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..




Harmonised Cable Codes and Colours

Within Europe the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) has standardised the both the designation and colour of cables.   ...

What is LED?

Light Emitting Diodes (LED ) are increasing gaining favour in both the domestic and commercial sectors; due to their efficiency, sustainability and durability...

Periodic Electrical Installation Inspection – How Often?

How often installations are inspected is up to the owner of the installation, provided such durations do not exceed any regulatory maximums in force. ...

Dielectric loss in cables

Dielectrics (insulating materials for example) when subjected to a varying electric field, will have some energy loss.   The varying electric field causes...

Electric Motors

Collection of links to various places with useful motor information. I’ll try and return to the page every now and again to update it with any motor notes...

IEC 60287 Current Capacity of Cables - An Introduction

IEC 60287 "Calculation of the continuous current rating of cables (100% load factor)" is the International Standard which defines the procedures and equations...

How to Size Power Cable Duct

Some colleagues had an issue earlier in the week on sizing conduits to be cast in concrete for some power cables . It became clear that none of us had...

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...

Maxwell's Equations - Gauss's Electric Field Law

Gauss's Electrical law defines the relation between charge ("Positive" & "Negative") and electric field.  The law was initially formulated by Carl Friedrich...

How to measure power supply quality

If your are ever called out to troubleshoot something on your electrical system, one of the first things consider is the supply voltage. You want to ensure...

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