This year’s Product of the Year competition proved to be the largest-to-date.
It's that time of year again when we gather the best that the electrical industry has to offer for EC&M's Product of the Year competition. We like to think of it as the Super Bowl of electrical products — without the expensive commercials. EC&M received a record number of entries this year — 136 compared to last year's 111 — and we invited a panel of eight electrical engineers and electricians to help us narrow down the playing field. After five hours of judging, wining, and dining (okay, judging, sandwiches, and cookies), the panel chose the finalists in 25 product categories, which we recently announced at this year's Electric West Show in Anaheim, Calif. Now we're looking to you to determine who should receive the prestigious Product of the Year Platinum Award. Log on to www.ecmweb.com/product_year by March 24 to cast your vote, and you'll be automatically entered to win $100. The Platinum Award winner will be announced at the end of March and featured in the May issue.
Using this company's IntelliVolt technology, Optanium programmed-start ballasts for T8 lamp systems can be used for 120V through 277V operation at 50/60 Hz. The high-efficiency ballast makes it possible for frequent on/off or switching applications and T8 systems with occupancy sensors to reduce as much energy as long-burn instant-start applications. It's available in standard light output and low-watt models.
Advance Transformer Co.
Category: Boxes & Enclosures
The clear polycarbonate covers on J series boxes allow electricians to view controls without opening the enclosure. These NEMA 4X, 12, and 6P rated boxes are also molded from this company's SolarGuard material to protect against UV degradation. In addition, the line has been expanded to include 8-in. × 8-in. and 12-in. × 12-in. sizes.
Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures
Category: Computers & Software
The Volts CD-ROM-based electrical calculation program uses 63 NEC tables and specifications to aid in the selection and sizing of electrical devices, current and ground conductors, circuit breakers, transformers, generators, motors, and voltage drops. After you input known values for system characteristics like power factor, voltage, and amperage, the program will check them against those Code requirements to make sure you're specifying the correct conductors and protective devices.
Category: Conduit & Cable Fittings
The male threads are located on the locknut of the Space-Saver EMT connector to increase maximum usable space inside the box. The locknuts are also designed with angled teeth to bite into the enclosure and prevent vibration-induced loosening, and a smooth pulling surface eliminates cable stripping. The connectors are available in ½-, ¾-, and 1-in. sizes in set-screw and compression styles.
Submersible secondary connectors
Category: Connectors & Terminating Devices
The cable entry ports in GelPort submersible secondary connectors are filled with PowerGel sealant that instantly encapsulates cables and protects them against moisture. Combining the properties of a liquid and a solid, the gel conforms to surfaces yet holds its shape during handling. It can withstand -40°C to 95°C temperatures, and it's compatible with solid dielectric cable insulation.
Category: Construction Equipment
The SoaperMonkey hands-free wire lubricating system evenly covers wires and cables and reduces mess. A foot-actuated pump draws lubricant from a 5-gallon bucket to collets that fit around the wire and screw into the conduit opening. Twelve collet sizes, ranging from ½-in. to 6-in., are included and stored in an air-tight case that prevents drying or caking.
The PulseStrike T15 metal-halide lamp's arc tube is contoured to follow the natural curve of the arc stream between electrodes, making it possible to use a higher fill gas pressure in the chamber and extend the lamp's life. Designed for use in commercial and industrial, flood lighting, sports facility, and other applications, the lamps offer 2-min. warm-up time and 4-min. re-strike time. They're available in 250W, 320W, 350W, and 400W designs.
Industrial emergency light
Category: Lighting Fixtures
A weather-proof housing on Indura 4X emergency lighting units is sealed and gasketed to protect against water, dust, and dirt found in manufacturing facilities, mills, and refineries. A 12-gauge steel mounting bracket finished with epoxy electrocoat eliminates corrosion, and a UV stable polycarbonate lens protects lamp heads from environmental conditions. Flood, medium, and spot lighting options are possible.
Category: Fasteners, Hangers & Accessories
Made from 100% recycled rubber, C-Port rooftop support components can hold as much as 2,500 lb. The supports extend roof life, dampen vibrations, and can be used without supplemental rubber pads. Although they're approved for use as rooftop conduit supports, they can also be used in underfloor applications.
Category: Portable Test & Measurement Equipment
The 700 series of 600A and 1,000A industrial clamp meters feature a TightSight display at the bottom of the unit that allows users to view readings in dark, bright, or tight locations. The clamp meters have audible and visual high-voltage indication over 30VAC/DC on all functions, and they're CAT IV-600V and CAT III-1,000V rated. They also feature a one-touch backlight button for green display illumination, tapered jaws with hook tip for wire separation in tight locations, and a data hold button and offset thumb wheel for one-handed operation.
Power and energy meter
Category: Monitoring Instruments
At 3-in. deep, the Shark 100 power and energy meter is designed for applications where space is at a premium. The meter measures volts, amps, frequency, and %THD with a 0.2% reading accuracy, and it reports measurements on a three-line display.
And for remote operation, the unit has an optical IrDA port that allows users to set it up and program it from a laptop or PDA.
Category: Power Conditioning Equipment
The 9390 3-phase UPS system features a double-conversion design that isolates output power for all input power anomalies and delivers sine-wave output. The UPS can support loads from 40kVA to 160kVA in a base configuration, and as many as eight UPS modules can be paralleled for capacity and redundancy for a total power capacity of 1280kVA. It offers front-panel access for all services and operations.
Category: Motors, Drives & Motor Controls
Strong enough for rugged conveyor use and efficient enough to gain the NEMA Premium seal of approval, Super-E brake motors are designed to provide 20:1 constant torque speed range when used with an adjustable speed drive.
Rated at 230/460V, 1-30 hp, and 1,780 rpm, the brake motors are inverter-ready with inverter spike-resistant magnet wire. A washdown model is also available for areas frequently subjected to high-pressure cleaning fluids.
Flexible LED lighting
Category: Lighting Systems
Designed to look like traditional neon lighting, LED-Flex lights are UV-protected tubes lined with red, green, blue, or yellow LED lamps. The tubes bend 180° and can be custom cut and shaped on-site. The lights require as little as 1.92W of energy per foot and use a semi-conducting material that converts electricity directly into light. The solid state design enables the lights to withstand shock, vibration, frequent switching, and temperature and environmental extremes. They're available in 30-ft, 24V and 150-ft, 120V lengths.
Category: Wiring Devices
The DS100C switch features dead front construction, enclosed arc chambers, and silver-nickel butt-style pressure contacts. It's safe to make and break under full load as high as 200A or 60 hp, and it eliminates sources of arc-flash exposure.
Category: Power Sources
These bi-fuel emergency standby generators feature diesel engines that operate on as much as 90% natural gas, which allows for less fuel storage and emissions as well as extends run times per tank of fuel. Available with electrical outputs of 300kW, 375kW, 600kW, and 750kW, these generators have a power output as high as 6,000kW.
Generac Power Systems
Category: Voice/Data/Video Equipment
The LinkMaster PRO XL enables users to map, test, and troubleshoot data and voice communications cable and coax runs. It features increased voice capability that automatically senses and adjusts the pairing and pin numbers to the 3-pair USOC standard in cable test, length, and tone generator modes. The tester has a large, backlit LCD with a toggle off/on option and full-alphanumeric capabilities that allow for viewing test results.
Category: Specialty Products
BonDuit conduit adhesive is used for bonding polyethylene to PVC couplings, conduit, steel sweeps and elbows, and other composite connections. This two-part thin paste sets within an hour and can withstand movement and vibration.
Category: Tools (Hand)
The Speedset is a four-in-one conduit tool that attaches to any bender shoe for offsets, kicks, and bends. It prevents dog-leg bends in offsets and saddles and features a 1⅛-in. spacer. The tool is also equipped with magnetic sides for leveling and can also be used as a torpedo level.
Type NM-B cable
Category: Wire & Cable
Tear-resistant Romex SIMpull nonmetallic Type NM-B cable features a jacket system that reduces friction, eliminates greasy residue, and cuts the amount of force required to pull the cable through wooden joists and rafters and around corners. The cable's design allows it to strip faster and reduces burn-through when it's pulled across previously installed cables.
It meets all the requirements of the UL 719 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cables standard.
Category: Power Distribution Equipment
This NEMA AFA dry-type transformer features all-around floor access and a built-in audible noise barrier. An audible alarm and 3-phase disconnect, which are controlled by a thermal sensor, operate automatically if the coils overheat due to overload or failure, and dry contacts allow remote monitoring of the transformer temperature. Available in 75kVA to 1,000kVA, the transformer has a 220°C insulation system, aluminum or copper windings, and comes with an 80°C, 115°C, or 150°C rise.
GE Consumer & Industrial
Category: Tools (Accessory Items)
Without the use of tools or hardware, the Lolly turns any step, extension, or articulating ladder into a dolly. With a wide wheelbase, the system is rated to hold 200 lb, and it fits in a standard-size truck toolbox. A cable caddy is also available that can be attached along with the ladder and holds as many as six 500-ft spools of 10 AWG wire. Once the ladder is removed, the Lolly can also function as a seat or a flat surface for resting tools and materials.
Automatic ignitor cutoff
Category: Protective Devices
The S1 Safeguard ignitor turn-off switch increases ballast life by eliminating continuous high-voltage pulses caused by end-of-life, defective, or missing lamps. It eliminates continuous high-voltage pulsing in PSMH or HPS fixtures by automatically disconnecting ignitors after seven minutes of operation, and its design provides 120V and 277V inputs for use with CWA, HX, and reactor-style ballasts. The S1 Safeguard operates with all 39W to 750W PSMH and all 35W to 400W HPS lamps and ballasts with a 90°C case temperature rating.
Thomas Research Products
Category: Security Equipment & Systems
The VideoJet 10 single-channel MPEG-4 digital video encoder/decoder delivers real-time video and two-way audio over IP networks for modern CCTV systems. The video signal can be received and displayed with a standard browser or VIDOS video management software. Embedded wireless technology extends its reach to inaccessible cameras, and local storage protects against network failures.
Bosch Security Systems
Category: Wiring systems
The MWS modular wiring system uses plastic and contact technology for the installation of branch-circuit wiring for lighting and power in both commercial and industrial buildings. The system features a double-blade contact that ensures proper mating of key electrical components and load-side connectors that incorporate complete arc shrouding around all contacts for safe operation while disconnecting under load.
MWS Modular Wiring Systems