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..




Battery Cars A to Z

Battery powered cars are a hot topic and widely debated. The pros, cons, issues and time frames can be talked about endlessly. An article by the Telegraph...

Cable Sizing Software

When sizing cables nearly, everyone uses some form of software. This ranges from homespun spreadsheets to complex network analyses software. Each has its...

Fault Calculation - Symmetrical Components

For unbalance conditions the calculation of fault currents is more complex. One method of dealing with this is symmetrical components. Using symmetrical...

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...

Lighting - Lamps

Lamps are the essential part of any luminaire. These are the light generating components. Since the advent of electrical lighting in the middle of the...

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...

Back to basics - the Watt (or kW)

When thinking about watts (W) or kilowatt (kW = 1000 W) it can be useful too keep in mind the fundamental ideas behind the unit. Watt is not a pure electrical...

Multimeter

Multimeters are undoubtedly the most common item of electrical test equipment in use.  Often it is the first piece of equipment people will turn to when...

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...

Material Properties

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

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