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Author: Ken Gettman

Energy Saving Motor Control

Energy Saving Motor Control

As we all try to save energy, one of the most effective routes is through more efficient use of motors.  This is so important because motors are everywhere - household appliances from cleaning to kitchen, domestic/commercial/industrial fans and pumps, and especially in electric vehicles, among many applications.  They are so ubiquitous that a business "Public Service of New Hampshire - The Northeast Utilities System" posting indicated that "electric motors consume 64 Read more [...]
Does Canada Have a Power Line Network Harmonics Problem?

Does Canada Have a Power Line Network Harmonics Problem?

It would seem so, based on efforts by the Canadian Electrical Association to have the Canadian Standards Association to adopt International Electrical Commission harmonics limit standards 61000-3-2 (0-16A) and 61000-3-12 (16A-75A). The rationale given for limits on such currents is to prevent degrading the quality of the power available to where the products might no longer function correctly, or where (in rare cases) one of the system wires may overheat (covered by NEC articles 310.15 (4)(c), 368.258, Read more [...]
Mooove Over Health Concerns, Power Lines Affect Milking Cows

Mooove Over Health Concerns, Power Lines Affect Milking Cows

In a "hot off the presses" article, "Of Cows and Power Lines" in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers "Spectrum" magazine, the reporter states researchers have found a link between which direction cows face and the presence of power lines over or near the feeding grounds.  There is no obvious reason why this should be considered critical information for cattle ranchers and dairy farmers. I do not have research data, but I Read more [...]
"Wireless Waves Harmless" – 1909 Marconi Statement

"Wireless Waves Harmless" – 1909 Marconi Statement

As noted in the article titled the same as this post, noted scientists, inventors and engineers have come to the same conclusion - that Electromagnetic Fields are safe.  Given the ability of microwave emissions from high power radar to fry something in its path, that is not always absolutely true but the article - "The Conceits of Setting EMF Standards: Australia To Triple Its Limit to 3,000mG" posted on June 11, 2009 by Microwave News - seems to be inflammatory and not useful for Read more [...]
When is Safe Safe Enough?

When is Safe Safe Enough?

In designing safe electrical products, the manufacturer addresses the protection against the potential hazards from electric shock, fire and mechanical aspects of the product in operation as intended, and sometimes even when used not as intended.  The guidance they use in this effort comes from a significant array of standards and other documentation, developed by one or more of the standardization organizations or sometimes the manufacturer themselves. Overall, these electrical Read more [...]
EU Electromechanical Shock Protectors Not Fully Protective

EU Electromechanical Shock Protectors Not Fully Protective

In the recent ElectroIndustry article [September 2008 Issue, "International Standards: A Look Back to the Future"] there is a highlight of an important distinction between GFCIs and RCDs.  However the explanation - "...each technology can ultimately comply with the basic requirements in both North American and IEC product standards,..." - is not entirely accurate.   Sticking with the basic differential current threshold, we have the 30 mA vs. 5 mA debate which is Read more [...]
EMF – the Phantom Menace

EMF – the Phantom Menace

Is EMF Really out there?  While you cannot see them, Electromagnetic Fields are indeed present all around us.  There is even weak EMF when in an open field with no signs of civilization for miles around - the magnetic core of the earth generates such fields.  Are the fields a problem - for most of us the answer is No because the strength of the fields we are exposed to are not strong enough to have any effect.  If you happen to stand directly in front of a high-powered Read more [...]
The US is Too Slow to adopt International Standards

The US is Too Slow to adopt International Standards

The reality is that there are well over 100, perhaps hundreds, of IEC standards are in use, or under evaluation for use, in the US.  (See ANSI Standards Search or UL standards catalog.)  Why has taken many years and work is still needed for the use of IEC standards to achieve even the current level in the US?    The primary reason is:   History - there is a long history behind the existing extensive inventory of standards Read more [...]
Standards Make the World Go Round (or Flat)

Standards Make the World Go Round (or Flat)

Standards are critical strategic tools for both pushing and pulling technology throughout the economic structure of the world.  They serve to ensure the safety of the public and users of the covered products.  Standards facilitate interoperability between various components of systems used in all walks of life.  Compliance with standards, international or domestic, greatly improves the odds that your product will be afforded market access. Not participating can result in standards Read more [...]
Why Adopt IEC Standards for the US?

Why Adopt IEC Standards for the US?

Why are there so few product groups within the electroindustry that are willing to embrace the concept of adopting IEC standards for use in the USA?  Of course the actions necessary to successfully and competently accomplish such an adoption are not simplistic.  Most likely, it would be necessary to tackle the task in small pieces, starting with reorganization of any existing US document into the same format and content sequence as the IEC standard.  This would permit a line-by-line Read more [...]