Electrical Industry vs. COVID-19

See how product manufacturers, electrical contractors, industry associations, and individuals are helping during the coronavirus crises.

Innovative, intelligent, industrious, and inspirational are just a few words that come to mind when describing the army of individuals who make up the U.S. electrical industry. Undoubtedly, COVID-19 is presenting us (and most others across the nation) with unprecedented challenges. Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of the pandemic, P3 is giving a well-deserved shout out to all those industry members who are helping to make a difference in the battle against coronavirus. Thank you!

Schneider Electric ensuring power continuity & matching employee donations

Schneider Teams in the field are working in record time to deliver and serve hospitals and grid infrastructure. They are joining forces with other industrial companies to manufacture ventilators. Schneider's main contribution is ensuring power and IT connectivity in US Field Hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.

Schneider Electric commits the first investment to relief funds and will match donations of employees. Stakeholders, shareholders, suppliers and clients, also have the opportunity to participate.

Eaton donating​ manufactured supplies, providing power management expertise​, & matching employee donations​

Eaton is using its manufacturing, producing a number of much-needed materials, including non-contact door openers and face shields, for healthcare workers. They have developed a touchless tools that helps medical workers avoid contact with surfaces. Eaton has reached out to academic institutes and industry partners to offer assistance in the production of ventilators and powered, air-purifying respirators. Eaton employees are gathering personal protective equipment, including safety glasses, gloves, goggles and N95 face masks available at their facilities and delivering these supplies to local collection sites. Eaton is also matching 2:1 any donation employees make to organizations providing COVID-19 relief.

Milbank Manufacturing

Milbank Manufacturing is producing personal protection equipment (PPE) to be used by first responders and medical care providers in the Kansas City metro area. The company used 3D printing capabilities to produce nearly 500 face shields, all of which were donated to health care workers.

Graybar Electric 

As a leading distributor that works in a critical infrastructure industry as defined by the Federal Government, Graybar is doing everything they can to maintain their normal work schedule in accordance with CDC guidelines around workplace health, safety and social distancing. Graybar has been helping in a number of ways, one of which involves donating essential supplies to hospitals.

MidAmerican Energy suspending disconnections, waiving late fees

MidAmerican Energy, a major utility serving Iowa, will be giving customers relief from delinquent payment shutdowns until further notice in response to hardships from the spread of the novel coronavirus. MidAmerican Energy said they would stop disconnecting customers for non-payment, as well as waive deposits and late fees.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

Continue reading
  1279 Hits
1279 Hits

Do you know how to calculate branch-circuit loads?

Mike Holt, National Electrical Code (NEC) expert discusses how to calculate branch-circuit loads in his latest article:

Article 220 of the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) contains the requirements for calculating demand loads for branch circuits, feeders, and services. Table 220.3 lists references for branch-circuit calculations for specific equipment in Chapter 4.

Calculate your branch-circuit, feeder, and service loads using nominal system voltages, (e.g., 120V, 120/240V, 120/208V, 240V, 277/480V, 480V) unless other voltages are specified [Sec. 220.5(A)].

What if you do a calculation and get a fraction of an amp? You can round the answer to the nearest whole number, with decimal fractions smaller than 0.50 dropped [Sec. 220.5(B)].

Calculate the floor area from the outside dimensions of the building, dwelling unit, or other area involved [Sec. 220.11]. For dwelling units, the calculated floor area does not include open porches, garages, or unused or unfinished spaces not adaptable for future use.

Continue reading here:

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

Continue reading
  1410 Hits
1410 Hits

Live Demos from the Schneider Electric Innovation Briefing Center

Starting in April, Schneider Electric will be hosting a series of interactive webinars broadcasted live every Wednesday from the Schneider Electric Innovation Experience Briefing Center in St. Louis. The purpose of these live demo webinars is to keep you up to date with emerging market trends and technologies, discuss customers' challenges, and present our latest products and solutions. Check the agenda from the link below and register for the webinars of your choice! 

​Date ​Topic
​April 1st, 2020 ​The Power of Data Center Modernization: Identifying & Capitalizing on this Opportunity
​April 8th, 2020​Considerations for Small to Mid-Sized Data Centers, Commercial Buildings and Industrial Facilities
​April 15th, 2020​Innovation at the Edge with Micro Data Center Solutions
​April 22nd, 2020​Why remote IT infrastructure management is critical to your business — and your customers
​April 29th, 2020​Battery Talk: VRLA vs. Lithium Ion
​May 6th, 2020​Industrial Solutions in Mixed & Converged IT-OT Environments
​May 13th, 2020​Monitoring and Dispatch + Netbotz
​May 20th, 2020​Data Centers: Row, Pod, Modular & Beyond

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

Continue reading
  1113 Hits
1113 Hits

COVID-19’s Impact on the Construction Industry

 Cities halt construction while country faces economic downturn

As the coronavirus disease advances across the United States, various industries and nearly all aspects of the supply chain continue to be impacted, including the construction industry – and by default, skilled workers, electricians, engineers, and more.

According to a Boston Globe report from March 16, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh ordered a stop to all construction projects within the city in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the first move of its kind in the nation. Chief Executive Officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Stephen E. Sandherr responded in a press release, arguing the city's actions will undermine the construction industry's efforts to add hospital capacity.

Additionally, Sandherr said construction workers already take many precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of infection, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), gloves, and increased hygiene. "Given the precautions already in place, halting construction will do little to protect the health and safety of construction workers," he said in the release. "But it will go a long way in undermining economic vitality by depriving millions of workers of the wages they will need over the coming days. At the same time, these measures have the potential to bankrupt many construction firms who have contractual obligations to stay on schedule or risk incurring significant financial penalties."

