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Dec
31

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. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

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Dec
17

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.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

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Dec
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. 

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/reset-safety-arc-flash.html

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Dec
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. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/power-quality-reliability/cedia-releases-power-quality-white-paper?NL=ECM-06&Issue=ECM-06_20191127_ECM-06_866&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2_b&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=30075&utm_medium=email&elq2=a0d36a15a47e4727a68bbf5a8e0ea353&oly_enc_id=6901B0580289B1P

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Nov
25

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.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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

Enter your text here ...

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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Oct
21

Explore Galaxy VS 3-Phase UPS from Schneider Electric | Schneider Electric

 Increased availability. Reduced operating costs. First class power protection for critical infrastructure. 

The Galaxy VS is a highly efficient, modular, easy-to-deploy 10-150 kW three-phase uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that delivers top performance to critical IT, commercial, and industrial facilities. You need best-in-class power protection that is as high-performing and innovative as your business is. Galaxy VS maximizes your availability while minimizing your total cost of ownership, with highly efficient patented technologies and modular architecture.

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See the original full article at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGIwIDF8xNo

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Oct
09

Schneider Electric Innovation Days: Design Engineer Seminar 2019

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841 Hits
Oct
02

How Data Center Innovation Saves Lives

Schneider Electric has some new resource material to help with industry safety:

Critical Power to the Rescue in Emergency Services

Take Good Care of your Backup Batteries

Essential Elements to Facility Operations

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Sep
30

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 the 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, system designs and solutions that minimize the likelihood of an occurrence and the severity of injury should an accident occur must be incorporated.

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

"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

A trio of documents critical to safety

The electrical industry looks 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.

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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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Sep
18

Smart Tools that Simplify and Save Time for Busy Data Center Professionals

For many of today's data center professionals, it seems that everything is always happening at once – whether it be protecting a growing number of mission-critical applications, managing highly complex and heterogeneous environments, or evaluating the newest data center solutions.

Adding to this daily challenge of multi-tasking, most companies are now undergoing the process of digital transformation. This means that they are deploying more technology with the same resources and flat budgets. This combination of factors leaves data center teams with severely limited bandwidth to support their operations.

The data center administrators, networking specialists and data center managers I meet often need extra help in order to deal with their ever-widening scope of responsibilities. With that in mind, I'm sharing some free tools that were designed to simplify daily planning, product selection and education tasks, while ensuring smarter long-term data center builds.

Smart Tools for Busy Data Center Professionals

Many data center vendors provide tools for customers, but they are often difficult to learn and use. We at Schneider Electric took a different approach and offer customers certain tools aligned to their needs around procuring, implementing and supporting data center physical infrastructure solutions.

Below is a quick list of top tools to help choose, monitor and manage power, cooling, racks and environmental control devices:

Data Center Planning – Schneider Electric's Data Center Science Center team has built online TradeOff Tools to help you quickly experiment with "what if" scenarios to help with critical planning decisions like understanding the cost implications of deploying different power and cooling technologies. These TradeOff Tools are web-based, mobile-friendly and help data center operations quantify their decisions using data and science.
Research-based Designs – Choose from a library of tested, validated, and documented reference designs that enable data center professionals to determine key project parameters such as criticality, density, efficiency and budget. Recent enhancements to this library include greatly improved search, filtering and sorting functions, a reference design "details" page that simplifies information access and summarizes design benefits, and an easy-to-use CAPEX cost estimator. The information from the library can also be shared via social media. Once an approved reference design is chosen, it serves as a starting point for site-specific deployment. Reference designs make data center revitalization projects go more smoothly, cost less, and operate reliably over the long run.

Easy Product Selection – Several important product selector tools exist online to help save you time and money. These selectors cover UPSs, battery upgrades and rack PDU configurators. The UPS selector, for example, specifies the equipment you need to protect your IT assets and recommends the right product based on your specific needs. The selector determines the power draw of your equipment by asking you simple questions about your system and then querying an extensive database for the UPS that will provide the best fit. Also, check out our SketchFab tool which provides a 3D visual product overview to simplify decision making.

