October 31, 2005

Rhode Island offers solar energy class

The Rhode Island Energy Office is offering a solar energy class at the Community of Rhode Island’s Training and Technology Center in Quonset. The class is intended for professional electricians but will be open to the general public.

During the 40-hour course, students will install solar panels on a makeshift roof and learn how to bolt them to the ground.

October 28, 2005

Business Briefs for the week of October 24, 2005

  • The residential division of Winter Park, Fla.-based Palmer Electric Co. reported a 20% incraese in single-family housing starts for 2005, ending Sept. 30 over the previous year. According to Don Stebbins, residential vice president, the firm had 1,020 single-family housing starts in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Volusia counties.

  • Everett, Wash.-based Wavetek Meterman recently announced its name change to Meterman Test Tools. According to the company, the new name better reflects its broad range of products, including testers, multimeters, and bench accessories, among others.

  • Hanson, Mass.-based Litecontrol Corp. recently signed an OEM agreement to apply technology from Boston-based Color Kinetics, Inc. to an LED-based product line. The products, scheduled to roll out in spring 2006, will be based on Color Kinetics’ Digital Light Engines, which apply patented Chromacore technology to generate colored light and color-changing effects.

  • Caterpillar, Inc., Nashville, Tenn., now offers CatAccessAccount, a revolving charge account that allows customers to pay for parts, service, and rentals at participating Caterpillar dealers nationwide. The account provides customers with flexible payment options, e-commerce capabilities, and statements detailing purchasing activity.

    October 27, 2005

    Solar Electric Power Association announces winners of its Solar Business Achievement Awards

    The Solar Electric Power Association recently presented awards to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and We Energies at its annual Solar Business Achievement awards. PG&E received the award for Public Awareness and Industry Leadership. We Energies won the award for Development of a Sustainable Solar Business Plan.

    October 26, 2005

    Siemens launches new initiative

    Atlanta-based Siemens recently announced its new initiative, Totally Integrated Power. Under the initiative, Siemens companies work together to provide one point of contact for services such as planning, electrical distribution, building management, and lighting design.

    Totally Integrated Power offers integrated systems from the initial construction phase to ongoing system monitoring and preventive maintenance.

    October 25, 2005

    LonMark International releases new version of guidelines

    San Jose, Calif.-based LonMark International recently released version 3.4 of its Interoperability Guidelines. The guidelines provide manufacturers with details on how to design open, interoperable products based on the LonWorks networking platform.

    The new version includes information on the Interoperable Self-Installation protocol.

    October 24, 2005

    Fluke launches online community

    Fluke recently introduced the Test Tool Talk online forum. The forum allows users to discuss information on new technologies and tools, swap advice, and offer links to other resources.

    To sign up for the forum, visit the company’s Web site

    October 21, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of October 17, 2005

  • Blainville, Quebec-based Eurobex Manufacturing, Ltd. recently acquired assets of competitor McKinstry, Inc., New England-based electrical enclosure manufacturer. Eurobex plans to retain McKinstry’s sales, customer service, and engineering personnel but twill transfer production to its manufacturing facilities in Canada.

  • Pittsburgh-based Riverlife Task Force has selected Volmer Associates to complete the electrical design of Point State Park, a 36-acre historical park located in downtown Pittsburgh. Construction for phase I, a $5 million renovation on the city side that includes the complete reconstruction of the park’s electrical infrastructure, is scheduled to being in the fall with completion slated for spring 2006.

  • PowerLight Corp., in conjunction with Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, recently held a Solar Dedication ceremony to celebrate the installation of the largest federal photovoltaic array in Hawaii. Located at Ford Island’s Building 54 at Pearl Harbor, the 309kW rooftop system covers 31,000 square feet of roof space and uses 1,545 solar panels manufactured by Sharp Corporation.

  • Leominster, Mass.-based Mohawk has expanded ChannelMate, its open architecture warranty program. Under the new terms, the warranty guarantees all cable products and installation from 15 years up to the system’s lifetime using any TIA/EIA-568-B independent third party-verified connectivity components when installed by Mohawk-accredited contractors certified through its SystemMATE training program.

  • Latham, N.Y.-based Plug Power, Inc. recently announced the commissioning and testing of 10 next-generation GenSys fuel cell systems, designed for remote prime power applications. The testing will serve to characterize reliability and prepare the product for its commercial introduction.

    October 20, 2005

    Schneider Electric’s North American Operating Division launches public information campaign

    Palatine, Ill.-based Schneider Electric’s North American Operating division recently launched an information campaign, “Turn It On — Safely,” designed to educate homeowners on how to prevent re-electrification on their hurricane-damaged property. The program addresses faulty circuit breakers and fuses, degraded insulating materials, and damage to critical electronic devices, such as ground-fault circuit interrupters.

    Schneider Electric advises homeowners in those areas to have a trained electrical inspector examine their equipment before turning utility power back on.

    October 19, 2005

    GE Consumer & Industrial-Lighting announces call for entries

    GE Consumer & Industrial is seeking entries for its 23rd annual GE Edison Award competition. All lighting projects submitted for award consideration must have been completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. The deadline for entries is Jan. 18, 2006.

    For more information about the awards, visit GE’s Web site.

    October 18, 2005

    Genlyte Controls Road Show highlights products

    The Genlyte Controls Road Show recently produced its inaugural presentation, featuring training sessions and interactive experiences for five product families: LYTEmode architectural lighting control system, Marquee lighting control consoles, IGBT distributed dimming, Color FX, and Vari-Lite automated luminaires. Upcoming dates for the show include Oct. 24 in Dallas, Texas, and Oct. 31 in Boston.

    To schedule a Genlyte Controls Show in your region, contact Anita Edwards by phone at (214) 647-7939 or e-mail at aedwards@genlyte.com.

