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Month: March 2011

"It’s a great idea, but…"

"It’s a great idea, but…"

Anyone keeping an eye on Congress can tell you that they are focused on one thing: the federal budget. Cutting spending is back in vogue, and a possible government shutdown looms if agreement on how much to cut isn't reached soon. The frustrating thing about discretionary spending cuts is that while they allow members of Congress to issue press releases about doing their part to control government spending and reduce the federal deficit, in truth, it won't get the Read more [...]
IEC Pilot for Reduced CDV Voting Period a Good Call

IEC Pilot for Reduced CDV Voting Period a Good Call

It will be interesting to see how well the IEC's trial period for a reduced voting time for Committee Draft Voting documents (CDV's) works out over the next year. If the trial procedure is adopted, the ability of an IEC Technical Committee to shorten a CDV voting period from the standard 5 months down to say, 3 or 4, would be a welcome change to the rules under which IEC standards are developed.  This kind of flexibility is especially needed for standards for rapidly Read more [...]
How can I tell which Exit Sign is best?

How can I tell which Exit Sign is best?

When Energy Star closed the exit sign category, specifiers and inspectors no longer had a mark of distinction with which to identify top-tier products.  There were even instances of people seeking out new old stock Energy Star labeled signs and preferring them over newer (better) signs, just because of the brand recognition of Energy Star. In response to concerns over the loss of the Energy Star program and associated marks, the NEMA Emergency Lighting Section established the NEMA Premium Exit Read more [...]
Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

This week, Senators Kerry, Warner, Hutchison, and Graham came together to announce their proposal to rebuild America’s infrastructure.  The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act, S. 652, would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority - a type of infrastructure bank that would provide loans and loan guarantees.  Transportation, Water, and Energy infrastructure projects greater than $100 million and of national or regional significance Read more [...]
The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words.  But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY. NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the public, such as improving the electrical grid. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has just released an updated report on the state of transmission Read more [...]
Bridging Solar Power And Wind Power

Bridging Solar Power And Wind Power

I was listening to the Wall Street Journal this Morning and came across an interesting story.  Two Italian designers came up with way to make wind turbines less of a potential eyesore.  They have designed a proposed highway bridge that incorporates wind turbines between the support pillars. Additionally, the road would be paved with solar cells and covered with a hard plastic.  The innovative design would generate as much as 36 million kWh per year, which is enough electricity to power Read more [...]
Keep an eye nano-enabled printed electronics technologies

Keep an eye nano-enabled printed electronics technologies

IEC TC 113, which develops standards for "nano-electrotechnologies" is exploring standards setting for nano-enabled printed electronics, a $300 billion emerging market. The technology already exists for printing circuitry onto inexpensive substrates using conductive nanomaterial inks like carbon nanotubes and graphene, as well as recently introduced flexible display technologies using quantum dots. With a little bit of thinking outside the box, one could envision printed electronics Read more [...]
9 Days and Counting…

9 Days and Counting…

In just nine days, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) officially launches its Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database on SaferProducts.gov. The database, which was mandated by Congress as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-314), has been the subject of much debate since its inception, and even more so as the March 11 launch looms imminent. The well-intentioned purpose of the database is to provide consumers with Read more [...]