OnDemand Education – Our White Paper app provides users with convenient on and offline access to content, a robust search engine, and up-to-date research authored by our seasoned experts. Our APC blog provides thought leadership-based insights to keep readers up to date with the industry's fast-moving data center trends.

Start Using These Resources for Your Data Center Solutions

Data center teams are integral to the business impact their companies' make on customers. Their time is precious, and Schneider offers tools that can simplify their daily tasks. Where to begin? How about visiting our newly, redesigned data center product selector page and see how easy it is to find the right product for your business needs.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://blog.se.com/datacenter/2019/09/16/smart-tools-simplify-busy-data-center-professionals/

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Sep
10

NEC 2020 enhances four foundational elements of service entrance and surge protection

Short circuit current rating

The 2020 change

The new requirement parallels changes that affected power distribution blocks (PDBs) from the 2017 cycle, but now addresses other types of termination devices as well. The update has far-reaching implications for manufacturers. Effective January 1, 2023, pressure connectors and devices for splices and taps must be marked "suitable for use on the line side of the service equipment" or equivalent.


The rationale for change

The 2017 label change only accounted for one type of solution used in that application. The update now requires marking all termination types, including PDBs, pressure connectors and devices for splices and taps used in these locations, as suitable for use on the line side of service equipment to assure connectors are tested for given locations in the circuit.



What might the future hold?

Manufacturers currently don't build devices for use on the line side of service equipment, so manufacturers and standards developers must quickly bring solutions to market. The requirement's effective date offers manufacturers leeway to bring products up to speed.

"The changes passed enhance protection for persons and property at service entrance, potentially the most dangerous place in the power distribution system."
Thomas Domitrovich, Eaton vice president, technical sales

Safety disconnect (formerly the firefighter disconnect)

The 2020 change

Language now exists in Article 230.85 for emergency disconnects on the exterior of one- and two-family dwelling units so that first responders may quickly disconnect power to a structure. Language in Article 445.18 also addresses emergency generator shutdown.

The rationale for change

Aside from fire dangers, first responders often must account for electrical hazards during emergencies. Fires are chaotic, with firefighters rushing to ventilate buildings on rooftops, breaking through windows and opening walls in seconds. With that, there's a real danger of coming in contact with energized conductors and equipment.

Typically, first responders look to turn the power off before entering a blaze, but many homes' panelboards are in basements. Terminating power at the transformer, which could be atop a pole, is not something any untrained person should attempt. This change mandates placing emergency disconnects near the service entrance equipment outside of a structure. 

What might the future hold?

Concerns were raised during requirement debates that safety disconnects allow anyone to terminate the power to a home. The NEC's response was to allow the installation of disconnect locks to thwart unauthorized power access. While the locks will not impede firefighters or other first responders and may provide a level of comfort to the homeowner, contractors will still have to explain the expense of safety disconnects, especially in locations where it's not common practice to add outdoor service panelboards. When bidding on new jobs, technicians should stress the importance of safety to justify costs to consumers. 

Line side barriers and the six disconnect rule

The 2020 change

What many refer to as "the six disconnect rule" was modified per Article 230.71 such that service panelboards without a main and six or fewer disconnects will no longer be permitted. Hazards associated with six disconnects without a main in a service panelboard have always been a concern; 2017's changes in NEC Articles 110.16, 240.87, 240.67 and 408.3 during the 2017 review cycle furthered that awareness and inspired more change during the NEC 2020 development process.

The changes in the latest cycle provide options on leveraging up to six disconnects instead of a single main overcurrent protective device (OCPD), with a how-to section outlining four options:

  • Separate enclosures with a main service disconnect
  • Panelboards with a main service disconnect
  • Switchboards with only one service disconnect and barriers separating each vertical section
  • Service disconnects in switchgear/metering centers with disconnects located in separate compartments

In addition, line-side barrier requirements expanded to service equipment beyond panelboards and switchboards.

