Sep
28

"Harmonic Distortion": The Invisible Electricity Thief You've Been Paying For

"Harmonic Distortion": The Invisible Electricity Thief You've Been Paying For

New Solutions Help Optimize Power Usage and Eliminate Unnecessary Power Costs

Did you know that 10 to 30 percent of your energy costs might have been wasted because of bad power quality?

Harmonic currents, which are generated by non-linear electronic loads in personal computers, laser printers, photocopiers, fax machines, battery chargers, UPS devices, switch-mode power supplies (SMPS), and variable speed motors and drives, are a frequent cause of power quality problems. In fact, power quality problems can have a significant impact on electrical distribution systems and the facilities they feed. All computer systems, for example, use SMPS that convert utility AC (alternating current) voltage to regulated low-voltage DC (direct current) for internal electronics. Because these non-linear power supplies draw current in high-amplitude short pulses, significant distortion in the electrical current and voltage wave can occur. This is known as "harmonic distortion." In addition, this distortion can travel back to the power source and affect the other equipment that is connected to the same source. Most power systems can accommodate a certain level of harmonic current, but will experience problems when harmonic currents become a significant component of the overall load. As higher frequency harmonic currents flow through a power system, they can reduce system efficiency; cause apparatus to overheat as well as cause misfires in variable speed drives and torque pulsations in motors; and increase power costs, among other things.

Learn more about Harmonics in this month's PQU Harmonics seminars: http://www.p3-inc.com/power-quality-university/seminar-info/harmonics-seminar

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

 

Continue reading
  1987 Hits
1987 Hits
Sep
22

Rising Power Quality Issues Spur Demand for Surge Protection Devices

The global market for Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) is forecast to reach US$2.4 billion by 2020, driven by the growing need to protect sensitive electronic equipment from power fluctuations.

spdreport

GIA has released a comprehensive global report on Surge Protection Devices (SPDs). The global market for Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) is forecast to reach US$2.4 billion by 2020, driven by the growing need to protect sensitive electronic equipment from power fluctuations.

Surge protection devices such as transient voltage surge suppressors and surge arrestors are growing in importance, given the billions of dollars of losses caused by voltage fluctuations and power line abnormalities. Widespread use of sophisticated electrical, electronic communication and data equipment is driving the importance of power management solutions including SPDs, in both developed and developing economies. Proliferation of home appliances, personal computers, heating and air conditioning equipment in residential homes, and installation of high-end industrial electronic equipment in manufacturing plants are driving growth in the market. Future growth in the market will continue to benefit from the increasing use of electronics in the rapidly growing world telecommunication industry.

The commercial end-use sector is expected to witness strong growth in the coming years. With nationwide alternate energy programs gaining popularity in Germany, China and other major economies, demand for surge protectors is expected to gain strength. Substitution of conventional coil and core street lamps with light emitting diodes for outdoor lighting is also opening up new growth avenues for SPD manufacturers. Miniaturization and clock speeds of microprocessors as dictated by Moore’s Law comes at a price, namely higher sensitivity of the chips to power transients, electromagnetic interference, radio frequency interference and electrical field transients. The increasing sensitivity of modern electronic devices to even split-second electricity fluctuations bodes well for sales of SPDs. The global market for SPDs is extremely competitive characterized by a high degree of fragmentation, and pricing pressures. The relatively commoditized SPD technology leaves very little scope for differentiation. Pure-play SPD manufacturers face stiff competition from large diversified electrical equipment makers.

As stated by the new market research report on Surge Protection Devices (SPDs), the United States represents the largest market worldwide. Developing countries are forecast to spearhead future growth in the market led by mounting issues related to stable power supply. Escalating demand for energy as a result of robust pace of economic development and industrialization, inefficient energy infrastructure and power shortages, are key reasons responsible for poor power quality in these countries. Asia-Pacific, led by China and India, is forecast to witness the strongest growth over the analysis period. Key factors driving growth in the region include the growing consumer appetite for expensive electronic devices, and migration of industries towards digitization and automation of production and business processes.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.
The original article can be found at: http://ecmweb.com/power-quality/rising-power-quality-issues-spur-demand-surge-protection-devices

Continue reading
  2063 Hits
2063 Hits
Sep
14

9 things you should know about surge protectors

9 things you should know about surge protectors

spds

March 25, 2015
by Geoffrey Morrison

Surge protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your gear against random power spike damage. They're not all the same. Here are a few tips before you start shopping.

Whether you're just looking to add more outlets, or want to add a layer of protection between your gear and the outside world, you'll eventually want to buy a surge protector.

With an incredible range of prices and features, not to mention a barrage of questionable marketing promises, it's hard to figure out what's worth the money, and what's nonsense.

To help you sort through it all, here are nine things you should know about surge protectors.

For a little background, check out what makes a good surge protector. This article is the spiritual successor to that piece, though we'll cover some similar ground.

1. Not all are the same.

Power strips and surge protectors (also called surge suppressors) are different. Typically, power strips are cheap, multi-outlet products that are merely an expansion of a wall outlet. These usually have a circuit breaker of some sort, but most don't offer any real "protection" from electrical issues. Some might have the barest level of protection, but they're all pretty much just like plugging into the wall direct.

Surge protectors offer some level of protection against power spikes. How much and how well varies considerably.

2. It's all about the joules.

Surge protectors offer protection in amounts called joules. Think of this like a reservoir of protection. If a product has 1,000 joules of protection, that means it can take ten 100 joule hits, or one 1,000 joule hit. Generally, the more joules the better.

How do you know how many joules a protectors has left, or if the rating is even accurate? Well, you don't. The Wirecutter did a massive test on surge protectors, essentially blowing them up to see how well they worked, to see if they could answer this question.

3. A warranty...on your stuff.

Some surge protectors offer a warranty (up to a certain amount) on the gear connected to the protector. For example, in the US, one Belkin model has a $300,000 Connected Equipment Warranty, and states: "If your electronic equipment is damaged by a surge, spike, or lightning strike while properly connected to this power strip, we will repair or replace it, up to $300,000."

You'll probably never need it, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have it. Belkin has similar warranties in effect for other products, but they vary by region.

Edit 7/31: As some readers mention in the comments below, just because the warranty exists, doesn't mean you'll ever see a dime from it. A good point.

4. A power "conditioner."

There are a number of products on the market that claim to "condition" the power from the wall, promising improved performance in your gear. Here's the dirty little secret: your gear already does this. All electronics have a power supply that takes the incoming wall current (110v in the US), filters it for noise, and converts it into whatever the device needs. Almost nothing actually runs on 110 volts (or alternating current, for that matter), so unless you've got some really wacky (or cheap) gear, and live in an area with bizarrely inadequate power, a power conditioner isn't something you need.

5. Always get more outlets than you need.

You're always going to need more outlets. You'll undoubtedly add more gear, without necessarily getting rid of your current gear. I'm not saying that if you think you need 4 outlets get a 12, but a 6 is probably a good investment.

6. Power spikes can come over any wire.

If you want total protection, consider that phone and cable lines can carry power spikes too. Some surge protectors have connectors for these as well.

7. USB is great, but check the amps.

Many surge protectors come with USB connections, so you can charge your mobile devices. Handy, for sure, but check what the output amp rating is. Generally, this is either 1 or 2 amps (often labeled 1A or 2A). This is how much flow you can get through the pipe, so to speak. For a mobile phone, 1 amp is enough, but for a tablet, you'll want 2 amps for quicker charging.

8. Get a portable power strip.

While not offering much protection, a portable power strip might prevent marital friction, and/or invoke bliss from travel companions. Most hotels and hostels have few accessible outlets, yet everyone has multiple devices that need recharging. Most portable power strips add two to three additional outlets, plus offer direct USB charging (see number 7!).

9. They don't last forever.

Remember the joule rating we discussed earlier? Well, it means that over time, a surge protector is going to wear out. Some will give you a warning when they do. Many won't. If you know you've had a serious electrical event (like lighting blew out a transformer down the street), it's probably worth replacing your surge protector just in case.
Bottom Line

There really is no reason not to get a surge protector. How much you need it will vary. If you live in an area with lots of thunderstorms, your gear is probably more likely to experience power surges. Even if you live in the desert, your A/C or refrigerator could kick power spikes back down the lines to your A/V gear.

Since most surge protectors are cheap, they're worth getting just in case.

Click here for the source of this article.

