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CES 2019: Currant Introduces First AI-Powered Smart Wall Outlets

CES 2019: Currant Introduces First AI-Powered Smart Wall Outlets

AI moves into your wall power outlet.

Currant the Currant Smart Wall Outlet ahead of CES 2019. It will be the first AI-powered in-wall smart outlet that analyzes power usage and creates personalized, easy-to-implement suggestions for consumers, contractors, business owners, and real estate managers to automatically power off devices and appliances, cutting excess electricity usage and helping to save money on electric bills. Currant’s Smart Wall Outlet will be available in a 15 amp version for homes and a 20 amp outlet designed for the commercial market. Both the home and commercial models can be controlled by the Currant App, Amazon Alexa, or Google Home.

The new Smart Wall Outlet is designed to replace traditional outlets with duplex tamper-resistant receptacles that can be easily installed in commercial businesses and new construction as well as consumers’ existing homes. Each in-wall unit analyzes real-time electricity usage, displaying it in intuitive graphs that break down energy consumption and cost by hour, day, month, or year. Customers can use the Currant App to monitor anything plugged into the outlet, effectively controlling power running through the outlet to ensure that they’re fully in control of all their devices and appliances, whether they’re down the street or across the country. And, like all Currant outlets, Smart Wall Outlet models are calibrated using high-precision test equipment.

In addition to Smart Wall Outlets, Currant also announced that it has added a number of new features to its WiFi Smart Outlets. Available January 8, these features include the ability to lock the outlet so it cannot be turned on or off except through the app, which is particularly useful for parents looking to prevent kids from using certain appliances for safety reasons, such as an iron, or who want to set limits on gaming consoles.

Outlet locking is also valued by people who want to prevent things like a WiFi network from cutting out in the event someone accidentally turns it off, or business owners who want to shut off power to specific outlets or devices and not enable them to be turned back on from the outlet itself. In addition to the ability to lock the outlets, Currant will offer customized alerts that notify people when their rules take effect and when devices are using certain levels of power.

“We are on a mission to help reduce the insanely high levels of energy consumption in the United States,” said Hasty Granbery, founder and CEO of Currant. “To that end, we are thrilled to announce our newest offering in what will be a long line of energy-saving smart home and commercial products. Currant Smart Outlets will work in essentially every environment — home or commercial space. We can help anyone cut energy consumption, save money, and make a positive impact on our world without any inconvenience to their day-to-day lives or activities.”

Currant Outlets run on both WiFi and Bluetooth, assisting with ease of setup and control. The Currant Smart Wall Outlets will work seamlessly with existing Currant Smart Outlets, creating a Bluetooth Mesh Network throughout the building that can be used to control any outlet within range, enabling control in areas where a WiFi network is weak or unavailable. In addition, when several Currant Outlets are used together, the outlets can prioritize which communication protocol to use so only a subset of outlets are using WiFi.

Customers can get started with an in-wall outlet within minutes and easily connect to the Currant App, which is available for iPhone and Android. The app automatically detects the outlet and displays real-time information on energy usage. Customers can opt to set outlet-specific rules right away in order to turn the power on and off according to their preferences and schedules or they can use it as a normal outlet before receiving tailored suggestions for usage based on what is plugged into the outlet, the amount of energy consumed, and any unique usage patterns for the space.

Original Source: https://www.i4u.com/2019/01/130610/ces-2019-currant-introduces-first-ai-powered-smart-wall-outlets

Original Date: Jan 3 2019

Written By: Luigi Lugmayr

Preventing electric fires during the holidays

Posted By: Trent Bailey December 12, 2018

HOUGHTON — During the winter months, fire departments see an increase of house fires often times causing serious injury or worse. That’s generally attributed to residents trying to battle the cold temperatures with additional heating sources. ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Lee Snitz has some tips on staying safe this winter.

The Christmas tree is found in most American homes this time of year with twinkling lights, sometimes candy canes, and an assortment of ornaments, but it has also been known to devastate a family’s holiday season in some cases.

“Too many lights on one circuit creates a problem with the circuit itself and then you have the house fire,” said Bill Sheetz, an electrician with WLS Electric. “The breaker systems on the electrical services are getting much better at stopping overloads.”

Energy efficient LED lights and other advancements in technology may be showing a decline in tree related house fires, but residents should be aware that there are plenty of other hazards in their home.

“Electric space heaters are temporary supplementary heat which is not permanent and most people use it as a permanent source of heat and they also overload the circuits and typically cause a lot of house fires.”

