Nov. 30, 2001

Despite small glitches, power resources to remain adequate for winter

Severe drought conditions have limited hydropower utilities in the Pacific Northwest in the generation of electricity, but a matching reduction in customer demand will head off a power shortage problem this winter, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council’s (NERC) “2001/2002 Winter Assessment.”

A similar decrease in demand in California, coupled with improved resources, points to adequate capacity margins throughout the winter in the state that was plagued by electricity problems in 2000.

Although the report mentions the potential for transmission congestion during the course of the season, fuel supplies, inventories, and deliveries are expected to be adequate. In fact, homeowners still reeling from the price of natural gas last winter can look forward to a respite this year, as natural gas storage facilities are currently at levels 20% greater than at the same time last year.

For the full report, visit NERC’s Web site at www.nerc.com.



Nov. 30, 2001

HAI offers free integrated automation training

Home Automation Inc. (HAI), a manufacturer of integrated automation and security products based in New Orleans, recently released its 2002 training schedule, which includes 110 classes throughout the United States.

The free one-day training class, entitled "Integrated Automation" is a comprehensive course covering the many features and functions of HAI's products. Classes are open to security installers, electrical contractors, HVAC installers, builders and developers, or other interested professionals. In addition to receiving an HAI training certificate, T-shirt, and product discounts, attendees will be eligible for continuing education credits from the Home Automation & Networking Association (HANA) and NTS.

To register, visit www.homeauto.com or call (800) 229-7256, ext. 226.



Nov. 28, 2001

IEC announces Apprentice of the Year winners

Electrical apprentices from across the country recently competed for the industry’s National Apprentice of the Year Competition. Hosted by the Independent Electrical Contractors Inc., Alexandria, Va., the competition was held during its 44th Annual National Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas. The competition featured 19 apprentices that had previously won local competitions and progressed to the national competition, which included a written exam, interview, and a hands-on installation problem.

Larry King of Tibs Group, Decatur, Ga., representing the IEC Atlanta Chapter, finished in first place. Second place went to Jason Muller of Muth Electric Inc., Mitchell, S.D., representing the IEC Dakotas Inc. Third place went to Clinton Marks, All Phase Electric and Maintenance Inc., Tampa, Fla., representing the IEC Inc. Florida West Coast Chapter.



Nov. 28, 2001

WESCO releases WESCalc literature and CD-ROM

WESCO Distribution, Pittsburgh, recently released a two-page flier and mini CD-ROM on its online code calculator, WESCalc. The literature explains how WESCalc enables users to find National Electric Code information on a Palm OS device or PC. It also outlines how you can get reference information on the following areas: conductors, motors, transformers, metal boxes, a hole saw table, minimum depth of clear workspace, and an English-to-metric conversion table.

To get a copy of the flier or the mini CD-ROM, contact Tom Draper at (412) 454-2225.



Nov. 26, 2001

Free lighting layout software available

Appleton, Skokie, Ill., now offers free access to its CalcMaster lighting software on the Web at www.appletonelec.com.

Based on the popular zonal cavity method that allows you to do simple lighting layouts, the CalcMaster program helps you determine the number of fixtures needed (given a desired average illuminance) and the average illuminance (based on a set number of fixtures).

To access CalcMaster, register at www.appletonelec.com — a process that takes less than 5 min. For more information, contact Appleton at (847) 679-7800.



Nov. 26, 2001

BAHCO introduces new tool line

BAHCO North America, a Scranton, Pa.-based subsidiary of Snap-On Inc., recently announced plans to launch a new brand of tools for the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and contractor trades.

The tools, which carry the brand name BAHCO by Snap-on, were introduced at the 2001 Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distribution Association (STAFDA) show in San Antonio. They include saws and cutting products, and will be sold at tool distributors across North America.

For more information, visit www.bahco.com/us.



Nov. 26, 2001

Progressive Electronics changes name to Tempo-Mesa

Progressive Electronics, Mesa, Ariz., recently changed its name to Tempo-Mesa. In 1999, the telephone test set and probe manufacturer was acquired by Textron Inc. (www.textron.com), Providence, R.I., and it now operates under the name of its parent company, Tempo (www.tempo.textron.com).