 

Continue reading
  2541 Hits
2541 Hits
Aug
27

NEMA Surge Protection Podcast Series

The NEMA Surge Protection Institute (NSPI) is an educational outreach effort initiated by the Low Voltage Surge Protective Devices Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), a not-for-profit trade association. Our mission is to heighten awareness of the benefits of surge protection to all users of low voltage electrical systems in North America for the purpose of promoting proper application and usage.


This podcast series focused on low voltage surge protective devices:

Part 1: What is a surge protective device and how does it work?

Joining us today to discuss how these devices work is Jennifer Friedline, Associate Product Manager–Surge Protection Devices, with Thomas & Betts.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Part 2: How does surge protection differ in residential, commercial, and industrial settings?

This is the second of a podcast series focused on NEMA’s Low Voltage Surge Protective Devices Section. Today we’re chatting with NEMA Northeast Field Rep Jack Lyons about why surge protection is important in settings other than residential. We’ll also discuss what a surge is and how it damages equipment.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

 

Click here to view the source for this article.

Continue reading
  6908 Hits
6908 Hits
Aug
27

Uninterruptible Power Supplies and Your Data Center

uninterruptible power lights

What exactly is an uninterrupted power supply? How do you know which UPS is right for your data center? These two questions prove to be pivotal when setting up a data center or a data room that will service the needs of your organization. When you use technology, the most important part of the equation is power. With out power or a steady stream of power, it can be impossible to deliver services reliably through out your organization.


Even computer hobbyists could gain from using a UPS in their environment. Servers, computers and most other electronic equipment thrive off an uninterrupted power source. Data centers are the number one customers for UPS devices. Why? Electricity delivered from utility companies doesn’t remain constant. A slight power surge, power sag or outage could be detrimental to your organization’s objectives.


Infrastructure equipment works best when it gets a steady, regulated source of power. This helps ensure the longevity of the equipment you are using within your data center. When devices such as SANs or other types of storage appliances receive inconsistent power, you are directly putting the integrity of your organizations data at risk. Having a UPS within your onsite data center is easily one of the first things a data center architect should look at implementing within the facility.


How can you determine the best UPS for your needs?


You must first determine what you actually have. UPS devices come in large, small and modular designs that will fit inside of racks or as a standalone appliance within a data center. You should research the specifications of the specific UPS device you are interested in purchasing so that you can gather enough information which will enable you to make an educated decision.


Another factor you should consider is whether or not your site has a generator that could kick in during an outage. Most UPS devices use lead batteries to keep devices running during a power outage. If you do not have a generator onsite, you may want a more robust UPS solution. If you have a generator on site and you know that the generator will repower your facility within 60 seconds, having a super robust UPS could be overkill.


Uninterrupted Power Supplies sometimes comes with a flywheel design versus the traditional lead battery model. There are pros and cons and many organizations only utilize the flywheel design based on space constraints or green energy endeavors. The flywheel spins and when power loss is detected, the energy generated from the wheels motion is used by the data center’s equipment. The fly wheel slows down thus indicating that the perpetual motion that keeps the flywheel moving is waning. The flywheel design is gaining more popularity because it leaves a much smaller environmental impact than the traditional UPS systems, especially within green data centers of the future.

 

Click here for the source of this article.

Continue reading
  2370 Hits
2370 Hits
Aug
27

NEMA Launches Updated NEMA Surge Protection Institute Website

NEMA Site

The website, home to the NEMA Surge Protection Institute, provides information and resources to residential, commercial, and industrial consumers related to surge protection.


The National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Low Voltage Surge Protective Devices Section has launched an updated version of its website, nemasurge.org. The website, home to the NEMA Surge Protection Institute, provides information and resources to residential, commercial, and industrial consumers related to surge protection.


Citing a recent survey conducted by the section in which 71% of respondents indicated that they purchased surge protection after surge damage occurred, the section’s Industry Development Committee launched a campaign to inform property owners about protecting their electronic devices from lightning or voltage surges.


According to Committee Chairman Tom Colcombe, the mission behind the nemasurge.org website is to raise awareness of the benefits of surge protection to all users of low voltage electrical systems in North America. Educating users about proper application and usage is paramount to protecting these electrical systems.


The NEMA Low Voltage Surge Protective Devices Section encourages homeowners, building owners, business owners to use nemasurge.org, and to share with others information learned about surge protection.

 

Click here for the source of this article.

Continue reading
  2257 Hits
2257 Hits
Aug
27

KCP&L plans to install 1,001 more chargers for electric cars

SV green sign

KCP&L announced Monday that with one jolt it’s going to make the area one of the best places in the nation to drive an electric car.


The utility said it plans to install 1,001 public electric chargers in its Missouri and Kansas service territories — a 2,400 percent boost from the roughly 40 units now available. Each charger will be able to charge two cars at a time.


Public chargers are crucial to the success of electric cars because of “range anxiety,” the fear that a car’s battery power will be exhausted before reaching a destination. The chargers resemble a gasoline fuel pump but instead of hoses and nozzles, they have a cord and plug on each side

.
It will cost about $20 million to build the system, to be called the Clean Charge Network. KCP&L will ask state regulators to let it to recover the cost through its rates. If regulators agree, residential customers would pay an extra $1 to $2 a year.


But KCP&L noted that the extra revenue it would get from selling electricity for cars, which is also typically done when demand is off-peak, could eventually put downward pressure on rates.

Electric BIZ al 012615 0054f

An electric car and charger were displayed Monday as KCP&L announced the Clean Charge Network of charging stations. A few of the chargers have already been installed in the KC area, and the entire network should be deployed by summer.

Electric BIZ al 012615 0058f

A few of the chargers have already been installed in the Kansas City area, and the ambitious plan calls for the entire network to be deployed by summer.


Those able to take advantage of the program will get free charges for at least two years. For that period, the cost of the electricity itself will be shouldered by “hosts” such as movie theaters, shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants and large employers where the chargers will be installed. The hosts will also provide space for the chargers.


The automaker Nissan has agreed to pay the tab over two years for 16 super-fast chargers that will be part of the network.


The Clean Charge Network will focus on the Kansas City area, where the bulk of the utility’s customers live. But the utility isn’t ignoring the rest of its territory. Clinton, St. Joseph and Sedalia are among other communities that will get the chargers.


“Wherever they live in our service territory they’ll be able to access this,” said Chuck Caisley, a spokesman for Kansas City Power & Light.


The plan also calls for building the electric infrastructure needed to supply the 1,001 chargers, which will allow the number of chargers to be easily doubled in the future if needed.


The only other state to have more than 1,000 public charging stations installed is California which has nearly 2,000, said Kelly Gilbert, transportation director at the Metropolitan Energy Center, using federal statistics. The only other state with more than 500 is Texas.


“This project will make Kansas City one of the best-equipped metropolitan areas in the nation to serve an electrified vehicle fleet, and sets us up to be a nationwide leader,” she said.


Terry Bassham, the president and CEO of KCP&L, said consideration about building the network began around six months ago after discussions about the low number of electric cars in the region. There are 260,000 plug-in electric cars in the U.S., and less than 1 percent are in this area.


“We are here to change that,” he said.


Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Ashok Gupta, program director for the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council, also spoke and praised the move. Gupta said electric cars are a definite boost for the environment.


Representatives from five automakers who sell electric cars also attended the announcement Monday. Automakers are eager to boost electric car sales because they will be increasingly needed to meet tougher fuel economy standards.


David Peterson, manager of electric vehicle infrastructure and business development for Nissan North America, said that because of the Clean Charge Network, electric car sales will rise here even with gas prices down. Though gasoline prices are about $1.75 a gallon in the Kansas City area, an equivalent amount of electricity is about 70 cents.


“We’re so impressed with KCP&L,” he said.


Nissan’s Leaf is the first plug-in electric car to top 30,000 in sales in the United States. Last year 30,200 were sold, a 23 percent jump over 2013. The Chevrolet Volt, Ford Focus, BMW i3 and high-end Tesla S are among the other plug-in models available, some with backup gasoline engines.


KCP&L is buying the chargers from ChargePoint, which will also manage the network. The California company manages 20,000 charging spots in what it calls the world’s largest and most open charging network.


Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint’s president and CEO, said the network in the area would be convenient and effective. A mobile app, for example, will locate the nearest chargers and their availability. The chargers will work on all electric cars sold in the U.S.


“It should be a big jump start for electric cars in the area,” he said.


