How a Digital Substation Works

By Steven McFadyen on 3/2/2014 12:06 PM

Traditionally substations have used circuit breakers, current transformers (CT), voltage transformers (VT) and protection relays all wired together using copper cables.  With advances in digital... read more..


The ac resistance of conductors

By Steven McFadyen on 1/11/2012 4:03 PM

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 previous article, now may be a good time to do so. ... read more..


Restricted Earth Fault Protection

By Steven McFadyen on 3/25/2012 12:49 PM

The windings of many medium and small sized transformers are protected by restricted earth fault (REF) systems. The illustration shows the principal of REF protection. read more..


Cable Insulation Properties

By Steven McFadyen on 5/15/2012 6:13 AM

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


Photovoltaic (PV) Panel - Performance Modelling

By Steven McFadyen on 1/8/2015 3:55 AM

In an earlier note on the site [Photovoltaic (PV) - Electrical Calculations], the theory of solar (PV) ... read more..


Load Flow Study – how they work

By Steven McFadyen on 12/8/2014 10:25 AM

A load flow study is the analysis of an electrical network carried out by an electrical engineer. The purpose is to understand how power flows around the electrical network. Carrying out a load flow s... read more..


Thermoplastic and Thermosetting Insulation

By Steven McFadyen on 7/6/2011 3:12 AM

While there are a vast array of cable insulation materials, these are often divided into two general types; Thermoplastic or Thermosetting. For example the current capacity determination of a cable in a... read more..


Arc Flash Calculations

By Steven McFadyen on 3/22/2012 6:14 AM

Working in the vicinity of electrical equipment poses an hazard. In addition to electric shock hazard, fault currents passing through air causes Arc Flash. To protect people a risk analysis on the ar... read more..


Motor Starting - Introduction

By Steven McFadyen on 8/11/2011 1:28 AM

Motor starting and its associated problems are well-known to many people who have worked on large industrial processes. However, these things are, of course, less familiar to others.  This post ... read more..


Tips for a better Low Voltage Protection Discrimination Study

By Steven McFadyen on 11/3/2014 11:48 AM

Carrying out a protection system discrimination study is critical to ensure the correct functioning of  the electrical system in the event of faults.  The IEC defines discrimination as:

... read more..


What is an Open Delta Transformer

By Steven McFadyen on 10/13/2014 11:54 AM

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 star, resulting in common transformer conf... read more..


Generator Sizing & Operation Limits

By Steven McFadyen on 11/2/2010 3:07 AM

When selecting a generator, there are inherent limits on the active and reactive power which can be delivered. Generators are normally sized for a certain kW at a power factor of 0.8. However, to unders... read more..




Cable Sizing Tool

Our cable sizing tool is one of the more popular tools on the site.  The tool enables cables to be sized in compliance with BS 7671 (the IEE Wiring Regulations...

Alternating Current Circuits

Alternating current (a.c.) is the backbone of modern electrical power distribution. In this article I’ll be pulling some of the more important concepts...

Why use catalogues

I'm a fan of using manufacturers catalogues. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, if your involved in the purchase of equipment, you will likely...

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...

UPS Battery Sizing

Various techniques exist to enable the correct selection of batteries for UPS applications.  The procedure described below is one of the more common. ...

How D.C. to A.C. Inverters Work

Traditionally generation of electricity has involved rotating machines to produce alternating sinusoidal voltage and current (a.c. systems). With the development...

New Mail Chimp

We've been sending out Newsletters on a regular basis for a few weeks now. To do this we have been using Google's Feedburner service. While Feedburner...

Low Voltage Fault Tables

The following tables provide quick order of magnitude fault levels for a a range of typical low voltage situations.

Maximum Demand for Buildings

Estimating maximum demand is a topic frequently discussed. Working out how much power to allow for a building can be very subjective . Allowing too much...

Why a Sine Wave?

I received this question by email a few weeks. First thoughts was that it is a product of the mathematics of rotating a straight conductor in a magnetic...

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