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Testing Relay Switches

When working with any type of electrical component, safety is a key element.  There are regulations in place by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, NERC, that require components within transformer stations that are tested every six years.  In this installment from Utility Products, “Relay Test Switches” you can get an overview on safely testing relay switches and other electrical components.

Installing Bus Ducts Properly

Bust ducts, known also as busways, are created from a sheet of metal with the busbar being made of copper or aluminum. Bus ducts conduct electrical currents, that is their main purpose when used in manufacturing.  Many companies manufacture bus ducts, with the most popular supplier being Square D.  Not only does Square D manufacture bus ducts, they supply a wide range of bus plugs, electrical switches, circuit breakers, and more.  Proper installation and assembly of a bus duct will save you money and prevent costly downtime. 

Proper Bus Duct Installation

In order to ensure your electrical system functions properly your bus ducts must be installed correctly.  Bus ducts are used to provide power throughout an electrical system so if there is an issue with the bus duct it can result in costly delays and downtime.  In order to avoid this, proper installation is required.

The Importance of Ampacity

The amount of electrical current that a device can withstand without being damaged is known as ampacity.  A bus ducts ampacity rating is determined by using the temperature within the operating space and referencing a standard chart for temperature assumptions.  Once the operating temperature has been determined users must consider the rise in temperature between a zero current and a full load current.  As an example, a common bus duct with copper inside often has a current rating of 2,000 amps per square inch.  The rating results in the voltage dropping as the temperature increases.

Additional Protection

Like with any installation especially electrical, location is a key aspect that needs to be considered.  For most facilities bus duct installation is downstream from transformers and upstream from the primary overcurrent device.  Whatever devices is being used to protect the transformer cannot be used to protect the bus duct from electrical fault.

Extra protection to the bus ducts is another way to decrease any potential downtime from occurring.  When downtime occurs, facilities end up paying for workers to stand around.  Adding an extra layer of protection to your bus duct will give you extra peace of mind as you will know your bus duct will properly function.   

Bus ducts that are installed outdoors should include protection from the elements.  Choose a shelter that allows water to drain vs sitting in a pool overhead.  Extra water allowed to collect can cause a short in the bus duct.  Humidity can also be an issue when bus ducts are utilized outside.  This can be prevented by using stainless steel as it inhibits corrosion.  An epoxy primer of paint can be added to the housing to prevent the oxidation of the metal.

Bus ducts can also be installed on an outside wall.  When this is the case proper flame-retardant wall fittings that are waterproof and vapor-resistant should also be used as a precaution.  Extra supports for the ducts where they enter the wall should be in place to hold the extra weight. 

The installation of bus ducts is important.  Correct installation allows a system to function properly without downtime.  Protection helps to prevent corrosion and protects from outside elements.  And using proper metals and assembly kits from the manufacturer help to ensure you are using the right materials for your bus duct assembly.

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electricalcompany that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We offer a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugsbus ductspanelswitches, and transformers. Services include asset managementproduct reconditioning, and electrical products. More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com

Introducing World’s First Digital Circuit Breaker

Technology continues to change the world that we all live in and that doesn’t stop when talking about the electrical world as well. The world’s first and only digital circuit breaker certified for commercial use has been introduced by the company Atom Power. This new breakthrough will not only make power easier to manage but also 3000 times faster compared the fastest mechanical breaker. Atom Power continues research to accomplish more successes in the field and is ready to take on more challenges with investments from three of the four largest circuit breaker manufacturers, Siemens, ABB, and Eaton to shape the future of electrical power. To understand how this new digital circuit breaker fully works, check out the article “How the World’s First Digital Circuit Breaker Could Completely Change Our Powered World”.

Diagnosis Is A Key Element In The Process of Reconditioning

Electrical components are quite complicated in their nature.  There are dozens of moving pieces, working together to create a working electrical device from computers to panel switches, transformers and bus ducts, electrical products are intricate in nature.

It is important with any electronic device that we are able to find and replace components that have failed.  When a component fails on multiple levels, product reconditioning verse repair may be inevitable.  Of course, this varies from product to product, but the one common element is that when faulty diagnostics need to be performed.  In the latest installment from Radio World, “Making Sense of Component-Level Troubleshooting” individuals can learn what is involved in digging inside electrical components to diagnosis what is going on. 