The Clean Energy Network will have three to five chargers at each location — enough to fuel 6 to 10 cars — to help ensure one will be available when needed. Many locations have already been selected, although most have not been publicly disclosed.


At the news conference, there were hints that Harrah’s Casino, Starbucks and the Kansas City Chief will be partners in the project. It was confirmed that four Hy-Vee food stores in the Kansas City area will host chargers.


Some are already mulling the overall impact that Clean Charge will have on the area. Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council, said it is huge and as important as Google’s decision to bring its high-speed Internet service here.


“This sends the signal that Kansas City is on the cutting edge of technology,” he said.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/article8179314.html#storylink=cpy

Continue reading
  2327 Hits
2327 Hits
Aug
27

Schneider Electric Introduces New Single-Phase Smart-UPS

ups

New APC by Schneider Electric UPS models provide power range from 5kVA-10kVA.


Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, today announced the expansion of its family of single-phase Smart-UPS On-Line uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) with the inclusion of new 5 – 10kVA models. Delivering the most manageable, reliable, dense, and efficient UPS in its class, the 5kVA UPS units have a power factor of 0.9, while the 6 – 10kVA units feature unity power factor capability, helping reduce complexity when specifying power protection while providing more real power for active power factor corrected electronics.


“In today’s increasingly connected world, disruption or loss of power to critical equipment translates into high costs and potential reputational damage for businesses,” said Michael Maiello, Sr. Vice President, Home and Business Networks, APC by Schneider Electric. “Our new unity power factor Smart-UPS On-Line models provide simple, convenient, flexible, and reliable power back up, allowing users to feel assured their important equipment and electronics will be protected when they need it most.”


Ideal for a range of applications, from network and server rooms to branch offices and secure power uses, the new APC Smart-UPS On-Line provides scalable, extended runtime and efficient power quality and performance for critical applications. A flexible design that can be configured for rack-mounted or free standing applications also makes the Smart-UPS On-Line easy to install, operate, and service in almost any environment. Additionally, integrated PowerChute Network Shutdown and an embedded network management card with environmental monitoring and remote user interface enable further accessories and communication options to be conveniently added.


Allowing users to avoid costly loss or corruption of data and equipment caused by transients, noise or hard system shutdowns, the Smart-UPS On-Line utilizes built-in automatic bypass to ensure seamless power to the load even in the event of a failure. Double conversion online capability also provides tight voltage and frequency regulation and zero transfer time for reactive loads such as machinery.
New Smart-UPS On-Line models are equipped with a bundle of features to improve efficiency allowing end users to reduce their annual utility cost. New models are ENERGY STAR® qualified and are operable in a high efficiency “green” mode that can reach 97 percent efficiency.


The Smart-UPS On-Line’s graphical LCD display with multi-color backlight provides a real-time, at-a-glance display of UPS status as well as diagnostic and log information. Additional key features of the Smart-UPS On-Line include:
Switchable Outlet Groups: Enables non-critical load shedding, reboot of hung equipment, and sequenced start-up and shutdown.
Hot-Swappable Batteries: User-replaceable batteries ensure continuous operation of the load even when the batteries are being replaced.
Intelligent Battery Management with Predictive Battery Replacement: A temperature-compensated charger continually adjusts to enhance battery life, provides battery health information, and deploys an advanced warning and location information when a battery needs to be replaced.
Faster Recharge Time: Ensures system availability during successive power failures.
Added Resilience: Operates with or without a battery for guaranteed restart, diagnostics and logs.

 

Click here for more information.

Continue reading
  2738 Hits
2738 Hits
Aug
27

Research and Markets: Surge Protection Device Market

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/k4vpkv/surge_protection) has announced the addition of the “Surge Protection Device Market in the Americas 2015-2019” report to their offering.

The Surge Protection Devices market in North America to grow at a CAGR of 5.95% over the period 2014-2019

Surge protectors are mostly installed in power distribution panels, communication systems, process control systems, and other heavy-duty industrial systems so that all electrical or electronic devices are safeguarded from electrical surges and spikes, especially the ones caused by lightning. Compact versions of the same are installed in the service entrance electrical panel of a residential house to protect all electrical and electronic devices used inside.


The growth of the renewable energy sector is one of the major trends emerging in the market. Solar PV panels and wind turbines are highly susceptible to lightning strikes which have led to the usage of surge protection devices for the protection of these types of equipment.


According to the report, one of the major growth drivers of this market is the demand for electronic devices. The Americas is perhaps the most developed region in the world, especially North America and, therefore, people have the financial power to use all possible electrical and electronic devices. It is necessary to protect these devices from over-voltage spikes and hence there is a demand for surge protection devices.


The lack of complete power quality solutions affects the market potential negatively. Vendors are still unable to provide their customers with a complete solution that protects devices from all kinds of electrical spikes. This is a major challenge for the market.

Key Vendors


Belkin
Eaton
Emerson Electric
GE Industrial Solutions
Leviton Manufacturing
Philips
Schneider Electric
Tripp Lite

Other Prominent Vendors


Monster Cable Products
Prime Wire and Cables
Protection Technology Group

Key Topics Covered:


1. Executive Summary
2. List of Abbreviations
3. Scope of the Report
4. Market Research Methodology
5. Introduction
6. Market Landscape
7. Market Segmentation by Product
8. Plug-in Surge Protection Device Market
9. Hard-wired Surge Protection Device Market
10. Market Segmentation by End-users
11. Buying Criteria
12. Market Growth Drivers
13. Drivers and their Impact
14. Market Challenges
15. Impact of Drivers and Challenges
16. Market Trends
17. Trends and their Impact
18. Vendor Landscape
19. Key Vendor Analysis

To see the full report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/k4vpkv/surge_protection

Click here for the source of this article.

Continue reading
  1957 Hits
1957 Hits
Aug
27

1% Penetration of Containerized & Modular Data Centers Still Earns Millions

datacenter

With growth of new shipments estimated at roughly 20% for 2015, the installed base figure will grow to between 250MW and 300MW by the end of the year, making containerized and modular data centers account for 1% of the total data center IT load estimated.


Nearly 200MW of IT load capacity is estimated to currently be housed in containerized or modular data centers around the globe. With growth of new shipments estimated at roughly 20% for 2015, the installed base figure will grow to between 250MW and 300MW by the end of the year, making containerized and modular data centers account for 1% of the total data center IT load estimated. These findings are from a new report by IHS, Containerized and Modular Data Centers – 2015, that defines this market to include products that are “prefabricated, fully enclosed, mobile structures that house data center infrastructure.”


Liz Cruz, the report author, explains that “while 1% may seem like a small number to some, it should be remembered that containerized data centers have only been commercially offered for a few years, and we’re looking at its penetration of all data center IT load globally, which IHS currently estimates to be nearing 30,000MW. So a measly 1% ends up being an annual market worth almost three-quarters of a billion dollars.”


The installed base of containerized and modular data centers, as measured in IT load capacity, is projected to grow at a nearly 30% CAGR over the next five years. A wider swath of customers has become aware of the benefits of containerized and modular data centers, leading to increased adoption in recent years. The appeal of these units includes speed of deployment, outsourced data center design, mobility, offsite manufacturing, a single point of control for all systems, and potential tax and real estate cost reductions.


In addition to the hyperscale customers who helped to popularize the idea of putting thousands of servers in one mobile enclosure, the market now includes an increasing number of innovative and niche uses for these products. One recent example is a project by a Phoenix-area public utility which plans to deploy a containerized data center near one of its generation plants in order to provide power directly from a bulk transmission line, thereby negating the need for a backup generator.


Though the market has a high growth projection over the next five years, Cruz explains that “it will likely be 2025 or later before containerized data centers will account for as much as 5% of the total IT load capacity, and it is not expected that penetration will ever move much beyond that mark. So while containerized data centers are currently growing at a much faster rate than traditional ones, they will always remain a comparatively small portion of the market.”


IHS regularly analyzes all aspects of the data center infrastructure market. Containerized and Modular Data Centers – 2015 provides in-depth analysis across three world regions: the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. Unit shipments, average unit prices, and revenues are estimated for 2014 and forecast through 2019. The market is segmented by region, product type, vertical market, and IT load rating. Supplier market share estimates are presented, and an analysis of the competitive environment is also provided.

 

Click here to view the source of this article.

