2011 POY Finalists: Electrical Distribution
Finalists in Electrical Distribution in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition
The Cooper B-Line ARISTA Monolithic Solar Mounting System is designed with limited components, many of which are preassembled and preconfigured per project specifications. The system can adapt to portrait and landscape mounting, and it accommodates many types and sizes of solar photovoltaic panels. It includes an expansion splice plate that connects rails with the hardware to maintain system strength without worrying about material expansion. The Dura-Blok supports help distribute system load, reduce potential wear to the roof, and are constructed of 100% recycled rubber. Preassembled strip is compatible with many ballast alternatives.
These solar disconnect switches for solar photovoltaic (PV) circuits have been introduced by Eaton. They are UL 98 listed and are labeled for NEC Article 690 PV applications per UL 1741 requirements. The switches have multiple factory-wired poles and factory-installed jumpers. They include a neutral block for grounded conductors, equipment-grounding lug, and clear polycarbonate dead front shield to prevent accidental contact with live parts. Only one fuse is required in these fused-style switches, and fuse clips are located on the center pole, away from potential back-feed. The switches are available from 30 to 600 amps and in a variety of enclosure styles.
Eaton’s line of solar combiner boxes can aggregate multiple dc source circuits in a photovoltaic system installation and convert sunlight into electricity. This allows for complete management of solar dc circuits. The boxes are available in source and array styles for 6- to 24-circuit configurations. Source combiners are located near the solar panels and have smaller input fuse holders and lower output currents than array combiners, which are found in larger installations. The boxes feature touch-safe fuse holders, 600 Vdc continuous duty ratings, poured-in-place gaskets for moisture resistance, and can be used for positive or negative grounded arrays.
Eaton has expanded its circuit breaker capabilities to offer better ground fault protection and nonfused current limiting breaker modules for the Series G circuit breakers. The Earth Leakage Modules are equipped with built-in sensor and ground fault relay to protect against equipment damage and increase safety by limiting current. The current limiting breaker modules are designed to meet increasing capacity of the electrical source, protect the system during overloads and short circuits, and automatically reset after interruption. It uses stationary and moving contact arm design to create a second set of contacts to assist during high-fault interruption.
The S-Max Series grid-tiered solar inverter from Eaton converts sunlight into ac and is designed for 600 Vdc and three-phase utility interactive operation. Embedded intelligence automates commissioning, operation, and shutdown to reduce physical contact and improve safety. It incorporates NEMA-based visible blade disconnects for ac and dc circuits to enable reliable photovoltaic system interconnection. The solar inverter incorporates programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives, and protective relays. The 250 kW inverter has active front-end technology, which can operate in harsh environments with 24/7 operation cycles. It has a 96.5% efficiency rating from the California Energy Commission.
The Liebert SH Hybrid Series surge protective device from Emerson Network Power is a hybrid product with a coordinated multistage system of suppression. It uses a transitional method that includes a silicone avalanche diode module with tight clamping and rapid response. There is also a secondary metal oxide varistor module for high-energy capacity. This is made possible with an impedance-matching network with controlled copper geometries. The series offers component-level monitoring, including neutral to ground. It has a sand-packed silver fuse network that is UL-rated at 200 kA interrupting capacity. All of the product’s surge suppression components are computer-tested.
The HP intelligent power distribution unit (iPDU) has a modular core and stick design to allow remote power monitoring and control in a data center. Remote management in the iPDU core allows monitoring of current, voltage, wattage, and power that is 99% accurate across six International Electrical Commission C19 outlets. It is mountable in 1U or 0U spaces to save rack space. Six load segment breakers prevent a problem in one segment from causing a power outage on the entire iPDU. The unit communicates with a power supply unit for auto-discovery of the server, redundant PSUs, and iPDUs.
The Model III Package Unit Substation from Schneider Electric was designed for renovation or new construction of healthcare facilities, data centers, and industrial environments. The 48-in. deep, 90-in. tall, 62.75- to 74.75-in. wide unit weighs less than 8,000 lbs and is suitable for tight spaces. It provides continued service by isolating outages faster, with substations located at each load area. New load areas can be added without affecting the substation, and front-accessible units can be installed against a wall or in a corner without de-rating. Each transformer has been built to all UL safety requirements.
These solar switches from Siemens Industry Inc. are UL-listed for use with three separate 600 Vdc circuits on negative ground photovoltaic systems. They are available in 30 to 100 amp ratings and are NEC Article 690 compliant. Powerful magnets incorporated into the line base of the switch are strategically aligned to dissipate the hot arc generated when a dc circuit is opened under load. They satisfy both UL 98 and UL 1741 requirements. The switches are available in fusible and nonfusible types for indoor or outdoor applications. A factory-installed ground bar and rolled front flange come standard.
Universal Electric Corp. has released the Starline Critical Power Monitor (CPM), a touchscreen wireless monitor for data centers. The color LCD screen displays electrical current, voltage, temperature, and power on any or all phases on the bar. This allows full monitoring and plug-and-play flexible integration. Readings are accurate within less than 1%, and the product can connect via RS485, Ethernet, or wireless mesh network. Monitors are factory-built into Starline power feeds and plug-ins. They are calibrated to meet ANSI revenue grade standards for power usage and are further customizable to suit the specific needs of data centers.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey