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..




Laplace Transform

Laplace transforms and their inverse are a mathematical technique which allows us to solve differential equations, by primarily using algebraic methods...

UPS Sizing - Rules of Thumb

It wasn't so long ago I was telling someone that I don't use rules of thumb as most things are easily calculated anyhow.   As it turns out I last week...

Low Voltage Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are switching devices whose primary function is to isolate parts of an electrical distribution system in the even of abnormal conditions...

How to Calculate Motor Starting Time

Request to look at induction motor starting time have come up a few times on the site. Hopefully in this post, I give you guys some idea on how to calculate...

UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply

A UPS is an uninterruptible power supply.  It is a device which maintains a continuous supply of electrical power, even in the event of failure of the...

Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection – What to Inspect?

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...

A mechanical engineering paper, some history and memories

I was digging in my bookshelf and came across the 80th Anniversary Association of Mine Resident Engineers, Papers and Discussions Commemorative Edition...

Generation of a Sine Wave

A fundamental concept behind the operation of alternating current systems is that voltage and current waveforms will be sinusoidal – a Sine Wave. This...

Cold Fusion (or not?)

Recently I have seen a few interesting articles on viable cold fusion; the combining of atoms at room like temperatures to create boundless energy. Now...

Hazardous Areas – IEC and NEC/CEC Comparison

Depending where in the world you work, you are likely following one of two standards International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) National...

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