October 29, 2004

Thirty-two engineers at Syska Hennessy Group receive LEED accreditation in 2004

Thirty-two engineers at Syska Hennessy Group recently received their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation to date in 2004, which brings the total number of LEED accredited professionals at the firm to 53.

LEED accredited professionals are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as experienced building industry practitioners who have passed the LEED exam, which tests an individual’s understanding of green building practices and principles, and the familiarity with LEED requirements, resources, and processes.

October 28, 2004

NAED partners with Energy Star

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) recently became partners with Energy Star, the government-backed labeling and marketing program that identifies high-quality, energy-saving products with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through the new partnership, NAED member distributors can link their business with the Energy Star brand.

NAED members will now have their company name, location, and link listed in the directory at www.energystar.com, access to the company’s marketing tools and materials, the chance to participate in national campaigns, and the ability to network with manufacturers, utilities, and governmental agencies at Energy Star Partner meetings.

For more information, visit www.naed.org.

October 27, 2004

EPRI and E21 seeking teams to host distributed generation testing

The Electricity Innovation Institute, an affiliate of the Electric Power Research Institute, and E21, a non-profit scientific institute, are seeking laboratory teams to voluntarily host the testing of draft object models or information templates for two types of distributed energy resources (DER): diesel generators and fuel cells. The templates will then be updated based on the test results and made available to one of several International Electrotechnical Commission working groups that develop international standards for DER object models.

Individuals, or teams of organizations, businesses, or universities that wish to volunteer their capabilities to either work with DER vendors and provide DER results or implement the draft object models in software for these DER units and provide laboratory facilities and support services to host the object model testing should submit proposals to E21 by Nov. 17.

For more information, visit www.e21.org.

October 26, 2004

GE Energy announces more than $1.3 billion in new wind energy projects

GE Energy recently announced that it has secured contracts to supply more than 750MW of wind turbines for new 2004-2005 projects in the United States and has received commitments for another 750MW. Altogether, the projects, which will be located in Iowa, Minnesota, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, and California, are valued at more than $1.3 billion. All of the projects will use GE's 1.5-MW wind turbines, which are the largest wind turbines assembled in the United States.

Steve Zwolinski, chief executive officer of GE Energy’s wind energy division, says that because of the federal government’s extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, there will be an increase in wind energy installations. “Many leading developers of wind projects now are encouraged to move forward with their plans to significantly increase the country’s supply of wind electricity,” Zwolinski says. With the extension, the tax credit will remain in place through December 2005.

The tax credit provides a 1.8 cent-per-kW credit (adjusted annually for inflation) for electricity produced during the first 20 years of a wind project’s operation. According to American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) executive director Randall Swisher, the extension puts about $3 billion in wind energy investments back on track across the United States.

October 25, 2004

LAM Lighting redesigns Web site

LAM Lighting recently announced an enhanced, and what it calls a more user-friendly Web site at www.lamlighting.com. The site’s home page features full-color photos of the company’s lighting designs and links to the company’s operating philosophy, product information, specification sheets, and photometric data. Users can also locate LAM sales representatives or the company’s customer service through the site

October 22, 2004

Hewlett-Packard teams with software companies to create automated take-off system

Hewlett-Packard recently partnered with E/T Software and CSI to provide a computer package that incorporates software, hardware, and services that automate the take-off function of estimating. E/T Software’s ElectroFind is the first take-off technology that’s designed to work with the estimating process. The software searches electronic files of blueprints and creates a take-off schedule. CSI’s BidWise32+ allows users to save, retrieve, and customize reports and perform electrical calculations from within the package. The company has certified BidWise32+ software and ElectroFind software on its Workstation xw4200 platform.

For more information, call 1-888-578-7667.

October 21, 2004

SolarOne Solutions improves security at Eastern Connecticut State University

SolarOne Solutions recently delivered five grid-independent SOLed bus shelter security lighting systems and two 2.4kW stand-alone dormitory security lighting systems to Eastern Connecticut State University. The bus shelter systems consist of a pair of bright white LED lamps that are controlled by an LED lighting controller and feature an unbreakable solar panel and a sealed long-life battery. This type of lighting will help improve security on campus as it stays on even when the grid down.