Continue reading
  2024 Hits
2024 Hits
Aug
27

P3 presented with annual awards from the Eaton Corporation

The Eaton Corporation announced today that it presented Power Protection Products, Inc. (P3) with two of its coveted manufacturers’ representative awards for the North American markets.

The Power Factor Representative of the Year


The Power Factor Representative of the Year was awarded to P3 based on a variety of factors that included sales goal obtainment, business development and contribution to the power factor correction product line. Richard Orman, Eaton’s National Sales Manager, commented, “P3 has done an outstanding job of combining sales, customer service and business development making a very successful year of growth for our product line.” P3 was chosen over a large group of manufacturer representative firms from across the Country.


Hybrid Representative of the Year


Also, on the same day, the Eaton Corporation announced that P3 has earned the Hybrid Representative of the Year Award. This annual award is given to the Manufacturers’ Representative firm that encompasses the best combination of sales obtainment, customer service and contribution to the development of the total Power Quality business.


“We are pleased and honored to receive the ‘Hybrid Rep of the Year Award’ from Eaton,” said Mark Cowart, Principal, at P3. “We have enjoyed our relationship with the Eaton team over the past several years and look forward to an even more successful future.”


P3 was established in 1996 and serves Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa with sales staff that combines experience and technical ability to provide its clients with a trusted advisor relationship. With over sixty years of combined power quality and critical facility experience, P3 has earned its reputation as one of the best in the business.


About Power Protection Products, Inc.


Power Protection Products, Inc. specializes in the sales, distribution and marketing of a variety of data center infrastructure, power quality and energy enhancing products and services including, surge protection, uninterruptible power supplies, harmonic conditioning and energy saving transformers and other data center power and cooling equipment. The Company also provides data center solutions, facility wide power quality studies, various conferences and seminars with respect to data center design, power quality and energy monitoring.


The Company is also the founder of Power Quality University which is a unique data center and power quality training and educational program. Educational programs are provided free to all interested parties.

Contact:
Brian Branigan
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Continue reading
  2213 Hits
2213 Hits
Aug
27

New Microsoft Data Center taking shape in Iowa

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa —For commuters on Highway 5, it’s impossible to miss: A booming construction site on the southeast corner of West Des Moines.


Microsoft’s new high-tech data center is taking shape. The city and Microsoft are pumping millions of dollars into the area for development. Hundreds of workers are constructing the first two buildings of the four-phase project.


More than $1 million square feet of new buildings have a cost of $1.1 billion.


“This is the first type of project like this that Microsoft has ever done. It’s probably one of the largest data centers that anybody has ever done in the country,” said Clyde Evans, West Des Moines Economic Development director.


West Des Moines is investing $87 million in infrastructure around the data center, which is money city officials said will spur future developments.


“It probably opens up about another 800 to 1,000 acres that doesn’t presently have infrastructure,” Evans said.


Infrastructure improvements include paving rural roads like Pine Avenue.


That has an immediate impact on local commutes.


“Huge impact when they put in the new road. It takes about five to seven minutes off my route to work,” said Renee Soper, who lives near the site.
City officials said the first phase is slightly behind schedule due to inclement weather, but is slated to be complete by summer.


Microsoft has assured 84 full-time jobs with this project.

Click here for the source of the article.

Continue reading
  2350 Hits
2350 Hits
Aug
27

Bracing for a big power grid attack: ‘One is too many’

About once every four days, part of the nation’s power grid — a system whose failure could leave millions in the dark — is struck by a cyber or physical attack, a USA TODAY analysis of federal energy records finds.

 

Although the repeated security breaches have never resulted in the type of cascading outage that swept across the Northeast in 2003, they have sharpened concerns about vulnerabilities in the electric system. A widespread outage lasting even a few days could disable devices ranging from ATMs to cellphones to traffic lights, and could threaten lives if heating, air conditioning and health care systems exhaust their backup power supplies.


Some experts and officials fear the rash of smaller-scale incidents may point to broader security problems, raising questions about what can be done to safeguard the electrical grid from an attack that could leave millions without power for days or weeks, with potentially devastating consequences.

“It’s one of those things: One is too many, so that’s why we have to pay attention,” said Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Cheryl LaFleur. “The threats continue to evolve, and we have to continue to evolve as well.”

 

Part of the nation’s power grid is struck by a cyber or physical attack nearly once every four days. Some experts fear the rash of smaller-scale incidents may point to broader security problems with potentially devastating consequences. 


An examination by USA TODAY in collaboration with more than 10 Gannett newspapers and TV stations across the country, and drawing on thousands of pages of government records, federal energy data and a survey of more than 50 electric utilities, finds:
• More often than once a week, the physical and computerized security mechanisms intended to protect Americans from widespread power outages are affected by attacks, with less severe cyberattacks happening even more often.
• Transformers and other critical equipment often sit in plain view, protected only by chain-link fencing and a few security cameras.
• Suspects have never been identified in connection with many of the 300-plus attacks on electrical infrastructure since 2011.
• An organization funded by the power industry writes and enforces the industry’s own guidelines for security, and decreased the number of security penalties it issued by 30% from 2013 to 2014, leading to questions about oversight.


Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said the power grid is currently “too susceptible to a cascading outage” because of its reliance on a small number of critical substations and other physical equipment.


Because the nation’s electrical grid operates as an interdependent network, the failure of any one element requires energy to be drawn from other areas. If multiple parts fail at the same time, there is the potential for a cascading effect that could leave millions in the darks for days, weeks or longer.

“Those critical nodes can, in fact, be attacked in one way or another,” Wellinghoff said. “You have a very vulnerable system that will continue to be vulnerable until we figure out a way to break it out into more distributed systems.”


‘A GAME CHANGER’


Some of the worst fears of those in charge of the power grid’s security came true shortly before 1 a.m. on April 16, 2013, when unknown attackers unleashed a coordinated attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf substation in northern California.

The attackers severed six underground fiber-optic lines before firing more than 100 rounds of ammunition at the substation’s transformers, causing more than $15 million in damage.

The intentional act of sabotage, likely involving more than one gunman, was unlike any previous attack on the nation’s grid in its scale and sophistication.

Yet officers did not begin investigating the scene until hours after the shooting took place. Security footage from the shooting is grainy. The attackers were never caught.

Power was not lost, but the nature of the Metcalf attack sent shock waves through the industry.

“Shooting at substations, unfortunately, is not uncommon,” Sue Kelly, president and CEO of the American Public Power Association, an industry group, said of the incident at a Senate hearing last year. “But this incident demonstrated a level of sophistication not previously seen in our sector.”

At a California Public Utilities Commission meeting last year to review the incident, PG&E senior director of substations Ken Wells said the Metcalf attack was “a game changer.”

“No doubt about it, …this event caused us and the entire industry to take a new and closer look at our critical facilities and what we can do to protect them,” Wells said.

Following the attack, FERC directed the industry to write new rules for physical security.

The rules, finalized in November, require utilities to identify critical infrastructure that could be vulnerable to attack and come up with security plans. But the new policy drew concern because it does not give FERC authority to independently choose which facilities are critical, leaving the decisions in the hand of industry.

Wellinghoff said while he is glad the new policy is in place, the lack of authority for FERC “could be a loophole that could miss some aspects of the utility infrastructure that are critical.”

Also as a result of the Metcalf incident, PG&E said it would invest $100 million over three years on new security around many of its critical facilities, including better security cameras, fencing and lighting.

Yet records from hundreds of other attacks in recent years show similar weaknesses still exist at thousands of electric facilities across the country, allowing repeated breaches.

‘SO BADLY BROKEN’


Between 2011 and 2014, electric utilities reported 362 physical and cyberattacks that caused outages or other power disturbances to the U.S. Department of Energy. Of those, 14 were cyberattacks and the rest were physical in nature.


Among the incidents:
• In 2011, an intruder gained access to a critical hydro-electric converter station in Vermont by smashing a lock on a door.
• In 2013, a gunman fired multiple shots at a gas turbine power plant along the Missouri-Kansas border.
• Also in 2013, four bullets fired from a highway struck a power substation outside Colorado Springs, Colo​.

No suspects were apprehended in those three incidents. Federal data show such attacks are not rare within the sprawling, interdependent network of transformers, power lines and other equipment that makes up the electrical grid.

Often, such incidents are shrugged off by the local law police who initially investigate.

In March 2013, security officers at the Jacksonville Electric Authority in Florida noticed a man climbing a fence surrounding St. Johns River Power Park, which produces energy for 250,000 northern Florida households.