According to the company, equipment under its Progessive brand name will transition to the Tempo brand name and label in the coming months.



Nov. 21, 2001

ABB cuts R&D jobs by 135 in U.S. and Europe

As part of a process to “streamline” its research and development operations, ABB, the Zurich, Switzerland-based automation technology group recently announced a net reduction in R&D personnel by 135 scientists at its European, U.S., and Asian centers. The cuts include the elimination of 210 jobs in Europe and an increase of 75 jobs in the United States and Asia.

According to ABB President and CEO Jörgen Centerman, the cuts are part of a desire to shift the company’s focus to technologies that increase productivity and sustainability for utility and industry customers, especially growth areas linked to ABB’s initiative called industrial information technology, or Industrial IT.

The shift will involve moving research initiatives into technologies like wireless communications in industrial plants and software developments. At a technology presentation held in front of members of the media at the company’s R&D laboratory in Dättwil, Switzerland, Centerman and chief technology officer Markus Bayegan outlined ABB’s the cuts and the company’s new strategy.

“With Industrial IT, we are developing a common architecture allowing customers to link our generic and branch-specific offerings—and third-party products—into more efficient manufacturing and business operations,” Centerman said.

ABB spent nearly 3% of its revenues, or $700 million, on R&D in 2000.



Nov. 21, 2001

Advance Transformer announces Eagle Award winners

Advance Transformer Co., Rosemont, Ill., recently announced the winners of its annual Eagle Awards contest, which honors energy service companies (ESCOs) for their outstanding lighting upgrade projects, at the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) conference held in Boca Raton, Fla. The winning ESCOs included: Advanced Energy (Florida), Lighting Management Consultants (Texas), Energy Conservation Corp. (Michigan), Energy Management Consultants (Maine), and BESTAR (Ohio).

Eagle Awards are presented annually to ESCOs for projects that exhibited highest annual kilowatt savings, best return on investment (ROI), unique application of ballast technology, highest percent of energy savings, and most innovative energy-efficiency project. The winners were chosen through the Advance 5 Star program for ESCOs. For information on becoming an Advance 5 Star member, call (888) 322-4282.



Nov. 21, 2001

MaxLite retrofits historic theater with energy-efficient lighting

This year’s energy crisis has caused energy-efficient retrofits for many buildings in the Pacific Northwest. Among them is Spokane, Wash.’s Garland Theater, a historic, art deco-styled building. MaxLite, a manufacturer and marketer of fluorescent lighting, was hired to work with lighting professionals to convert the theater’s lighting.

The Pine Brook, N.J.-based company converted all the lighting except the neon lights and marquee in front of the theater. The project cut the theater’s energy bills in half, and reduced the theater’s overall electric consumption by two-thirds.

“The conversion of this landmark building is the first step in the planned retrofit of an entire city district to MaxLite products,” says Yon Sung, MaxLite CEO. “Some 320 units, comprising six different styles of MaxLite fluorescents were utilized in the project. We are very happy with the results.”



Nov. 19, 2001

IEC presents 2001 construction awards

The Independent Electrical Contractors Inc., Alexandria, Va., recently presented three quality awards for electrical construction at its 44th Annual National Convention in Las Vegas in October.

Greenline Inc., Tigaro, Ore., received the 2001 Quality Award for Residential Construction. It was honored for work on the Renaissance Homes project, known as The Big Easy. “This project presented a challenge in that the home is a ‘showroom’ for state of the art residential technology,” said IEC National Jim Thurman. “Greenline was able to pull it all together and show how technology can be integrated to provide ease of use and flexibility.”

Encompass Electrical Technologies, formerly Taylor-Hunt Electric, of Salt Lake City, was honored with the 2001 Quality Award for Commercial Construction for its work on the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

The recipient of the 2001 Quality Award for Industrial Construction was Denier Electric Company Inc. of Cincinnati. Denier was honored for its work on an e-commerce distribution center for The Gap.



