Read about the 26 finalists in the Electrical Distribution category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.
Cooper B-Line’s rack security doors are designed for physical layer security for IT applications. The rack security door can be installed on the front or back of a two-post rack, ensuring that hardware inside the rack is not accessible once the door is locked. Each door includes adjustable brackets to accommodate various cable management depths. Installers can secure the product without turning off or disconnecting any equipment. They also provide security for 84-in. racks, are designed for use on two-post, nonwelded systems, and do not need special equipment for usage.
The Redi-Rail cable tray system by Cooper B-Line features an I-Beam side rail design, which reduces design time, installation cost, and procurement costs. The system also utilizes the efficiency of the I-Beam shape along with the strength and corrosion resistance of Aluminum 6063-T6 material. This makes the Redi-Rail system easier to cut, handle, and install while still maintaining a NEMA 12B load rating. The Redi-Rail system has also optimized the location of the pre-punched rung and splice holes. The holes are positioned at the top and bottom of the I-Beam web. Because they are mechanically fastened, each rung can be moved or removed for precise cable dropouts.
The 1500 Vdc photovoltaic fuse line by Cooper Bussmann permits OEMs to design efficient solar power systems. With UL, IEC, and CCC approvals, the entire line permits designers to create systems that are globally accepted. PV system manufacturers can select from sizes ranging from a 14- x 65-mm ferrule fuse to four square body XL sizes, with ampacities from 15 to 400 A. Designed specifically to protect and isolate PV array combiners and disconnects, these high-performance fuses are capable of interrupting low overcurrents associated with faulted PV systems, such as reverse current and multi-array faults.
The CUBEFuse portfolio of Class CF fuses by Cooper Bussmann protect solar and wind power generation installations. Listed to UL 2579, the PVCF photovoltaic version withstands extreme temperature cycling conditions of -40 to 90 C. It is designed to protect PV cell arrays by responding to fault current levels encountered in solar installations, and is available in 600 Vdc ratings from 35 to 100 A. Recognized to UL 248, the wind power version is specially rated at 690 Vac and available in ampacities from 1 to 100 A along with 30, 60, or 100 A 690 V rated ampacity rejecting holders that help prevent overfusing.
The Class R, H(K), and J knifeblade fuse blocks by Cooper Bussmann feature a snap-together design for easy assembly of required poles at point of application and optional high-clarity finger-safe covers across the entire product line. They are ideal for panel builders, processing and machinery plants, as well as HVAC and critical power applications. In addition to the snap-together 1-pole versions, factory assembled 2- and 3-pole configurations are available. Optional high-clarity, see-through, finger-safe covers feature test probe holes, making routine maintenance safe, quick, and easy.
The UL 1449 third edition recognized Type 1 SurgePOD module for SPD assemblies and systems by Cooper Bussmann is designed to fit into any existing design or assembly. SurgePOD modules offer time-saving benefits, such as easy-to-use color coding, optional visual indication, and remote contact signaling. Designed for OEMs, these SurgePOD modules feature a common industry size for all voltages from 150 to 550 V. The SurgePOD Type 1 modules feature unique color-coding system by voltage so end users can select the correct module.
The UL DIN-Rail SPDs by Cooper Bussmann deliver comprehensive UL 1449 third edition recognized overvoltage protection. Modular DIN-Rail design with color coding makes it easy to install the right module. Finger-safe construction improves electrical safety, while a rejection feature assures system integrity by preventing misapplication of SPD modules. Vibration and shock resistance according to EN 60068-2 are ideal for harsher conditions. Once installed, users can rely on easyID local visual indication and optional remote contact signaling to monitor module status. Available with short-circuit current ratings up to 200 kA, these SPDs are ideal for UL 508A panel shops.
The ATEX-rated hub is an expansion of Cooper Crouse-Hinds’ Myers hub line for the termination of circuits through enclosure walls. Myers hubs are designed for indoor or outdoor use and are suitable for use in environmentally demanding applications, including those with the presence of chemicals. The ATEX-rated hub is listed for use in hazardous or classified locations to IEC-ATEX certifications. It is ideal for global requirements and OEM’s shipping material worldwide. The ATEX hub is available in trade sizes 1/2 to 4 in.
The PowerMate Drilling Pin and Sleeve Connectors by Cooper Crouse-Hinds are designed to provide safe and reliable power to improve operations for drilling rig systems. PowerMate products are also compatible with all UL 1686 listed plugs and receptacles. PowerMate connectors quickly and efficiently connect power during rig-ups and disconnect power during rig-downs. All PowerMate Plugs also include a lockout feature that complies with OSHA lockout/tagout requirements. This ensures that a plug cannot be inserted into a receptacle when maintenance is being performed. PowerMate Drilling Pin and Sleeve Connectors are available in 30, 60, 100, and 150 A offerings.