The man fled when approached, Jacksonville Electric Authority spokeswoman Gerri Boyce said, and was later observed trying to enter a second facility. He fled again and was never caught.

Nobody filed a police report, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office documents.


SMALL COMMUNITIES AT RISK TOO


Federal records show it is not just large communities that are at risk of attack. Even small, rural utility companies have been subject to foul play.

After a 2011 cyberattack struck the Pedernales Electric Cooperative — a non-profit utility that serves about 200,000 customers across a vast agrarian region of Texas — the utility’s CEO, R.B. Sloan, shared his surprise with the utility’s board of directors.

“You would think if they really wanted to have an impact, they would go for something (else),” he said in a public meeting. Sloan said at the time that the utility filed reports with the Department of Energy and FBI, but he was concerned about the way they handled it.
“It’s obvious to us that some of the regulatory bodies are not well-equipped to accept these and follow up,” he said during the 2011 meeting. “I think this event has made that very apparent.”

Now an executive for a Georgia utility software company, Sloan declined to discuss the attack.

While the Department of Energy received only 14 reports of cyberattacks from utilities over the past four years, other reporting systems show rising cyberthreats.

The branch of the Department of Homeland Security that monitors cyberthreats received reports of 151 “cyber incidents” related to the energy industry in 2013 — up from 111 in 2012 and 31 in 2011. It is uncertain whether the increase is due to more incidents or an increase in reporting.

Scott Aaronson, senior director of national security for the Edison Electric Institute, a Washington, D.C., group representing electric utilities, said it’s difficult to draw trends from figures reported by utilities due to because of loose definitions of what constitutes a cyber incident.

“Whether it’s 13, dozens, thousands — it’s been more art than science to identify what an attack is,” he said. “There are probes that happen all the time. Adversaries are essentially looking for weaknesses in a network. I’ve heard people say millions (of attacks occur) a day.”

Aaronson noted that there has never been a successful attempt to cause a power outage through a cyberattack in the United States.

Nevertheless, the interconnected nature of the grid and its reliance on communications protocols that predate modern cybersecurity problems are considered cause for concern by security experts. A simulated cyberattack conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory in 2007 exploited a vulnerability at the facility by altering the timing of a diesel generator’s circuit breakers, causing thick smoke to rise from the plant.

To prevent such attacks, some critical elements of the electricity industry’s infrastructure are completely disconnected from the Internet to keep them insulated from adversaries. The power industry also employs stronger cyberdefense mechanisms than, for instance, the retail industry, which has suffered a string of high-profile cyber intrusions in recent years.

For some industry watchers, physical threats to the grid loom larger. But to experts and officials, each reported attack is worrisome.
Former energy security regulator Josh Axelrod, speaking at a 2013 security conference in Louisville, described a “seven bullets theory” of how a mass outage could be triggered by a physical attack targeting key pieces of equipment.

The Eastern power grid is highly interconnected and relies on rolling power between different utilities, he said, according to a video of the presentation.

“If you know where to disable certain transformers, you can cause enough frequency and voltage fluctuation in order to disable the grid and cause cascading outages,” said Axelrod, who now heads the power and utilities information security practice at Ernst & Young. “You can pick up a hunting rifle at your local sporting goods store … and go do what you need to do.”

Thomas Popik, president of the Foundation for Resilient Societies, a Nashua, N.H.-based advocacy group, argued the power industry is given too much leeway to control its own security rules.
“The system is so badly broken,” Popik said. “For physical protection, the standards are very weak.”


PENALTIES DECREASING


Under guidelines set by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, an industry-funded non-profit – the North American Electrical Reliability Corporation, or NERC — writes standards for the industry, which are then approved or disapproved by FERC, the federal agency that whichhas jurisdiction over the power grid.

In a 2012 report, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service called the regulatory arrangement unusual and said it “may potentially be a conflict of interest” for an industry to write its own rules.
Federal regulators also look to NERC for enforcement of those rules, which has decreased in recent years.

The number of enforcement actions taken by NERC against utilities for failing to follow critical infrastructure protection guidelines decreased 30% from 1,230 in 2013 to 860 in 2014.

After issuing more than $5 million in penalties for critical infrastructure violations in 2013, the organization’s figures show NERC issued less than $4 million in such penalties last year.
NERC president and CEO Gerry Cauley said decreasing fines point to increased compliance, rather than decreasing enforcement.

“Longer term, you expect people to get the message and make the adjustments to keep improving,” he said. “It’s not because we’re being nicer.”

NERC, along with industry funded groups like the Edison Electric Institute, have also fought legislation including the Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense Act, or GRID Act, that would eliminate the industry’s self-regulation. Congressional lobbying disclosure records show industry-funded groups spent millions lobbying about the GRID Act since 2010.

Cauley said the industry’s technical expertise is essential to ensuring reliability of the system, and legislation lessening the industry’s oversight role would be “detrimental.”

“The people who run and manage and design the system have to be at the table there to figure out how it should work,” he said. “We wouldn’t want to lose that. I think we would actually take a step backward if we did that.”

 

Click here for the source of this article.

Continue reading
  2065 Hits
2065 Hits
Aug
27

Rising Power Quality Issues Spur Demand for Surge Protection Devices

The global market for Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) is forecast to reach US$2.4 billion by 2020, driven by the growing need to protect sensitive electronic equipment from power fluctuations.

global market share report

GIA has released a comprehensive global report on Surge Protection Devices (SPDs). The global market for Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) is forecast to reach US$2.4 billion by 2020, driven by the growing need to protect sensitive electronic equipment from power fluctuations.

Surge protection devices such as transient voltage surge suppressors and surge arrestors are growing in importance, given the billions of dollars of losses caused by voltage fluctuations and power line abnormalities. Widespread use of sophisticated electrical, electronic communication and data equipment is driving the importance of power management solutions including SPDs, in both developed and developing economies. Proliferation of home appliances, personal computers, heating and air conditioning equipment in residential homes, and installation of high-end industrial electronic equipment in manufacturing plants are driving growth in the market. Future growth in the market will continue to benefit from the increasing use of electronics in the rapidly growing world telecommunication industry.

The commercial end-use sector is expected to witness strong growth in the coming years. With nationwide alternate energy programs gaining popularity in Germany, China and other major economies, demand for surge protectors is expected to gain strength. Substitution of conventional coil and core street lamps with light emitting diodes for outdoor lighting is also opening up new growth avenues for SPD manufacturers. Miniaturization and clock speeds of microprocessors as dictated by Moore’s Law comes at a price, namely higher sensitivity of the chips to power transients, electromagnetic interference, radio frequency interference and electrical field transients. The increasing sensitivity of modern electronic devices to even split-second electricity fluctuations bodes well for sales of SPDs. The global market for SPDs is extremely competitive characterized by a high degree of fragmentation, and pricing pressures. The relatively commoditized SPD technology leaves very little scope for differentiation. Pure-play SPD manufacturers face stiff competition from large diversified electrical equipment makers.

As stated by the new market research report on Surge Protection Devices (SPDs), the United States represents the largest market worldwide. Developing countries are forecast to spearhead future growth in the market led by mounting issues related to stable power supply. Escalating demand for energy as a result of robust pace of economic development and industrialization, inefficient energy infrastructure and power shortages, are key reasons responsible for poor power quality in these countries. Asia-Pacific, led by China and India, is forecast to witness the strongest growth over the analysis period. Key factors driving growth in the region include the growing consumer appetite for expensive electronic devices, and migration of industries towards digitization and automation of production and business processes.

 

Click here to view the source for this article.

Continue reading
  2308 Hits
2308 Hits
Aug
27

Inside Google’s Huge Iowa Data Centers

Google Iowa Aerial Shot

Above: Google’s ‘Council Bluffs’ data center facilities in Iowa. Image Credit: Google


Google confirmed that it is investing an additional $1 billion in massive Iowa data centers into which it has already put $1.5 billion. Below is a video of the massive project:

The so-called “Council Bluffs” project, which began in 2009, is still under construction. Google is said to be asking the state of Iowa for $19.8 million in new tax incentives for the project, according to the Des Moines Register.