Space heaters are not necessarily a hazard themselves, but they do use a lot of electricity, and if they’re running for a extended period of time- they can create heat in the wiring of a home and that can cause an electrical fire if the wiring is outdated or inadequate. If your running a space heater in your home or business its a good idea to unplug everything else that is using that circuit. This will help to prevent an overload. And a big No No is replacing blown fuses or circuit breakers with one that is larger than specified.

“Typically when were talking about fuses, were talking about services that are over 40 or 50 years old,” said Sheetz. “They have a twist in fuse and a lot of people blow the fuse so they go to the local hardware store and the guy gives you a 30 amp fuse where you should have a 15 amp fuse. The reason behind the 15 amp fuse is to protect the wire behind the wall. So when you put the larger fuse in you create a lot of heat on the wire behind the wall that you don’t see until the fire department shows up at your house.”

Another precaution that is essential is checking the alert systems in your home.

“Most people if they have older homes, they have battery smoke detectors which are fine as long as you check them regularly. We go into homes all the time and they’re just not working. And the reason they’re not working is because the battery is dead. It looks good on the wall ceiling but it doesn’t work if the battery isn’t working for you.”

When buying batteries for those gifts that are labeled with the all too familiar phrase “Batteries Not Included”,  it’s a good idea to pick up a couple of extra 9 volts and replace what’s currently in your smoke detector. It could save lives if the unthinkable were to occur.

“The main thing is if your breaker or your circuit, anything pops in your home, trips or stops working. Don’t go to your local hardware store and ask for help. Please call a qualified electrician because that’s where we have a lot of problems. People will introduce things that may work, but aren’t correct.”

Original Source: https://abc10up.com/2018/12/12/preventing-electric-fires-during-the-holidays/

Original Date: Dec 12 2018

Original Author: Trent Bailey

Generator Tap Boxes: Instant Power During Power Outages


No matter what business you are in, be it manufacturing, banking, health care, or education a sudden change in the power situation can be a debacle.  A loss of power means a loss of time, resources, and more so it is imperative to prepare for just such an occasion. 

 To plan ahead to avoid an electrical interruption companies could choose to install a permanent generator. An installed permanent generator can be a large maintenance expense.  To avoid this extra expense the installation of a tap generator is a viable, cost effective option.  When a natural disaster like storms,blackout, and what not a tap generator allows businesses to get your electricity back up and running quickly. 

A tap box is a simplistic generator that is installed outside of the business.  It plays the role of connecting the business’s portable generator to the electrical system.  This allows you to get a temporary supply of electricity running to avoid downtime.  This connection can be made either manually or using an automatic transfer switch.  The power is generated so efficiently that it can be up and running without any delay using programable logic circuits and auto start generators.  Your power system will be emergency ready and the cost savings of no down time and not having to hire a professional electrical contractor to temporarily connect power will be pay off the first time the power goes out.  Being prepared ahead of time pays off.

When having a generator tap box installed you will want to assess your electrical needs.  The needs and requirements that your specific business have will vary from even your competition.  Here are some things to consider when choosing a generator tab box

  • How often do you lose power?
  • What are your electrical needs?
  • What systems are crucial to keep running?
  • What is your budget?

No matter what the answers are to these questions, J & P Electrical will have a solution that fits your exact needs. 

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



New Circuit Breaker from Schneider Electric Features Increased Safety Requirements

Schneider Electric’s new low voltage power circuit breaker takes is top in power system uptime and energy efficiency due to its onboard Ethernet communications and Class 1 (≤1% error) active power metering accuracy built into every circuit breaker. It has a wireless remote control of the circuit breaker through Bluetooth to keep maintenance staff outside of the arc flash zone during operation. The new circuit breaker features new IoT enhanced digital capabilities such as wireless communication, customizable and downloadable applications, integrated analytics, and advanced metering and sensing technologies that work with evolving industry challenges. It is tailor made for the application and modified at any time in the future without de-energizing with its digital modules. The device is built with the new Micrologic X control unit. The breaker can be upgraded by service and maintenance personnel or facility staff as new code requirements and regulations are implemented along with evolving customer needs. These upgrades can be implemented by simply downloading a Digital Module from Schneider Electric’s secure GoDigital online marketplace and installing it into the control units using the complimentary Ecoreach configuration software, adding new functionality within minutes.