Nov. 19, 2001

Infrared thermography courses unveiled for 2002

The Infrared Training Center (ITC), N. Billerica, Mass., recently released its 2002 schedule of hands-on training and certification for infrared camera and application software users. Training programs include Level I, II, and III Predictive Maintenance (PdM) Thermography, Research and Development, Reporter Software, Thermography Program Development, and Written Practice Development.

All of the infrared thermography courses, which emphasize applications and program development, include hands-on infrared equipment operation with extensive laboratory and workshop exercises. Instructors also cover thermographic surveys, report generation, case history analysis, and training for PdM applications. Students are also introduced to the fundamentals of thermography, heat transfer and infrared theory.

ITC certification meets or exceeds the American Society for Non-Destructive Testing (ASNT) SNT–TC-1A guidelines regarding the education, testing, training, and certification of thermographers. ASNT, a technical and professional organization, has standardized the qualification and certification of NDT/Thermography personnel. Level I and Level II courses are accredited by NETA (International Electrical Testing Association), an accredited standards developer for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Visit www.infraredtraining.com or call (866) 872-4647 for training venues and more information.



Nov. 16, 2001

2002 outlook sees drop in construction

As reported in the November 2 edition of Electrical Marketing, after a decade of steady and sometimes spectacular growth, the construction market will slow down through the early part of next year, according to economists at the F.W. Dodge 2002 Construction Outlook Forecast, held Oct. 30 in Washington.

Total construction spending will drop slightly from $481.4 billion this year to $481 billion in 2002, said Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs, McGraw-Hill Construction Information Group, New York. Regionally, the South Atlantic, West, and other areas of the Sunbelt will fare better than the Rustbelt and other areas of the country with a historic dependence on heavy industry.

The strongest segments of the construction market will be educational building, with a 3% increase to 275 million sq ft of new construction and single-family housing. Although Murray expects new home construction to drop 2% to 1.175 million units, that level of building is still quite healthy and is above the residential construction activity in the last recession, when housing starts dipped below 1 million units.

The school construction market remains healthy because enrollment in K-8 elementary schools remains at or near all-time highs. As this demographic bulge works its way through high school and college enrollment, these market segments will see even more construction.

On the down side of the construction market, office and hotel construction are expected to continue to slide, with office construction dipping 5% to 240 million sq ft (following a 16% decline in 2001) and hotel construction dropping 15% to 50 million sq ft, its fourth year of double-digit declines.

Murray also expects spending on utility construction to decline 11% to $15.5 billion in 2002, but this follows three years of explosive growth. Larry Makovich, senior director and co-head of the North American Energy Group, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Cambridge, Mass., added that utility construction will peak in 2001 and then “be in a decline that will take several years to work off.”

Makovich said that New York City and the Southeast are tight power markets and will need more capacity through this downturn. He said the wind, solar, and alternative energy markets will grow because of government mandates requiring states to produce certain percentages of their power with green technologies. He added that construction of small power plants close to demand centers would be another growing segment of the utility market.

Murray and David Wyss, chief economist, Standard and Poors, New York, said the health of the overall construction market in 2002 will depend in large part on how quickly the nation comes out of the recession, its reaction to government economic stimulus packages, the Bush tax break, Federal Reserve rate cuts, the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks, and the war in Afghanistan.

While Wyss believes the recession will be mild and will probably be over within the year, he expects it to be rough going for the next few months, with more layoffs and uncertainty stemming from the Sept. 11 events.

“Even before the recession, we were skating on thin ice, but we thought we were going to escape a recession. Now it’s more of a question of how long and how deep,” he said.

Wyss believes the United States will break out of the recession by the end of 2002, but he said for this to happen oil prices must remain stable, and consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy, must continue.

Because of the terrorist attacks and war in Afghanistan, the oil issue is critical, he said.

“Oil is not an issue right now, but it could be because of a disruption at suppliers.”

