New Products

Through strategic placement near motors, transformers, inductive heating and arc welding generators, Maysteel’s SmartBanks for low-voltage power factor correction (LV PFC) provide energy efficiency and savings by shaving kVA and kVAR peaks that drive up energy bills. Part of the SmartBank series of power quality solutions, Maysteel’s LV PFC three-phase capacitor banks deliver 2.5kVAR to 60kVAR at 240V, 60HZ, and 2.5kVAR to 120kVAR at 480V, 60HZ and are designed for commercial and industrial applications.

Ground Wire, Cable for Lightning Protection–To Copper or Not to Copper

Copper wire and cable have been used in the U.S. for many decades as the standard grounding conductor in substations, transmission, generation and distribution systems. Copper wire offers high fusing current (see section on fusing current vs. ampacity) to discharge lightning and fault currents into the ground. It might be time to re-evaluate this method for best practices.

Securing the Smart Grid

The evolution of the power grid into the smart grid will involve the expansion and integration of advanced communications and information technology into all aspects of utility operations, from power generation to the point at which power is used. Utilities will have a whole new level of visibility and control of applications and devices that will help improve grid reliability and efficiency. Data will be available and will benefit customers and utilities. Centralized visibility and control of systems and devices will help increase overall grid reliability and enable more real-time decision-making. With the evolution of the smart grid, data volume is vastly increased and highly distributed, making a utility’s approach to security a new challenge that requires a new approach.

Katz on a Wire–The IEEE Award Winner Talks Cable

The world’s largest technical professional association honored Carlos Katz with the 2010 IEEE Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award for his “pioneering and vital research on moisture prevention in power cables (that) has extended product life and saved utility companies substantial money worldwide.”

Advanced Transmission Conductor Gains International Acceptance As a Problem-Solver for Line Upgrades

During the past three years, 3M’s aluminum conductor composite reinforced (ACCR) overhead conductor has gained popularity in international markets. Used primarily but not exclusively for transmission upgrades in places where environmental sensitivity or densely populated urban centers pose severe impediments to tower construction, the ACCR is a high-temperature, low-sag conductor that uses wires composed of alumina oxide fibers embedded in an aluminum matrix to replace traditional steel wires in the conductor’s core, reducing weight and sag. As a result, capacity can be substantially upgraded without bigger towers or expanded rights of way.

California ISO Delivers Modern, Efficient Grid

On April 1, 2009, the California Independent System Operator Corp. (California ISO) launched a new, improved market design and new computer systems to keep the market running.

Perfect Power at Illinois Institute of Technology

From 2004-06, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) experienced 12 power outages. Each cost up to $500,000. Because IIT owns the 4.16 kV on-campus distribution system, it decided in 2006 to solve its costly reliability problems by exploring advanced technology. At the same time, the university was planning to launch a major sustainability program. These issues led to an opportunity to merge reliability and energy efficiency upgrades as it investigated smart grid technology for IIT’s distribution system.

Communications Update–Data Standards for Home Energy Management, Renewables Integration

During April’s GreenNet conference in San Francisco, a keynote session panelists made a statement that was to echo as a theme in the conference: The world’s not waiting for the next best technology in smart grid. We already have it, and our technology is fairly advanced. What’s next in the smart grid landscape and how fast we’ll move to full implementation is a matter of standards, standards and standards. In addition to the standards debate, I would add regulation, regulation and regulation, but his point is well-taken. As networking and information technology standards were essential to the Internet’s mass adoption, likewise, standards will be necessary to ensure a smooth transition to the intelligent grid.

Surveying the International AMI Landscape

Smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) implementation is intensifying around the globe, but important differences distinguish particular international markets.

Securing Smart Metering Networks–Stick With What Works

Smart metering will affect how the world consumes energy. Consumers will be able to dynamically monitor and adjust their energy use to reduce costs and lower their carbon footprints.