Here at J and P Electrical Company we specialize in the sale of new and refurbished electrical components used in manufacturing and industrial settings.  We also offer services in asset recovery and management where we go in and remove electrical components in an attempt to clean industrial plants out of reusable items.  

Preventive Maintenance Keeps Equipment Running Longer

Heavy machinery used in manufacturing requires continual maintenance in order to keep it running at peak efficiency.  Poorly maintained machinery will run poorly and breakdowns cost money not only for repairs but also in downtime.  When machinery is not maintained, safety is compromised. 

Professional Tips for Maintaining Machinery and Electrical in Manufacturing

  • Keep Up to Date with Operator Training

Most large scaled machinery will have multiple operators.  Manufacturing facilities running three shifts will have operators on each shift as well as others to fill in when necessary.  When using any tracking software for machine maintenance it is important that operator training for equipment is part of the checklist. Correct machine operation is critical in maintain machinery. 

Operators should be trained in visual inspection as well.  When a piece of equipment is first introduced into a manufacturing facility it should be thoroughly inspected by the operators who will be using the machine. This is also a good time to provide critical operator training and to put in place a training schedule.  When machinery is updated all operators need to be included in additional training. Not only is there employee turnover to account for, but overtime operators will become relaxed which will lead to breakdowns in proper techniques. On going training helps to eliminate this. 

Equipment manuals should be kept up to date and revised as needed.  These manuals should be kept within the vicinity of the equipment so that operators have access to them when needed.  A shorter manual can be used for ease of reference on common everyday operations. 

  • Apply Lubricants Liberally and Frequently

Manufacturing components move all the time.  Lubricants can reduce the friction that is caused from all of these moving parts.  A regular maintenance schedule involving lubrication not only extends the machines lifespan and the longevity of the electrical components and parts working within the machine.

Lubrication is one of the most importance aspects in machine maintenance and should be checked on a regular basis.  It is critical that signs of excess oil and grease build-up are tracked as well as cracks in oil seals and leaks.

Using the correct lubricant for the machine and the components within is important.  Be sure to use the oil and grease that is recommended by manufacturers when lubing up electrical components. Checking lubricants helps in the diagnosis of problems in large machinery.  Experts can analyze the particles in used oil.  The makeup of the contaminants can indicate the part of the machine that is suffering from excess wear and breakdown.

  • Examine Machinery for Signs of Wear

Machinery in manufacturing facilities often operates at high temperatures, with vibration, shock, and friction that contribute to the overall breakdown and wear of heavy machinery and electrical components and parts within.

  • Machine vibrations come from belts and gears that are not in alignment.
  • Shock comes from accidents and poor operation techniques.
  • Increased temperatures come from extensive use, friction, improper lubrication, and worn our parts.
  • The age of key machine components can cause deterioration. Belts can warp, seals can crack and dry out, bolts loosen and stretch.  The age of large scaled machinery needs to be tracked and monitored to avoid a compromise to the safety of your machine.   

When you notice that moving parts in your heavy machinery is beginning to wear and tear it is important to perform necessary maintenance as soon as possible.  The replacement of worn parts is essential to the health of your equipment.

  • Keep the Facility Clean and Maintain Clean Equipment

Heavy machinery and the facility that contains it should be kept free of contaminants and as clean as possible.  Seals and filters should be examined to ensure they are in good order.  It is crucial that manufacturing equipment and the components within are kept tidy.

  • Maintain a Record of Maintenance and Repairs

Record keeping of repairs and maintenance on equipment is beneficial for so many reasons.  Over time patterns will emerge and you will be able to anticipate when components will fail.  Detailed records of preventive maintenance such as checking fluids, electrical systems, and components within.  Moving parts are especially important in maintenance. 

  • Moving components create friction.  These items need to be inspected for wear and replaced on a regular basis. 
  • Gears need to be lubricated often. 

Following these steps will extend the lifespan of manufacturing equipment and heavy machinery.  With the exuberant costs associated with large scaled equipment and machines, increasing your ROI with regular maintenance and replacement of electrical components you can extend the usable time of these pieces. 

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers.  More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com

Do Your Breakers Meet Your Electrical Output?

Most business owners and homeowners alike don’t ever think about their circuit breaker.  It isn’t until an event such as a loss of power occurs that we really even concern ourselves with the circuit breaker or its box.  This, however, is a mistake that many make.  In order to protect your home or business from electrical fires it is crucial to have the right circuit breaker installed.