He also said the increasing unemployment figures—though still under what the U.S. economy experienced in the past few recessions—will grow through next spring. He said there have been about 1 million layoffs in recent months, with the telecommunications, airline, and hotel industries hit worst. Wyss added that there will probably be another 2 million layoffs between now and next spring.



Nov. 16, 2001

Distributor to sell datacom products
at its 330+ outlets

Rexel, Inc., the U.S. operations of Rexel SA of France, recently announced it will offer data communications products at each of its more than 330 local electrical branches by early next year.

According to the company, headquartered in Dallas, this move will make it the U.S. distributor with the most local branches marketing and carrying datacom products.

“From a customer standpoint, we’ll be able to improve service dramatically,” says Tim Copeland, president of Rexel, Inc.’s datacom division. “Our customer will have access to communications products in more locations than ever before, and our ability to deliver these products will be greatly enhanced.”

The company is calling the move “Conectis.” It originated in the mid-1990s in France. There, the company sought to capitalize on the movement of electrical contractors into the datacom market. In less than five years, sales of communications products at Rexel’s French electrical branches went from zero to more than $100 million/year.

The program’s expansion to the U.S. has just begun. As in France, the program’s target market is electrical contractors, many of whom already do business with Rexel’s branches.

Dick Waterman, executive vice president and CEO of Rexel, Inc., will oversee a team that will drive the national communications product initiative. According to the company, the team will also include a new national vice president of communications products.



Nov. 16, 2001

Automation technologies will grow, VDC reports

The worldwide market for distributed control systems, personal computer-based systems, and programmable logic controller systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% from about $2.2 billion in 2000 to more than $3 billion in 2005, according to the projections of Venture Development Corp. (VDC), Natick, Mass.

In a report entitled “Global Markets and User Needs for Industrial Distributed/Remote/I/O, Second Edition,” VDC predicts distributed control systems (DCSs) will use thousands of I/O points in large-scale applications prevalent in continuous-process applications, and thus remain the preferred system in that area. However, programmable logic controller (PLC)-based systems are invading process-control markets. Offering batch processing and discrete functions, PLCs can do much that once only DCSs could. VDC also notes another significant trend: the use of hybrid controls that incorporate PLCs into DCSs. DCSs may maintain an advantage in terms of redundancy, however, because of the complexity of large-scale continuous processes.

PC-based control systems also present a challenge to DCSs. Continuing to propel interest in the use of PCs for factory controls is the growing familiarity of people with PCs, including factory equipment operators and maintenance personnel. Also, the flexibility of PC technology lends itself to products, markets, and time frames exhibiting great levels of fluctuation. The technology’s inherent web connectivity is another key selling point whenever enterprise level communications are an issue.

For more information, visit www.vdc-corp.com.



Nov. 14, 2001

DVD illustrates changes to 2002 NEC

EC&M Books recently released “Essential Changes in the 2002 National Electrical Code” on DVD.

Each section of the DVD includes direct references to the 2002 Code and Stallcup’s Illustrated Code Changes, by James Stallcup, Sr. Stallcup presents the information on the DVD, which illustrates the articles with graphics. Available from EC&M Books for $89.95 plus shipping and handling, the DVD has a running time of 120 minutes and covers more than 60 Code changes.

To order, call (800) 543-7771 or visit www.ecmbooks.com.



Nov. 14, 2001

Lighting Controls Association unveils Web site

The Lighting Controls Association (LCA) recently unveiled its Web site, www.aboutlightingcontrols.org. The site provides information on advanced lighting control specification-related topics, including controls options, placement, technology, projects, calculating energy savings, electronic ballast-control compatibility, the effect switching has on lamp life, and calibration. The site is designed to educate building owners and managers, specifiers, contractors, distributors, and people in allied trades involved in building management, design, and construction. The association is administered by NEMA, Rosslyn, Va.