October 20, 2004

MGE teams with Lee Technologies

MGE UPS recently announced a strategic alliance with Lee Technologies that will allow the company to offer end-to-end service and integration products to its data center and industrial customers in addition to UPS installation and support. The alliance will give MGE’s customers around-the-clock support with design and implementation, integration, commissioning, electrical and mechanical products, on-site technical staffing, maintenance services, and remote monitoring services.

October 19, 2004

Honeywell to help California city reduce energy costs

Honeywell and Cathedral City, Calif., recently announced their collaboration on a $2.7 million energy saving performance project that will help reduce the city’s annual operating costs by 33% and cut its annual energy consumption by 26%. The state of California will provide a $1 million renewable energy rebate to help fund the project.

Scheduled to begin in mid-October, the 9-month project includes the installation of a 1,600-photovoltaic-solar-panel canopy on the roof of the civic center parking garage that will generate power while shielding vehicles from the sun. It will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 514 tons each year, which is the equivalent of removing 103 cars from the road. Honeywell also plans to install energy–efficient lighting and controls throughout the city buildings and upgrade traffic signals from incandescent lights to LEDs.

October 18, 2004

Eaton to perform electrical arc-flash surveys for Weyerhaeuser

Eaton recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Weyerhaeuser, a forest products company, to perform electrical arc-flash surveys at a number of Weyerhaeuser’s industrial facilities as a part of an employee safety pilot program. The results from the engineering survey will include recommended safe working distances, required protective FR clothing, and calculations and procedures that follow the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 70E for electrical safety requirements. The results will also be used to develop a list of personal protection equipment that’s required to meet NFPA standards.

October 15, 2004

IEEE approves new standard for testing shielded power cables

The IEEE recently approved IEEE 400.2, “Guide for Field Testing of Shielded power Cable Systems Using Very Low Frequency (VLF), a new standard that addresses concerns when field-testing shielded, medium-voltage cables related to the use of cables having extruded dielectric insulation. The standard also describes withstand and diagnostic tests and offers charts on how effective VLF testing is for various cable insulation problems.

IEEE also revised some standards that deal with submarine power cables and cable-pulling lubricants. IEEE 1120, “Guide for the Planning, Design, Installation, and Repair of Submarine Power Cable Systems,” now has expanded coverage on how to plan, design, permit, install, commission, and repair submarine cables and features added explanations.

IEEE 1210, “Standard Tests for Determining Compatibility of Cable-Pulling Lubricants with Wire and Cable,” which was also revised, now upgrades the existing standard to account for newer cable jackets that are considered in ICEA/NEMA standards and defines test methods and acceptable results for evaluating the compatibility of lubricants with various cable coverings.

October 14, 2004

Engineering companies receive a 9% tax deduction

U.S. engineering companies recently received a 9% income tax deduction with the final Congressional passage on Oct. 11 of the American Jobs Creation Act (H.R. 4520). President Bush is expected to sign the bill in to law, and the benefit is to be phased in over a six-year period.

According to ACEC President David Raymond, the deduction created by H.R. 4520 is primarily targeted toward manufacturing as a means to redress job loss in that sector. “The primary objective of this bill is to create jobs and stimulate economic expansions,” Raymond says. ACEC mounted an aggressive lobbying campaign to include engineering services and maintains that the final version of the bill should treat large and small businesses equally, a position that was adopted by House and Senate negotiators. “Every engineering firm, no matter what their size, is eligible for this tax cut,” Raymond says.

October 13, 2004

Schneider Electric issues recall of QO and Homeline AFI circuit breakers

Schneider Electric recently issued a recall for its Square D QO and Homeline Arc Fault Interrupter (AFI) circuit breakers because they may not provide arc detection capability due the failure of a third-party supplied internal component in the electronic detection circuit. The company has sent detailed instructions to its network of distributors, customers, and retailers on how to identify and return these products.