Original Press Release:

Schneider Electric Introduces its Square D Brand Masterpact MTZ Future Ready Low Voltage Power Circuit Breaker

– Revolutionize power distribution through digital customization optimizing the EcoStruxure Power Platform Industry-first Bluetooth and NFC capabilities with companion smart phone app allows operation by maintenance staff outside of the arc flash zone

– Best-in-class in system Uptime and efficiency

BOSTON, Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The world is facing critical change. As a result, the electrical industry is meeting challenges of more stringent regulations, tighter sustainability goals, increased safety requirements, and the need for more reliability and flexibility. Schneider Electric is leading this evolution with the launch today of its next generation Square D brand Masterpact™ MTZ low voltage power circuit breaker.

The Masterpact MTZ circuit breaker takes the lead in power system uptime and energy efficiency with its onboard Ethernet communications and Class 1 (≤1% error) active power metering accuracy built into every circuit breaker. It also allows wireless remote control of the circuit breaker via Bluetooth LE keeping maintenance staff outside of the arc flash zone during operation. These innovative advancements in technology are an industry first.

As part of Schneider Electric’s comprehensive EcoStruxure™ Power Platform, the Masterpact MTZ is an industry leading, world class circuit breaker with all new IoT enhanced digital capabilities. It includes wireless communication, customizable/downloadable applications, integrated analytics, and advanced metering and sensing technologies that address evolving industry challenges. With the introduction of digital modules, the breaker is tailor made for the application and modified at any time in the future without de-energizing.

From installation, operation, maintenance, and digital upgrades, Masterpact MTZ brings a whole new level of power circuit protection and control to large and critical power distribution applications. Masterpact MTZ circuit breakers will transform how facility and building operations managers achieve efficiency, safety, reliability, and equipment protection goals. Masterpact MTZ is available for new installations and can be retrofit into the space of an existing power circuit breaker.

The Masterpact family of low voltage power circuit breakers have been the industry benchmark in electrical distribution for three decades – first with the Masterpact M, followed by the Masterpact NT/NW, each known globally for legendary performance and reliability.

“The new Masterpact MTZ is a game changer,” says Duke Dunsford, USA Marketing Launch Manager for Masterpact MTZ. “The Masterpact MTZ connectivity and digital capabilities seamlessly integrate into our EcoStruxure Power architecture, delivering significant benefits for end users, specifiers, panel builders and contractors who can better serve their customers’ needs with this new capability.” He continued, “With the standard Bluetooth wireless capability on every breaker, the phone in your pocket now becomes a powerful tool in the operation of this new platform.”

The new generation Masterpact MTZ is built with the new Micrologic X control unit that puts it ahead of its class. One of the advancements in the Masterpact MTZ line is its future driven upgrade capabilities. As new code requirements and regulations are implemented along with evolving customer needs, the breaker can be upgraded by service and maintenance personnel or facility staff. Upgrades can be implemented by simply downloading a Digital Module from Schneider Electric’s secure GoDigital online marketplace and installing it into the control units using the complimentary Ecoreach configuration software, adding new functionality within minutes.

“Masterpact MTZ is loaded with practical, usable features that take low voltage power circuit protection and control to a new level,” says Mr. Dunsford. “In case of a power outage, users can simply utilize their smartphone’s wireless connection to diagnose the issue and minimize downtime. Another unique feature includes capturing waveform data during tripping events and can be accessed even without power. The smartphone app also can provide a root cause explanation and step-by-step breaker reclosing instructions to re-energize your system. This can save critical time for customers looking for details during an outage.”

Additional benefits of the Masterpact MTZ circuit breaker include:

  • Downloadable digital modules can be installed without downtime for maximized flexibility and operational efficiency
  • Along with Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC) is included allowing your smart phone to monitor the circuit breaker’s condition even in a power outage
  • Event notifications and overload prevention are optimized with real-time monitoring and alarm capabilities both for Ethernet monitored systems and on mobile devices
  • Seamless integration of Masterpact MTZ into Square D branded power equipment such as switchgear, switchboards, and motor control centers using the newly designed embedded Ethernet connection

For more information on Masterpact MTZ or Schneider Electric, please visit http://www.schneider-electric.us/mtz.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

www.schneider-electric.us

Original Source: https://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/new-circuit-breaker-from-schneider-electric-features-increased-safety-requirements-40017709

Original Date: Nov 16 2018

Choosing Circuit Breakers Over Fuses

In the past fuses were the only option when it came to protecting homes, businesses, and equipment against overloaded circuits, shorts in circuits, and other faults.  With advancements in technology, circuit breakers became a popular option over the use of fuses due to the number of advantages they are able to offer.  The use of modern-day circuit breakers creates increased safety and reliability, decreased costs, and additional support for energy management initiatives.