The USB Duplex Tamper Resistant (TR) receptacle by Cooper Wiring Devices eliminates the need for bulky adapters by including two integrated USB charging ports rated at 2.1 A to charge virtually any electronic device. The combination USB charger is ideal for both commercial and residential applications and is available in both 15 and 20 A. TR shutters offer a safer alternative by resisting the insertion of foreign objects that could cause electrical shock. The receptacle also features pre-stripped wire leads for easy installation and is available in five different color options to seamlessly fit into any new or existing design.
The DMC 1500 PowerCommand Paralleling System combines Cummins Power Generation’s microprocessor-based control technology with an icon-based graphical user interface designed to maximize user-friendliness. The system consists of a PowerCommand system-level digital master control integrated with custom-engineered switchgear. The DMC 1500 communicates with the PowerCommand generator set and transfer switch controls for seamless integration. DMC 1500 systems can also be used for prime power at remote locations. Power transitions can be open or closed, in either fast (100 ms) or gradual ramping mode. The system includes utility paralleling functions for peak-shaving, base-loading, and load add/load shed sequence control.
Eaton’s arc-resistant switchgear is engineered to enhance operator safety, while the front-accessible design minimizes equipment footprint for utility, industrial, data center, institutional, hospital, and water and wastewater facilities. The front-accessible design enables the equipment to be installed against the wall. Eaton’s switchgear meets UL 1558 and ANSI C37.20.7 arc-resistant standards for personnel protection. The arc-resistant switchgear is engineered to protect personnel from dangerous arcing faults by redirecting or channeling the arc energy out the top of the gear. The switchgear is designed to protect the operator around the entire perimeter of the equipment.
The bi-directional dc disconnect switches from Eaton are designed to enhance operator safety, extend equipment life, and reduce installation costs in both grounded and ungrounded systems. The safety switches are available at 30, 60, and 100 A, have either 600 or 1000 Vdc configurations, and meet UL 98B standards. These switches are capable of breaking up to six circuits with one switch. Switches for grounded systems include individual, isolated terminals for landing the grounded conductors.
Eaton’s drawout MCCB panelboard and switchboard may be substituted for nearly any traditional application but have been specifically designed to meet the needs of mission critical industries that desire maximum uptime to protect critical loads, data integrity, and operational continuity. On both units, drawout feeder MCCBs are available in 2- and 3-pole offerings from 20 to 600 A. The MCCBs are designed with a drawout cassette that has two distinct parts. The cassette “base” is specially designed so that the lineside connections to the panelboard or switchboard’s vertical bus and the loadside connection to the feeder conductors can be permanent.
The Magnum DS switchgear incorporates the Magnum Narrow 4000 A circuit breaker and is designed for customers who require high power density in a limited space. Reducing equipment footprint enables commercial, industrial, institutional, and government facilities to condense electrical closet size and reduce total cost of ownership. Eaton condensed the Magnum narrow frame power and air circuit breaker into a 30-in. wide switchgear structure to minimize overall space requirements and deliver high-level performance. The reduced size and weight of the compact breaker also make it more manageable for the operator to handle.
Eaton's Power Xpert Solar 1500 kW inverter for utility-scale solar applications is designed to convert dc power into clean ac and to improve plant levelized cost of energy. It has been engineered to reduce installation costs, boost reliability, and improve plant uptime by using a skid-less inverter station. The inverter is designed to use a medium-voltage pad-mount transformer, which is connected to the inverter via a direct-coupled throat connection, reducing cable requirements, pad size, and commissioning time. It is outdoor-rated and features a wide maximum power point tracking voltage range.
The Series 6001 energy storage grid-connect inverter by Eaton is engineered to provide improved power stability for wind and solar energy customers. The Series 6001 delivers conversion in utility applications for wind, solar, and other heavy industrial power applications by creating a link between the power source and battery. The inverter helps utilities reduce downtime and clear faults faster by staying on line during fault conditions. True low-voltage ride through with proprietary algorithms enables the inverter to run near zero line voltage for extended periods while synchronized. It is engineered for utility-scale grid-connect battery applications and achieves full battery storage through a dc operating voltage window.
