EV Consumer Guide

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has published a basic consumer guide that addresses questions about electric vehicle technology and performance. With a variety of electric and hybrid technologies now available commercially, potential buyers are looking to understand which options might best match their needs. The eight-page guide, “Plugging In: A Consumer’s Guide to the Electric Vehicle,” defines and briefly compares driving range, charging times, fuel requirements and effects of weather and driving conditions. It also highlights vehicles available for purchase today and models scheduled to be available later in 2011 and in 2012. A question and answer section explores and answers a number of the most common questions asked about electric vehicle technology compared to hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Charging and purchasing considerations are among the topics covered in this section. The guide offers a basic overview of hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, and is not intended to be an exhaustive report about the technologies or the manufacturers and vendors supporting this industry. The guide can be downloaded for free from the EPRI website.


Cable Connectors

The demand for higher power loads led Florida Power and Light (FPL) to look for new technologies for connecting power cables in three-phase, pad-mounted transformers. Because the cables used by FPL range in size from 1/0 to 750 kcmil, FPL needed to stock four sizes of connectors in its inventory to accommodate the range of cable sizes that field personnel encountered. FPL sought solutions that would provide more efficient installation and repair of cable connections. FPL worked with manufacturers to improve the installation practice and changed to Thomas & Betts/Homac connectors with removable keepers in 2004. In 2009, FPL adopted a unique Thomas & Betts/Homac design to improve its installation requirements, the new ZBK connector. The staggered Z configuration of the new ZBK connector provides the equivalent of two back-to-back connectors in one. Its narrower design also reduces cabinet density. All set screws are tightened from one side, which increases the phase-to-phase and phase-to-cabinet clearance, making installations easier. Additionally, FPL found that the ZBK connector also addressed all of its cable size requirements thereby reducing its inventory of connectors from four to one.

Thomas & Betts/Homac 

Video Walls

Matrox Graphics Inc. and Trenton Systems announced a new technology partnership to deliver video wall solutions beginning with the Trenton TVC4401 4U rackmount system. The new Matrox-certified system can combine up to six, single-slot Matrox Mura MPX display controller boards–for up to 24 high-definition inputs and outputs–while leveraging the board’s 64 Gbit/sec duplex data transfer to ensure flawless display of HD input captures, at full resolution and frame rate. Matrox Mura MPX hardware can be controlled using network commands or a fully-integrated video wall software suite. Designed to enable AV integrators deploying video wall solutions across a wide range of project sizes, Trenton systems with Matrox Mura MPX boards meet digital signage configurations to large-scale control rooms.
Matrox/Trenton Systems

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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