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Month: July 2008

Advocating for NPT Thread Standards

Advocating for NPT Thread Standards

National Pipe Thread Tapered (NPT) dimensions are essential for the proper mating of electrical cables to their threaded connections, most notably in North America, but in a multitude of cable installations around the world as well.  As new standard IEC 62444, Cable glands, is developed, it is critical for the membership of the project team (PT 62444) in charge of the development work to ensure that the standard recognizes not only metric thread dimensions but NPT thread dimensions Read more [...]
LEDs: Taking a Bite Out of Energy Consumption

LEDs: Taking a Bite Out of Energy Consumption

Seems lately every time I open the paper bad news glares at me. Defaults on mortgages. Banks going belly up. Strange food-borne illnesses. Higher food and fuel costs. More problems in the Middle East. Thank goodness for the electrical industry and its non-stop pursuit of greater energy efficient technologies. As the New York Times reported yesterday, LED technology is joining CFLs in taking a bite out of our energy bills.  As the NYT article notes, LEDs -- light emitting diodes -- Read more [...]
So What Was the Deal?

So What Was the Deal?

What, you mean I have to re-draft my blog item! Here I had something sublimely despondent already written up about how the current World Trade Organization “mini-ministerial” meeting was proving a waste of time with no one willing to really engage, when word came late Friday that a “breakthrough” had just been agreed. This was a pleasant surprise after years of nothing, but was it meaningful, particularly for manufacturers of electrical equipment? Frankly, it’s a little hard to tell, and if Read more [...]
After solving nation’s energy problems, DoE moves onto healthcare

After solving nation’s energy problems, DoE moves onto healthcare

I've always felt that my dentist's office was far too air-conditioned for its own good, but who knew that hospitals are some of the most intensive electricity consumers? Certainly makes sense for the DoE to help improve the efficiency (and lower the operating costs) of our health care facilities. The EnergySmart Hospitals program is a perfect example of a collaborative approach, helping one industry with the expertise of another. I'm holding out for the day we can reverse direction and Read more [...]
A Case of Depression

A Case of Depression

Robert Samuelson penned a great opinion piece in today's Washington Post. While I'm not a big reader of the opinion page, oftentimes I find myself agreeing with the things he has to say. The target of his article is the popular opinion the U.S. economy is in or near a depression, which is reflected in abysmal readings from many consumer and business confidence surveys. Indeed, one would really have to stretch the facts to equate the current situation to that of the Great Depression. Even Read more [...]
A Toe-Tapper at the White House

A Toe-Tapper at the White House

I was fortunate to attend an event yesterday where President Bush once again called on Congress to approve free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. NEMA fully backs the Agreements, which, if approved and implemented, stand to improve U.S. electroindustry exporters' market access in three growing economies with which our industry already has a trade surplus. How can we beat that? From Speaker Pelosi's perspective, she can beat it by holding up the Agreements and Read more [...]
PHEV’s Can’t Plug In if There’s No Place To Plug Them!

PHEV’s Can’t Plug In if There’s No Place To Plug Them!

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) among other hybrid technologies are being portrayed as the “product du jour” for solving the high-priced gasoline problem internationally and now nationally with our current energy crisis situation at large. Already Toyota, GM, Ford and VW have announced their intent to release PHEVs in the near future. And why not? According to claims, they “just plug into your home outlet.” And, "they can go 40 miles on a Read more [...]
The NARUC Meetings – Monday Report

The NARUC Meetings – Monday Report

During the opening session, Nancy Brockway from the National Regulatory Research Institute probably had the takeaway line. She noted that regulations are not the best way to incorporate novel technologies. While she did not have a prescriptive solution, she cautioned the audience to look behind the curtain of technology proposals. At the afternoon session on energy efficiency, EPRI summarized a study of various scenarios for CO2 costs and carbon capture technology. What is notable is that regardless Read more [...]
The NARUC Meetings – Live from Portland

The NARUC Meetings – Live from Portland

The National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) is holding its summer meetings this week in Portland, Oregon. These are the state officials that approve electricity rates we all pay, as well as the infrastructure investments utilities can make. Given the heightened attention our nation is giving to energy, these meetings have taken on a sense of solemn urgency. Apparent already in the sessions is that there will be no easy answers. Quick recap from Sunday: FERC has a state-by-state Read more [...]
A New, Even Better “Electric Company”

A New, Even Better “Electric Company”

Remember that dynamic TV show? Aimed at elementary school kids who had “graduated” from “Sesame Street”, “The Electric Company” (as in the light bulb going on in someone’s head) sought to generate interest in reading through a hip, humorous array of skits, songs and (for the time) advanced “electronic” visuals. (See http://tvparty.com/lostelec.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Electric_Company for some history and background) Richard Nixon actually had a role in its founding, directing Read more [...]