“Kindness is love made visible.” – H. Swanepoel Raktivist
Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day! Kind acts, both big and small, can brighten anyone’s day. Something as simple as a kind note or a compliment can turn a person’s frown upside down. Every year, individuals and organizations celebrate this holiday by doing nice things for others. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates more than just one day. They celebrate Kindness Week. Their website has several resources to help encourage kindness in schools and at home.
Here are some ways for you to celebrate kindness today:
Leave random happy notes for people.
Leave a yummy treat in the mailbox for your mail carrier.
Donate food to a local food pantry.
Make care packages for the homeless.
Buy coffee for a stranger.
If you live somewhere that’s snowy, shovel the snow from your neighbor’s driveway.
Offer to go grocery shopping for someone who isn’t able to leave their house.
Donate to someone’s GoFundMe.
Give compliments to everyone you see today.
Send flowers to a loved one.
Write “get well soon” cards for people in the hospital.
Create art and give it to a friend.
If you have a child in school, write a letter to their teacher about how much you appreciate them.
Leave an extra generous tip for your server or delivery person.
Welcome to 2021! The year of unlimited possibilities! Although we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still fun to think about all of the things that we can do when this is over. If you’re a planner like me who has spent entirely too much time within the same walls of their home, you might be thinking about the first vacation that you’re going to take when it’s safe to do so. Will you be flying to another country? Driving cross-country? Camping in an RV or maybe a tent? Will you be staying in a luxury resort? All of the above? Personally, I have an extensive bucket list of places that I would love to visit. Although planning for a future vacation is fun, please remember to stay safe. And maybe get that travel insurance in case this pandemic doesn’t end as soon as we’re all hoping.
In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, here are some fun ideas for your first post-pandemic vacation:
Take a cross-country road trip! You can see more cities and national parks on a road trip than you can if you fly. One day you might be hiking in Yellowstone National Park and the next day you could be at the famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. Take the roads less traveled and see everything that your country has to offer.
Hawaii – Each island offers its own unique tourist attractions. You can do everything from snorkeling, to hiking a volcano, to touring plantations, to laying on the beach and working on your tan. There is something for everyone in Hawaii!
La Fortuna, Costa Rica – This small town in Costa Rica is in the heart of the rainforest. Monkeys and sloths can be found everywhere. You can go zip-lining above the rainforest, white water rafting, go on an ATV tour around Arenal volcano, relax in natural hot springs, or (my personal favorite) canyoning and waterfall rappelling. The locals are kind to the tourists and the food is amazing. I highly recommend this experience for anyone with an adventurous spirit. Pura Vida!
Backpack through Europe! Wake up under the Northern Lights of Iceland one day and then eat tapas in Spain the next day. Enjoy a tour of a vineyard and the historical sites of Italy. And don’t forget to check out the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Looking for something a little less touristy? Click HERE to check out 18 charming small towns that are off the beaten path.
Springtime in Japan – Japan has so many things to offer, but one of the prettiest sites is when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The most famous place to see them is in Yoshimo, Japan and the best time of year to visit is in March.
Galapagos Islands – Are you a fan of animals? The Galapagos Islands are filled with creatures for you to see. You can see tortoises, iguanas, and even penguins! The most popular island to check out is San Cristobal Island.
New Zealand – New Zealand has everything from large cities to beaches and mountains. You can spend time in their amazing capital city of Auckland and then head down south to see the Waitomo Gloworm Caves. Are you a Lord of the Rings fan? Check out the actual hobbit homes used in the films in Hobbiton!
Santorini, Greece – Check out the real Atlantis, hike to the top of Santorini Volcano, visit the quaint village of Pyrgos, and end your day drinking wine and eating the best Greek food you’ve ever tasted.
Close your eyes and pick a random place on a map. Sometimes the most random places become the best destinations.
You did it! You’ve made it through the longest year in history: 2020! Give yourself a pat on the back. We all know that this year was….not ideal, but it definitely taught us to slow down and appreciate everything that we have. Maybe you were lucky enough to spend more time at home with your family? Maybe you learned a new hobby? Maybe you spent more time in nature? Maybe you watched Netflix in its entirety? If nothing else, this year has taught us how resilient we all are. As 2020 comes to an end, let’s celebrate the victories, both big and small, from this crazy year!
