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.

Thomas Edison

American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. He was the youngest of seven children and received little formal schooling. Most of his education happened at home under the care of his mother, Nancy.

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Magicians of Engineering

The other day I was reading 'Night of the New Magicians' by Mary Pope Osborn with my son.  The story is about a young boy and girl who travel back in time to the 1889 World's Fair in Paris to find four  new magicians and learn their secrets.  The new magicians turn out to be Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas  Edison, Louis Pasteur and Gustave Eiffel and their secrets inspiration advice. 

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Three Phase Current - Simple Calculation

The calculation of current in a three phase system has been brought up on our site feedback and is a discussion I seem to get involved in every now and again. While some colleagues prefer to remember formulas or factors, I prefer to resolve the problem step by step using basic principles. I thought it would be good to write how I do these calculations and hopefully it may prove useful to someone else.

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Aluminium Windings - Dry Type Transformers

The other day I was talking to a colleague who is a building services consultant.  Despite regularly specifying dry-type/cast resin transformers he was unaware that many manufactures’ use aluminium for the windings; I think Siemens exclusively use aluminium and don’t offer copper anymore.  To confirm this he promptly phoned Schneider Electric and was informed that they use aluminium (or copper on request).

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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. His family was not very well off and could only afford to give Faraday a basic education. When he was 14, Faraday was apprenticed to a bookbinder. Much of his learning came from reading the books he was binding.

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Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is a field that covers a wide variety of sub-fields, including electricity and electronics. It is a field that goes back to the early days distributing electrical power. Today, it could cover basic electronics, or more advanced areas, such as control and signal processors, or even the diverse field of telecommunications.

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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...

Tech Topics/Application Notes - Siemens

There are a lot of interesting two page type notes on various medium voltage topics – switchgear, circuit breakers, bus systems etc. It is on the Siemens...

Windows Live Writer and myElectrical

When making adding a Note to our site we have a great online WYSIWYG editor and things are pretty simple.  However, if you prefer you can write, manage...

Bows and Arrows

It starts with me reading one of the Horrible History books with my son (Groovy Greeks). Arrows were mentioned which lead to the discussion of the bodkin...

Tip – Latitude and Longitude on Large Scale Plans

If you are working on a large plan, get the real coordinates [latitude, longitude] for two or more points and add them to the drawing. That way you can...

What is LED?

Light Emitting Diodes (LED ) are increasing gaining favour in both the domestic and commercial sectors; due to their efficiency, sustainability and durability...

How to measure power supply quality

If your are ever called out to troubleshoot something on your electrical system, one of the first things consider is the supply voltage. You want to ensure...

Multimeter

Multimeters are undoubtedly the most common item of electrical test equipment in use.  Often it is the first piece of equipment people will turn to when...

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...

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...

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