Benefits of Using Circuit Breakers

Performance Reliability

The performance of fuses can decrease overtime.  Age increases the instances of fault, causing fuses to open even under normal conditions.  There is no way for fuses to be tested thus the current value that causes it to become faulty can never be determined.  Circuit breakers however are tested when manufactured and can be tested throughout its lifetime to ensure peak performance.

Comprehensive Protection

Circuit breakers trip circuit, breaking the electrical connection, up to a thousand times faster than fuses.  The trip capacity of a circuit breaker is greater than the equivalent fuses.  Modern day circuit breakers provide exception fault current limitations which was once only known to occur with fuses.  This function offers reliable protection while increasing the life of equipment by decreasing the aging that occurs with frequently tripped circuits.  Unlike fuses that can experience an overload even when one of multiple fuses opens, this will never occur within a circuit breaker.  When one breaker experiences an overload, the connection will be stopped immediately.

Increased Safety and Production

Replacing fuses can be risky for untrained personnel.  Fuses have exposed conductors and therefore can be quite tricky to change out.  The connections for circuit breakers are hidden, being that it is unexposed it keeps re-connecting the circuit safer for employees.  A major cause of fires within industrial settings occurs because of fuses that were incorrectly replaced.  This could include using the wrong fuse, incorrect model and/or rating, and more.   These issues are almost inconceivable when correcting a tripped connection when using a circuit breaker. The time saved is also considerable when using circuit breakers as reclosing the breaker can occur instantly which prevents production downtime.

Savings

Although the cost of a single fuse is less than the cost of a circuit breaker overall the installation and usage is less expensive.  Consider that three-phrase circuits must have three fuses.  Also, the cost of keeping extra fuses in stock.  Overall operation costs of using fuses instead of a circuit breaker are higher.

More Functionality

Circuit breakers, unlike fuses, can offer additional functions like ground fault protection.  System coordination between breakers, cascading and selectivity cannot occur when using fuses whereas circuit breakers allow for this feature.  Newer technology allows for circuit breakers to use remote controls, have alarm features, offer measurement features, and communication within your network.

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

 

 

Power System Studies

Understanding the importance of a short circuit protection and coordination study and an arc flash hazard assessment.

A typical power distribution system for a large facility or campus is comprised of multiple distribution voltages and corresponding equipment. An incoming electrical service is provided by the local utility, which may consist of one or more utility circuits, in either a split-bus arrangement (the facility load is shared between circuits) or a duty/standby arrangement (one circuit carries the entire load, under normal operating scenarios). The incoming electrical service is usually at a medium voltage, which ranges between 600V-69,000V (common voltages include: 4.16kV, 12.47kV and 13.8kV). The incoming service voltage can be stepped down to a lower medium voltage or it can be distributed around the facility to electrical service spaces. The medium voltage will subsequently stepped down to a utilization voltage – 600V or 480V for motor loads or equipment and 208/120V for receptacles and lighting. At each distribution voltage, major electrical equipment will include: switchgear/switchboards, feeders, transformers, distribution panels and lighting/receptacle panels.

Tasked with managing these electrical assets, facility managers should ask the following important questions. How will my electrical power system operate during abnormal operating conditions, such as a short-circuit event? Is equipment properly rated to prevent damage and failure during a short-circuit event? What level of personal protective equipment should operators wear, when performing routine switching operations or maintenance on electrical distribution equipment? Two important power system studies can provide answers to these questions, along with other essential information: a short-circuit protection and coordination study and an arc flash
hazard assessment.

At each voltage level in a power distribution system, protective devices, including fuses, circuit breakers and protective relays, are used to protect electrical distribution equipment and the loads served. Fundamental protection consists of protection from overload scenarios, where too many amps are drawn by loads and overheating becomes an issue, and protection from instantaneous overcurrent scenarios, where large magnitude currents can damage equipment in a fraction of a second (a short-circuit event). Protective devices have to be adequately rated for both scenarios.

In the event of a short-circuit or other abnormal event, a large magnitude fault current will flow through multiple protective devices and levels of distribution, before it reaches the point of failure. The flow of current in the faulted circuit will be interrupted by the melting of a fuse or the opening of a circuit breaker. In an ideal situation, the upstream protective device closest to the point of failure will open before a higher-level protective device opens. For example, a fault in a motor should trip the circuit breaker supplying the motor, without impacting the main breaker for the entire facility. When this occurs, protective devices are said to coordinate, power interruptions are localized and disruption to the rest of the facility is minimized.

