Steven McFadyen's Articles

Steven is a Chartered electrical engineering consultant with considerable experience on major internationally recognised and award winning projects in Europe, South East Asia, and the Middle East. His expertise has been called on for numerous technically challenging projects in power systems, airports, rail, mining, pharmaceutical, datacentre, and other industries.

E-Ink

Before the technical, some general information. E-ink display are found in a lot of e-readers, some mobile phones and similar devices and the intent is to provide a reading experience closer to that of ink on paper than conventional LCD displays deliver. E-ink screens are not backlit and require light falling on them in the same was as reading a book does; reducing eye strain during long reading sessions. An e-ink page is also persistent (does not need power to maintain the text) and power is only required for changing text on the page. The persistent nature of the pages leads to longer times between charging.

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Maximum Demand for Buildings

Estimating maximum demand is a topic frequently discussed. Working out how much power to allow for a building can be very subjective . Allowing too much power results in additional equipment, increased space requirements, greater system losses and extra cost. On the other side, no enough power results in operational problems. Trying to find the right amount of power is like gazing into a crystal ball and everyone will see something different.

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Meeting room of the future

The IET site has a video of a visit showing of a high tech meeting room developed at Napier University in Edinburgh. It a good demonstration of innovative use of technology, genuinely interesting to watch.

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Random Numbers

Using laser optical pulses the random number generator utilizes the time between arrival of random photos to generate the numbers, ensuring true accuracy. Applications could include data encryption, numerical simulations, financial market modeling and others.

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Paternoster Lifts

These lifts were first built in 1884 by J. E. Hall and called a paternoster ("Our Father", the first two words of the Lord's Prayer in Latin) due to its resemblance of a loop of rosary beads. The are not built anymore, apparently due to safety concerns (have to say I was always slightly worried about somehow becoming squashed).

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GE's Shingijutsu Factory

GE's latest thinking on product manufacturing is he Shingijutsu philosophy or Lean production system. They have started applying this at the Louisville Appliance Park manufacturing facility. The first application of the system is for GE's GeoSrping hybrid water heater for which they plan to transfer manufacturing from China to Louisville.

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3 Phase Loads

Three phase systems are derived from three separate windings, either connected in delta or star (wye). Each winding can be treated separately, leading to the idea that the load in each winding can be viewed independently. I'm not going into any math's, but if you did you can prove this.

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Battery Cars A to Z

Battery powered cars are a hot topic and widely debated. The pros, cons, issues and time frames can be talked about endlessly. An article by the Telegraph looks at some of the issues in an A to Z format:

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Mobile Phones (Brick to Implant)

The mobile phone was born in 1973. They were the size of a brick and weighed a couple of kg, making them difficult to fit into your pocket. At a few thousand pounds each not may could afford them. Battery life was around 20 minutes, which was probably good given the weight of the phone.

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Cable Trumps

Bored at work and would rather be playing trump card game with you son. The next best thing (or not) maybe the online cable trump card game from AEI Cables.

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EU Code of Conduct on Data Centres - Best Practices

The European Union is implementing a voluntary code of practice for participants with the aim of improving the overall efficiency of data centres. As part of this initiative the 2010 Best Practices Guidelines Version 2.0.0 is available (and can be downloaded at the link below).

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LED Replacement Light Bulb

The inventor of the first visible light-emitting diode makes history again this year as it begins to show customers a 40-watt replacement GE Energy Smart® LED bulb available later this year or early 2011. GE Lighting's new LED bulb is expected to consume just 9 watts, provide a 77 percent energy savings and produce nearly the same light output as a 40-watt incandescent bulb, while lasting more than 25 times as long.

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Motor Starting - Introduction

Motor starting and its associated problems are well-known to many people who have worked on large industrial processes. However, these things are, of course...

Electromechanical Relays

Electromechanical relays have been the traditional backbone of electrical protection systems.  While over recent years these have been replaced by microprocessor...

UPS Battery Sizing

Various techniques exist to enable the correct selection of batteries for UPS applications.  The procedure described below is one of the more common. ...

Cable Insulation Properties

Cable insulation is used to provide electrical separation between conductors of  a cable.  During the historical development of cables, numerous types...

Electric Motors

Collection of links to various places with useful motor information. I’ll try and return to the page every now and again to update it with any motor notes...

How to Size Current Transformers

The correct sizing of current transformers is required to ensure satisfactory operation of measuring instruments and protection relays. Several methods...

Cable Sizing Software

When sizing cables nearly, everyone uses some form of software. This ranges from homespun spreadsheets to complex network analyses software. Each has its...

What is Aircraft Ground Power

Ever wondered what kind of power an aircraft uses when parked at the airport stand. Normally the aircraft generates it own power, but when parked with...

Load Flow Study – how they work

A load flow study is the analysis of an electrical network carried out by an electrical engineer. The purpose is to understand how power flows around...

Battery Cars A to Z

Battery powered cars are a hot topic and widely debated. The pros, cons, issues and time frames can be talked about endlessly. An article by the Telegraph...

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