The rationale for change

Exposing hazards

The NEC changed Article 408.3 in 2017 to require barriers on service entrance panelboards, recognizing that adding line side barriers on panelboard service disconnects may not be possible with six disconnects used in the same panelboard. This decreased the likelihood of workers coming in contact with energized terminations on the line side of the main service OCPD or switch. However, one panelboard with six means of disconnect with no main circuit breaker results in electrical workers lacking the ability to apply barriers to the line side of each because the line side is a bus. The 2017 NEC update included an exception for these types of applications.

The 2017 Code focused on panelboards, switchboards and low voltage assembly solutions, but warranted an exception since technicians can't barrier the line side of six disconnects in a panelboard. Due to the new changes in 230.71, the NEC removed the exception in the 2020 update by including transfer switches, feasible disconnect switches and others with catch-all language. Now all equipment must have a barrier on the line side.

Better personal protection

NEC 2017 changed Article 110.16 to require marking service equipment with available fault current, clearing times and date of installation to help determine personal protective equipment (PPE). With six disconnects used in the same panel, six distinct clearing times must be labeled on the equipment. This update to what I believe is an obvious safety hazard has inspired electrical professionals to look at installations more closely. Since exposed energized buses in panelboards do not have upstream OCPDs, the NEC 2020 changes to labeling requirements raise awareness of hazards associated with six disconnects in the same enclosure.

Arc reduction

Arc reduction requirements have expanded during every review cycle since their introduction in 2011. While not for service equipment per se, this requirement is intended for any circuit breaker or fuse 1200 amps and higher and recognizes such applications are prone to high incident energy due to the longer clearing times of devices at these ampere levels.

By raising awareness of service entrance equipment hazards that lack upstream OCPDs, the changes help reduce the likelihood of exposure to an energized bus.

What might the future hold?

Aside from manufacturers creating new code-compliant products, technicians may need to review their designs against new requirements and will likely need to change the way they plan future projects. Some believe the changes could impact businesses financially. But I think resourceful contractors will find ways to meet the Code while becoming more cost-efficient.

"Technicians may need to review their designs against new requirements and will likely need to change the way they plan future projects."
Thomas Domitrovich, Eaton vice president, technical sales

Surge protection

The 2020 Change

The NEC recognizes in Article 90.1(A) that the purpose of the Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. Updates to surge are twofold. First, Article 242, titled "Overvoltage Protection," does not add new requirements but rather consolidates surge requirements from around the NEC to bring attention to performance issues that align with circuit applications. Secondly, Article 230.67 now mandates services supplying dwelling units shall be provided with a surge protective device (SPD) as an integral part of equipment or located immediately adjacent, either Type 1 or Type 2 SPD.
The rationale for change

The surge requirement change is all about usability; the NEC has made the requirement easier to navigate and implement, which increases the likelihood of proper installation.

Protecting people is table stakes and a key driver for surge protection clarification and expansion. The requirements provide for life safety products like AFCIs, GFCIs, smoke detectors and other protection devices. But I could make an argument that the Code goes beyond life safety to include protection of property. Loss isn't always devastating; something as small a losing a TV or appliance to surge isn't life-threatening, but it is a nuisance. Insurance companies take the brunt of surge losses. While insurance companies don't often publish payout amounts due to proprietary information, my best guess is that it's millions of dollars. This, of course, results in higher insurance premiums paid by homeowners, something these requirement changes look to help prevent.

What might the future hold?

Not all surge devices are created equally. Devices feature different parameters, such as varied threshold voltages, but no performance-related requirement currently exists. I believe the NEC will push to mandate higher-quality products by establishing SPD performance requirements in the future.

Additionally, I feel the NEC should look to protect digital connections. For instance, we can protect the power supply for a TV, but surges also travel down data cables to cause damage. There's potential for the NEC to discuss this aspect of power protection as well.
Looking to the 2023 code review cycle

For years, the NEC has anticipated stronger protections for those who work on service equipment. With the updates passed by the NFPA, the Code enhances protections for workers and the equipment they service. As with any requirement update, feedback from professionals in the field is extraordinarily important. I look forward to seeing how technicians implement the new requirements so that we may refine the Code in 2023.