A short-circuit protection and coordination study provides a complete evaluation of a power distribution system to ensure all protective devices are rated for the available fault level (at a particular voltage) and adequately protect downstream equipment. As part of the study, time current curves (TCC), which plot the interrupting time of an overcurrent device based on a given current level, are produced. TCC plots provide a graphical illustration of the coordination between multiple protective devices at an available fault level. In the event that devices do not coordinate, adjustable protection settings may be revised or devices may be replaced, to provide an optimal level of protection and coordination.

An arc flash hazard assessment takes information produced in a short-circuit protection and coordination study and produces a safety analysis for those who will be working on an electrical power system. The primary threat to electrical workers is the risk of an arcing ground fault and the associated blast. An arcing ground fault can cause thermal burn injuries and physical trauma, due to the force of the blast and flying projectiles, which may consist of partially melted components. Key elements to the assessment include: short-circuit levels at various points in the distribution system, the clearing time associated with upstream protective devices, the distance between the worker standing in front of the equipment to the arc source within the equipment, the incident energy available (cal/cm2) and the flash protection boundary. Once the incident energy available is calculated, the appropriate level of personal protective equipment can be identified.

The flash protection boundary will identify the minimum distance from live parts, that are uninsulated or exposed, within which a person could receive a second-degree burn. While one might expect higher short circuit levels to be associated with higher levels of incident energy, this is often not the case. Lower short circuit currents can often cause an arc to burn longer, before a protective device is tripped, resulting in a higher level of available incident energy. Time delays on protective devices may be increased to provide better levels of coordination, however this may also increase incident energy levels. Consideration should be given to both the coordination of protective devices and mitigation strategies for arc flash hazards. Temporary settings (maintenance settings) can be used to reduce incident energy levels, during routine maintenance and work on electrical systems.

Short-circuit protection and coordination studies and arc flash hazard analyses are typically performed with the use of industry standard power system software and computer modelling. A detailed model of a power system is created and information on the power system, including: the incoming utility service, equipment ratings, protective devices and settings, feeder lengths, transformer sizes and motor sizes are inputted. Information is typically collected from the facility’s electrical single line diagrams, electrical drawings with the location of equipment in plan, record shop drawings from construction and data gathering from site surveys. Software programs will have a large database of protective devices, with user-defined protective settings when adjustable. This will allow the modeler to select appropriate settings or suggest alternative protective devices, to achieve better levels of device coordination. Once a model is complete, a multitude of deliverables can be produced, such as reports, TCC plots, graphical representations of a various operating scenarios, arc flash labels and information on PPE requirements. Correct information must be inputted into the power system model, to ensure automated calculations and results are accurate.

Most new construction projects and projects that involve significant modifications to electrical equipment will include the requirements for power system studies in the project specifications. This will ensure that an electrical installation is optimized, properly integrated with any existing power distribution equipment and operators have the necessary information to operate new equipment. While new projects provide the opportunity for updated studies, many facility managers inherit complex power distribution systems, which have undergone a multitude of upgrades and modifications over the years, with minimal updates to record documentation.

Upper Canada College faced these challenges when they undertook a project to update record documentation on their power system, complete with an updated short-circuit protection and coordination study and arc flash hazard analysis.

Founded in 1829, Upper Canada College (UCC) is one of Canada’s leading independent schools and is located on a 16-hectare (40-acre) campus in midtown Toronto. The campus is home to a number of academic buildings, student and staff residences and facilities. The campus receives an incoming utility service at 13.8kV and distributes power to a number of campus buildings, via a 13.8kV distribution network. Major buildings have individual main electrical rooms, where the incoming medium voltage circuit is transformed down to 600/347V and 208/120V. Low voltage distribution systems provide power to building mechanical systems, lighting, equipment and academic facilities. Power distribution systems had been modified over the years along with campus re-development and renovations in various buildings.

Chris Martins, Senior Operations Manager, Angus Consulting Management Ltd. (UCC’s Facilities Management Group) said, “We recognized the need to update record information on electrical power systems throughout the campus and this provided an excellent opportunity to complete an updated coordination study and arc flash hazard analysis.”