Our priorities have changed! Before Covid hit, many of us were running around, constantly busy, constantly stressed, and never had any time to slow down and enjoy life. 2020 has forced many of us to slow down and appreciate what we have. We also were given time to revisit old hobbies like gardening and baking.
We have learned to appreciate our frontline workers, teachers, and grocery store workers (among many other essential people) a lot more. Without them, our country would have come to a screeching halt.
Drive-In movies made a comeback! Not only were people watching movies from the comfort of their own cars, but some concerts were also held at these venues for drive-in entertainment.
SpaceX successfully launched two Americans into orbit for the first time in nearly a decade.
103 year old grandma, Jennie Steins, beat Covid and celebrated with a Bud Light.
Musicians have given us personal concerts at home! Instead of having to fight traffic to see our favorite artists, we can now see them from the comfort of our own homes.
NASA named its headquarters building in D.C. after Mary W. Jackson, the agency’s first African American female engineer.
A 21 year old man named Chris Nikic made history as the first person with Down syndrome to complete the Ironman Triathlon.
La Morada, a small Mexican restaurant in the Bronx became a soup kitchen to help the poor.
Some Good News was created by John Krasinski in an effort to remind us all that even when the world feels bleak, there’s always something to smile about.
When resources were scarce, major companies like 3M and Apple shifted production to make masks to help keep people safe. Distilleries stopped making spirits and started making hand sanitizer. Everyone tried to do their part to help out.
When restaurants started shutting down, world renowned chef, Guy Fieri, raised over $21.5 million dollars to help unemployed restaurant workers.
We have become more creative than ever with how we work, how we celebrate, and how we socialize. We have had zoom parties. We have used drones to fly messages to neighbors. We have had sing-alongs with neighbors from our balconies. With everything that has happened, we have still found ways to connect with people and enjoy life.
I could go on forever with this list. Within the darkness there has been a lot of light this year. We hope that this light continues to get brighter in 2021.
There are several ways to cook a turkey. Baked. Fried. Roasted. Electrocuted?
It was a party trick that turned into a party fail! Benjamin Franklin used his knowledge of electricity to cook a turkey in a unique and entertaining way. He told fellow scientist, Peter Collinson, of a dream he had to host the world’s first electric barbeque. He practiced for months on turkeys and chickens by electrocuting them with Leyden jars. The tests were unsuccessful. Each bird would merely be knocked into unconsciousness and then would “rise from the dead” as they awoke. This of course freaked out Benjamin Franklin. After several tests, he finally felt that he had mastered this trick.
On December 23, 1750, Franklin got his chance to show off his new party trick. Unfortunately, it did not turn out the way that he had planned. He set the pernicious charge to electrocute the contained turkey, but the electricity shocked him instead! The turkey fled and Franklin was on the ground. The only thing that hurt more than his chest was his ego! Although this trick didn’t go as planned, it forever changed the way that we eat. Franklin had unintentionally discovered how to tenderize meat through electric charge. This method has been used to tenderize meat ever since.
With the holiday season just around the corner, you might be wondering how to make your own turkey. Here are a few recipes that don’t involve electrocution:
It’s finally Fall! The weather is cooler. The air smells like fallen leaves and pumpkin spice lattes. You can finally wear your favorite sweaters and scarves again. The best part of all? It’s apple cider season! Apples are one of the most versatile fruits in existence. They’re healthy, delicious, and if you eat one a day it will keep the doctor away. They’re so wonderful that the U.K.-based charity organization called Common Ground started National Apple Day in 1990 to celebrate all things apple.
Fun Facts About Apples:
The first apple trees were said to have been found in central Asian anywhere from 10 to 20 million years ago.
Originally sour, they evolved into sweeter fruits.
China is the top producer of apples. The U.S.A. and Poland are also top producers.
Gala apples are the most popular, followed by red delicious, granny smith, fuji, and honeycrisp.
The apple came to America in 1607.
“Johnny Appleseed” was actually named John Eastman. In the early 19th century, he traveled through the Midwest to plant apple trees, as well as to educate farmers about how to care for them.
Although it’s considered an American staple, the apple pie was first invented in 1381 in England.
Washington State is the largest producer of apples in the United States.
Black Diamond apples are the rarest type and are actually a dark hue of purple in color.
The wilderness of Koolan in Maui is the largest apple orchard in the world.
