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Author: Patricia Walsh

LEDs Signal Traffic Nightmares

LEDs Signal Traffic Nightmares

As the first major winter storm of the season takes aim on the Northeast, energy-efficiency may be contributing to guaranteed traffic nightmares. LED traffic lights can't melt the snow and ice that encrust them. LEDs may use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and municipalities may have reaped thousands of dollars in energy savings, but the new traffic lights have been blamed for dozens of accidents and at least one death. Authorities in several states are testing possible Read more [...]
Still Blowing in the Wind

Still Blowing in the Wind

The U.S. Supreme Court may eventually hear arguments involving a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last month that FERC cannot overrule a state's decision to reject a transmission project. The case involved two power companies that planned to build a high-voltage power line through multiple states, including Maryland and Virginia, providing power for New York City. A similar case, which involves multi-state corridors for transmission line siting, is pending before the Ninth Circuit Court Read more [...]
Making a Difference

Making a Difference

As I approached the Metro station this morning, I was greeted by a group of enthusiastic student types who challenged me to make a difference in my community. “I already make a difference in my community,” I responded with a smile. They thanked me profusely. I was thinking of the volunteer work I do to promote adult literacy. But before I could take two steps toward the train that would bring me to work...work...I paused mid-step. I was now thinking of work—my paid work—at NEMA, where I also Read more [...]
Z Man

Z Man

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down, the song goes. But for me, dark dank days generally bode well for a workout. So I grabbed my iPod and headed to the gym in the basement of the condo. I stretched, flexed, jumped on the recumbent bike, and hit quick start.   Nothing. No blinking lights, no pedal action. Nothing. Hmmm. Was I plugged in? Glancing down, I noticed that sure enough, the power cord was not attached to the floor outlet. No problem. I jumped off the bike to rectify the situation, Read more [...]
Brain Drain

Brain Drain

We’re not talking about the 1989 Ramones album (though it might make an interesting soundtrack here) nor even the classic concept of an emigration of trained and talented individuals from one nation to another due to lack of opportunity, conflicts, or health hazards.   In today’s world of standardizations, Brain Drain refers to the loss of knowledge due to resignations, retirements, reorganizations, and relocations of talented engineers who write electrical and other standards.   Read more [...]
wattwatt a deal

wattwatt a deal

wattwatt? Why, the portal for individuals interested in electrical energy efficiency, of course. This is a Web 2.0 social network site, supported by the IEC, which brings together people of all ages and nationalities who are interested in the frugal use of electricity.   Featured at the SPAB 2008 conference, wattwatt facilitates the sharing of electrical experiences and ideas while providing an open debate on one of the biggest challenges facing the world—using less electricity, using it Read more [...]
SPABBED

SPABBED

Ok, so it sounds like a slang term for a post-Super Bowl blowout. Or a space lab, Wii game, or even a new MTV semi-reality show. Truth is, SPAB is so esoteric, you can’t even Google it. So what really is SPAB, why is it a big deal, and how did I get spabbed?  The Standards Publication Advisory Board, sponsored by IHS, meets annually to give standard developing organizations a forum to discuss the ever-quickening and now electronic pace of publishing standards. This year's conference, Read more [...]
Ice on the Rocks

Ice on the Rocks

So Antarctica is thawing. How can that be? After all, winter temperatures there plummet to 76 below and winds blow in at 115 mph. According to new findings, the continent's interior and eastern regions are holding their own. But West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula lost nearly 200 billion metric tons of ice in 2006 alone. Sure, everyone points to global warming, but can anyone do anything about it?       Enter Schneider Electric. This NEMA member has partnered Read more [...]