Google told VentureBeat that:
"In new video footage we’re sharing, you can see for the first time what our two Council Bluffs data center facilities look like on the inside and from the air — that’s hundreds of thousands of square feet of computing power to deliver your most important search results and your favorite videos, the instant you want them. It’s all managed by more than 300 employees and contractors hard at work across the two campuses.
Google’s data centers are some of the most efficient in the world, using 50 percent less energy than the typical data center. Google is the first major Internet services company to gain external certification of the high environmental, workplace safety, and energy management standards of its data centers. And as always, one of our highest priorities when building a new facility is finding renewable energy sources to power it. For Council Bluffs, we’ve secured 407 [megawatts] of wind power from local utility MidAmerican Energy and 114 MW of wind power from a facility in Story County, Iowa. Separately, we’ve invested $75 million in a 50 MW wind farm in Greene County, north of Des Moines."

Data centers like these are used by Google to serve search results, videos, Google Apps, and much more. It has data center facilities scattered throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, and South America.

For Google to invest ten-figure amounts in data centers isn’t surprising, of course. In 2014, according to GigaOm, the company spent as much as $11 billion on “real estate purchases, production equipment, and data center construction.”

And the Register wrote that data center construction in Iowa is on the rise. Microsoft is currently building two billion-dollar data centers in the area, the newspaper reported, and Facebook also has a center under construction there.

 

Click here to view the source.

Continue reading
  3755 Hits
3755 Hits
Aug
27

Factors Affecting Arc Flash Injuries

There are five primary factors that determine the severity of an injury from an electrical arc:

• Distance from the arc
• Absorption coefficient of the clothing worn
• Arc temperature
• Arc duration
• Arc length
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these items so you can better understand how to protect your workers or yourself.

Arc Flash

Distance from the Arc

The heat of an electrical arc is referred to as the “incident energy.” This is because the heat is made up of the radiated heat (infrared) and convection heat (heat flow through air). Incident energy decreases by the inverse square of the distance as a person moves away from an arc source. A simpler way to state this is that as a person moves away from an arc, the heat will decrease rapidly. This aspect is critical to understanding how to protect oneself from an arc.


Body position is a primary factor to consider when performing energized work. A person should stand as far from the device as practical, while still being able to perform the work effectively. Standing closer than necessary will increase the incident energy that person will receive if there is an arc flash event.


If incident energy decreases by the inverse square of the distance moving away from an arc source, it will increase by the square of the distance as the distance decreases. It only takes a small change in the distance to make a large change in the incident energy. The standard working distance for work on systems operating at less than 600V is typically 18 in., while 2.4kV to 15kV power systems typically have a 36 in. working distance.

Arc Flash Distance

Absorption Coefficient of Clothing Worn


The type and fabric weight of clothing being worn affects the heat that is transferred to the body. NFPA 70E recommends wearing either flammable, non-melting clothing as underlayers (cotton, wool, or silk) or arc-rated underlayers for additional protection. The general rule of thumb is that each layer of clothing worn under arc-rated clothing reduces the heat to the body by approximately 50%. Flammable underlayers do not increase the arc rating of a clothing system, but will reduce the probability of a burn underneath arc-rated clothing.

Arc Temperature

Arc Temperature

The temperature of an electrical arc is mostly determined by the megawatts of power being consumed by the arc. Megawatts (watts x 1,000,000) is a tremendous amount of energy. A 3-phase, 480V fault with 50,000A of short circuit current will consume 23MW of power. The heat from an electrical arc vaporized the copper in this circuit breaker.

Arc Duration

Arc Duration

Keeping overcurrent protective devices calibrated reduces the duration of the arc. The arc duration is the second most-critical injury factor in an arc flash event. Incident energy is proportional to time. If a person is exposed to an arc flash for 0.08 sec, they would receive twice the incident energy as an arc of the same magnitude that lasted 0.04 sec. This is why the NFPA 70E Technical Committee added Sec. 205.4 to the standard, which states: “Overcurrent protective devices shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions or industry consensus standards.”

Poorly maintained circuit breakers and other overcurrent protective devices (OCPDs) are unreliable. If an OCPD malfunctions, it will increase the time it takes to clear and extinguish the fault. NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, and ANSI/NETA MTS-2015, Standard for Maintenance Testing Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems, should also be consulted to develop an acceptable maintenance program.

Arc Length

Arc Length

The arc length becomes a factor at higher voltages (i.e., greater than 600V). It has been demonstrated that with all other factors being the same a longer arc creates more incident energy than a shorter arc. Low-voltage power systems less than 208 V cannot normally sustain an electrical arc, as arc resistance causes a voltage drop of approximately 75V per inch to 100V per inch. Even though high-voltage electrical systems present the greatest risk of an arc, low-voltage systems can also suffer catastrophic failures.

Click here for the source.

Continue reading
  5546 Hits
5546 Hits
Aug
27

Methods of Grounding

What is Grounding or Earthing?


To connect the metallic (conductive) Parts of an Electric appliance or installations to the earth (ground) is called Earthing or Grounding.


In other words, to connect the metallic parts of electric machinery and devices to the earth plate or earth electrode (which is buried in the moisture earth) through a thick conductor wire (which has very low resistance) for safety purpose is known as Earthing or grounding.


To earth or earthing rather, means to connect the part of electrical apparatus such as metallic covering of metals, earth terminal of socket cables, stay wires that do not carry current to the earth. Earthing can be said as the connection of the neutral point of a power supply system to the earth so as to avoid or minimize danger during discharge of electrical energy.

Earthing can be done in many ways. The various methods employed in earthing (in house wiring or factory and other connected electrical equipment and machines) are discussed as follows:

1) Plate Earthing:


In plate earthing system, a plate made up of either copper with dimensions 60cm x 60cm x 3.18mm (i.e. 2ft x 2ft x 1/8 in) or galvanized iron (GI) of dimensions 60cm x 60cm x 6.35 mm (2ft x 2ft x ¼ in) is buried vertical in the earth (earth pit) which should not be less than 3m (10ft) from the ground level.


For proper earthing system, follow the above mentioned steps in the (Earth Plate introduction) to maintain the moisture condition around the earth electrode or earth plate.plate earthing, plate grounding.

Plate Earthing

2) Pipe Earthing:


A galvanized steel and a perforated pipe of approved length and diameter is placed vertically in a wet soil in this kind of system of earthing. It is the most common system of earthing.

The size of pipe to use depends on the magnitude of current and the type of soil. The dimension of the pipe is usually 40mm (1.5in) in diameter and 2.75m (9ft) in length for ordinary soil or greater for dry and rocky soil. The moisture of the soil will determine the length of the pipe to be buried but usually it should be 4.75m (15.5ft).Pipe Earthing and Grounding

Pipe Earthing and Grounding

3) Rod Earthing:


It is the same method as pipe earthing. A copper rod of 12.5mm (1/2 inch) diameter or 16mm (0.6in) diameter of galvanized steel or hollow section 25mm (1inch) of GI pipe of length above 2.5m (8.2 ft) are buried upright in the earth manually or with the help of a pneumatic hammer. The length of embedded electrodes in the soil reduces earth resistance to a desired value.

Copper Rod Electrode Earthing System

4) Earthing through the Waterman:


In this method of earthing, the waterman (Galvanized GI) pipes are used for earthing purpose. Make sure to check the resistance of GI pipes and use earthing clamps to minimize the resistance for proper earthing connection.


If stranded conductor is used as earth wire, then clean the end of the strands of the wire and make sure it is in the straight and parallel position which is possible then to connect tightly to the waterman pipe.


5) Strip or Wire Earthing:


In this method of earthing, strip electrodes of cross-section not less than 25mm x 1.6mm (1in x 0.06in) is buried in a horizontal trenches of a minimum depth of 0.5m. If copper with a cross-section of 25mm x 4mm (1in x 0.15in) is used and a dimension of 3.0mm2 if it’s a galvanized iron or steel.


If at all round conductors are used, their cross-section area should not be too small, say less than 6.0mm2 if it’s a galvanized iron or steel. The length of the conductor buried in the ground would give a sufficient earth resistance and this length should not be less than 15m.


