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..




Back to Basics - Ohm’s Law

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...

How to Calculate Motor Starting Time

Request to look at induction motor starting time have come up a few times on the site. Hopefully in this post, I give you guys some idea on how to calculate...

Frame Leakage Protection

While not as popular as it once was, frame leakage protection does still have some use in some circumstances.  In essence frame leakage is an earth fault...

The ac resistance of conductors

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...

Low Voltage Switchroom Design Guide

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...

Cable Trumps

Bored at work and would rather be playing trump card game with you son. The next best thing (or not) maybe the online cable trump card game from AEI Cables...

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...

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...

ANSI (IEEE) Protective Device Numbering

The widely used United Sates standard ANSI/IEEE C37.2 'Electrical Power System Device Function Numbers, Acronyms, and Contact Designations' deals with...

Maxwell's Equations - Gauss's Electric Field Law

Gauss's Electrical law defines the relation between charge ("Positive" & "Negative") and electric field.  The law was initially formulated by Carl Friedrich...

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