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..




Batteries

A battery consists of one or more cells, each of which use stored chemical energy to produce electrical energy, There are many types of cells and these...

Electromagnetic Fields - Exposure Limits

Exposure to time varying magnetic fields, from power frequencies to the gigahertz range can have harmful consequences.  A lot of research has been conducted...

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...

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...

ABB Technical Guides - Motor Operation

ABB has produced a range of technical guides that offer concise explanations of the major technologies and technical issues in low voltage AC drives. ...

Harmonised Cable Codes and Colours

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

Why use catalogues

I'm a fan of using manufacturers catalogues. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, if your involved in the purchase of equipment, you will likely...

Cable Sheath and Armour Loss

When sizing cables, the heat generated  by losses within any sheath or armour need to be evaluated. When significant, it becomes a factor to be considered...

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...

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...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note