Star-Delta Motor Starting - Performance

By Steven McFadyen on 7/10/2014 3:51 PM

Many questions sent in to the site are in connection with motor starting and in particular star-delta.  For all but the simplest application, there is merit in performing a more detailed study.&... read more..


IEC 60287 Current Capacity of Cables - An Introduction

By Steven McFadyen on 1/31/2013 1:00 PM

IEC 60287 "Calculation of the continuous current rating of cables (100% load factor)" is the International Standard which defines the procedures and equations to be used in determining the ... read more..


Electromagnetic Fields - Exposure Limits

By Steven McFadyen on 6/28/2014 6:00 PM

Exposure to time varying magnetic fields, from power frequencies to the gigahertz range can have harmful consequences.  A lot of research has been conducted into identifying these effects and de... read more..


DC Component of Asymmetrical Faults

By Steven McFadyen on 1/9/2013 6:52 PM

The image (reproduced from IEC 60909) shows a typical fault in an ac system.  From the illustration it can seen that there is an initial dc component (id.c.).  This initial dc compo... read more..


Induction Motor Equivalent Circuit

By Steven McFadyen on 5/13/2014 1:19 PM

Induction motors are frequently used in both industrial and domestic applications.  Within the induction motor, an electrical current in the rotor is induced by a varying magnetic field in the s... read more..


Photovoltaic (PV) - Electrical Calculations

By Steven McFadyen on 7/11/2013 2:46 PM

Photovoltaic (PV) cells (sometimes called solar cells) convert solar energy into electrical energy.  Every year more and more PV systems are installed.  With this growing application, it's ... read more..


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

By Steven McFadyen on 4/22/2014 1:19 PM

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


The dc resistance of conductors

By Steven McFadyen on 1/5/2012 2:14 PM

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 this. To get started, this post will look at the... read more..


How to Size Power Cable Duct

By Steven McFadyen on 11/24/2011 10:09 AM

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 a clear idea on an approved method. In the end w... read more..


How to Size Current Transformers

By Steven McFadyen on 11/7/2011 11:48 AM

The correct sizing of current transformers is required to ensure satisfactory operation of measuring instruments and protection relays. Several methods exist to size current transformers. This note will... read more..


Back to Basics - Ohm’s Law

By Steven McFadyen on 10/21/2011 2:02 PM

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 in 1827 by Georg Ohm the law defines the re... read more..


Alternating Current Circuits

By Steven McFadyen on 4/3/2012 1:29 PM

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 together. It is a work in progress and I’ll be add... read more..




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...

Cost Performance and Time

Often us engineers get so bogged down in equations, using software, producing drawings and writing specifications that this becomes the sole focus.   ...

Control Theory

Control theory looks at how systems work and are controlled from a mathematical view.  This note gives a brief introduction to some of the concepts – more...

Thomas Edison

American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. He was the youngest of seven children and received little formal schooling...

Tips for a better Low Voltage Protection Discrimination Study

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

Aluminium Windings - Dry Type Transformers

The other day I was talking to a colleague who is a building services consultant.  Despite regularly specifying dry-type/cast resin transformers he was...

Questions - Reputation and Privilege

Our question and answer system while letting you do exactly what it says, is much more.  It is a dynamic user driven system, where our users not only ask...

Standard Cable & Wire Sizes

IEC 60228 is the International Electrotechnical Commission's international standard on conductors of insulated cables. Among other things, it defines a...

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was born exactly at midnight on July 10, 1856 in the tiny village of Smiljan, Lika in Croatia. In his late teens, Tesla left the village to...

Why is electricity so hard to understand?

It's been a busy few months on different projects or busy couple of decades depending on how I look at it. I can say that on the odd (frequent) occasion...

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