Nov. 14, 2001

Eleven new sponsors endorse Motor Decisions Matter campaign

Ten electrical motor manufacturers and an energy efficiency consulting company recently joined the list of sponsors for the Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) campaign, bringing the total number of sponsors to 29. Launched in June and coordinated by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a national non-profit energy organization, the campaign encourages the use of sound motor management and planning as a tool for cutting motor energy costs.

The following motor manufacturers, all of which are members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), recently became sponsors:

  • A.O. Smith Electrical Products Co.

  • Emerson Motors

  • GE Industrial Systems

  • Leeson Electric

  • Lincoln Motors

  • Marathon Electric

  • Rockwell Automation/Reliance Electric

  • Siemens Energy & Automation

  • Toshiba

  • WEG Electric

Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation based in Raleigh, N.C. that helps utility, industrial, and residential customers improve the return on their energy investment, also became a sponsor. For more information, visit www.motorsmatter.org.



Nov. 12, 2001

Graybar to distribute Ericsson Enterprise voice/data products

Graybar Electric Co., Inc., St. Louis, recently signed a major distribution agreement with Ericsson Enterprise, a leader in voice, data, and mobility solutions based in Menlo Park, Calif.

Starting in November, Graybar began offering Ericsson’s complete line of enterprise communications products to authorized resellers in the United States and Canada, including the MD110 Business Communications Systems, MD110 Compact Enterprise for small- and medium-size offices, the WebSwitch IP telephony family, and wireless LAN (802.11b) products.

"Graybar’s reach throughout the United States and Canada enables Ericsson Enterprise to expand its penetration in the North American market," said Harald Greifensteiner, director of marketing, Ericsson Enterprise. "Graybar is able to sharpen a reseller’s competitive position through their powerful logistics network of 16 regional zone warehouses and more than 290 branch locations, as well as their training and financing services.”



Nov. 12, 2001

IEC awards contractors for excellence in electrical construction

The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) recently awarded three electrical projects with the 2001 Quality Awards for Electrical Construction at the IEC’s 44th Annual National Convention in Las Vegas.

Greenline, Tigaro, Ore., received the residential construction award for its work on the Renaissance Homes project known as the Big Easy. Encompass Electrical Technologies formerly Taylor-Hunt Electric of Salt Lake City, picked up the commercial construction award for its work on the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, and industrial construction honors went to Denier Electric Co., Cincinnati, for construction on an e-commerce distribution center for The Gap.



Nov. 12, 2001

Deadline for Harry J. Pfister Award is November 30

As co-sponsor of the BICSI Winter Conference for more than 25 years, the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, Fla., is pleased to continue presenting its annual Harry J. Pfister Award to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of telecommunications. The university is currently seeking nominations for this award, which will be presented January 23 during BICSI’s 2002 Winter Conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla.

USF created the award in 1982 in honor of Harry J. Pfister, founder of the BICSI Winter Conference. Over the years, Pfister has provided support to the USF Alumni association, campus theatre, and College of Engineering as well as served as a committee member.

Nominations should include the person’s name, address, title, and company affiliation; a brief description of his or her contributions to the field of telecommunications; and any pertinent supporting data. The nominee does not have to be a member of BICSI. You can submit nominations online at www.bicsi.org or mail them to: Pfister Award, c/o Dr. Mel Anderson, USF College of Engineering, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ENB 118, Tampa, FL 33520.

The deadline for nominations in November 30, 2001.



Nov. 9, 2001

Reliabilityweb.com offers free maintenance consulting service

Reliabilityweb.com recently added a new feature to its Web site: a free Web-based service to help companies more effectively select professional consulting companies for computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) implementation services. By joining the ProSavvy network to offer maintenance and reliability related project e-procurement, the site combines Internet-based tools that automate the selection process with detailed capabilities profiles and uncensored data on consulting firms.

"The ProSavvy suite of Internet-based project management tools offers a simple step-by-step process to specify projects, evaluate consultant performance data from previous projects, compare proposals, and hire the best service firm available," says Terrence O'Hanlon, president of Reliabilityweb.com. "We selected the ProSavvy network because it is aligned with our tradition of delivering value and benefit to the end user in the plant maintenance market."

