July 30, 2004

Brady Corp. revises its Web site

Brady Corp. recently reorganized its Web site, www.bradyid.com, to include information on more than 30,000 products. Visitors will also find an improved distributor locator, as well as product demos, specifications, manuals, tutorials, and online product registrations.

July 29, 2004

IEEE to develop new standard for electrical power systems on marine ships

IEEE recently began work on P1662, “Guide for the Design and Application of Power Electronics in Electrical Power Systems on Marine Ships,” which will address how to optimize power electronics for propulsion, power distribution, auxiliaries, sonar, and other systems as well as how to ensure overall system integrity.

Developed for ship owners, operators, regulatory agencies, and those who evaluate and design marine power electronics systems, the standard will incorporate concepts from the Office of Naval Research and the Center for Power Electronics Systems. It will favor an open architecture that will enable all elements to be readily assembled.

The first meeting of the IEEE 1662 Working Group will be held on Sept. 16 at PCIC 2004, and a draft of the standard is expected to enter the IEEE balloting process in about 24 months. Anyone involved in marine power systems who wants to help develop the new standard is invited to participate in the meeting.

July 28, 2004

Osram Sylvania donates lighting products to not-for-profit camp

Osram Sylvania recently completed the first phase of its commitment to provide lighting and technical support to the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C. Founded by NASCAR’s petty family, this the newest structure in actor Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp family.

Each year, 2,800 children with life-threatening illnesses will visit the 70-acre facility, which is an independent, not-for-profit organization. In order to professionally light the camp’s various buildings, the company supplied it with its newest lines of entertainment, theatrical, and disco lighting products.

July 27, 2004

Lutron Electronics completes the first phase of its Web site redesign

Lutron Electronics Co., recently launched the first phase of an ongoing redesign of its Web site, www.lutron.com. This first phase includes a new design, as well as seven new sections with more than 60 pages of new content and materials.

Some of the new sections include a home lighting section, which offers a room-by-room tour of a home outfitted with the company’s products; a commercial lighting section that provides application–based lighting control solutions, project case studies, and industry design trends; and a “For the Trade” section, which features the product’s technical information and product specification sheets.

The second phase of the Web site update will include reformatted product pages, and career, training, and news room sections.

July 26, 2004

First solar multi-tenant office building to be built in Novato, Calif.

SolarCraft Services recently announced that it’s designing and installing a 30kW solar electric system for a 6,600 square-foot, multi-tenant office building in Novato, Calif. The solar electric system is expected to save the owners, San Marin Associates, more than $8,000 a year in electrical costs.

The system will power the entire building and provide 100% of the electrical needs on an annual basis. The owners will receive a rebate of about $100,000 from the California Energy Commission, which is 50% of the cost of the system.

SolarCraft is designing the system with high-performance solar panels, which will be mounted on stanchions and placed on the roof at a slight angle to improve energy generation. A mansard around the top of the building will add a visual barrier so that the panels can’t be seen from the street.

July 23, 2004

SwRI completes a year-long residential fuel cell study

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) recently completed a year-long residential fuel cell demonstration program at Brooks City-Base in San Antonio. The objective of the program was to install, operate, maintain, monitor, and report fuel cell data to the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) of the U.S. Army corps of Engineers, who funded the project.

During the program SwRI, along with the San Antonio public Service and a local community college, successfully demonstrated three 5kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which were fueled with hydrogen through natural gas reformers. The fuel cells supplemented the power to three individual housing units at the base that were grid connected. The PEM fuel cells cleanly and silently converted natural gas directly into electricity.

“One of our requirements was that the fuel cells attain 90% overall availability for a period of one year,” says Alan F. Montemayor, a principal engineer in SwRI’s engine, emissions, and vehicle research division. “We met that requirement on all three fuel cells, with availabilities of 91.6%, 93.9%, and 96.2%.”

