fact that an electrical system was installed in accordance with the NEC and that maintenance has been performed leveraging reference materials found in NFPA 70B.

Recent changes to 70E highlight how important it is to design safety into systems and provide more detailed guidance for electrical workers. For example, the document addresses when the estimated incident energy exposure is greater than the arc rating of commercially available arc-rated PPE. We now have guidance for the purpose of absence of voltage testing. The following examples of risk reduction methods could be used to reduce the likelihood of occurrence of an arc flash, thus reducing the severity of exposure:

  • Use of non-contact proximity test instrument(s) or measurement of voltage on the secondary side of a low voltage transformer (VT) mounted in the equipment before use of a contact test instrument, to test for the absence of voltage below 1,000 volts
  • If equipment design allows, observe visible gaps between the equipment conductors and circuit parts and the electrical source(s) of supply
  • Increase the working distance
  • Consider system design options to reduce the incident energy level
In addition, the latest version of 70E recognizes the newly updated IEEE 1584, a resource that the industry will continue to explore and apply to new power system analysis studies. Protecting electrical workers means never settling


The effort to protect electrical workers and electrical equipment comes back to the three pillars of safety by design:

  • Eliminate the hazard
  • Reduce the likelihood of an occurrence
  • Reduce the severity of injuries

The goal has to be establishing an electrically safe working condition. For situations where justified energized work is required, designs must emphasize reducing the chances of something harmful occurring and reducing the severity of injuries should an accident occur.

When it comes to shock hazards, while the current flow cannot be reduced ways can be provided to avoid inadvertent contact. This means choosing specialized equipment that provides more fingersafe solutions and options for barriers that help prevent the worker from coming in contact with energized parts. In some ways, the work can judged based upon the complexity of PPE required for a task.

When designing electrical systems and the devices that go into those systems, a critical goal needs to be simplifying and safeguarding designs, so when systems need service or repair, electrical workers are safe in minimal PPE that consists of little more than their daily wear. Ultimately, electrical workers and our industry as a whole benefit most from a "never settle" approach to safety. Purchasing PPE at a higher Calorie capability than your solution demands doesn't spell success. We need to ask ourselves if we can do better. We don't have to settle for double digit calorie events anymore. We can do better. If we always strive for solutions that drive energy into the dirt, workers will eventually be safe in any situation. 

"We must incorporate system designs and solutions that minimize the likelihood of an occurrence and the severity of injury should an accident occur."

Thomas Domitrovich, vice president, technical sales Eaton Corp.

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

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Nov
18

The Unknown Danger of UPS Batteries

How removing the input transformer has affected the servicing of UPS batteries


Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems have come a long way since the original designs of the 20th century. Many of these improvements make systems more reliable, faster to repair, and safer for service personnel. Manufacturers have worked hard to reduce the weight, size, and cost of the systems, giving end-users additional space for IT equipment. One way they have accomplished this is by removing the input and output isolation transformers. The advantages and disadvantages have been discussed in numerous articles and whitepapers. This article specifically examines how removing the input transformer has affected the battery plants and the ability to safely service them.

The ABCs of a UPS
Reviewing the basic building blocks of a UPS system can help us understand how removing the input transformer would affect the operation of UPS system and the battery system.

The original double-conversion type UPS system (Fig. 1) was made up of the following:
• Input transformer
• Rectifier
• Inverter
• Output transformer
• Static switch
• Batteries

 Fig. 1. This diagram shows the basic building blocks of an original double-conversion type UPS.

The first component is the input transformer, which performs several functions, including: isolating the UPS system from the electric utility system, allowing for a 12-pulse rectifier, and reducing input current distortion. Of course, it can also be used to change the input voltage from one level to another. For example, a 480V source could be stepped down to 208V.
The next major component in this type of system is the rectifier. The primary function of the rectifier is to convert incoming AC power to DC power, which can then be used to support the input to the inverter and charge the batteries.
Continuing across Fig. 1 is the inverter, which converts DC voltage to AC voltage and supplies power to the output isolated transformer. The output transformer supplies conditioned power to the critical load.
A static switch, shown above the rectifier and inverter, is used to transfer the critical load from the inverter to the bypass line if there is a failure of the UPS system or if maintenance is required.
The last component in this type of system is the batteries. If input power is lost — typically because of an electric utility outage — then the batteries provide power to the inverter.

