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Month: January 2008

Twisted Logic

Twisted Logic

 As noted before on this page, many on Capitol Hill are reluctant to vote on the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, although the arguments in favor of approval far outweigh excuses for inaction or refusal. President Bush made the case in his State of the Union address and Cabinet secretaries are leading delegations of House members to Colombia every weekend to ask tough questions and see the facts for themselves. Meanwhile, some say they Read more [...]
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? LEDs: Not Just for Traffic Lights Anymore

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? LEDs: Not Just for Traffic Lights Anymore

Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently joined the ranks of the few: North American cities that have started towards a goal of being 100% lit by LEDs in public areas.  Ann Arbor joins major cities such as Raleigh, North Carolina, and Toronto, Canada, in seriously engaging with emerging lighting technology to bring energy-saving illumination products to public applications.  Consumers all over North America are growing used to seeing LED lamps in traffic lights, but they will soon start seeing LEDs Read more [...]
Securing NM-B cable the right way

Securing NM-B cable the right way

There's an article on Mike Holt's website that points out the shorting problems that have resulted from over-tightening the clamping screws of cable fittings used to secure 12/3 NM-B cable.  Some of the responding comments mention over-driving of staples onto NM-B cable as a continuing problem as well.  No, these problems are not new, but they aren't solved either!   NEMA FB 2.20 and NEMA RV 2 give the cable and fitting manufacturer perspectives on these issues, and the Read more [...]
A Plug for Energy Efficiency in the State of the Union

A Plug for Energy Efficiency in the State of the Union

President Bush's valedictorian State of the Union address last night touched on a myriad of issues -- not unusual for these speeches. NEMA, of course, is delighted with his focus on energy efficiency -- especially his mention of advanced battery technologies to power the cars and trucks of the future.   And while he couldn't go into more detail in the speech (he had to fit dozens of issues into a 53-minute talk), the White House has made energy one of its primary State Read more [...]
Wisconsin media poll shows 4-to-1 support for requiring Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in State Building Code

Wisconsin media poll shows 4-to-1 support for requiring Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in State Building Code

 More than 80 percent of Daily Reporter poll respondents favor innovative safety device   Readers of The Daily Reporter overwhelmingly believe the State of Wisconsin building code should require arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), according to a recent online poll by the building and construction newspaper. An AFCI is an advanced form of a simple circuit breaker that detects a dangerous condition in a home’s electrical system, which left uncorrected, can lead to an electrical Read more [...]
Free Application Guide for Isolated Ground Wiring Devices

Free Application Guide for Isolated Ground Wiring Devices

NEMA (www.nema.org) has recently posted its updated Application Guide for Isolated Ground Wiring Devices on its website for free download - www.nema.org/stds/appguide-isoground.cfm.  This publication covers wiring devices and accessories intended to help protect sensitive equipment from malfunction due to noise on the equipment grounding path. Devices include receptacles, single or duplex with straight blade or locking NEMA configurations, rated 15A to 60A and 125V to 600V. Accessories Read more [...]
U.S. and Malaysia to Try to Conclude FTA Negotiations In the Coming Months

U.S. and Malaysia to Try to Conclude FTA Negotiations In the Coming Months

 Earlier talks never really got going, but both sides have apparently realized that their last best chance to forge a deal may come following Malaysia's March parliamentary elections while the current U.S. Administration is still in place. A two-way free trade agreement between the two nations would be quite important, but significant differences still need to be overcome in areas such as government procurement, financial services, intellectual property rights, telecommunications, Read more [...]
Use Caution When Using Generators After a Winter Storm

Use Caution When Using Generators After a Winter Storm

Portable electric generators provide a great source of power. But, if these generators are improperly installed or operated, they can become deadly. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless poison gas. It is an invisible killer. While generators can come in handy after a storm, using one indoors can kill you and your family in minutes. Opening doors and windows or operating fans to ventilate will not prevent CO build-up in the home. Even with a CO alarm, you should never use a gasoline-powered Read more [...]
Bernanke’s Trial by Fire, Act II: Recession Obsession and a Little Stimulus

Bernanke’s Trial by Fire, Act II: Recession Obsession and a Little Stimulus

In less than two years on the job, Federal Reserve Chairman has been forced to deal with two fairly significant market crises. First was last summer’s credit market meltdown fueled by ballooning residential mortgage foreclosures, which forced the Fed into emergency reductions of the discount rate and pumping extra liquidity (i.e. cash) into the system. On this past Tuesday, Fed members agreed to an emergency 75 basis point cut in the funds rate a week before their regular meeting due to growing Read more [...]
California Feels the Heat on Thermostats

California Feels the Heat on Thermostats

 Do you want your electric utility to be able to turn off your air conditioner in mid-summer without your consent?   After over a year of barreling forward toward requirements for programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs) to be installed in new homes starting next year, the California Energy Commission has decided wisely to step back and take a closer look at the implications. As envisioned by the CEC and California utilities, PCTs would help reduce demand during Read more [...]