C2C Enertec Inc. was selected to complete the electrical audit and provide updated power system studies. Detailed site investigation work was completed over the span of several months. As-built drawings and building records, spanning several decades, were reviewed in detail. Electrical equipment, protective devices and existing settings were reviewed on site and catalogued. Site work was completed after hours, to avoid disruption to building occupants. Updated electrical single line diagrams were created and information collected on site was used to produce a detailed power system model of UCC’s electrical power systems. A short-circuit study was completed and time current curves were produced for the power distribution system. An arc flash hazard analysis was completed and a report detailing arc flash hazard levels, along with recommended personal protective equipment, was produced.

Information was consolidated in a detailed report for UCC’s operations group, arc flash labels were installed on electrical equipment throughout the campus and updated electrical single line diagrams were mounted on walls, in main electrical rooms. The updated power system studies and electrical records provide operations staff with new insight into how their power distribution system can be expected to operate, along safety requirements when working on equipment.

Steve Thuringer, Executive Director of Facilities, UCC said, “UCC’s electrical power distribution system is an essential part of campus operations. Having updated record information will go a long way in helping our staff with future maintenance work and renovation projects.”

In today’s world of integrated systems, the requirements of a reliable power supply and the need for workplace safety are an integral part of facility management. It is recommended that every facility consider having an up to date arc flash hazard assessment and short circuit protection and coordination study, for its electrical power systems. These two important power system studies help ensure equipment is properly protected, can minimize the impact of an unexpected short-circuit event and promote operator safety when working with electrical equipment. By developing detailed requirements for technical experience and deliverables, such as compliance with industry standards and the associated methods for creating power system models, a facility manager can help ensure that their service provider produces meaningful results.

As demonstrated by the successful project at Upper Canada College, undertaking power system studies provide significant insight into an existing power distribution system, which has been modified and upgraded over time.

Original Source: https://www.mromagazine.com/features/%EF%BB%BFpower-system-studies/

Original Date: Nov 12 2018

Written By:

Fact or Fiction? What Do You Believe About Reconditioned Electrical Equipment?

There are several common myths surrounding the use of reconditioned electrical equipment and components. Is it really true that with the purchase of refurbished manufacturing equipment and parts can truly save companies time and money while also meeting environment goals?  It is our goal in this installment to debunk several myths that surround the use of reconditioned equipment and parts in the work place.

It is important to note that business decisions should always be based on facts instead of myths.  Many times, myths are just handed down stories and experiences of one user that have been embellished upon throughout the years.  In order to successfully navigate and grow your company it is crucial for companies to make decisions based on facts.  When it comes to being competitive the goal is to find a solution that meets your needs.  Purchasing high quality electrical equipment and components at a reasonable price with little to no down time should be of the highest priority.

Myth #1: Original Equipment Manufacturers Are the Only Ones That Can Properly Recondition Electrical Parts and Equipment

The biggest difference between public reconditioning companies and private OEM recondition services is the inspection process they must go through to be available for resale.  This is why it is important that you only buy from reputable product reconditioning companies like J and P Electrical Company.

At J and P, you can rest knowing that we only sell the highest quality reconditioned electrical distribution equipment available.   The standards set forth by the experts at J and P are in fact more stringent than any set-in place by OEM manufacturers.  We disassemble each part, cleaning and inspecting each one, replacing parts that need to be replaced as we go along.  They are then painted with high quality paints and acrylic enamel for durability.  Equipment is reassembled and tested until it exceeds manufacturers UL certification standards.

Myth #2: Liability Concerns are Increased with the Use of Reconditioned Electrical Equipment and Parts

When you are purchasing a part does it make you feel better to know it is fresh off the line or that it has been rigorously tested over and over again to ensure its safety?  When you purchase reconditioned parts and equipment from a company like J and P you can rest assured knowing it has been tested two times over, before and after reconditioning, each and every time.  There is less liability involved in products and equipment that have gone through arduous testing.

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

Power Supplies and Circuit Breakers Keep Faults in Check

Sponsored by Digi-Key and Phoenix Contact: Industrial power supplies that incorporate features such as SFB circuit breakers provide a better level of protection and overall reliability.

In the last decade or so, significant advances have been made in the design of industrial power supplies and dc-dc converters, from the materials and device levels to size and weight reduction, thermal management, and package design. However, one often-overlooked category is protection of circuits and systems provided by the power supply and accompanying circuit breakers. These advances have contributed greatly to reliability and system availability while maintaining safety as well.

One of the most far-reaching is selective fuse breaking (SFB) or selective shutdown, which when enabled in both power supply and thermomagnetic, as well as other types of circuit breakers, provides significant benefits. There are two types of trip mechanisms in these thermomagnetic breakers—temperature-sensitive and magnetic—the former having a response delay and the latter almost instantaneous.