Risky removal
One advantage of the input transformer is that it isolates the batteries from the ground reference. The input transformer on these systems prevents a voltage potential between the DC bus, including the batteries and ground. If a short were to occur between the two, there would be no return path for current, and it could not flow (Fig. 2). If a battery did short to ground, then most systems have a circuit that would alarm. The system would often continue to operate until it could be shut down and the danger eliminated.

Fig. 2. The input transformer on a double-conversion type UPS system prevents a voltage potential between the DC bus, including the batteries and ground. If a short were to occur between the two, there would be no return path for current, and it could not flow.

With removal of the input transformer, the DC bus is no longer isolated from ground. There is both AC and DC potential between the batteries and ground, which includes the racks and cabinets. Because of this potential, if any conductive material (including humans) is connected, then current could flow through the item. This could lead to damaged tools, batteries, and racks or worse — injury or death of personnel (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3. With removal of the input transformer, the DC bus is no longer isolated from ground, which ultimately could lead to damaged tools, batteries, and racks or worse — injury or death of personnel.

Maintenance considerations
It's common practice on the original double-conversion type UPS systems to perform as much battery maintenance as possible while the UPS system is online supporting load. This allows for the critical load to stay protected during battery maintenance.
Vented batteries often have four preventive maintenances (PM) visits completed per year, while the UPS system has two. The two additional battery maintenance visits can be completed with very little risk to the critical load, allowing for the work to be completed during normal working hours.
Valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries typically have two PM visits per year in conjunction with the UPS system. The battery maintenance is completed while the UPS system is online. Or, if it isn't a major UPS system inspection requiring a transfer to bypass, the batteries do not have to be taken offline at all.
Over the last 10 years, a few manufacturers have started supplying VRLA batteries inside a container often referred to as a "battery can" or "battery module" (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4. Some manufacturers have started supplying VRLA batteries inside a container often called a "battery can" or "battery module."

Modular battery systems have the same electrical dangers as open racks or battery cabinets. However, because the batteries are enclosed in a sealed box, there is no chance they can come into contact with personnel or ground. This gives a built-in safety feature during maintenance, because all the battery connections are enclosed and can't come into contact with tools or personnel.
Although modular batteries require periodic maintenance, it's not as invasive as traditional VRLA or vented batteries. Instead of using specialized test equipment to test each jar's voltage, internal resistance and specific gravity, if applicable, the UPS system runs a battery test at preprogrammed dates. If a problem is found, an alarm is generated, and appropriate personnel notified. This essentially eliminates risk to service personnel because there is no contact with the batteries while the system is online.

Battery most likely to succeed?

Over the last several years and for the foreseeable future, the use of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries to support UPS systems continues to increase. Again, the electrical danger of removing the input transformer would be the same as lead-acid batteries. However, much like the modular battery systems, the danger is reduced by the type of installation and the maintenance that is required. Personnel would not be exposed to the DC bus, and this reduces risk.
An example of the dangers involved can be seen in a recent event that occurred when a modern UPS system without an input transformer had an annual PM performed on its batteries. During the PM procedure, bolt re-torque activities were being completed. There was not enough clearance for an insulated torque wrench so the technician used his uninsulated torque wrench. After completing about half the plant, the technician's wrench made contact with a battery-retaining bracket while still in contact with the terminal bolt. This caused a bolted fault between the DC bus and ground, resulting in damage to the battery post, the battery rack, and the torque wrench (Fig. 5). Thankfully, the worker suffered no injuries.

Fig. 5. While performing an annual PM on its batteries, a technician's wrench made contact with a battery-retaining bracket while still in contact with the terminal bolt. This caused a bolted fault between the DC bus and ground.

Risk reduction
Using Li-ion or modular batteries would have prevented this incident from happening. However, not all installations are Li-ion or modular. What can be done to reduce the risk to personnel on these systems?
First and foremost, educate everyone who will be working with or around UPS systems of the dangers involved. In addition, use insulated tools and provide barriers where possible to prevent anyone from coming into contact with uninsulated battery terminals.
Whenever possible, all maintenance should be completed with the batteries disconnected from the UPS charging circuit. This will prevent a return path for current if contact is made between any battery connection and ground.
As with any service work in the electrical field, it's important to understand any and all dangers before working on or near equipment. Wherever possible, reduce or remove the danger before work is started. This not only protects the equipment but, more importantly, it also protects you.