Awesome Ways to Celebrate Apple Day:
Plant an apple tree in your backyard.
Visit an apple orchard.
Bake an apple pie.
Try a new variety of apple that you’ve never tried before.
Drink apple cider. (My personal favorite is Big B’s)
September 15th is National Online Learning Day! This day recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of online and blended learning institutions. As we all know, Covid has forced many of us to rethink how we work and also how we learn. Many of us are working and learning from home. We can’t think of a better day than today to tell you all that we have put all of our courses online! We have interactive live-streamed courses, as well as courses on the go. Some of them are even FREE! (Yes, you read that correctly. FREE!) You can earn your continuing education units while lounging around in your pajamas at home, camping in the woods, chilling by the pool, or maybe even sitting next to your child who’s also learning from home. You can learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world!
But enough about us. Did you know that the first online high school was created in 1994? With the internet growing in popularity, more online schools were established. Eventually, colleges and universities added online courses as flexible learning options. Virtual classrooms have become more technologically advanced since their humble beginning in the 1990’s. Now, there are more programs and apps available to make learning on the go much more convenient.
Here are just a few ways to celebrate Online Learning Day:
Take an online course – Whether it’s from us at Brainfiller or from your local university, now is the perfect opportunity to learn the latest and greatest in your field. Or maybe you’re interested in learning something new? That’s the beauty of online learning. You can learn anything at any time from anywhere!
Learn a new skill – Have you ever wanted to learn how to crochet? Or maybe you would like to learn how to build a desk for your home office? Luckily, we live in an era with endless Youtube tutorials that can teach us whatever we’re interested in!
Create a Youtube Tutorial – Do you have a skill that you would like to share with the world? Help others by creating a YouTube tutorial video!
Become an online teacher– Have you been in your field for awhile and now you’re looking for a way to help others? Try teaching online! Many universities are looking for online instructors for various fields of study. You may also consider teaching ESL to children from around the world. The possibilities are endless.
Thank your online teachers (and teacher friends!) – It’s not always easy, but they sure make it look like it is. Send a thank you to your favorite online teacher to let them know that they are appreciated.
It’s National Hot Dog Day! In 1871, a German baker named Charles Felton opened the first hot dog stand on Coney Island. Originally called dachshund sausages (named after the dog), he sold 3,684 in his first year. Thanks to this culinary innovation, the hot dog has become an American staple in food culture. Not only are there many toppings to choose from, but there are also many different types of hot dogs. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and even vegan options have gained in popularity. Here are some of our favorite hot dog recipes that we would like to share with you!
Quesadogas– Get your tex-mex fix with this perfect combination of a hot dog and a quesadilla.
Campfire Pigs in a Blanket – Are you going on a camping trip? Or maybe you’re just hanging out around the fire pit in your backyard? This is the perfect campfire meal for this summer!
Homemade Gourmet Vegan Hot Dogs – Looking for something plant-based? This yummy recipe also includes a recipe for cashew-almond cheese sauce. Short on time? Most grocery stores have fantastic veggie dogs that you don’t need to make from scratch. Toppings not included.
Hot Dog Bar– Is your family picky? Do they each like different things? Set up a hot dog bar and let them create their own hot dog creations!
Garlic Bread Hot Dog – Want something that’s a little more Italian? Try out a hot dog stuffed in garlic bread!
Mac and Cheese Dog Casserole – If you’re not in the mood to eat a hot dog in a bun, you can try putting it into a casserole! I mean, who doesn’t love mac and cheese?
Pizza Hot Dogs– Here’s a recipe that combines two of the best foods on the planet!
Bánh Mì Hot Dogs– For an amazing Vietnamese flare on a traditional meal, try out the Banh Mi Hot Dog!
Every three years I have the privilege of writing the NFPA 70E Major Changes article for National Electrical Contractor Association’s magazine: Electrical Contractor. The 2021 edition of this standard will be available September 4, 2020 so it’s time to take a sneak peek and see what is in store this time around. This article is based on my article that was published in the May 2020 issue of Electrical Contractor.
Disclaimer: Although I am Vice-Chair of IEEE 1584, International Chair of IEC TC78 Live Working, Technical Committee Member of NFPA 70E and involved with many other codes and standards committees, the views expressed here are mine and may or may not represent the views of any of the above committees.