The Evolution Series Switchboard line by General Electric is designed for critical power applications such as high-rise hotels and casinos, hospitals, airports, and universities. Featuring innovative instantaneous zone-selective interlocking (I-ZSI) and waveform recognition (WFR) technologies, the Evolution Series Switchboard provides users with an unparalleled, industry-first combination of full selective coordination and simultaneous arc flash protection. GE’s Evolution Series Switchboard no longer requires building managers to sacrifice arc flash protection for selectivity. When responding to a fault, the Evolution Series Switchboard has the intelligence to tell circuit breakers to respond either immediately or as a backup, depending on the situation.
FAS Power FB816 prefabricated assemblies from Legrand are designed to reduce installation time for electrical rough-ins. Each FB816 is shipped pre-wired, fully assembled, and ready for use in concrete block walls. Each assembly comes with a clear cover to protect pre-wired P&S PlugTail connectors. P&S outlets and switches are installed at finish with a snap. They are available with single, double, or round adjustable plaster rings, and each ring adjusts to fit blocks up to 1-1/2-in. thick. All assemblies are fitted with an EMT compression fitting and an optional foot EMT stub.
TC4 and TC5 Twist-on metal junction boxes by Legrand install directly on the sides or bottom of any CF series Cablofil cable management. Its fast and secure attachment requires only a 45-deg twist and uses no special hardware. The Twist-on metal junction boxes are available in 4- and 4-11/16-in. box sizes and feature sturdy metallic construction with twist-on attachment hardware and standard knockouts. The boxes feature standard knockouts on four sides and are UL classified. They are designed to accept all NEMA face plates and plaster rings. The kit includes flat covers, mounting screws, box, and bonding software.
USS and USSA by Legrand are metal supports for solar panel installations on flat or slightly angled surfaces. The USS is a one-piece, pre-angled 10-deg angle design, and the USSA is an adjustable version available in 10-, 20-, or 30-deg angles. The two-piece USSA design allows for height and angle adjustments to correct roof imperfections. Both versions feature built-in Delta Strut locators to make cross-member positioning quick and exact to save installation time. Delta Strut cross members are secured using thread-forming fasteners to support utility-grade photovoltaics up to 77 in. long.
The Lev-Lok line of illuminated receptacles from Leviton has been expanded with the addition of Decora Illuminated Duplex Receptacles. The illuminated face makes it easy to identify energized receptacles in both light and dark conditions, making them ideal for use on emergency circuits. These devices satisfy National Electrical Code requirements while confirming power to the receptacle. The Lev-Lok Modular Wiring Device System speeds the installation, providing for faster, safer installation both during construction as well as at device change-out. Other features include a nickel-plated brass, single-piece wrap-around mounting strap, and a green LED illuminated blade slot for easy power indication.
Schneider Electric’s DIN Rail Industrial Panel UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is an industrial panel or DIN rail mountable, making it ideal for small industrial spaces. The unit provides 500 VA of power and features an integrated dry contact I/O that provides battery status and emergency power off without an additional accessory. Integrated temperature-compensated battery charging prolongs battery life by regulating the charge voltage according to battery temperature, while an automatic battery self-test enables early detection and identification when a battery needs replacement.
The Blackburn Hydraulic PowerTap System from Thomas & Betts is a battery-powered wedge-tap connector installation tool that eliminates the need to use a powder-actuated, fire-on style tool, resulting in minimal cleaning and maintenance. The Blackburn Hydraulic PowerTap System employs a battery-powered hydraulic system that eliminates the mess and expense caused by powder-actuated cartridges. The Blackburn Hydraulic PowerTap System features a quick-connect coupler that allows for a fast and positive engagement between the tool head assembly and the power unit. The C-member of a wedge-tap connector applies constant contact pressure to the conductor through the expansion and contraction of thermal cycling.
The Elastimold Recloser from Thomas & Betts is available in one- or three-phase configurations and includes an integrated pole-mounting bracket and a 360-deg open/closed position indicator. Its magnetic actuator design provides long and maintenance-free service life. The Elastimold Recloser has a standard 150 kV BIL rating and is available in 15, 27, and 38 kV configurations. The Elastimold Recloser is also lightweight and insulated with a silicon polymer. The single-phase recloser offers a rotating mounting bracket for fast and easy repositioning. It also comes with current transformer and load-side voltage sensors and is compatible with SEL controls.
Thomas & Betts Power Solutions has enabled the deployment of micro grids with its Cyberex Super-SwitchGT, which offers autonomous operation and powering from distributed energy sources (islanding). The three-phase Cyberex SuperSwitchGT protects critical loads connected to a distributed energy source, or micro grid, from power quality anomalies on the utility grid by instantly isolating it. The Cyberex SuperSwitchGT uses silicon-controlled rectifiers to connect and disconnect the micro grid quickly to and from the utility grid in 20 μsec or less. This allows critical operation with equipment needing a continuous power source.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.