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..

IEC 61439 - The Switchgear Standard

The new standard IEC 61439 replaces the old 60439. Compared to the old standard, the new 61439 is a more clearly defined and takes into account the assembly...

Understanding Motor Duty Rating

One of the comments on my Motor Starting Series was asking for something on duty cycles. Here it is. As a purchaser of a motor, you have responsibility...

Voltage Drop in Installations - Concepts

Problems on achieving maximum voltage drop within an installation come up often. Depending where you live, local regulations will have different limits...

What is an Open Delta Transformer

In three phase systems, the use of transformers with three windings (or legs) per side is common.  These three windings are often connected in delta or...

Back to Basics - Ohm’s Law

Electrical engineering has a multitude of laws and theorems. It is fair to say the Ohm's Law is one of the more widely known; it not the most known. Developed...

Robots - Interesting Videos

The robot folding towels post below was interesting enough at the time to post a link.  Recently I’ve come across a couple of other interesting videos...

1,000 kV UHV First for China

At the beginning of the year China put the world's first 1,000 kV UHV transmission system into operation. Transmitting power at over a million volts is...

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...

Material Properties

Everything physical in electrical engineering from insulations to conductors revolves around materials. Here we are listing common materials along with...

What happened to the cable notes?

If you are wondering what happened to our cable notes, the short answer is that we have moved them to  The "Knowledge Base" at...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note