This article focuses on the more significant changes and is based on what was known at the time it was written. It does not include every change and some language was paraphrased. The reader should always refer to the final approved version once it is published. Continue reading →
We’re almost halfway through 2020! It’s no secret that this year has been challenging for most of us and that it is sometimes difficult to stay positive. However, with all of the bad there’s also a lot of good in the world. In the wake of our pandemic, actor John Krasinski from the show The Office created an entire online news program called Some Good News, which was dedicated to sharing good news that’s happening in the world. This has inspired us to share some good news with you.
Here are a few positive things that have happened so far in 2020:
7-year Old Holds Prom for His Babysitter: When Rachel Chapman’s prom was cancelled due to Covid-19, young Curtis decided to take matters into his own hands. He surprised her with dinner and a dance. Curtis dressed up and picked out a menu based on what they would eat together when she babysat: peanut butter and apples, Chick-fil-A, and smoothies.
99-year-old Veteran beats Covid-19 and Surprises Granddaughter on Wedding Day:WWII veteran, Vincent Simeone, was hospitalized for Covid for two weeks. When he recovered, he was able to surprise his granddaughter, Amy Zimmerman at her wedding on May 24th. This also would have been his late wife Millie’s 100th birthday.
Iowa Teen Launches Free Grocery Delivery Service for Seniors: Seventeen-year-old Tenner Kenin has a mission to keep senior citizens safe during the pandemic. He started T’s Angel Hands to help out seniors who are struggling to find delivery times and aren’t able to go to the store for fear of getting sick. He and dozens of volunteers are not only helping seniors, but they are also helping people with underlying health issues and pregnant women.
Canadian Company Aims to Plant 1 Billion Trees by 2020 Using Drones:Flash Forest, a Canadian startup, is using drones to drop seed pods into areas that may otherwise not be reached. They are currently able to plant 10,000-20,000 trees per day, but are hoping to reach 100,000 trees per day.
Singer Rents Cherry Picker to Sing to a Senior Center:Since nursing homes currently do not allow visitors, Colette Hawley of Chicago decided to take matters into her own hands. She rented a 30 foot cherry picker bucket truck to lift her up to sing through the windows of Chicago Methodist Senior Services. The grateful residents were seen clapping and waving through the windows. Some were even brought outside to dance.
May is National Electrical Safety Month! This month is a great time to double check all of your electrical equipment in your home. It’s also a great time to learn about electrical hazards and how to avoid them.
Electrical Safety Checklist:
Check all electrical cords for fraying and replace any that may be damaged.
Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
Don’t nail or tack cords to the wall or floor.
Use outlet covers to protect children from electrical outlets.
Never touch a downed powerline! Stay at least 35 feet away and call 911.
Don’t plant trees near utility equipment or under power lines.
Stay at least 10 feet away from all overhead power lines.
Do not touch anything that’s touching a powerline.
Check your extension cords. These are meant to be temporary and not a permanent fixture. All appliances should be plugged directly into the wall and not into an extension cord.
Don’t overload your electrical circuits. Flickering lights, warm or discolored wall plates, and mild shock from appliances or switches can all indicate overloaded circuits.
OK, not the most professional sounding title for an article about electrical safety. But play along, you will be able to connect the dots rather quickly.
Around seventy years ago, Captain Murphy was an aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems. He became involved with high-speed rocket sled experiments used to determine what G-forces a human could experience while being hurled down the rails at an alarming speed – 632 miles per hour back then. Note: speeds today can exceed well over 6000 miles per hour!
The “passenger” would be restrained by a harness that contained a series of measurement sensors – however, during the sled’s run, the sensors were not functioning! A subsequent investigation found Continue reading →
Below is a sample of the Live Streaming of my class about Arc Flash Studies and the 2018 Edition of IEEE 1584. It includes a brief discussion of calculations, an example problem that we solve in class and a discussion about shallow enclosures including an arc flash test of a shallow enclosure. I teach this class several times a year and can also conduct this class live or live streaming at your site.
Plasma – Modify the Arc Rating or Modify the Incident Energy Calculations?
I am frequently asked questions about the application of the 2018 edition of IEEE 1584 – especially electrode configurations and more specifically, about HCB (Horizontal Conductors/Electrodes inside a Metal Box/Enclosure).