July 22, 2004

IEEE begins work on two battery standards

The IEEE recently began work on IEEE P1660, “Guide for Application and Management of Stationary Batteries Used in Cycling Service” and IEEE P1661, “Guide for Test and Evaluation of Lead-Acid Batteries Used in Photovoltaic (PV) Power Systems.”

IEEE hopes P1660 will help owners, maintenance personnel, and designers of battery systems used in stationary applications choose battery management strategies by addressing the similarities and differences in battery design and operation for stand-by and cycling units.

P1661 is intended to help systems owners, designers, and funding organizations select, manage, and verify lead-acid battery performance in PV hybrid power systems. The standard will offer a single method for field-testing batteries in PV hybrid power systems to replace the procedures now in use, as well as provide information on how to interpret test results.

Those interested in being a part of the drafting process should contact Jim McDowall, chair of the stationary battery committee, at mcdowall@ieee.org.

July 21, 2004

Surge Suppression, Inc. introduces facility-wide surge supression

Surge Suppression, Inc., a manufacturer of TVSS devices, recently introduced the first facility-wide surge suppression program to be backed by its Optimal Performance Guarantee. The program specifies that if any AC power, data, or telecom equipment that’s protected by the company’s Optimal Protection Network is damaged by lightning or surge activity, it will be replaced.

For more information, visit www.surgesuppression.com.

July 20, 2004

HellermannTyton announces the Big Picture Promotion

HellermannTyton recently announced its movie-themed, the Big Picture Promotion for the company’s Spirit portable label printing system. When customers purchase the labeler from any of the company’s authorized dealers through Dec. 31, 2004, an invoice and entry form will be sent to the company and the customer will receive four free movie tickets and free popcorn to any movie theatre.

For more information, visit http://www.hellermann.tyton.com.

July 19, 2004

Syska Hennessy Group designs new cooling system

Syska Hennessy Group recently designed the Smart Server Solution, a new cooling system for high-density computer data centers. The heat exhaust control system reduces space by using the natural flow of air conditioning for cooling. This allows companies to generate 3.5 times the amount of watts per square foot than current standard data center configurations.

July 16, 2004

FASA releases new guide on lien and bond requirements

The Foundation of the American Subcontractors Association (FASA) recently released the 2004 edition of Lien and Bond Claims in the 50 States, which summarizes lien and bond requirements for each state, divided into public and private work.

The new edition documents changes in California and Kansas lien laws and new deadlines for filing paperwork. The guide also features legal requirements for executing bond claims and an appendix with a chart of legal citations.

To purchase the guide, visit www.contractorsknowledgenetwork.org, or call (800) 374-3133.

July 15, 2004

ABC links Blue Book and BB-Bid to its Web site

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently linked the Blue Book’s vendor database and BB-Bid, an online bid messaging and management system, from within its online membership directory, www.findcontractors.com, which is located at its Web site.

BB-Bid will enable ABC’s general contracting members, through search filtering options, to send out invitations to bid to specified private vendors, ABC members, and Blue Book listings. The general contractor will also have the ability to create a private online plan room for its invited vendors to view, download, and order plans, specifications, and addendums.

July 14, 2004

Man convicted in amusement park electrocution

Nick Rock, an 80-year-old from Mentor, Ohio, was recently convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide after he improperly connected wires at the Lake County Fair, which resulted in the electrocution of 8-year-old Greyson Yoe. Rock faces as many as five years in prison, but could get probation instead.

In August, Yoe suffered a severe shock while waiting for a bumper car ride and died five weeks later. Rock didn’t connect a green grounding wire that electrical experts said would have prevented the shock. Rock testified that he thought the ride was grounded elsewhere, and that he was never told to connect the grounding wire. Two ride inspectors, the ride owner, and supervisor all face similar charges.

Rock has set up rides, concession stands, and booths at the fairgrounds for more than 40 years. Assistant County Prosecutor Karen Kowall says she hopes this will send a message to ride owners and fair managers. “This case was said. It was an overwhelming tragedy,” says Kowall. “But it was also a preventable act. This little boy did not have to die.”

