Always Use PPE

By Steven McFadyen on 10/12/2011 7:25 AM

A lot of our members work in countries where PPE (personal protective equipment) is regulated or they work for companies/organizations which take employee safety seriously. Unfortunately, there are plac... read more..


Understanding electric motor insulation & temperature

By Steven McFadyen on 4/2/2012 3:01 PM

Anyone specifying or using electric motors should have a basic understanding how the insulation is related to temperature. Three classes of insulation are in common use (with 'F' being the most common).... read more..


What does N+1 mean?

By Steven McFadyen on 10/19/2011 5:40 AM

The term 'N+1' relates to redundancy and simply means that if you required 'N' items of equipment for something to work, you would have one additional spare item. If any one item of equipment breaks dow... read more..


Tip – Latitude and Longitude on Large Scale Plans

By Steven McFadyen on 10/29/2011 8:26 AM

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 always work out the scale and dimensions.

... read more..


Are We Losing Professional Integrity

By Steven McFadyen on 4/20/2012 12:04 PM

I have been thinking recently that there appears to be less professional integrity around than when I first started my career in electrical engineering. Recently the IET has also had a discussion around... read more..


Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection – What to Inspect?

By Steven McFadyen on 5/2/2012 1:15 PM

This is the second post in a series of two on periodic electrical inspections. In the first post, I discussed how often inspections should be carried out. As with how often, when looking at what to insp... read more..


How Electrical Circuits Work

By Steven McFadyen on 5/8/2012 11:59 AM

If you have no idea how electrical circuits work, or what people mean then they talk about volts and amps, hopefully I can shed a bit light.  I’m intending this post to be a simple introducti... read more..


3 Phase Loads

By Steven McFadyen on 5/4/2010 12:56 AM

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 vi... read more..


Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection – How Often?

By Steven McFadyen on 4/26/2012 12:08 PM

How often installations are inspected is up to the owner of the installation, provided such durations do not exceed any regulatory maximums in force. The criticality of the electrical installation to th... read more..


How to Check a Circuit is Dead

By Steven McFadyen on 11/3/2011 4:46 AM

If you want to check a circuit is dead (not live), you should always use the three point method. First check a known live circuit, then check the dead circuit and finally recheck the live circuit. Carry... read more..


Difference Between Live and Dead Tank Circuit Breakers

By Steven McFadyen on 11/11/2011 10:51 AM

A quick post in connection with an email question:

Live Tank - the circuit breaker the switching unit is located in an insulator bushing which is live at line voltage (or some voltage above g... read more..


Paternoster Lifts

By Steven McFadyen on 5/16/2010 10:04 PM

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 no... read more..




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...

Voltage Levels – Confused?

I was having a conversation the other day about voltage levels.  While everyone was in agreement that low voltage was 1000 V and less, there was more confusion...

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries are cost effect and reliable, making them suitable for many applications.This note examines topics of interest associated with the...

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the study of coordinating electromagnetic fields give off equipment, with the withstand (compatibility) of other...

International System of Units (SI System)

The International System of Units (abbreviated SI) is the world's most widely used system of units.  The system consists of a set of units and prefixes...

Photovoltaic (PV) Panel - Performance Modelling

In an earlier note on the site [Photovoltaic (PV) - Electrical Calculations], the theory of solar (PV) cell calculations was introduced.  In particular...

Fault Calculations - Introduction

Fault calculations are one of the most common types of calculation carried out during the design and analysis of electrical systems. These calculations...

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...

The dc resistance of conductors

This is the first of two posts on the resistance of conductors. In the next post I will look at the ac resistance, including skin effect and we deal with...

Control Theory

Control theory looks at how systems work and are controlled from a mathematical view.  This note gives a brief introduction to some of the concepts – more...

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