I recently had the privilege of co presenting a paper at the IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop that focused on PPE, arc ratings and the arc flash hazard. I made a last-minute addition to the presentation that was not included in the published paper. It provides a direct correlation between using the 2018 IEEE 1584 HCB configuration and conclusions from a 2010 technical paper about de-rating PPE for outward convective flows Continue reading →
Imagine being quarantined without power. No Netflix. No refrigerator. No video games to keep your kids occupied while you’re trying to work. No computers to allow you to work. No power or technology of any kind. Thanks to linemen, we are able to have all of these things. Saturday was Lineman Appreciation Day. Linemen work around the clock to make sure that we have power. They work under high risk conditions on a daily basis. Without them, we would not be able to function in our high-tech world. How did this appreciation day come to be? On April 10, 2013, U.S. Senate Resolution 95 declared April 18th as Lineman Appreciation Day.
Here are a few facts about the history of linemen:
The profession began in the 1840’s due to the invention of the telegraph. Lines were originally strung on trees, but eventually wooden poles were put in place. There was very little training available and the job was extremely dangerous. They were responsible for connecting communities to the ever growing power grid.
Between the 1890’s and 1930’s, line work was considered one of the most dangerous jobs in existence. One in 3 linemen were killed on the job, typically from electrocution.
In the 1940’s and 1950’s, electricity became more publicly dependent. Maintenance of power lines and quick repairs became more important.
In the 1950’s, some electric lines began to be installed underground.
Now, industry standards and best practices have been put in place to protect our linemen. There are 3 organizations leading lineman health and safety: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
If you see a lineman, thank them. If you see anyone on the front lines, thank them, too. There are many essential workers on the frontlines right now. We at Brainfiller appreciate ALL of you who are still working to keep life as normal as possible for us during this time.
What a week! Like everyone else, we at Brainfiller have been following the COVID-19 news closely. For many of us, we are so used to the hustle and bustle of life that when we are forced to stay home and slow down, we are unsure what to do with ourselves. If you’re like me, you’re home with your kids trying to entertain them and make sure that they are staying happy and healthy.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. A day when many of us would be out socializing and celebrating. Just because we are social distancing, that does NOT mean that we can’t still celebrate! Here are some fun activities that you can do to celebrate from home:
Dropkick Murphy’s Livestream: Every year, the iconic Celtic-punk band Dropkick Murphy’s puts on a live show to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This year, they will be doing a livestream concert for the entire world to watch. You can watch it on their YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. For more information, please visit Dropkick Murphys.
Virtual Milwaukee Irish Fest: With the trend of putting everything online, the Milwaukee Irish Fest will also be live streaming for your enjoyment. They will also be featuring artist-curated videos, Irish Fest throwback videos, and more. For more information, please visit Irish Fest.
Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 Miler: Just because you’re social distancing, doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and run (from a distance). This virtual race will be held all month long. To sign up go to Shamrocks & Shenanigans.
Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The parades have been cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! People all over Twitter have announced that they will be having their own virtual parades in their homes. Dress up in green and orange and have a parade in your own living room!
LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival: This virtual festival has several artists performing and will have two virtual stages – one on Facebook and one on Instagram Live. This is taking place from 1pm – 10pm ET and has no cover charge. However, they will be suggesting ways to support the artists. Check it out at their Facebook event page: LemonAid – St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival.
Gardening: This is a great day to try out your green thumb and start planting some flowers and vegetables for the summer. You can do this indoors if it’s still too cold, or outside if the weather is nice. You can even plant shamrocks for a fun St. Patty’s Day addition.
Green Volcano: If you’re at home with your kids, you should create a green volcano! This is a fun experiment for kids of any age. You can get instructions at: Science Fun! Don’t forget to add some green food coloring.
Tie-Dye Fun: Another fun project for today would be to tie-dye T-shirts! Use green and orange for a fun St. Patrick’s Day project.
Green Food: Try to eat only green foods today. Turn it into a game for your kids by telling them that the Leprechaun’s rule is that they must only eat green today. It can be a fun way to get them to eat their green vegetables.
Virtually Tour St. Patrick’s Cathedral: There are many museums and tourist attractions available to view online right now. One of them is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. You can view it on their app or on their website at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
We hope that you all stay safe and healthy. Have a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day!