July 13, 2004

Nexans adds 10 Gigabit testing capabilities to its services

Nexans recently added new capabilities in testing copper and fiber optic cables at a rate of 10 Gigabits per second at its Data Communications Competence Center in New Holland, Pa. The Center has established and conducted a test program that evaluates LAN cabling systems while running real-world, 10-Gigabit Ethernet traffic.

July 12, 2004

W.A.C Lighting redesigns Web site

W.A.C Lighting recently upgraded its Web site, www.waclighting.com, so visitors will now find the company’s catalog, along with Monorail and Glass Companions catalogs on the site, and an interactive feature that allow users to interchange elements within the collections. The site will also include press releases, complete specifications, and how-to installation instructions.

July 9, 2004

MOST launches Web seminar series for process engineering professionals

MTL Open Systems Technologies (MOST) recently launched a new online Web seminar series that will concentrate on topics like improving boiler efficiency, industrial Ethernet, introduction to SIL systems, and optimizing gas plant performance with advanced control algorithms.

Dave Reynolds, vice president of sales and marketing for MOST, explained the program’s benefits. “The Web seminar allows you to attend a virtual seminar without the expense of travel. You can have as many participants as you like,” he says.

For a complete seminar schedule and detailed information, visit www.mtl-most.com.

July 8, 2004

Active Power reaches second milestone for its battery-free energy storage system

Active Power recently successfully completed the second of five milestones for its battery-free energy storage system by operating a prototype at 80kW for 15 minutes. This new prototype is initially slated to replace lead-acid batteries in the 3-phase UPS market below 100kVA.

The company’s additional goals for the prototype in 2004 are to deliver 10kW for 2 hours in the third quarter, unveil extended runtime technology publicity in the third quarter, and ship the first alpha units to customers in the fourth quarter.

July 7, 2004

Open Hand Manufacturing dedicates 68kW solar electrical system

Open Hand Manufacturing, a high-speed wood processing shop recently dedicated a 68kW, 360-module solar electrical system at its manufacturing facility in Oakland, Calif. This is the first solar array located in Oakland’s industrial zone.

The system will produce enough energy in the daytime to power more than 70 homes, generate more than 80% of the factory’s electrical needs, and insulate the building, which will reduce the cost of heating and air conditioning. The system is expected to save the company nearly $17,000 annually in avoided electricity costs.

The project is on track to receive a rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s self-generation incentive program, which gives incentives for clean, on-site generation.

July 6, 2004

GlobalSpec and Dice join to create new job search engine

GlobalSpec, the Engineering Search Engine, and Dice, a provider of online recruiting services for technology professionals, recently announced a strategic partnership to create the first-ever engineering job search. Hosted on GlobalSpec, the new job search function will give engineers and technical professionals access to more than 40,000 Dice job postings, which include more than 9,000 engineering job postings.

July 2, 2004

NECA publishes Standard for Installing Aluminum RMC

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) recently released the National Electrical Installation Standards series 102-2004, Standard for Installing Aluminum Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC).

NECA 102 describes installation procedures for aluminum RMC, grounding considerations, and special procedures used with PVC-coated aluminum conduits. The standard was developed with Indalex Aluminum Solutions, a manufacturer of aluminum RMC.

To obtain a copy, call the NECA order desk at 1-301-215-4504 or a downloadable PDF is available at www.neca-neis.org.

July 1, 2004

ACEC pushes for the American Jobs Creation Act

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) recently urged swift passage in Congress of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (H.R.4520), which would lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 32% and will extend the new benefit to the nation’s architectural and engineering firms.

In a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, David A. Raymond, president of ACEC, wrote, “This bill will promote job growth, enhance the competitiveness of U.S.-based companies, and provide an important economic stimulus to our economy.” Thomas’ committee approved H.R. 4520 on June 14, and it passed the full House on June 17.

The bill now goes to conference where ACEC will try to convince conferees to adopt the Senate’s approach to the legislation and include all business entities within the bill’s reach.