Further, I feel it's vital that everyone in the electrical field explore articles in their purview that could benefit from enhancement. Many 2020 updates were inspired by professionals who knew that more could be done to enhance safety, so I know the industry has the capacity to make proactive changes. With that, I encourage everyone in the industry to look to the requirements they know need improvement and start conversations now in preparation for the 2023 code review cycle.

Looking to the 2023 code review cycle

For years, the NEC has anticipated stronger protections for those who work on service equipment. With the updates passed by the NFPA, the Code enhances protections for workers and the equipment they service. As with any requirement update, feedback from professionals in the field is extraordinarily important. I look forward to seeing how technicians implement the new requirements so that we may refine the Code in 2023.

Further, I feel it's vital that everyone in the electrical field explore articles in their purview that could benefit from enhancement. Many 2020 updates were inspired by professionals who knew that more could be done to enhance safety, so I know the industry has the capacity to make proactive changes. With that, I encourage everyone in the industry to look to the requirements they know need improvement and start conversations now in preparation for the 2023 code review cycle.

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/for-safetys-sake-blog/nec-2020-enhances-service-entrance-surge-protection.html

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Sep
09

Eaton transforms circuit protection with game-changing intelligence and connectivity to improve power system productivity and safety

  •  Innovative Eaton circuit protection provides highest level of metering accuracy available within a breaker and real-time monitoring, actionable facility insights
  • Advanced functionality allows fewer components, smaller assembly footprint

PITTSBURGH … Power management company Eaton today announced a leap in circuit protection technology with its new line of globally certified Power DefenseTM molded case circuit breakers. One percent metering accuracy, breaker health monitoring and integrated communications will help customers master power capabilities and safety systems that enable uninterrupted operations in a variety of applications, including commercial construction, data center and industrial projects.

By embedding protection, energy metering, intelligence and connectivity in a foundational electrical system component, Eaton goes beyond traditional circuit protection to provide deeper power system visibility and advanced predictive diagnostics

"Power Defense technology delivers never-before-available capabilities in a circuit breaker and gives customers expansive intelligence into the electrical system and their facility," said Rob Griffin, the global product line manager - molded case circuit breakers at Eaton. "We're building on Eaton's established leadership in circuit protection technologies to deliver industry-exclusive protection and monitoring capabilities that provide users with actionable data to drive more cost-effective operations and maintenance using less equipment."

Molded case circuit breakers provide vital functionality in nearly every low-voltage application around the world, protecting connected devices from overloads and short circuits. Now, in facilities that require hundreds of these devices, real-time data from the intelligent circuit breakers can be tracked and analyzed to prompt condition-based maintenance – an easier, faster and far more cost-effective way to maintain an electrical system than traditional methods. In the event of a fault, Power Defense circuit breakers are designed to provide visibility into where and why a fault occurred making it easier and faster to restore power, while giving the user critical information about the integrity of their power distribution system through a sophisticated breaker health algorithm.

Eaton Power Defense circuit breakers with Power Xpert® Release electronic trip units, leverage embedded communication capability to do the work previously required by multiple components, delivering critical information to analyze safety and system power dynamics. These capabilities are available in smaller, lower ampacity breakers than ever before, providing more granular information on connected systems and enabling greater uptime.

The globally accredited Power Defense platform meets key standards around the world, including applicable UL®, International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC), China Compulsory Certificate (CCC) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

To learn more, visit www.eaton.com/powerdefense.

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-transforms-circuit-protection-with-game-changing-intellige.html

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662 Hits
Sep
03

Introducing Schneider's New Monitoring & Dispatch Services!