The online Web-based system also offers advantages to CMMS and maintenance consulting firms by providing access to a wide range of small, medium, and large clients that might otherwise be difficult to locate. Consulting firms can also take advantage of specialized web-based project management tools offered on the ProSavvy system.

Although the service is free to hiring companies, it does require you to complete a simple registration and three-step e-procurement process: (1) Specify your project needs and receive responses from qualified firms in as little as 24 hr; (2) Review detailed responses, evaluate performance data, and access standardized marketing materials; and (3) Schedule interviews, manage proposals, competitively select, and hire the best firm.

To post your project, go to http://www.reliabilityweb.com/links/prosavvy.htm.to create a free ProSavvy membership, specify your project needs, and take advantage of the service.



Nov. 9, 2001

Waukesha introduces new engine leasing program

In response to the ongoing electrical energy crisis in this country, Waukesha Engine, Waukesha, Wis., recently announced a new lease program for its Enginator engine/generator packages. The program offers users reliable distributed generation with no capital risk and the flexibility to re-lease, purchase, or return the equipment at lease end. Customers can arrange total financing, including shipping, installation, building costs, infrastructure costs, and engineering within the program’s flexible funding methods.

Because Waukesha Enginator engine/generators use clean burning natural gas fuel, they do not require on-site fuel storage. Pre-packaged with a generator and available in sizes up to 2.9MW each, the engines serve as part of a distributed generation on-site power program where users don’t have to rely on the local power grid. Instead, they can provide power for prime or peak-shaving applications and stand-by emergency power.

For more information, visit www.waukeshaengine.dresser.com.



Nov. 7, 2001

Construction activity to recover quickly in 2003 after further declines in 2002

The economic aftershock of September 11 is further weakening a soft housing and construction market and will continue to do so through 2002, but activity is expected to recover in 2003. Speakers at the CMD North American Construction Forecast Conference, held October 16 in Washington, D.C., predicted a 6.3% decline in North American construction activity in 2002, a decrease that comprises a 10% drop in private, nonresidential construction spending and an 8.5% decline in residential housing sales.

The industry had already shown signs of slowing down in 2001, as nonresidential construction had decreased 5.4% and residential housing starts had only increased 1.2%, but the September 11 terrorist attacks have forced market analysts to reconsider their predictions for the coming years.

Bill Toal, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association, revised his growth rate predictions for 2002 to 1.8%, down from his prior forecast of 2.7%. Toal attributes the slowdown to the increased strain the September 11 attacks imposed on an economy that was already “weakening significantly.”

On the other hand, Glenn Mueller, professor, Johns Hopkins University Real Estate Institute and managing director for Real Estate Investment Strategy, Legg Mason, believes the construction slowdown for the retail, industrial, and commercial markets was destined to come about sooner or later, with or without the terrorist attacks. According to Mueller, demand for office construction was high in the late ‘90s and money to pay for it was plentiful, creating an environment conducive to large gains in the market. Now that the demand has reached equilibrium, construction in these segments will drop off, regardless of other market factors.

Despite the prophecies of doom and gloom, however, Toal and David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) point out that current construction activity is still higher than it was during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In fact, even with the 6.3% decline predicted for 2002, construction spending will still be slightly above 1998 levels.



Nov. 7, 2001

Lighting Services launches new Web site Lighting Services has launched its redesigned Web site at www.lightingservicesinc.com. The site will enable customers to access information regarding the company in a variety of formats, including QuickTime for viewing the latest products, .pdf downloads of all LSI products, IES format photometric files, DXF files, and files compatible with LightScape software for lighting design and rendering. Visitors to the site can search for products by category, lamp type, wattages, voltages, and availability. The site also offers links to LSI representatives, lighting designers, and industry resources.



Nov. 5, 2001

Lightfair international flips the switch on new Web site

Lightfair International 2002 may be seven months away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for the show’s sponsors, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), to set up shop on the Web.

