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Month: August 2010

Here we go again?

Here we go again?

It’s hard NOT to become cynical when you’ve been down the same old road again and again and nothing seems to change.   Then someone tells you “it will be different this time.”   Should I believe him?     A case in point is the RILA Factory Audit Standard being jammed down the throats of manufacturers of consumer products, starting with electrical products, by some of this countries biggest retailers and their Retail Industry Leaders Read more [...]
There’s Lots Behind the Curtain to Make It All Work

There’s Lots Behind the Curtain to Make It All Work

For the past two years, the U.S. DOT's research efforts have been on a new program called IntelliDrive(SM).  IntelliDrive(SM) is planned to use an inter-networked, wireless communications mesh of two main parts -- the existing cellular system, plus a new 5.9 GHz bandwidth allocation.  The program hopes to improve vehicle safety by allowing short range, inter-vehicle message exchange with information about location, speed, and direction. The NEMA members in the Transportation Read more [...]
Mining for Savings

Mining for Savings

When looking for gemstones or precious ore, you’ll do well to prospect the land for the resource you seek before you begin mining.  Likewise, when looking energy savings, it’s best to prospect the components of your building for saving potential before you go making upgrades. Thankfully, you don’t need a pick axe to locate fertile ground for energy savings, just the internet.  A couple of websites that will aid you in your search for savings are the enLIGHTen America Read more [...]
House of Cards

House of Cards

Now that the distorting effects of the federal homebuyer tax credits have worked their way through the system, demand is deteriorating and the market appears to be retrograding toward an eventual equilibrium at a lower price level. Sales of existing single-family homes fell by more than 27 percent during July, reaching their lowest level since May 1995. For new single-family homes, the month-to-month decline was appreciably smaller in percentage terms at 12.4 percent, but this drop caused this series Read more [...]
Diamond in the Rough (or just A Shiny Piece of Coal?)

Diamond in the Rough (or just A Shiny Piece of Coal?)

Amidst all the growing concerns over a double-dip recession, the manufacturing sector has stood out as one of the U.S. economy’s strongest performers. In fact, manufacturing has been the only major sector to come anywhere close to textbook V-shaped recovery. That good fortune continued during July, with industrial output surging 1.1 percent from the prior month and roughly 8 percent from last year. The auto industry contributed to the bulk of last month’s growth, but traditional manufacturers Read more [...]
Not Your Father’s Electric Resistance Heating

Not Your Father’s Electric Resistance Heating

Earlier this year, a proposal was submitted to the International Code Council (ICC) that would have banned the use of electric resistance heating as the primary heating source in residences.  The contention of this proposal to revise the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was that electric resistance heating was wasteful and expensive and should be eliminated as a heating option.  A coalition was quickly mobilized to oppose the proposal, and as a results of the counterarguments Read more [...]
This Summer at NEMA: An Intern’s Perspective

This Summer at NEMA: An Intern’s Perspective

What is the difference between a high and low temperature superconductor? Why are T8 fluorescent lamps superior to their T12 counterparts? What is the Smart Grid and why do we need it? Two and a half months ago I would not have the faintest idea how to answer any of these questions. Yet, as I near the conclusion of my time as the communications intern I am left with not only the answers to these questions but a distinct curiosity inspiring countless more. This blog will not address current events Read more [...]
That Pesky EFCA

That Pesky EFCA

Summer brings out all sorts of "pesky" creatures - flies, mosquitoes, bees, etc. - that, no matter what you, never seem to disappear. Kind of like the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA; HR 1409/S 560), also known as "card check." In an address to the AFL-CIO's Executive Council on August 4, President Obama said that "Getting EFCA through the Senate is going to be tough, but we're going to keep pushing." He also made it clear that if card check Read more [...]
The Value of Visual Comfort

The Value of Visual Comfort

When designing your lighting system, it is best to follow the path of least resistance.  That is, the path of least resistance for the eyes of the occupants utilizing the light.  The eye is a marvelous organ and can adapt to a wide variety of conditions.  However, like any other organ or muscle, when overexerted it can become exhausted; and exhausted eyes makes for an exhausted occupant. Hence, you should keep in mind three factors to maximize visual comfort for occupants when Read more [...]
Standard measurements needed for nanoscale electrical contacts

Standard measurements needed for nanoscale electrical contacts

How will novel products from an emerging technology like nano-electrotechnology transition from lab to fab to mass production? Standards! Nano-electrotechnical products depend on reliable and durable electrical contacts at the nanoscale, but assessing this reliability depends on standard measurement methods. Since atomic force microscopy (AFM) equipment is now available with resolution capabilities to 1/10th of a nanometer, international standards for measuring the reliability of nanoscale electrical Read more [...]