APC by Schneider Electric introduces our newest Software & Digital Services offer, combining our newest cloud-based software, EcoStruxure IT and our best in class field service team. In one easy, factory warranty upgrade transactable sku, APC by Schneider Electric will provide your customer with:

• Cloud-enabled 24/7 Remote Monitoring & Technical Support
• Next Business Day Remediation

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Aug
26

Eaton releases 2018 power outage annual report

It's especially prudent for electrical professionals to review disaster preparedness plans. To help put historical data into perspective, Eaton recently released its 2018 Annual Blackout Tracker Report.

Spotlighting the nation's most damaging power incidents of 2018, the report finds that there were more than 32,000 powerful outages wreaking havoc on businesses last year. Two historic hurricanes topped the list of "The Top 10 Most Significant Outages," with Hurricane Michael leaving nearly 2.5 million without power and more than 35,000 utility workers tapped from 27 states and Canada to restore power. Just a month before, Hurricane Florence left 1.4 million without power.

The report covers a wealth of topics, including: power quality in the news, the impacts of 2018 blackouts by industry; a state-by-state snapshot of blackouts; the top 10 most significant outages of 2018; the top 10 most unusual outages of 2018; and tips on how you can protect your business. As in the past, this document is based on reported power outages in the U.S., with data sources that include news services, newspapers, websites (including those of newspapers and TV stations) and personal accounts. 

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Aug
19

Powering tomorrow: grid modernization

The convergence of technology advancement and complex power challenges
The electrical grid has served businesses and consumers for over 100 years. Utility system planners, operators and maintenance personnel have always faced challenges, but never have they compounded as rapidly as they are now. From point of generation to consumption, power requirements are quickly evolving.

A combination of factors usher in a new power landscape

Everywhere you look, there are unique dynamics at work. Infrastructures, components and equipment are aging. Weather events and natural disasters cause billions of dollars of infrastructure damage. Cyber threats are on the rise. Renewables' share of generated power grows yearly. Customers expect to interact with utilities for more control of their electricity use thanks to the prevalence of connected devices. State and federal governments continue to introduce new energy legislation. All the while, an aging workforce across many industries is creating recruitment difficulties.

Every power challenge is unique, with its own set of complex variables. As these factors converge, complications amplify to a point with only one viable option: utilities must modernize to keep pace with change.


How utilities can manage change on the horizon

The future of power generation is responding to the fundamental shift in how consumers use power and how utilities provide it. Renewables like wind and solar are increasingly responsible for greater shares of generated power. Smart grid technologies deliver real-time and up-to-the-minute information. Batteries now provide more than reserve power, with load shifting and the sale of power back to utilities becoming real cost saving and revenue enhancement options.

These shifts in generation and consumption mean utilities must work to modernize operations. And those who embrace new technologies and connected devices stand to see efficiency gains and improved profitability.

Data and analytics garnered from intelligent technologies and connected devices are laying the groundwork. However, new system components often introduce unforeseen compatibility and management issues. So utilities not only need modern solutions – they need modern solutions that work with what they've already got.


A foundation that supports change

Utilities are being asked to do more than ever, with less than ever. Managing more power sources with less budget, serving more people with fewer people and doing it all more efficiently and sustainably with less margin for error.

To help address these challenges, utilities benefit from a partner with a proven track record of creating smart, adaptable power systems. At Eaton, every product and service we offer is built on a foundation of intelligence, experience and security.

 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/grid-modernization.html

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Aug
12

Schneider Electric's Design Engineer Seminar

Schneider Electric's

Innovation Days:
Design Engineer Seminar
​​

September 17-18, 2019

807 Corporate Centre Drive
O'Fallon, Missouri 63368

Join us for an interactive and hands on education session. See our Power Lab, ask questions to our subject matter experts on critical power trends and learn how

Schneider Electric can help you solve your clients problems. Get information that will keep you on the cutting edge of the latest technologies.

Meet other engineers from across the country to knowledge share & expand your network.

9 PDH credits will be given for this complimentary seminar. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://eu.eventscloud.com/ehome/200189565?&t=5562bc0c6ddb078586a69b93ee9dc2df

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