This article from Ask Legit has great advice for choosing the best circuit breaker for your electrical usage.

https://www.legit.ng/1235474-how-choose-a-circuit-breaker.html

More on Electrical Distribution Equipment Failure – Should It Be Kept or Discarded?

As we promised in our last installment, we will continue the discussion on equipment failure.  We will continue to dive into various electrical components and how they work, their longevity, usage, and testing. 

Transformers

Transformers are large scaled pieces of equipment that are used to either reduce or increase the voltage produced by a current.  Liquid filled transformers are most often installed outdoors on a concrete slab, under a canopy to protect against the elements.  The liquid serves two purposes, it cools the transformer coils and provides insulation between the coils and the grounded tank. 

Older transformers use insulating mineral oils where as newer transformers use either a silicon based, fluorinated hydrocarbon, or combustion resistant vegetable oil based dielectric fluid or synthetic esters.  These insulating fluids break down first due to the entrance of moisture, impurities, and intermittent periods of heating and cooling.  Liquid transformers can deliver consistent service for more than 30 years with regular maintenance, fluid replacement, testing, and repairs.

Low Voltage Circuit Breakers

LV distribution systems commonly use molded case circuit breakers.  These systems contain two elements that deteriorate when used, a spring-loaded operating mechanism and copper contacts.  These two components will wear out from abrasion while closing and arching when the breaker is opened.  Larger breakers can be replaced. 

As these systems age the mechanisms that operate will start to slow down which delays clearing times.  The springs operating the mechanism are strong and hardly ever need to be fixed or repaired.  Lubrication however will deteriorate and need to be replenished to avoid the slower clearing times.  When a breaker operates above the normal trip rate it should be replaced.  These systems often last upwards of 20 years.  After 20 years replacement is most often recommended whether or not you are seeing slower clearing times during testing.

Low Voltage and Medium Voltage Cables

For most of us cables are quiet simple consisting of a stranded aluminum or copper conductor that is wrapped in insulation as well as a jacket that is resilient to the weather.  The manufacturing of electrical power and control cables sounds fairly simple however this industry is one that is in fact highly specialized.

Assessing the integrity of electrical cabling and its remaining longevity is important however can be quite complicated.  Cables can quickly lose electrical integrity while it is in use because of air pockets, gas pockets, and the voids found in the insulation.  This occurs due to thermal expansion and contraction.  If cables are in water their deterioration will occur at a faster rate.  Testing and analysis on these voids will offer up an estimate on the life that remains for the cable. J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers.  More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com



Fires Due to Short Circuits Are Not an Act of God

Last week saw more fires in Mumbai and elsewhere. The catch word, in all cases, was ‘Short Circuit’. But short circuits are not an ACT OF GOD. They are man-made, involving carelessness, negligence, monetary shortcuts and blatant flouting of the rules, sheer recklessness. The truth is that there is no need for a single short circuit to occur; and when there is one, investigators must examine whether a charge of probable homicide, without actual intent, can be charged on the person responsible. Even if there is ‘misfeasance’ or ‘non-feasance’. Is there a dilution of a duty of care?

Technically speaking, an electrical short-circuit occurs when two live electrical wires come in contact with each other. The immediate effect is to blow a fuse and save the building as well as lives. Yet, this is more often not the case.  

A FUSE IS MEANT TO BLOW  

A fuse is not for show.   

Here we need to know a little bit about the ‘FUSE’. A fuse is short-form for ‘fusible wire’. This wire is very thin and is, usually, a mixture (alloy) of two or more metals. It is designed to burn up (fuse) when heated. So, when an electrical system fails, either due to overloading or faulty equipment, the fuse itself ‘blows’.  

Electricity cuts off and lives are saved. In actual practice, however, fuses are either by-passed or over-sized, thereby not doing the job they were meant to.  

An analogy is a water pipe. If the pressure is too high, the pipe bursts. Similarly, if the load on the electrical system is too heavy, the fuse melts, thus avoiding a fire.  

But, if the fuse is replaced by either a thicker wire, or is made redundant by bypassing, the electrical pressure will attack the system elsewhere; the cable coverings will melt and fire will engulf the building.  

