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Author: Gerard Winstanley

Award for GE Arc Flash hazard protection system

Award for GE Arc Flash hazard protection system

GE Industrial Solutions have launched an arc fault mitigation system for switchgear which significantly reduces the risk of injury from Arc Flash events.  GE’s Arc Vault Protection System was the 2011 winner in the protective devices category in Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) magazine’s product of the year award.   An arc flash can generate temperatures up to 35,000 degrees, a pressure blast, deafening noise, blinding light, molten metal and shrapnel.  Read more [...]
Regional Efficiency Standards Save Energy.

Regional Efficiency Standards Save Energy.

Congratulations to the Air –Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) for being awarded the 2011 “Super Nova of Energy Efficiency” award from the Alliance to Save Energy.   AHRI lead a coalition energy efficiency advocacy groups in developing a regional efficiency standard consensus agreement.   Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach the efficiency standard of a furnace, heat pump or central air-conditioner will now depend on the Read more [...]
Zero Carbon City – Will It Work?

Zero Carbon City – Will It Work?

A zero carbon city, the future home of the International Renewable Energy Agency, is rising from the desert outside Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.  The first tenants of Masdar City have moved into this experiment community which aims to replace the UAE’s main source of energy – oil – with it’s equally abundant renewable resource  - solar power.   Students and staff at the Masdar Institute, a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Read more [...]
Toyota Report Reassuring News for Electrical Industry

Toyota Report Reassuring News for Electrical Industry

 The NTHSA-NASA report vindicating the electronic systems of Toyota vehicles for sudden acceleration is good news for the wider electrical industry that relies on similar electronic control systems.  NASA was asked to examine the software code of Toyota vehicles and could not produce a fault that could lead to the sudden acceleration reported by owners.  When the vehicle’s electronic system detects a problem it will switch to one of five fail-safe modes: which range from reducing Read more [...]
Indiana – Safety Holdout!

Indiana – Safety Holdout!

 Indiana is the only state that has not embraced electrical safety devices known as Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).  In 2005 the State building officials removed the AFCI provision in the state code.  In the adoption process for the 2008 National Electrical Code officials propose once again to remove the AFCI provisions.  This has caught the attention of the local TV station.   They pointed to Indiana’s Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission which Read more [...]
Programmable Thermostat Standard Saves Heating and Cooling Costs

Programmable Thermostat Standard Saves Heating and Cooling Costs

Last month saw the launch of NEMA DC3, Annex A Energy Efficiency Requirements for Programmable Thermostats.  This standard will form the technical specification for the Energy Aware certification program reported in a recent NEMACurrents Blog.  NEMA DC3, Annex A was developed to replace the EnergyStar specification for programmable thermostats.  When EPA decided to suspend the EnergyStar label for programmable thermostats NEMA responded quickly to industry’s need to provide Read more [...]
Everything you wanted to know about Selective Coordination

Everything you wanted to know about Selective Coordination

Kudos to the Low Voltage Distribution Section of NEMA for producing a comprehensive guide on Selective Coordination.  The 47 page white paper explains the recent changes to the National Electrical Code (NEC) for the design of life safety and other critical power systems.  The goal of Selective Coordination is to isolate a fault circuit while maintaining power to the rest of the electrical distribution system.  In the NEC it applies to elevators, healthcare sytems, emergency systems, Read more [...]
Toyota Should Take a Lesson from Burner Controls Industry

Toyota Should Take a Lesson from Burner Controls Industry

The sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles may be due to software issues; if this is the case then there are valuable lessons for all standards developers.  So many products now incorporate electronic controls, yet many have not been evaluated to determine what happens when a failure occurs.  For mechanical systems we have tried and tested methods to handle failure - a vehicle's hydraulic brake system has a cable emergency brake back-up. The aerospace industry builds in triple redundancy Read more [...]
Energy Star makes a U-turn on programmable thermostats

Energy Star makes a U-turn on programmable thermostats

Last week EPA held a webinar on a revised Energy Star specification for programmable thermostats.  This reverses EPA’s previous announcement that it would suspend the Energy Star labeling of thermostats by the beginning of 2010.  Nearly 100 stakeholders, including NEMA Staff and members, participated in the meeting. While the existing specification was out of date, suspending the labeling would not have been in the best interests of consumers.  NEMA and its members were able Read more [...]
AFCI’s – A Little Opposition Can be Good

AFCI’s – A Little Opposition Can be Good

Each cycle of State adoptions of the National Electrical Code ® tends to focus on a couple of key changes in the NEC.  For NEC 2008 those key changes are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) and tamper proof receptacles.  Surprisingly this is having significant benefits for the electrical industry. Opposition to these devices has come from state home builders associations who have often used their political connections to sway the decision of the state board responsible for setting Read more [...]