The company is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall the 15A and 20A AFI circuit breakers that were manufactured between March 1, 2004 and Sept. 23, 2004. While the breakers will continue to function like a regular circuit breaker, they may not detect a high-resistance, low-current arcing fault. The issue has been corrected and the company has increased the production of the new AFI breakers.

Customers and distributors can call 1-877-202-9046 or visit www.us.SquareD.com/recallAFCI for more information.

October 12, 2004

Draka Comteq launches new North American Web site

Draka Comteq recently launched its new North American Web site at www.drakacomteq.us. The site provides information on the recently combination of Draka Comteq USA in Franklin, Mass., and the fiber and cable operations of Alcatel in Claremont, N.C.

The products section on the new site is divided into copper and fiber optic cables, and users will also find online price quota and ordering capabilities and a resource library with detailed white papers and technical information.

October 11, 2004

Shaw Industries and Siemens Building Technologies turn waste products into energy

Shaw Industries and Siemens Building Technologies recently developed a process for converting carpet and wood manufacturing waste into steam energy, which will lower plant emissions, reduce the amount of post-manufacturing carpet waste in landfills, and save Shaw’s Dalton, Ga., carpet manufacturing plant as much as $2.5 million annually.

Siemens will design, build, and service a conversion facility adjacent to Shaw’s Dalton, Ga., plant that is expected to be in operation by the end of 2005. The facility will convert by-products of Shaw’s manufacturing process, like carpet selvage, seam waste, and wood flour, into gas that will fuel a boiler to produce more than 50,000 lbs of steam per hour.

October 7, 2004

Emerson Process Management wins $8 million contract

Emerson Process Management recently won an $8 million contract from Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to upgrade the control systems at its Holcomb generating station, located in Garden City-Kan. The company received an additional $1 million contract for asset management software, field instrumentation, and services.

Emerson will install its Ovation expert control system at the 360MW, coal-fired plant that will manage 8,000 I/O points and provide data acquisition and optimize, control, and monitor the plant’s steam supply process, which includes the boiler, burner management system, scrubber, and turbine. The system installation will take place in two phases. The first phase will take place in the Fall of 2004 and the second in the Spring of 2006.

October 6, 2004

AGC distributes updated U.S. Army Corps safety and health manual

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently distributed the updated U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 643-page Safety and Health Requirements Manual, which is intended to inform contractors working on Department of Defense projects of new and existing safety requirements.

The manual is divided into 32 sections that inform contractors of all regulations, including written site-specific accident prevention plans and the development of job activity hazard analyses. It can be ordered by calling 1-800-AGC-1767 or online at www.agc.org/e-store.

October 5, 2004

Illinois adopts energy efficiency standards

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich recently signed House Bill 4099 into law, which sets minimum energy efficiency standards for new commercial building construction in Illinois. The new law adopts the International Energy Conservation Code (IEEE) as the energy efficient buildings code for the state.

Before the adoption of the code, Illinois was one of only 12 states with no energy code for commercial construction. The code’s authors hope it will reduce energy usage by establishing energy standards for lighting equipment and controls, electrical power systems, building envelope, water heating, and heating/cooling/ventilation systems.

October 4, 2004

IBEW and NECA adopt substance abuse policy

The IBEW and the NECA recently adopted a national substance abuse testing policy that will be mandatory in all national and local collective bargaining agreements between the two organizations and their local unions and chapters. The standards of the agreement include the right of an employer to request drug-free applicants from a pool of workers who have previously passed the test.

No worker will forced to be part of the drug-free pool or to submit to testing unless a “reasonable cause,” like possession or selling of prohibited substances, has been identified. All local programs will include a rehabilitation component for those employees who test positive, and a medical officer will review positive test results and must sign a release before that employee can return to work. Part of the policy states that only independent, certified laboratories are to conduct all drug testing.

October 1, 2004

Perma-Cote updates Web site

Perma-Cote, a manufacturer of coated metal conduit, recently updated its Web site at www.permacote.com. Based on customer feedback, the company added more detailed information on its products and services and made both areas of the site more user-friendly.