LOAD AND OVERLOAD  

The most frequent cause of fires is over-loading. A Mid-Eastern parable will illustrate our point. An Arab merchant would transport hay on his camel’s back. The more hay he carried every trip, the more money he made. So he would load the camel to the limit. One day, he saw a blade of grass on the ground. He did not wish to waste it; so he picked it up. And he put it on the camel. And the camel’s back broke. That one extra sliver of hay did do it in. Hence the saying, ‘The last straw on the camel’s back’.  

All electric systems are designed to take care of a certain number of equipments.  

Say one refrigerator, a TV, 12 lights of 40 watts each, a microwave of 750 watts, an iron, fans, air-conditioners, a stove and OTG, etc. The meter has a limited capacity based on the actual calculated load and the electricity distributor charges accordingly. As time passes, more equipment is added. Geysers, additional air-conditioners, bigger ovens, cold storage facilities, all that prosperity can buy. It all adds up and, if the fuse blows, someone, instead of studying the real problem, blames the fuse as sub-standard. It gets replaced with a larger size. Then one day, the camel’s back breaks. The ensuing havoc kills people.  

People who care, take the necessary precautions. They get a qualified electrical engineer to check the load-bearing capacity. He certifies it or asks for additional cabling and a larger meter, circuit-breakers, safety tripping switches. Yet, this is seldom the case. This critical dependence is placed on the local electrician; actually a fitter at best. It isn’t money saved, it’s an invitation to death. But even as you and I take care, it isn’t enough. Here’s why.  

What about our neighbour? And the other neighbours? In every building or office, in every shop or establishment, 99% of the occupants pay no heed. One is surrounded by lethal installations occupied by uncaring people contracting to incompetent contractors. They put everyone’s life at risk, including that of the person passing by.   

MONEY SAVED, LIVES LOST  

Cheap equipment is used. Thin-gauge internal electric cables are installed. Fuses are replaced by thick wires. Concealed wiring is carried out without due ventilation. Earthing is inadequate. Cables are laid below the floor tiles or above flammable false ceilings. Connections are made without connectors. Plugs and sockets used get heated even when within specified limits. Heavy cables are put up in haphazard ways, usually hanging like clothes lines. Workers never seem to use plugs; bare wires are inserted in sockets with matchsticks to wedge them in. A slight spark, with inflammables, like paint vapours or gas close by, can easily cause an explosion.  I may take care. After reading this, you too may take care. But what about your neighbour? And mine? Is he going to give a tuppence?   

UBI JUS IBI REMEDIUM  

We sincerely believe in the dictum that where there is a malady, there has to be a remedy. Some days ago, while walking along Gowalia Tank, one saw fire engines parked below a building. On querying, the reason given was, Yes, a ‘Short Circuit’. It involved an office in the building. With the fire brigade station just a hundred metres away, no casualties happened. But it cannot be touch-and-go every time.  Short circuits do not just happen. They are caused.  

This brings us to the headline. The law does not wait for a crime to be committed before effecting arrest. Even the intention of criminal activity is enough for the police to swing into action. Is not a ‘Short Circuit’ prone house, shop or office, or factory, or theatre, any less culpable and dangerous? Shouldn’t possible perpetrators be prosecuted? And, in case of disasters, shouldn’t those responsible be severely punished? Is the causing of death, multiple deaths, just to save a few rupees, not a ‘murderous’ activity? And, if the laws are in place, isn’t implementation needed? And fast.   Now, the question that remains: Who will bell that cat?

Original Source: https://www.moneylife.in/article/fires-due-to-short-circuits-are-not-an-act-of-god/56154.html

Electrical Distribution Equipment Failure – Keep or Discard

When dealing with electrical equipment and components it is inevitable that they will fail, and you will have to deal with the consequences.  The minute electrical equipment is put into place, from transformers to circuit breakers and panel switches and tap boxes, they start to decline.  Deterioration of electrical products happens for a number of reasons including:

  • Moisture Absorption
  • Differing Temperature Cycles
  • Dust and Particles Settling
  • Condensation Buildup
  • Fragile Operating Springs
  • Insulation Material Breakdown
  • Rusted Out Switchgear Enclosures
  • Dried Out Capacitors

When electrical components within distribution systems age vulnerabilities start to appear. With automation being what it is today, electrical technology can often run unassisted, without issue for years. Because of this maintenance on these systems tend to be ignored which can lead to unpredicted failures which lead to catastrophic failures; the most common being fire.  Thus, in order to keep electrical components operating at their peak and delivering consistent power renovations and maintenance are critical.

