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..




Meeting room of the future

The IET site has a video of a visit showing of a high tech meeting room developed at Napier University in Edinburgh. It a good demonstration of innovative...

Network Theory – Introduction and Review

In electrical engineering, Network Theory is the study of how to solve circuit problems. By analyzing circuits, the engineer looks to determine the various...

Understanding Circuit Breaker Markings

IEC 60947 is the circuit breaker standard and covers the marking of breakers in detail. Any manufacturer following this standard should comply with the...

Power Transformers - An Introduction

One of the fundamental requirements of an alternating current distribution systems it to have the ability to change the magnitude of voltages.  It is more...

How to Size Current Transformers

The correct sizing of current transformers is required to ensure satisfactory operation of measuring instruments and protection relays. Several methods...

Gas Insulated or Air Insulated Switchgear

Various arguments exist around SF6 Gas Insulated (GIS) and Air Insulated (AIS) medium voltage switchgear. Recently we had to change a GIS design to AI...

How to Check a Circuit is Dead

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...

IEC 60287 Current Capacity of Cables - Rated Current

In the previous note we looked at the approach taken by the standard to the sizing of cables and illustrated this with an example.  We then looked at one...

How to refer fault levels across a transformer

Over the past year or so I've been involved in on going discussions related to referring fault levels from the secondary of a transformer to the primary...

Difference Between Live and Dead Tank Circuit Breakers

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...

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