Photovoltaic (PV) - Utility Power Grid Interface

By Steven McFadyen on 4/4/2013 12:47 PM

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are typically more efficient when connected in parallel with a main power gird. During periods when the PV system generates energy this can be utilized and the grid energy u... read more..


Switchboard - Forms of Internal Separation

By Steven McFadyen on 1/29/2012 12:57 PM

IEC 61439 'Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies', specifies standard arrangements of switchboard (call forms of internal separation).

read more..


Fire Resistant and Fire Retardant Cables

By Steven McFadyen on 7/4/2013 1:31 PM

Fire resistant and fire retardant cable sheaths are design to resist combustion and limit the propagation of flames. Low smokes cables have a sheath designed to limit the amount of smoke and toxic ha... read more..


How to measure power supply quality

By Steven McFadyen on 2/14/2012 11:43 AM

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 you have a good electrical supply before movin... read more..


IEC Document Designation

By Steven McFadyen on 5/9/2012 2:07 PM

Often document control is dictated by project requirements, for example a particular organisation may have an existing numbering system. Existing company or group/department document control systems may... read more..


Lighting Design - An Introduction

By Steven McFadyen on 4/12/2012 1:50 PM

From the earliest times, humans have found ways to create light. Pre-historic peoples used natural materials (moss, grass, etc.) soaked in animal fat and then ignited. Around 3000 to 4500 BC, oil lam... read more..


Low Voltage Circuit Breakers

By Steven McFadyen on 4/15/2012 1:55 PM

Circuit breakers are switching devices whose primary function is to isolate parts of an electrical distribution system in the even of abnormal conditions.  Abnormal conditions are generally caused ... read more..


Medium Voltage Switchgear Room Design Guide

By Steven McFadyen on 5/9/2012 2:12 PM

Many medium voltage (MV) indoor switchgear rooms  exist worldwide. The complexity of these rooms varies considerably depending on location, function and technology adopted by the owner. This articl... read more..


Low Voltage Switchroom Design Guide

By Steven McFadyen on 5/9/2012 2:10 PM

Low voltage (LV) switchrooms are common across all industries and one of the more common spatial requirements which need to be designed into a project. Main LV switchrooms w... read more..


Standard Cable & Wire Sizes

By Steven McFadyen on 4/9/2012 7:45 AM

IEC 60228 is the International Electrotechnical Commission's international standard on conductors of insulated cables. Among other things, it defines a set of standard wire cross-sections. In the United... read more..


Power Factor

By Steven McFadyen on 7/10/2012 11:43 AM

Power factor is the ratio between the real power (P in kW) and apparent power (S in kVA) drawn by an electrical load.

The reactive power (Q in kVAr) causes the real and apparent power to be ... read more..


Introduction to Lighting

By Steven McFadyen on 4/4/2012 1:32 PM

When looking at the design of a lighting scheme it is useful to have an understanding on the nature of light itself and some of the basic theory associated with this.  This article provides an over... read more..




Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries are cost effect and reliable, making them suitable for many applications.This note examines topics of interest associated with the...

Arc Flash Calculations

Working in the vicinity of electrical equipment poses an hazard. In addition to electric shock hazard, fault currents passing through air causes Arc Flash...

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...

Magicians of Engineering

The other day I was reading 'Night of the New Magicians' by Mary Pope Osborn with my son.  The story is about a young boy and girl who travel back in time...

Wiki Depreciation

We have had the Wiki with us for a long time now, but at last I have decided to say bye bye – more details on why below.

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 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...

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...

Voltage Levels – Confused?

I was having a conversation the other day about voltage levels.  While everyone was in agreement that low voltage was 1000 V and less, there was more confusion...

Paternoster Lifts

These lifts were first built in 1884 by J. E. Hall and called a paternoster ("Our Father", the first two words of the Lord's Prayer in Latin) due to its...

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