Grounding Phenomena (page 3) A very lengthy technical article from a 1932 perspective regarding grounding.
George Washington and The Business Man (Person) (Page 12) This editorial reflects on George Washington’s view of business principals. This was during the heart of the great depression in 1932. Continue reading →
Inside the January 1932 edition are articles such as:
Four Wire AC Secondary Networks (Page 12) This extensive article explores the growth (1932 perspective) of AC networks, Radial systems, DC networks, network protectors and more.
Hazardous Locations – Groups (Page 37) “It is recognized that various gases and various combinations of dust, possesses varying characteristics.” Using Groups for hazard locations is common but back in 1932, the concept was just being introduced. Continue reading →
February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day! We at Brainfiller have many fur babies whom we love and adore. From cats and dogs to ferrets and lizards, we love them all. Above is a picture of our pug Skittles dressed up as Thor. Did you know that about 85 million households in the U.S. own at least one pet? Although most of them have dogs and cats, there are many other types of animal companions. As if we need another reason to love our pets, today is the day to give them some extra love and attention.
Spoil your pet with a new toy: Visit your local pet store to buy a new toy for your pet. If possible, visit an independently owned store.
Give them some extra play time: Take your pet to the park or play in your home. Either way, your pet will love and appreciate the extra attention they are getting from you. You can also try to teach them a new trick.
Arrange a pet playdate: If your pet loves to socialize, this is the perfect day to let them play with or make new friends. Dog parks are the best places to help socialize your pup.
Take them to a pet spa: Take your pet to get a nice massage and grooming.
Give them some extra cuddle time: Fuzzy or scaly, all animals love to get cuddles from their favorite humans.
Take your pet to a pet friendly restaurant: This one is typically just for dogs, but that’s not always the case. I was recently at a restaurant in Las Vegas, NV and saw a girl carrying around her bearded dragon on her shoulder.
Take your pet for a walk in a new place: Or maybe go hiking! Animals love getting to explore new places and smells. Just remember to bring plenty of water for your pet.
Drink with your pet: Companies like Pet Winery and Apollo Peak make pet-safe mocktails, beer, wine, and champagne so they can celebrate life with you.
Share pictures of your pet on social media: Tag #brainfillerpets so we can see your adorable pets!
A common question that I often hear in my NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Studies training courses is:
“Can simply operating a device such as a fusible switch or circuit breaker cause an arc flash?”
I respond to the question with a very specific answer which is:
Arc Flash Aftermath
Learning the Hard Way
A good friend of mine here in Arizona has a client that found the answer the hard way. An electrical contractor was performing electrical work at their facility. The work involved creating an electrically safe work condition at the 277Y/480 Volt main service switchboard following NFPA 70E 120.5 Process of Establishing and Verifying an Electrically Safe Work Condition.
The main service switchboard contained four separate mains as permitted by NEC 230.71 – commonly referred to as the Six Disconnect Rule. One of the mains was a 1200 Amp bolted pressure switch with 1200 Amp fuses that fed a downstream distribution switchboard in another room. As required by NEC 240.95, ground fault protection was also provided on the main since the disconnect exceed 1000 amps and was a solidly grounded 277Y/480V system.
The work began by interrupting the load by opening each of the smaller fusible disconnects at the downstream switchboard. Once the load was interrupted, the 1200 Amp main was opened along with the three other mains. However, the line side of the mains in the switchboard remained energized – and still hazardous.
My 1974 IEEE Gray Book from College – Now part of the 3000 Series of IEEE Standards
I have been a fan of the IEEE “Color Books” going all the way back to my Senior Year in college – yep, I had a class based on the 1974 Edition of the IEEE Grey Book! Unlike so many other standards, the 13 IEEE Color Book series included many practical examples, pictures, diagrams and were always a great resource.
But (you saw that word coming) there was a lot of overlap between the different books creating the risk of subjects being out of synch over time. For example, the topic of short circuit calculations/analysis could be found in the Gray Book (IEEE Std. 241), Buff Book (IEEE Std. 242), Red Book (IEEE Std. 141), Brown Book (IEEE Std. 399), and Violet Book (IEEE Std. 551) In addition to the overlap, the sheer size of each book would mean the revision process would sometimes take forever (or at least seem that way).