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See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/maintenance-repair-operations/unknown-danger-ups-batteries?NL=ECM-06&Issue=ECM-06_20191114_ECM-06_444&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_3_b&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=29850&utm_medium=email&elq2=51903991678140c69eea754044caac67&oly_enc_id=6901B0580289B1P

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Nov
07

Modernize or Outsource: Evaluating your Data Center Options

Don't risk availability... Upgrade your infrastructure! 

Do you know you can boost efficiency as much as 67% by upgrading your aging data center? Many improvements to existing performance can be both simple and cost effective. Before making a decision, it's best to look at the facts:

  • Modernization choices
  • Minimum-investment fixes
  • Upgrading existing equipment
  • When a new data center is best
  • Risks and advantages of outsourcing

Explore your options with our free reference guide, "Modernize or Outsource: Evaluating your Data Center Options.

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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/news-releases/2019/eaton-tvs-boosts-new-2020-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500-supercharger.html

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Nov
04

Eaton TVS supercharger boosts new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Power management company Eaton today announced its TVS R2650 supercharger helps boost the hand-built and Ford Performance-tuned, 5.2-liter V8 engine that powers the all-new 2020 Shelby GT500, the pinnacle of Ford Mustang performance.

The Eaton TVS R2650 supercharger is the evolution of the popular Twin Vortices Series (TVS) platform, which features a patented rotor coating for improved efficiency. The high-twist, four-lobe rotor design is 15 percent larger than the TVS 2300 supercharger found on the previous Shelby GT500 and features several improvements to maximize efficiency and improve performance at higher speeds.

The Eaton TVS R2650 supercharger in the all-new Shelby GT500 provides up to 12 psi of boost, helping to produce 760 horsepower and 625 lb.-ft. of torque, both of which make it the most powerful street-legal Ford ever and the most power- and torque-dense supercharged production V8 engine in the world.

Several technical modifications help this supercharger deliver supercar-level power and torque, including a 170-degree helical twist of its rotors, which is 10 degrees greater than previous TVS rotors. Other upgrades include bearing plate pressure relief points that reduce trapped volume pressure and optimized sealing for better flow efficiency.

Proudly crafted in the United States, the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500's engine is hand-built at the Ford Motor Company's Romeo Engine Plant in Romeo, Michigan, and its innovative TVS R2650 supercharger is assembled at Eaton's Vehicle facility in Athens, Georgia.

"We are proud to collaborate with Ford Performance to help it produce the most powerful Mustang and street-legal Ford ever," said Karl Sievertsen, chief technology officer, Eaton's Vehicle Group. "As the world leader in supercharger production, we are committed to innovation that helps our valued customers achieve the best possible performance out of their vehicles."

Eaton has produced more than 7.5 million superchargers globally for a variety of applications.

While Eaton's TVS technology has long provided boost to high-performance vehicles, the technology also is used for advanced combustion engines, providing exceptional transient response with precisely metered air flow at any engine operating condition, independent of exhaust gas enthalpy. This is critical for new engine concepts, where high levels of air are often required at operating points at which turbochargers are limited.

As part of Eaton's commitment to the quality of life and the environment, TVS technology continues to evolve to enable cleaner and more efficient engines. The positive-displacement TVS technology provides the required airflow conditions precisely and instantaneously and can also deliver an additional boost in power. TVS technology can be driven mechanically or electrically, providing flexibility for automakers as they look to a more electrified future. TVS technology also is used in hydrogen fuel cell applications, as this technology often requires high levels of pressurized air at certain operating points.

The flexibility of Eaton's TVS technology even goes beyond automotive applications, enhancing performance in the personal watercraft industry and providing accurate airflow in industrial applications.

Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit Eaton.com.

GT500 and Shelby are registered trademarks of Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. Horsepower and torque ratings are based on premium fuel per SAE J1349 standard. Your results may vary. 

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See the original full article at: https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/news-releases/2019/eaton-tvs-boosts-new-2020-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500-supercharger.html

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