What Should Electrical Engineers Connect to an Emergency Generator in a Commercial Building?

Commercial buildings are characterized by the continuous presence of a large number of occupants, which means safety should be among the top priorities for the companies that own them and the electrical engineers involved in their maintenance. When addressing the topic of backup generators, there are two main categories: emergency loads and standby loads. Emergency loads include the equipment and building systems that would create life-threatening conditions if they stop operating. For example, [...]

2018-09-18T15:11:07+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

US Department of Energy: Electrical Engineering Efficiency Standards for Appliances and Equipment

Energy and electrical engineering in all its forms are complex technical topics, and for the general public it can be hard to tell which products are energy efficient. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has been creating and enforcing standards since 1979 to ensure that appliances and equipment provide value for customers. This has been one of the most effective energy efficiency policies ever implemented by the US, yielding billions of dollars in energy [...]

2018-09-17T21:29:52+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Electrical Engineers Explain Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Electrical engineers have noted that electric vehicles are gaining a larger share of the automotive market, while also becoming more affordable. Environmental awareness has become a key driving force in EV adoption among consumers, and businesses are realizing they can attract these drivers by offering EV charging stations. Some government programs such as the California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) rule are requiring automakers to offer more environmentally friendly vehicles. The emissions reduction potential of EVs [...]

2018-09-17T17:30:25+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Ask an Electrical Engineering Professional: Are My Electric Motors Well Protected?

Electric motors are normally out of sight, but they perform many important functions in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Electric motors are used to drive air handlers, chillers, furnace blowers, water pumps and elevators, to name a few examples. For this reason, it is an important part of electrical engineering to keep them in optimal operating condition, and an important aspect of safe motor operation is providing them with reliable electrical protections. Three-phase [...]

2018-09-17T15:33:01+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Electrical Safety and Power Quality: A Short Guide for Electrical Engineering

Electricity is one of the cornerstones of modern society, but it can be very dangerous if handled incorrectly. Therefore, governments have introduced stringent codes to regulate its use and ensure safety for occupants. A building’s power supply must be safe to use, and it must also have the voltage and frequency required by the electrical appliances in the building. The electrical engineering systems that provide electrical safety and power quality are typically hidden from [...]

2018-09-17T15:27:52+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Basic Concepts of Lighting Design, According to Electrical Engineers

Lighting system design is a very important aspect of construction projects, and the best performance is achieved when lighting is specified through detailed calculations and not “rules of thumb” by electrical engineers. However, lighting has a key difference with other building systems like HVAC and plumbing: there is a subjective and artistic factor involved. Lighting systems must provide adequate visibility, but they also set the ambiance of built environments. Effective communication is important in any engineering design [...]

2018-09-17T14:39:21+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

A Look at Cable Bus, Courtesy of Electrical Engineers

Cable installation is one of the activities that demand the most man-hours from electrical engineers in building construction and renovation projects. The use of a reliable wire management system makes the installation simpler and safer, and cable bus is very useful when dealing with medium-voltage conductors. The NFPA 70 National Electrical Code dedicates Chapter 3 to Wiring Methods and Materials, including raceway systems for conductors above 600V. Cable bus is used with conductors much [...]

2018-09-14T21:11:35+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Adequate Electrical Engineering Creates Energy Efficiency Measures with a Short Payback Period

When property managers are considering energy efficiency measures, one electrical engineering question is always present: What is the project budget and payback period? Building upgrades with a shorter payback are normally given priority, since the funds they save become available sooner. A short payback also means the measure achieves high savings relative to its cost - more dollars returned per dollar spent upfront. If you want to improve the performance of your building and [...]

2018-09-14T21:07:42+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Advantages of Electronically Commutated Motors in Electrical Engineering

Electronically commutated motors (ECMs) can achieve significant energy savings in electrical engineering applications where fractional horsepower is required. Although NEMA Premium Efficiency motors with variable-frequency drives provide the most efficient solution to drive equipment above 1 hp, induction motors are outclassed by ECMs as the rated horsepower is reduced. What is an Electronically Commutated Motor? Although ECMs are designed to run with an AC power supply, it is important to note they are actually direct-current motors with [...]

2018-09-14T21:05:32+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

A Construction Engineers Guide to Selecting the Right Type of Electrical Raceway: Metallic Conduit Options

Electrical conductors are subject to stringent installation requirements, established in the NFPA National Electrical Code and the NYC Electrical Code, to which construction engineers must abide. There are many logical reasons for this. A conductor in the open is vulnerable to physical damage, and at the same time it represents a high risk of electric shock or fire. Therefore, conductors must have both electrical insulation and physical protection; unless a conductor is armored or [...]

2018-09-14T21:01:34+00:00 Electrical Engineering|