The temperature-sensing element of the circuit breaker consists of a bimetal strip with a heating coil. When current exceeds a threshold, the protective device generates heat in the coil, which causes it to bend and actuate the switch, shutting off power. The temperature-sensitive circuit is even effective when current is temporarily greater than nominal, such as when overload currents are shut down.

The magnetic trip mechanism consists of a solenoid coil and a plunger or pivoted armature. When current exceeds a specific threshold, a magnetic field is created in the coil, which attracts the armature to it and interrupts the circuit. Response time of this type is much faster than its counterpart, typically 3 to 5 ms, allowing it to respond to short-circuits and excessive overload currents.

1. Shown are the three common response curves available in thermomagnetic circuit breakers and the maximum current required to actuate them.

Thermomagnetic circuit breakers are available with one of three different characteristic response curves, M, SFB, and F and subsets of each, that suit specific operational situations. These curves are shown in Figure 1. The SFB characteristic provides the most overcurrent protection and prevents the breaker from switching off too soon, even when a very short overcurrent condition occurs, such as when the system is started. It also prevents long-lasting overload currents that would result in high equipment temperatures.

SFB-Curve Thermomagnetic Circuit Breakers

Phoenix Contact was the first to introduce thermomagnetic circuit breakers that follow the SFB curve, and are designed for use with power supplies that also are based on SFB technology. When combined, the two provide exceptionally reliable tripping, even with long cable lengths between the power supply and the devices it serves. For example, Figure 2 shows a short-circuit occurring on one of three devices connected in parallel over 25-m lengths of copper cable to a Phoenix Contact QUINT Series 20-A power supply, a control subsystem, and circuit breakers protecting each current path. In this case, a short-circuit occurred in the second-to-last device, so the power supply selectively cuts power to it while allowing the controller and the other devices to remain in operation.

2. This example shows a power supply, controller, and secondary devices, one of which experienced a short-circuit. SFB allows power to be removed from only the faulted circuit, enabling the controller and the remaining devices to continue in operation. Without this capability, the entire system would be shut down.

The power supply also delivers the large amount of power reserve required in systems like this one that have long power cable runs, in which the amount of current available for tripping the breaker is limited. In these cases, the current level is often too low to quickly trip the circuit breaker and may not trip it at all. In the interim between the event and when the breaker disconnects power, the voltage continues to flow, which can overload the controller and potentially damage or even destroy it.

By delivering a higher level of current than is normally required to trip the breaker (up to 10 times normal for 12 ms in Phoenix Contact QUINT SFB power supplies), such situations are prevented. The capability is useful for systems experiencing high start-up current peaks, too.

In addition to possibly causing equipment damage, a power supply/breaker combination without SFB would shut down the entire system, rather than electively addressing only the faulted circuit path. The power supply also provides comprehensive diagnostics that include output voltage and current monitoring of critical operating conditions, and alerts operators to critical operating states before errors occur.

Summary

Industrial power supplies are changing with requirements for higher efficiency and greater integration with the plant management systems where they’re located. They’re also increasingly incorporating features such as SFB circuit breakers that when combined with compatible power supplies are solving some basic problems, e.g., keeping equipment functioning in the event of a fault.

Without SFB, faults become a detriment to system availability, as they take an entire block of functions offline, even though only a single circuit has failed. The Phoenix Contact QUINT power supplies also complement SFB with comprehensive monitoring of key performance parameters that alert operators to potential problems before they result in a failure.

Original Source: https://www.electronicdesign.com/power/power-supplies-and-circuit-breakers-keep-faults-check

Original Date: Oct 30 2018

Written By: Barry Manz |

Managing Spare Parts in Manufacturing Settings

When it comes to maintaining an inventory of spare parts on hand many companies are reluctant.   There are quite a few in management that wonder if it is counter intuitive while trying to control operating costs.  The goal of all businesses, not just manufacturing, is to reduce expenses while increasing efficiency and many don’t see how keeping spare electrical components on hand helps achieve this goal.  In this installment we will look into how having an inventory of parts on hand eliminates downtime and increases overall effectiveness without extra expense to the company.

Inventory Management

By incorporating spare part management into plant operations managers can successfully create an environment where downtime, caused by machine failure, is practically eliminated.  The biggest struggle in spare part management is creating an inventory.  In order to do this effectively, it is crucial that the maintenance records of machinery are thoroughly gone over, and critical part breakdowns are identified.  Once this has been completed there you will be left with an idea of what spare parts are needed to comprise a complete operational spare part inventory.