Other states and cities are bound to see significant construction decline, as well. According to a March 19 report from Engineering News Record (ENR), all construction operations in the state of Pennsylvania were ordered to stop, which includes heavy/civil, building, institutional, residential, and specialty trade work. Likewise, New York City officials are calling for a pause to non-essential construction within all five boroughs, a Curbed New York article from March 20 says. A Chicago Tribune story also predicts a slowdown to Chicago's 10-year construction boom due to added safety precautions being implemented on job sites in an attempt to avoid a complete construction shutdown. Meanwhile, in California, a March 20 article from Politico says plans are underway to deploy thousands of construction workers in order to retrofit hospitals, hotels, and buildings in response to the outbreak.

Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), is predicting coronavirus will cause a sharp economic downturn that may also be short. 2Q 2020 GDP growth will be markedly negative and probably the country's worst performance since 3Q 2008, during the great recession. A weak 3Q will likely be followed by a rebound at the end of 2020.

Even if cities or states do not call for direct halts to construction, the effects of coronavirus as a pandemic are far-reaching. According to a report from Construction Dive, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics Richard Branch estimated that 30% of building products in the U.S. are imported from China, making it the nation's largest single supplier. While China seems to be slightly rebounding from the disease, its decreased manufacturing output is still expected to impact construction in the United States.

On March 20, AGC held a webinar called "The Latest Developments on the Coronavirus and What That Means for the Construction Industry." Hosted by Sandherr, several national staff members addressed various aspects of the industry, including safety measures, contracts/legal information, economic impacts, and more. Following is a summary of some of the webinar's key points.

Member survey results. AGC's Chief Economist Ken Simonson delivered coronavirus survey results from the organization's members, with a total of 909 responses as of March 19. Notable results include 28% of respondents being asked by an owner or government agency to stop current work; 11% were asked by an owner or government agency to stop future work; and 22% received a notice from suppliers that deliveries will be late or cancelled. Regarding project delays or disruptions, 16% experienced a shortage of materials, equipment, or parts; 11% saw a shortage of craftworkers, including subcontractors; 18% saw shortage of government workers; and 8% received information that an infected worker has potentially infected a worksite.

Positive and negative economic impacts. The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to bring several long-lasting and short-term negative consequences. Simonson said these may include disruptions to work or cancelled projects; potentially less demand for "non-essential" projects like offices, entertainment, and sports facilities; reduced/missed payments by owners; and a slow economic rebound across many industries. On the positive side, Simonson cited selected new projects to respond to the crisis, like healthcare and lodging; substantial price reductions for commodities like fuel; and a slow rebound for commodity prices.

Safety standards. Kevin Cannon, AGC's senior director, safety & health services, said the Department of Labor (DOL) and OSHA issued new guidelines on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 and recording workplace exposures to the disease. Since information and news on the disease keep evolving, OSHA has already updated this information once and may likely do it again.

Coronavirus and contracts. Brian Perlberg, senior counsel, construction law and contracts, discussed this outbreak as a "force majeure," as it is an unforeseeable event that no party controls or is at fault. He advises contractors to read back through the contract to see if it makes an adjustment for time or money. Each contract is different, and its verbiage will show what is allowed. For example, the ConsensusDocs 6.2.1(j) specifically listing epidemics as an excused delay, while AIA A201 General Conditions has a catch-all for acts beyond the contractor's control as determined by the architect.

Continue reading
  1042 Hits
1042 Hits

Electrical Rooms Likely to Grow Larger

Enter your text here ...

 New 2020 NEC egress requirements around large equipment will require more space.

When designing future projects to meet the requirements of the 2020 Edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), chances are your electrical rooms, power distribution centers, and substations will grow a bit larger. Why? There was one simple sentence added to Sec. 110.26(C)(2), which states: "…Open equipment doors shall not impede the entry to or egress from the working space…".

The electrical equipment being referred to in this Section specifically includes any piece of electrical equipment containing "overcurrent devices, switching devices, or control devices" if the equipment is either: (1) rated 1,200A or more and over 1.8 m (6 ft) wide, or (2) the service disconnecting means installed in accordance with Sec. 230.71 where the combined ampere rating is 1,200A or more and over 1.8 m (6 ft) wide.

Even though this requirement was added to Sec. 110.26 (1,000V or less) by way of Sec. 110.30, this change will apply to ALL large electrical equipment meeting the above-mentioned criteria, regardless of the voltage level. This change will most likely result in a substantial increase in the size of most rooms containing large motor control centers or switchgear.

For many years, most Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) have categorized most cases where there are two pieces of opposing equipment fronts to be a "Condition 3" situation [either NEC Table 110.26(A)(1) or Table 110.34(A)]. It will be interesting to see if AHJs will now require the requisite 24 in. egress space where opposing equipment doors can be fully opened simultaneously. This condition could occur either where the open doors are directly across from one another or at opposite ends of the working space. If the new requirement gets applied in this manner, the electrical room size could increase even more.

This rule change is new to the 2020 NEC, but it's just a matter of time before it is incorporated into OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart S. However, in the United States and its territories, OSHA inspectors already actively enforce the NEC as part of worker safety required by the General Duty Clause 5(a)(1), which requires employers to provide safe working environments and conditions. So, the inevitable inclusion as part of 29 CFR Part 1910 is somewhat irrelevant.

Continue reading
  1269 Hits
1269 Hits