Hazardous Areas – IEC and NEC/CEC Comparison

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Depending where in the world you work, you are likely following one of two standards International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) National Electrical Code/Canadian Electrical Code (NEC/CEC) The different nature of the two systems make a direct comparison almost impossible. If you do need to work with......Read More..

By Steven McFadyen on Friday, March 9, 2012

Maxwell's Equations - Gauss's Electric Field Law

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Gauss's Electrical law defines the relation between charge ("Positive" & "Negative") and electric field.  The law was initially formulated by Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1835. In Gauss's law, the electric field is the electrostatic field.  The law shows how the electrostatic field behaves and varies depending on the charge......Read More..

By Steven McFadyen on Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Introduction to Current Transformers

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Current transformers (CTs) are used to convert high level currents to a smaller more reasonable level for use as inputs to protection relays and metering equipment.  Within electrical systems, current transformers are essential to ensure the correct functioning and control of equipment and for providing operational data......Read More..

By Steven McFadyen on Friday, February 8, 2013

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Low Voltage Fault Tables

The following tables provide quick order of magnitude fault levels for a a range of typical low voltage situations.

Capacitor Theory

Capacitors are widely used in electrical engineering for functions such as energy storage, power factor correction, voltage compensation and many others...

The ac resistance of conductors

In a previous article I looked at the dc resistance of conductors and in this article we turn our attention to ac resistance. If you have not read the...

Variable Frequency Drive

Variable frequency drives are widely used to control the speed of ac motors.  This note looks at the mechanisms which enable drive units to control the...

Fault Calculation - Symmetrical Components

For unbalance conditions the calculation of fault currents is more complex. One method of dealing with this is symmetrical components. Using symmetrical...

Lightning Risk Assessment (IEC 62305)

IEC 62305 'Protection against lightning' requires a risk assessment be carried out to determine the characteristics of any lightning protection system...

IEC 61439 - The Switchgear Standard

The new standard IEC 61439 replaces the old 60439. Compared to the old standard, the new 61439 is a more clearly defined and takes into account the assembly...

Lighting - Lamps

Lamps are the essential part of any luminaire. These are the light generating components. Since the advent of electrical lighting in the middle of the...

Michael Faraday (the father of electrical engineering)

Famed English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday was born on September 22, 1791, in Newington Butts, a suburb of Surrey just south of the London Bridge...

Photovoltaic (PV) - Utility Power Grid Interface

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are typically more efficient when connected in parallel with a main power gird. During periods when the PV system generates energy...

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