Rural Electrification Hazards (Page 3) Rural citizens should be protected from new hazards due to the “Revolutionary Change” brought about by the electrification of farms and small towns.
Electrical Fatality in Oven (Page 25) The victim was repairing an oven in a bakery. He had his head and shoulders in the oven and a frayed extension cord he was using made contact with the metal inside.
Difficult Obtaining Explosion-Proof Motors (Page 31) Back in 1931, explosion proof motors were difficult to obtain as this article explains. Continue reading →
Many pages of suggested revisions and additions to the National Electrical Code. A few examples:
Multiple Service Switches (Page 4) A resolution to consider the subject of eliminating the requirement for a single service switch and permitting multiple service switches. A.k.a. today’s “Six Disconnect Rule”
Standardization of the investigation of electrical fires and accidents. (Page 3) With the continued electrification, comes the hazards that go along with it and the committee report on the subject is published in this issue.
Insulation vs. Grounding (page 11) An interesting article about the protection 0f electrical equipment from a safety standpoint.
Motor Wiring Tables (page 27) This table is based on the 1928 NEC
Bare Bus Bars and Risers (page 29) This is quite new and involves many fine points of engineering. The first large installation was in the Barclay-Vesey Building in New York City. Continue reading →
In addition to many IAEI section reports, this issue contains articles such as:
How to Classify Hazardous Locations (page 3) “The Classification of Hazardous Locations is a subject which can be treated in little more than a very general manner” Really? We have come a long way!
Fires in Radio Receiving Stations (Page 13) This article points out some of the causes and accidents. 27 radio fires were reported during 1929 to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters. Continue reading →
The human brain consists of 60% white matter and 40% grey matter. But what is grey matter? And why do we call this lovely newsletter by that name?
Grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control and sensory perception. It is also vital to our intelligence and memory. We at Brainfiller have a primary goal to fill all brains with as much knowledge as possible. Your grey matter will help you to remember it. Thus our reason for calling this newsletter, “Grey Matter.”
Allow us to fill your brain with these fun facts about your brain:
Your brain produces enough energy to power a light bulb. Your brain can produce enough energy to power a 25-watt light bulb, even while sleeping.
Brains are busier when you’re sleeping. We’re always told to get a good night’s sleep before a big test. This is why! Brains spend your sleeping hours organizing and storing information you come across throughout the day, including all of that information you just studied for a big test. Your brain is so busy when you’re sleeping that it has to produce a hormone that keeps you immobilized so you won’t react to any of the ideas that are going through your head.
Grey matter isn’t actually grey. Don’t let the name fool you. Grey matter doesn’t turn grey until it dies. It is actually a healthy pink due to all the blood that’s constantly flowing through it.
Humans use much more than 10% of their brains. We aren’t sure where this information about only using 10% came from, but we do know that it’s not true! Although you may not be using every part of your brain at every moment of the day, you will use every part at some point during the day. Each part of our brain has a different purpose, but they’re all essential to function.
Your brain doesn’t feel pain. Even though our brain will tell us loud and clear when we’re in pain, the brain tissue itself doesn’t contain pain receptors and thus cannot feel pain.
Your brain is addicted to oxygen. Our brain makes up less than 2% of our body weight, and yet it consumes 20% of the oxygen in your bloodstream. The brain divides that oxygen up between grey and white matter, with white matter getting just 6% and gray matter taking in 94%.
Your brain is mostly water. The average brain is about 73% water. Much of that water comes from blood. About a gallon of it flows through every four minutes.
A fat brain is a healthy brain. The brain is the most fatty organ in the body and you want it to be! The fat is necessary to insulate neurons and allow messages to travel through the brain and the body without getting lost.
Chicago Civic Opera Dimming System (Page 3) An explanation of this “New” technology used for dimming and control for both stage and a portion of the house lights.
Surface Raceways (page 29) Modern use of electrical applications and lighting such as desk lamps, electrically operated office appliances, TELEGRAPH call systems etc. has created problems for those responsible for the construction of “modern” buildings.
Designation of Enclosed Switches (page 33) Clarification regarding the three types of switches – disconnecting switches, general use switches and motor control switches.
