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..




Fault Calculations - Introduction

Fault calculations are one of the most common types of calculation carried out during the design and analysis of electrical systems. These calculations...

How Electrical Circuits Work

If you have no idea how electrical circuits work, or what people mean then they talk about volts and amps, hopefully I can shed a bit light.  I’m intending...

8 Steps to Low Voltage Power Cable Selection and Sizing

A recurring theme on our forums is cable sizing. Now many installations are unique and require special consideration. However, a lot of the time things...

Photovoltaic (PV) - Electrical Calculations

Photovoltaic (PV) cells (sometimes called solar cells) convert solar energy into electrical energy.  Every year more and more PV systems are installed...

Write your best report

Years ago I was told that you should always try to write the best report you can.  Many years later I still think on this as one of the better pieces of...

Understanding electric motor insulation & temperature

Anyone specifying or using electric motors should have a basic understanding how the insulation is related to temperature. Three classes of insulation...

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...

Software Usage Guidelines

Using software in our  work is essential for most of us and we are becoming even more dependant on it's use.  While software is a great asset, many times...

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...

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...

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