    October 17, 2005

    eBay partners with Freightquote.com

    Through a partnership between eBay and Freightquote.com, American and Canadian buyers and sellers may request freight quotes and book shipments for equipment as part of an eBay sales transaction. eBay also recently integrated freight calculators into its listings, making it convenient for sellers listing heavy equipment to provide accurate shipping prices to buyers.

    eBay also offers optional services such as dismantling and assembly, crating, and packaging and unpackaging.

    October 14, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of October 10, 2005

  • Spokane, Wash.-based Itron, Inc. recently agreed to provide the U.S. Department of the Navy with metering technology and energy management software to support the U.S. Navy’s energy resources at its bases. Under the energy efficiency requirements in sections 101-107 and 109 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, federal facilities must reduce energy usage by 20% by 2015.

  • Everett, Wash.-based Fluke Electronics Corp. has recently agreed to acquire Infrared Solutions, Plymouth, Minn., a provider of portable thermography products. Infrared Solutions designs, manufactures, and sells a variety of thermal imaging products, including the IR FlexCam and IR InSight.

  • Southwire Co. announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the wire and cable assets of Essex Electrical Products, including its plant in Florence, Ala. In the next 15 months, Southwire plans to invest at least $250 million in new equipment and capital related to building wire and MC cable.

  • El Segundo, Calif.-based Data Display Products has launched its Power-Line LEDs Web site. The site’s features include product descriptions, online ordering, and lamp cross-reference.

  • Thompson Technology Industries, Inc., San Rafael, Calif., now offers a line of solar photovotaic products, including roof, flush, and pole mount-rack systems. For more information, visit Thompson Technology’s Web site.

    October 13, 2005

    Smarthome releases white paper regarding new networking product

    Smarthome recently made available the white paper regarding its Insteon networking technology. Using dual-band —powerline and radio frequency—communications, Insteon links together home systems, such as lighting, security, consumer electronics, and appliances.

    Insteon devices can transmit, receive, and repeat other messages without requiring a master controller or complex routing software.

    October 12, 2005

    Ideal announces OktoberTest 2005

    A purchase of one of three special test and measurement combo packs from Ideal wins customers an OktoberTest T-shirt, baseball cap, and pack of Ideal playing cards. The combo packs include the Tester Combo Case, Meter Combo Case, and Clamp Combo.

    The deadline for the giveaway is Oct. 31. For more information, visit Ideal’s Web site.

    October 11, 2005

    DuPont Abandoned Cable Services offers discount on cabling assessment

    Through Oct. 31, DuPont Abandoned Cable Services will take 50% off an initial cabling infrastructure assessment. Local DuPont preferred network contractors are able to provide assessment services for identification and reporting of abandoned cable hazards in office buildings, planning for infrastructure improvement and management, and removal and recycling information.

    For more information on the discount, contact DuPont at (866) 383-5623 or visit the company’s Web site.

    October 7, 2005

    Business Briefs for the week of October 3, 2005

  • Cooper Lighting announces the call for entries for the 29th annual Source Awards, its national lighting design competition. The deadline for entries is Dec. 2. For more information, contact Karin Martin Communications by phone at (702) 349-7190 or by email at kmartin41@aol.com.

  • SimplexGrinnell recently celebrated the grand opening of its Tyco Worldwide Visitor Center at its headquarters in Westminster, Mass. The center will provide the public with demonstrations of fire and life-safety technology.

  • The Axcell division of Heyco Products, Inc. has expanded its Web site. The site now offers full-color product images, customer case studies, a FAQ section, and a quote request interface.

  • Lenexa, Kan.-based Easy Street, Inc. recently refurbished its Web site. The online offering now includes new eNews and product systems, an e-mail subscription service, and support pages for technical- and sales-related questions.

  • Phoenix-based DL Engineering & Controls, Inc. is close to finishing the Phase 1 design of the Wastewater Supervisory Control and Date Acquisition system upgrade. Preparation of electrical plans, fabrication drawings, and bill of materials for preparing the Guaranteed Maximum Price for Phase 2 comprise the design services. The design will include plans for a secure wireless network.

    October 6, 2005

    AGC supports Gulf Coast Recovery Act

    The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) backs proposed legislation recently introduced by Senator Jon Thune (R-S.D.). Advocates claim the bill, S. 1761, will protect contractors from tort liability that may arise from their work for disaster relief agencies.

    The bill does not prevent enforcement action brought on by any federal, state, or local agency or limit any public agency’s authority to ensure full compliance with its rules or regulations or punish noncompliance. In addition, under the bill contractors remain fully liable for any personal injury or property damage resulting from recklessness or willful misconduct.

    October 5, 2005

    Duquesne Light Co. pledges to invest more than $500 million in Pittsburgh’s electric infrastructure

    Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Light Co. recently announced plans to invest more than $500 million in the region’s electric infrastructure to replace aging circuits and equipment. The utility company made the announcement at the groundbreaking ceremony for its new training facility and service center.

    In the next several years, the company expects to add 150 full-time employees in addition to 120 project-specific positions available to skilled trades people in the region.

    October 4, 2005

    Graybar offers free 60-day trial of VIP Design Online

    Graybar recently announced a free 60-day trial of its Verified Independently for Performance (VIP) online design center. To register for the free trial, visit the Graybar Design Online Web site.

    The online database includes 15 interoperable cabling and connectivity product lines.

    October 3, 2005

    Schneider Electric launches online design resource center

    Schneider Electric recently unveiled its online Design Resource Center, available through the company’s Web site. The site provides information, such as product catalogs, white papers, and case histories, on Schneider’s Square D, Telemecanique, and Merlin Gerin brands.

    Visitors to the site may also subscribe to Design Magazine, the technical publication produced by Schneider Electric.