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..

Switchboard - Forms of Internal Separation

IEC 61439 'Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies', specifies standard arrangements of switchboard (call forms of internal separation). The...

How to Write an Electrical Note

Electrical notes are a collaborative collection of electrical engineering information and educational material. Any registered user can add content. ...

Standard Cable & Wire Sizes

IEC 60228 is the International Electrotechnical Commission's international standard on conductors of insulated cables. Among other things, it defines a...

Useful Motor Technical Information

Sometimes it’s useful to be able to quickly lookup a piece of technical information.  This note is a collection of information related to motors, and in...

Robotics - Home Innovations

We have a sister note to this (Robots - Interesting Video), in which I have posted some videos of interesting robots developed by commercial corporations...

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...


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...

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...

Occam's Razor

I was reminded of Occam's Razor while reading a book. It's quite a simple principal of logic which has stood the test of time and is accepted as central...

Calculating Cable Fault Ratings

When selecting a cable, the performance of the cable under fault conditions is an important consideration. It is important that calculations be carried...

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