The two biggest nemeses of electrical equipment and the components within are moisture, condensation, dust, and loose particles. When equipment is installed outdoors or in spaces that offer no type of temperature or humidity control deterioration occurs more rapidly then in spaces where there are controls, just at a slower, more gradual pace. 

Based on the quality, maintenance schedule, and environment of electrical equipment and components that are installed the deterioration rate varies.  When planning for maintenance, upkeep, and refurbishment of electric components and equipment it is important to establish the age and overall condition of each piece. 

Electrical Equipment and Component Insulation

Components within each piece of equipment must be inspected individually.  Insulation is the component of electrical equipment that degrades the quickest.  Paper and solid synthetic insulation is used throughout equipment around motors, capacitors, cables, transformers, circuit breaker trip coils, operating coils of contractors, and reactors.  The breakdown of insulation depends a great deal on the temperatures that it is exposed to.  To increase longevity of equipment and decrease the breakdown of insulation it is important for equipment not to be operated above optimal temperature ratings.

Capacitors in Electrical Equipment

There are various types of capacitors used in both low and medium voltage distribution systems including:

  • Surge Capacitors
  • Power Factor Correcting Capacitors
  • Commutating Capacitors
  • Capacitors in Active and Passive Filters
  • Pole-Mounted Capacitors

The most common capacitor to use in ratings up to several hundred kVAR is power factor correction.  They are sealed in airtight, insulated units for protection.  The insulating material that is used is a metalized polypropylene film that is compressed in a thermal setting resin.  In the event of internal failure, pressure sensitive interrupters are used to disconnect the capacitor. Capacitors are always fused externally because their failure is most often due to circuit shorts.

There is a nonstop loss of power internally because of lag thus causing the insulating resin to dry.  This often goes unnoticed.  Most capacitors have an average life expectancy of about seventeen years when in continuous operation. This of course decreases depending on the environment in which it operates.  Many systems have a decrease in this average life expectancy due to being exposed to over use and variation in frequency.  To check measurements for capacitors, use clamp-on ammeter to test and detect disparity over time.  

In our next installment we will dive deeper into more electrical components and how they work, their longevity, usage, and testing.  Such components we will inspect will include transformers, circuit breakers, reactors, cables, relays, and more.

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers.  More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com

Sorting Through The Misconceptions of Reconditioned Products

A lot of misconceptions surround products labeled as reconditioned, refurbished, and as-is.  Reconditioned products are products that have been returned to the manufacturer or a third-party company to thoroughly be checked, taken apart, repaired, put back together, tested, and sold.  They are unable to be sold as new without going through the refurbishing process, even if they are in mint condition.  Many electronics, large scaled manufacturing equipment, appliances, and electrical goods are sold in this manner. 

Purpose of Factory Reconditioning

There are a number of reasons that product reconditioning exists. One reason, consumers will return items that are defective or may have become damaged.  Sometimes however there is nothing wrong with the item but once it has been purchased and returned, electric items and manufacturing components can’t be sold as new.  Other times equipment and components are becoming obsolete and the only way to have replacement parts for repair is for manufacturers to refurbish components and manufacturing equipment.  This is common in transformers, panel switches, and bus ducts & plugs.

The Reconditioning Process

Each product reconditioning specialist has their own set of standards that refurbished products and components need to go through before being resold.  Some reconditioned products are sold “as new” which means that they have run through a series of checks and balances to ensure all the issues, cosmetic and functional, are fixed. Other companies disassemble, inspect, repair, reassemble, tests, and then and only then is a product fit for resale.  This is often the case in manufacturing and larger scaled equipment like transformers, disconnect, and such. 

Advantages with Reconditioning

Obviously, reconditioning comes with cost savings over buying new. Manufacturers can’t charge the new prices for products that are refurbished.  Prices will vary on reconditioned components based on the supplier and of course the product.  As do new products, most refurbished products offer a warranty.  It is important to research the warranty and return policy of any reconditioned/refurbished product you purchase.

Difference between Factory Reconditioning and Third-Party Refurbishment

Most often when a product is labeled as “factory reconditioned” it means that it has been refurbished by either the manufacturer or a third-party that is certified.  When you purchase a reconditioned part or equipment you should expect that it has been tested and repaired to meet all of the original standards of a new product.

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers.  More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com

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