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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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...

Famous Scientists

Here’s list of some famous scientists. Deliberately short, with the aim to provide a quick memory jog or overview. If your looking for more detailed information...

Back to basics - the Watt (or kW)

When thinking about watts (W) or kilowatt (kW = 1000 W) it can be useful too keep in mind the fundamental ideas behind the unit. Watt is not a pure electrical...

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...

Cable Insulation Properties

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

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...

Capacitors - Energy Storage Application

Capacitors have numerous applications in electrical and electronic applications.  This note examines the use of capacitors to store electrical energy....

MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare, makes the materials used in teaching all MIT subjects available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world.

Fire Resistant and Fire Retardant Cables

Fire resistant and fire retardant cable sheaths are design to resist combustion and limit the propagation of flames. Low smokes cables have a sheath designed...

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...

Have some knowledge to share

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