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Trump’s Order to Secure Power System Met with Favor and Uncertainty in the Utility Industry

On May 1st, 2020, Trump signed an executive order that established regulations of foreign-made equipment used in the United States bulk-power system. The order stated that Energy Secretary Dan Bouillotte would assemble a task force to oversee current policies that identify threats to securities and establish risk-management procedures to inform future procurement.

The order will have an impact on the future of power and electrical equipment purchases and possibly already installed and commissioned components at the generation and transmission level. “This is much broader; it reaches across the entire industry, not just the telecommunication infrastructure,” said Jason Johns, an energy market attorney with Stoel Rives, LLP. “At the same time, it is particularly broad and imprecise in terms of its application.’

The utility sector looks uncertain about how they will react to Trump’s order. It’s not clear how the mandate to secure the bulk power system from foreign cybersecurity attacks will affect the industry’s current infrastructure.  

Read more about Trump’s secure power system order here.

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FERC Eases Regulations During COVID-19 Crisis

In this article, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has initiated several steps to ease the regulatory burdens within the energy industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the actions taken was moving most FERC employees to telework status, and technical and settlement conferences will be moving to video conferencing. 

FERC has been communicating with North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the Independent System Operator (ISO) and Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) and does not expect the crisis to impact the reliability of the bulk electric system.

As the FERC’s actions have been primarily concerned with easing regulatory burdens in the energy industry, it provides little relief to the financial and commercial sectors which are expected to be significantly impacted. Read more here.

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Fuse Development Company Updates in 2020

Taking a closer look at the electrical fuse market that is available today, we see new companies that continue to change the safety and quality standards within the industry. In this article, four new fuses are explained in more detail in how they operate and what makes their new characteristics unique.

The first fuse mentioned is the pulse resistant SMD ceramic fuse. This fuse has a very low release characteristic, designed as a failsafe device for demanding applications. 

Secondly, a company called Infineon Technologies AG from Germany announced the introduction of the OptiMOS IPOL’s IR3387M, IR3888M, and IR3889M devices to the company’s integrated point of load voltage regulators.

Next, Toshiba Electric recently entered the electronic fuse market with the new Toshiba TCKE8xx family that includes six devices. 

Lastly, in February, the Japanese company ROHM announced the availability of its BV2Hx045EFU-C family of high voltage, dual-channel switches. The global circuit protection market expects to have a value of $65.45 billion by 2026.

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New Circuit Breaker Monitor Released

The company, Dynamic Ratings, has introduced a new Breaker Performance Monitor (BPM) that is a complex circuit breaker designed to monitor utilities. This new equipment has a unique feature that combines offline and online testing with high-speed waveform capture. This feature allows for a complete diagnosis of a breaker’s mechanical and electrical system that can detect operating defects before a breaker failure takes place. Read more about this new product and its performance here.

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Introducing the World’s First Gas- Free Circuit Breaker

GE Renewable Energy has secured 2.2 million in funding from the European Commission to develop a sulfur hexafluoride free, gas insulated substation circuit breaker. This new circuit breaker will have the same high performance and small size as a traditional SF6 insulated circuit breaker but will reduce the gas mass by 99% CO2 amount. The technology used for this new equipment will rely on GE’s Green Gas for Grid or G3 technology. This new breaker will be a fresh addition and alternative to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The completion is scheduled to be done in 2022 and will be added to all high-voltage electrical networks in Europe. To read more on this new technology, read this article.

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Tips For Industrial Plant Safety

Industrial plants are full of potential electrical hazards, so it’s important to understand and follow the proper safety policy provided by the company for everyone’s protection. It is common for workers to encounter a variety of safety hazards, including machinery and electrical wiring/cables, on a routine basis. 

Here are some helpful safety tips you can follow:

  1. Identify electrical hazards and review proper safety precautions for specific equipment being handled.
  2. Use a lockout/tagout plan when machinery will be turned off and left alone for the safety of fellow workers.
  3. Do not over exceed the maximum current rating stated for electrical outlets which can cause overheating or fire.
  4. Utilize proper safety signs and warn others of potential hazards that are nearby.
  5. Perform regular maintenance on equipment and machinery.

In this article, you can read about these important tips to guarantee your safety in an industrial working environment. Accidents can always happen, but if the correct safety measures are observed and followed, it can make the difference between life and death.

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Big Things Are Happening Here at J & P Electrical Company!

We have recently opened our second location in Warren, MI. This new ITE location will also specialize in transformers and panel boards. Just a few steps away from our original warehouse, this 7,200 SF building has its own staff and offices, with our newest employee, Dennis Stenzel, managing it.  Dennis will be in charge of all aspects of this location and will report to Travis Hill, our General Manager.  Also, at this location is Marvin Cammon, our ITE Bus Plug Specialist, and Shop Techs Bobby Smith and Jon Ozzello round out the crew. We now have three total locations to serve you, including our Bus Duct Warehouse in Port Huron, MI. 

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What To Know About Measuring and Calculating Voltage Unbalance

It is important to understand what causes and how to fix voltage unbalance when dealing with a 3-phase electrical system. An example used in this article, for instance, shows a 480V nominal system that may measure phase-to-phase voltage: 463V, 482V, and 474V. The voltage unbalance will create a current unbalance or magnify any present current unbalance. According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), for every 1% of voltage unbalance, 6% to 10% of current unbalance will be created. Voltage unbalances can be caused by several issues in the electric utility system. There is also a simple formula that can be used when taking phase-to-phase voltage measurements. 

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Choosing A Fuse

Having the correct fuse for your electrical needs is imperative for the safety of yourself and your equipment. A blown fuse can be frustrating and sometimes make you wonder if a fuse should even be part of a circuit, but they are essential in protecting users from shock and catching fire. Any device that is powered by a low-impedance source will need a fuse, whether it’s an item that plugs into the wall or one that’s run by a battery or an alternator in a car. In the article found here, it goes into further detail about which type of fuse to look for depending on your electrical needs. Other factors to consider is the speed and size of the fuse that you plan to install. Often, a simple comparison to the existing fuse can be used to determine a good replacement option.

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Why Power Factor Correction Is Important

In the article, it explains several reasons why it is important for electrical loads in industrial settings to be measured and have power factor correction. Power factor is used to measure active, working power and it is ideal to have a 1.0 rating, which means all the power is going towards performing work. The farther the power factor is from 1.0 the less efficient the system will be and produces more strain on the equipment from the higher currents. Three benefits to correcting the power factor include: lowering utility bills, reducing power and loading on the distribution network, and lessening carbon emissions. There are several ways for industrial and commercial operations to correct their power factors; such as, adding capacitor banks that counteract the cause of low power factor, removing wasted energy and its harmful effects.

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