Don’t forget when creating an inventory list to check into refurbished parts and components.  Many older pieces of equipment have become obsolete however this doesn’t mean that you can’t find parts to repair them.  Many times, obsolete equipment can be repaired using parts that can be found through companies specializing in obsolete refurbished electrical components, such as J & P Electrical Company, https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Strategy of Operations

Determining whether you will function as a predictive or reactive position plays a large role in the replacement part stock that you will keep on hand.  Most manufacturers are historically known for being reactive to events like equipment failure.  In order to successfully create a functional spare part inventory, facilities must turn their focus on a more predictive approach to machine maintenance and failure. Successful predictive spare part management will include the collection and analysis of data, the ability for managers to see the operation as hole in which they foresee underlying problems and find solutions.

Inventory Control

Don’t think that your spare part inventory has to be all-encompassing to be effective. In reality that is an unrealistic goal to achieve.  Instead develop an inventory that is categorized by priority.  Recognize parts that can be used for more than one purpose, those that are critical to your operation, and those critical to a specific piece of machinery.  This needs to be revaluated on a regular basis to make sure that as new machinery is introduced they aren’t forgotten.

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

Eaton launches ADR breaker range guaranteeing protection in harsh environments

Eaton has announced the global launch, at InnoTrans 2018 of ADR, of a new product family from Eaton’s Heinemann Hydraulic Magnetic Circuit Breakers (HMCB) range.

Designed in Switzerland, ADR fills an important void in the company’s HMCB offer, which Eaton signals as a key breakthrough for the market.

The circuit breaker guarantees electrical protection of equipment in use in harsh environments, such as railways, without derating the tripping point in the event of temperature variations.

Critically, the breaker is compatible with a standard 17.5mm Miniature Circuit Breaker for mounting on a DIN 35mm rail. This means railways and train operating companies can benefit from HMCB’s improved performance without having to redesign electrical equipment cabinets or change panels and connecting interfaces, improving the viability of potentially valuable retrofit and upgrade projects.

HMCB offers numerous advantages over conventional Thermo-Magnetic Circuit Breaker (TMCB) technology.

  • For example, nuisance tripping from high ambient temperatures is eliminated as HMCB only responds to current variations, not changes in temperature. Changes in oil viscosity following increases in temperature onboard trains decrease trip response times, protecting equipment that might be vulnerable at higher ambient temperatures.
  • HMCB can also eliminate transient current surges, another cause of nuisance tripping, with a high degree of precision and without reducing overload protection. In addition, Hydraulic-magnetic control of the tripping mechanism means that the time delay is inversely proportional to the size of the overload, speeding up the response to large overloads and short circuits where the potential danger is higher.
  • While clearly a logical step for rolling stock operators and train manufacturers, until now replacing DIN mounted TMCB with HMCB has been far from straightforward. The HMCB connector is different and the size of the device is usually bigger than the standard TMCB.

“Eaton has achieved a major breakthrough with ADR,” says Alexandre Zint, Heinemann product manager at Eaton.

“The new technology is designed to be compatible with existing cabinets, which currently support thermal circuit breakers, enabling users to benefit from the improved performance traditionally associated with HMCB devices but without major modifications to rolling stock. Installing this technology can also significantly reduce the weight of these components and fulfils Eaton’s objective to build better and safer trains.”

Already some train and industrial machine manufacturers are evaluating how they can integrate ADR, and Eaton is confident the technology will deliver superior performance.

“ADR opens the door to new customers who were reluctant to change their integration design to upgrade their circuit breaker technology,” Zint continues. “It is also suitable for manufacturers looking to reduce the space occupied in their electrical cabinets. ADR is 17.5mm wide compared with 19mm in a standard HMCB, meaning that for every 12 HMCB installed, you could install 13 ADR”.

“We look forward to meeting both old and new customers at InnoTrans to discuss how they might benefit from ADR, and our other electrical and hydraulic technology solutions,” Zint concludes.

Download the white paper to learn more about the new HMCB range.

Eaton at InnoTrans 2018

At this year’s InnoTrans (at Messe Berlin from September 18-21), Eaton will demonstrate its latest electrical and hydraulic technology solutions, which are enabling rail operators and rolling stock OEMs to build better and safer trains and helping to secure a sustainable future. Find out more by visiting us in Hall 9, stand 301.


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