General method of Earthing / Proper Grounding Installation (Step by Step)


The usual method of earthing of electric equipments, devices and appliances are as follow:
1. First of all, dig a 5x5ft (1.5×1.5m) pit about 20-30ft (6-9 meters) in the ground. (Note that, depth and width depends on the nature and structure of the ground)
2. Bury an appropriate (usually 2’ x 2’ x 1/8” (600x600x300 mm) copper plate in that pit in vertical position.
3. Tight earth lead through nut bolts from two different places on earth plate.
4. Use two earth leads with each earth plate (in case of two earth plates) and tight them.
5. To protect the joints from corrosion, put grease around it.
6. Collect all the wires in a metallic pipe from the earth electrode(s). Make sure the pipe is 1ft (30cm) above the surface of the ground.
7. To maintain the moisture condition around the earth plate, put a 1ft (30cm) layer of powdered charcoal (powdered wood coal) and lime mixture around the earth plate of around the earth plate.
8. Use thimble and nut bolts to connect tightly wires to the bed plates of machines. Each machine should be earthed from two different places. The minimum distance between two earth electrodes should be 10 ft (3m).
9. Earth continuity conductor which is connected to the body and metallic parts of all installation should be tightly connected to earth lead.
10. At last (but not least), test the overall earthing system through earth tester. If everything is going about the planning, then fill the pit with soil. The maximum allowable resistance for earthing is 1Ω. If it is more than 1 ohm, then increase the size (not length) of earth lead and earth continuity conductors. Keep the external ends of the pipes open and put the water time to time to maintain the moisture condition around the earth electrode which is important for the better earthing system.

 

Click here to view the source.

Continue reading
  8996 Hits
8996 Hits
Aug
27

Separate Fact from Fiction about Lightning Protection

lightning photography

Myths abound about lightning and lightning protection, so it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Thunderstorm season is a perfect time for an up-close look at a few frequently asked questions about lightning protection systems.


Myths continue to abound about lightning and the science of lightning protection. It’s not always easy to know the facts when misinformation is circulated on the internet and through social media. Now that thunderstorm season is in full swing, home and business owners can benefit from accurate information and reality reminders about lightning protection. Here are four answers to frequently asked questions to help separate fact from fiction about lightning protection systems.

lightning_pole

Q. Aren’t lightning rods a thing of the past?

Lightning protection systems are installed more today than ever before. According to Underwriters Laboratories, lightning accounts for more than one billion dollars annually in structural damage to buildings in the U.S. This statistic does not include costs due to loss of business, downtime and repairs. Since today’s homes and buildings are equipped with a variety of sensitive electronics, lightning protection systems serve an important purpose. Protecting occupants, structures and critical systems is an important part of the building design phase, which is why construction planners are specifying more systems. Lightning protection systems increase a structure’s sustainability against a common and often costly, weather threat.


Q. Don’t trees protect a structure against lightning?


No, trees don’t provide protection from lightning striking your home or business. Actually, lightning can side-flash from a tree and hit a nearby structure, so sometimes trees around a structure and provide an easy entry for lightning’s destructive electricity. Lightning traveling along tree roots can enter a structure by jumping onto nearby telephone, cable and electrical lines, introducing harmful surges. Lightning can also injure a tree from a direct strike that can cause heavy limbs to split and fall onto a nearby structure. Lightning kills and damages more trees than we can account for in the U.S., so unless a tree is equipped with a lightning protection system, it can be extremely vulnerable to damage—with the nearby structure vulnerable, as well.


Q. Isn’t a whole-house surge arrester enough protection against lightning?


Surge protection is only one element of a complete lightning protection system. Since lightning can pack 100 million volts of electricity, a strike to an unprotected structure can be disastrous and a single incident can cost thousands of dollars, with losses ranging from damage to expensive electronics to fires that destroy entire buildings. Unfortunately, no surge protection device or “whole-house” arrester alone can protect a structure from a direct strike packing lightning’s mega electricity. A grounding network for lightning (lightning protection system) must be implemented to provide a safe, conductive path to discharge lightning’s electricity. Surge protection + the grounding network = a complete lightning protection system.


Q. Can’t I install the lightning protection myself?


This is not an experiment you want to attempt! Lightning protection is a highly specialized trade that is governed by industry safety Standards. Design and installation is typically not within the scope of expertise held by general contractors, roofers or even electricians, which is why the work is typically subcontracted out to specialists. Trained experts like LPI-certified contractors that specialize in lightning protection and utilize UL-listed components and equipment should be hired to design and install these systems. The highly conductive copper and aluminum materials used are not readily available in hardware stores and design and installation for systems is not a do-it-yourself project.


Learn more about lightning protection system installation by viewing LPI’s short video at: http://lightning.org/learn-more/watch-learn/#video-6

Public Reminded about Dangers of Lightning and Surge Protection Limitations

During National Electrical Safety Month, LPI raises awareness for lightning, an overlooked electrical hazard


HARTFORD, Conn., May 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is joining the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to raise awareness about the importance of electrical safety—including lightning, an underrated and often forgotten electrical hazard.


Lightning is the rapid discharge of atmospheric electricity that can pack up to 200 kA of electric energy (100 million volts of power). A lightning strike to an unprotected structure can be disastrous and a single incident can cost thousands of dollars, with losses ranging from damage to expensive electronics to fires that destroy entire buildings. A single surge protection device or “whole-house” arrester is not sufficient to protect a structure from a direct lightning strike packing extreme electric energy. A grounding network, commonly known as a “lightning protection system” must be implemented, as well to provide safe and effective protection against lightning.


“The electrical ground installed by the electrician for your structure is there to protect the internal workings of the electrical system for everyday electricity—it’s not designed to handle the mega electricity that lightning can pack,” said Bud VanSickle, executive director for the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI). “Even though the majority of surges are created from large appliances switching on and offwithin a structure or power grid switching from the electric utility company, lightning is typically responsible for the most powerful and destructive types of surges.”

Prior to the age of electronics, the threat to structures from lightning was primarily fire-related. Enhanced communications lines, power and generation systems and gas and water piping have since created induction problems for today’s structures, allowing lightning’s access through energized lines or system grounds. Decades ago, the introduction of low voltage wiring and electronically controlled building components presented a new vulnerability to lightning. To address these concerns, lightning protection codes and standards were updated in the 1990’s; adding more provisions for grounding and new criteria for lightning arresters and surge protection devices (SPD’s).

“Today’s lightning protection network takes a total package approach which includes a system to ground the structure, a primary SPD (or SPD’s) for the service entrance and sometimes secondary protection at the point of use for high-end equipment or appliances,” said VanSickle. “It’s important that the lightning protection system complies with national safety Standards of NFPA 780 and UL 96A to address requirements for full protection.”

The NFPA and UL safety Standards for lightning protection systems employ practical and tested solutions to protect a structure, its occupants, contents, equipment and operations. A complete system includes: strike termination devices, conductors, ground terminals, interconnecting bonding to minimize side flashing, and surge protection devices for incoming power, data and communication lines to prevent harmful electrical surges. Additional connectors, fittings or bonding for CSST gas piping may be required and surge protection devices for vulnerable appliances may be needed, as well.

Lightning protection is also not a “do-it-yourself” project. Only experienced and reputable UL-listed and LPI-certified lightning protection contractors should install these systems to ensure materials and methods comply with safety Standards.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of electrical hazards. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.

Continue reading
  2439 Hits
2439 Hits
Aug
27

Protect Your Gadgets: Why You Need a Surge Protector

Do you have your PC, television, or other expensive electronics plugged directly into a power outlet? You shouldn’t. You should plug your gadgets into a surge protector, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as a power strip.


Sure, we all might forget about surge protection because everything seems to be going fine, but it only takes one power surge or spike and your expensive electronics could become useless.

water_damage

Power Surges and Strikes

Electrical sockets are supposed to provide a consistent voltage of electricity, and devices you plug into your power outlets depend on this. In some cases, a power spike can occur when the voltage suddenly increases. This can often be caused by lightning strikes, power outages, or malfunctions in the grid the power company is responsible for. A spike is a short increase in voltage, while a surge is one that lasts more than a few seconds. Surges are usually caused by problems with the electrical grid.

voltage spike

Whatever the cause, a sudden increase in current can damage electronics that are drawing power from the surging or spiking outlet. It could even render them completely inoperable, the increase in current having damaged them beyond repair.