Although most details about the show won’t be available until some time in November, the redesigned site includes links to information on registration, exhibitors, attendees, speakers and the new product showcase, in addition to a conference schedule. Details will be posted as they become available.

Lightfair International 2002 will be held June 3-5 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. You can’t begin registering until March 2002, but until then you can admire the site’s new design at www.lightfair.com.



Nov. 5, 2001

NERC says power supply should remain adequate

If merchant plant developers follow through on their plans to expand electrical generation over the next five years, the nation’s capacity to meet energy demands should remain adequate, according to a new report released by the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC). Although electricity demand is expected to grow by about 63,800 MW over that period, the construction of resource additions totaling between 138,000 MW and 245,000 MW is anticipated.

NERC’s Reliability Assessment 2001-2010 study bases most of its predictions on the announced plans for construction of merchant plants, but even if only half of the projects are completed, the council estimates capacity margins will be adequate in the near term.

However, NERC is less willing to take a firm stance on the long-term (2006–2010) status of energy capacity. The study predicts resource adequacy will be satisfactory if current conditions continue, merchant power plant developers will need to continue to react to market signals and construct new generating facilities in areas experiencing declining capacity margins.

The complete study is available in Adobe Acrobat format at www.nerc.com/~filez/rasreports.html.



Nov. 2, 2001

New free Graybar publication targets residential contractors

Contractors can learn more about new profit opportunities in residential communications wiring with “The Internet Home,” a free publication available from Graybar, St. Louis. The 32-page magazine features the Leviton Structured Media System as well as the products for installing and testing it.

“Anticipating the move to high-speed networks in homes, the FCC recently changed the rules for residential wiring,” said Karl Griffith, Graybar’s reseller market director. “Quad wire (red, black, yellow, and green) looped from room to room is no longer acceptable. Every communications outlet in a new home must be connected with high-speed, standards-compliant cables and connectors wired to a central distribution device."

The new publication highlights the following Graybar product lines:

  • Structured media centers

  • Pre-configured cabling units

  • Wallplate options

  • Snap-in modules

  • Video modules

  • Audio/video accessories

  • Cable support and mounting

  • Cable/DSL routers

  • Coax and residential cabling

  • Power drills and drivers

  • Coax accessories

  • Labelers, printers, and faxes

  • Cable fault locators

  • Tone and probe kits

  • Surface raceway systems

  • Cable testers

To get your free copy of “The Internet Home,” contact your local Graybar distributor at (800) 825-5517.



Nov. 2, 2001

Sure Power awarded patent for high-availability power system

The U.S. Patent Office recently awarded Sure Power Corp., Danbury, Conn., a patent for its onsite power generation systems. Capable of providing 99.9999%—or "six nines"—availability over 20 years, the systems have less than 1% chance of failure.

"Our systems can operate indefinitely without any reliance on the existing utility grid because they utilize our unique version of RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Devices) architecture and our proprietary DC bus system," said Bill Cratty, chief technology officer and co-founder of Sure Power. "Receiving a U.S. patent underscores the ability of our technology to prevent the kinds of power woes that have plagued California businesses for the past year."

Designed for onsite use by energy-reliant businesses that need a constant flow of computer-grade electricity, these systems are ideal for data centers, telecom hotels, high-tech manufacturing operations, and utilities. Available in several configurations capable of generating from a few hundred kilowatts to tens of megawatts of electricity, the units also provide high-availability cooling through a partnership with Trane, the nation's largest provider of applied commercial and industrial air conditioning systems, equipment, controls, service, and parts.

According to Sure Power, after enduring power outages that left it unable to service its largest corporate customers, the First National Bank of Omaha (FNOB), the nation's largest privately owned bank and seventh largest credit card transaction processor, installed one of its systems as the primary power source for its new 200,000-sq-ft technology center. This unit generates 100% of the critical load electricity for the FNBO's computers and storage devices used to process millions of daily credit card and banking transactions. The system has been running without interruption for more than two years and has provided electricity though numerous grid outages and other utility problems.

For more information, visit www.surepowersystem.com.