How Surge Protectors Help

Standard electrical outlets don’t have any protection against power surges and spikes. Surge protectors are generally made and sold in the form of power strips, although you can also buy single-outlet surge protectors that sit against the socket and provide a single, protected outlet. You can also pick up travel surge protectors, which are small, offer fewer outlets, and will fit in a laptop bag.
Surge protectors use a variety of different methods to do this, but they generally boil down to a system that diverts energy over the safe threshold to a protective component in the surge protector itself. The surge protector ensures that only the normal, safe amount of electricity passes through to your devices.

surge protector in use

Power Strips Are Not Necessarily Surge Protectors

Some people are confused about this and call every power bar a “surge protector,” but this isn’t true. The cheapest power strips are often not surge protectors and only provide additional power outlets for you. When using a power strip for your expensive electronics, be sure its specifications say it has a surge protector. Below, you’ll see a type of power bar that probably isn’t a surge protector.

power strip not surge protector

You should also consider sticking with a surge protector from a reputable company. The cheapest surge protector from an obscure manufacturer may not provide much protection when it’s actually needed. Reputable surge protectors will also offer warranties, promising to replace any electronics connected to the surge protector if a surge occurs and they become damaged. Look for this before you buy a surge protector.

surge protector lights

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Surge Protector?

Surge protectors don’t last forever. The components they use to divert energy can wear down as a result of power surges. This means that your surge protector’s life depends on how frequently power surges occur in your area. A surge protector can only absorb a limited amount of additional power.


Some surge protectors have lights that go off (or on) to let you know when they can no longer provide any protection, while some of the more expensive surge protectors may even have an audible alarm that goes off to let you know of this. Keep an eye on your surge protector and replace it when the surge protector asks you to.


Surge protectors are easy to forget about when everything seems to be going fine, and they would be completely useless in a perfect world where the electrical system never malfunctioned. However, surge protectors are a fairly inexpensive and important way of protecting your expensive gadgets. You probably want a power strip for your gadgets, anyway — so you might as well get a surge protector that provides one.

Source: How-To Geek

 

Continue reading
  2643 Hits
2643 Hits
Jul
15

Troubleshooting Power Factor Correction Capacitors

By Bennie Kennedy

Power factor correction capacitors reduce energy costs by avoiding the premium rates that utilities charge when power factor falls below specified values. Facilities typically install these capacitors when inductive loads cause power factor problems. Capacitor banks normally provide years of service, but they need to be inspected on a regular basis to make sure they are working properly. Problems such as loose connections, blown fuses or failing capacitors can reduce the amount of power correction available and, in extreme cases, even cause a total system failure or a fire. This article describes how to inspect power factor correction capacitors and avoid these problems.

Safety first!

Capacitors are energy storage devices that can deliver a lethal shock long after the power to them is disconnected. Most capacitors are equipped with a discharge circuit but, when the circuit fails, a shock hazard will exist for an extended period of time. When testing is required with the voltage applied, you must take extreme care. Capacitor bank maintenance requires training specific to the equipment, its application, and the task you are expected to perform. In addition, the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) per NFPA 70E is required.

Additional hazards are involved in working with current transformer (CT) circuits, including the wiring and shorting block. The CT itself is normally located in the switchboard, not in the capacitor bank enclosure. Even after the capacitor bank has been de-energized, there is a danger of electrical shock from the CT wiring. If the CT circuit is opened when there is a load on the switchboard, the CT can develop a lethal voltage across its terminals.

What is power factor?

Power factor is defined as the percentage ratio between the true power, measured in kilowatts (kW), and apparent power, measured in kilovolt amperes (kVA). The apparent power is the total requirement that a facility places upon the utility to deliver voltage and current, without regard to whether or not it does actual work. Utilities usually charge a higher rate when power factor falls below a certain level, often 90%.

True power (KW) / apparent power (KVA) = power factor

50 KW / 52KVA = .96 (a good power factor of 96%)

50 KW / 63 KVA = .79 (a poor power factor of 79%)

Motor inductance is the most typical cause of poor power factor, and the problem only increases when motors are not loaded to their full capacity. Harmonic currents reflected back into the systems also reduce power factor.

Measuring power factor requires a meter that can simultaneously measure voltage, current, power and demand over at least a one-second period. A digital multimeter (DMM) cannot perform these measurements, but a power quality analyzer such as the Fluke 43B used with a current clamp will measure all of these elements over time and build an accurate picture of power consumption. A power logger, another type of power quality tool, can perform a 30-day load study to provide an even better understanding of power factor and other parameters, over time.

Low power factor can be corrected by adding power factor correction capacitors to the facility’s power distribution system. This is best accomplished via an automatic controller that switches capacitors, and sometimes reactors, on and off. The most basic applications use a fixed capacitor bank.

Under normal conditions, capacitors should operate trouble-free for many years. But, conditions such as harmonic currents, high ambient temperatures and poor ventilation can cause premature failures in power correction capacitors and related circuitry. Failures can cause substantial increases in energy expenses, and in extreme cases create the potential for fires or explosion. So, it’s important to inspect power factor correction capacitors on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly. Most manufacturers post the service bulletins on their web sites. Their typical recommended preventative maintenance interval is twice annually.

Inspection with infrared imager

The most valuable tool for evaluating capacitor banks is a thermal imager. The system should be energized for at least an hour prior to testing. To begin, check the controller display to determine if all the stages are connected. Next, verify that the cooling fans are operating properly. Conduct an infrared examination of the enclosure prior to opening the doors. And, based on your arc-flash assessment, wear the required personal protective equipment.

Damage to circuit breaker feeding a capacitor bank. A thermal examination would have detected abnormal heating.

Examine power and control wiring with the thermal imager, looking for loose connections. A thermal evaluation will identify a bad connection by showing a temperature increase due to the additional resistance at the point of connection. A good connection should measure no more than 20 degrees above the ambient temperature. There should be little or no difference in temperature phase-to-phase or bank-to-bank at points of connection.

powerfactor

The difference in temperature indicates that the fuse on the left is blown.

Cap_bank_Fluke

This infrared image indicates that a capacitor has failed.

An infrared evaluation will detect a blown fuse by highlighting temperature differences between blown and intact fuses. A blown fuse in a capacitor bank stage reduces the amount of correction available. Some units are equipped with blown fuse indicators but others are not. If you find a blown fuse, shut down the entire bank and determine what caused the fuse to blow. Some common causes are bad capacitors, reactor problems; and bad connections at line fuse connections, load fuse connections, or fuse clips.

Look for differences in the temperatures of individual capacitors. If a capacitor is not called for or connected at the time of examination then it should be cooler. Also, keep in mind that the temperatures of components might be higher in the upper sections due to convection. But if, according to the controller, all stages are connected, then temperature differences usually indicate a problem. For example, high pressure may cause the capacitor’s internal pressure interrupter to operate before the external fuse, thus removing the capacitor from the circuit without warning.

Current measurements

As part of preventative maintenance, a current measurement on all three phases of each stage should be taken and recorded using a multimeter and a current clamp. Also use the multimeter to measure the current input to the controller from the current transformer in the switchboard, using a current clamp around the CT secondary conductor. A calculation is required to convert the measured current value to the actual current flowing through the switchboard. If the current transformer is rated 3000 A to 5 A, and you measure 2 A, the actual current is . In addition, measure the current through the breaker feeding the capacitor bank for phase imbalance, with all stages connected. Maintain a log of all readings, to provide a benchmark for readings taken at a later date.

Capacitance measurements

Before measuring capacitance, de-energize the capacitor bank and wait for the period specified in the manufacturer’s service bulletin. While wearing the proper personal protective equipment, confirm with a properly rated meter there is no ac present. Follow your facility’s lockout/tagout procedure. Using a dc meter rated for the voltage to be tested and set to 1000 V dc, test each stage phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground. There should be no voltage. The presence of voltage indicates the capacitor may not be discharged. If no voltage is detected, measure capacitance with the meter and compare the reading to the manufacturer’s specifications for each stage.

Visual inspection and cleaning

Also perform a complete visual inspection. Look for discolored components, bulging and/or leaking capacitors, and signs of heating and/or moisture. Clean and/or replace filters for cooling fans. Clean the units using a vacuum – never use compressed air. Prior to re-energizing the capacitors, perform an insulation integrity test from the bus phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground. The control power transformer line side breaker or fuses must be removed to prevent erroneous readings phase-to-phase. Power factor correction capacitors are designed to provide years of service when properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspecting capacitor banks on a regular basis provides assurance that they are operating safely while delivering the anticipated energy cost savings.

Continue reading
  2270 Hits
2270 Hits
apc confidence eaton dependable mge experience rm integrity schneider reliability apc confidence eaton dependable mge experience rm integrity schneider reliability apc confidence eaton dependable mge experience rm integrity schneider reliability