Adequacy Requirements for Branch Circuit Wiring (page 10) This article points out that the table with a minimum required watts per unit area of the NEC does not of itself assure an adequate wiring layout. This appears to be the predecessor of NEC Table 220.12
Ohio Supreme Court Ruling about Liability (page 25) This 1929 ruling clarifies the right to recover damages from the property owner if they are negligent of fire hazards and his tenants suffer fire losses as a result.
Electrical Accidents Reports (page 29) Fatality from wires that were not removed, Handyman falls and grabs live terminals (all while using a lantern for illumination) Long before NFPA 70E, this article provides many more unfortunate stories.
Steel Underfloor Ducts (page 26) Underfloor ducts as a standardized manufactured produce was almost unheard of until recent years. This article references only one installation prior to 1920. Continue reading →
Pass the syrup, please! Yesterday was National Maple Syrup Day! Yep, we will celebrate anything here at Brainfiller HQ.
This natural sweetener was first discovered and processed by the indigenous people of North America. European settlers later refined the art of making syrup. Up until the 1930’s, the United States were the world leaders in maple syrup production. Now, Canada has taken the maple syrup throne.
Did you know that a maple syrup production farm is called a sugarbush or a sugarwood? Here are some other fun facts about maple syrup:
Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States.
Sap is boiled in a sugar house which is also known as a sugar shanty, sugar shack or a cabane à sucre.
Although not limited to these maple species, it is usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees.
It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.
Quebec produces about 2/3 of the world’s syrup.
A quarter cup of syrup is high in minerals.
The first written account of maple syrup production comes from 1606.
A tree takes about 40 years before it’s large enough to tap.
The International Maple Syrup Institute was founded in 1975 and their meetings include breakfast buffets.
Sap is usually preferred to syrup in Korea. Since the ninth century, the gorosoe, or “tree good for the bones,” is a Korean maple that’s been tapped by southern villagers. Locals drink over 5 gallons in one sitting as a common practice.
Enjoy this day with some pancakes or waffles. Or you can be like Buddy the Elf and try some syrup on your spaghetti.
What the Industry Thinks of Inspectors (page 3) The electrical industry regards this great body of men in the light of an unorganized police force that undoubtedly contributes to safety in the use of electricity, but instead of keeping order, promotes disorder because it is unorganized. OUCH! That’s a bit harsh.
System Control for Electric Clocks (page 10) Did you miss your regular train this morning? If so, it was not due to an error in your Telechron clock, as its timing is now automatically regulated to a high degree of precision by means of two frequency regulators installed on the Edison system.
What’s in a Name? (Page 15) This article provides example of industry terminology as it relates to specific geographic areas. For example, “Standpipe” refers to Service Conduit in the North west. “Hard Lights” refer to Arc Lamps in Hollywood. Continue reading →
November 1929 is the fifth issue and contains articles about:
Application of Demand Factors in Determining Feeder Sizes (page 12) An introduction to the concept of demand factors complete with graphs and tables. “In any set of electrical mains supplying either the whole or a part of an electrical installation the loaded in amperes occurring at anytime rarely, if ever, equals the load in amperes which would be required if all the apparatus connected to these mains was in use at the same time and full loaded.”
Penny for Fuse Proves Costly for Householder. (page 21) We have heard the stories and they go back a long time ago. “Don’t use a penny if a light fuse blows out.”
Statement to Inspectors from Manufacturers of Armored Cable (page 30) After tow years of the most careful research by Underwriters’ Laboratories, the armored cable industry announce their adoption of a new armored cable standard. Continue reading →
The September 1929 issue has quite a bit to offer.
American Standards Association Approves 1929 NEC (page 5) The NEC has been the basic guide for safe practices in the wiring of consumer premises for use or electricity for light, heat, and power for 30 YEARS!
Important Legal Decision (page 7) For inspectors who are enforcing the NEC and others working under the code. “Using Fixtures Forbidden by National Electrical Code Is Evidence of Negligence. McIntosh vs. Alabama Power Company.”
Successful Western Section Meeting at Detroit (page 10) “They came by train, they came by auto, they came by boat, and some even came on foot for this meeting. (notice, no airplanes were mentioned) Continue reading →
The History of the National Electrical Code (page 3) from a 1929 perspective. This includes a copy of the October 19th, 1881 letter adopting the standard for Electric Light Wires, Lamps, etc. subject to future additions. (Jim’s Note: I believe there have been “a few” additions since then)
50th Anniversary of the Incandescent Lamp. (page 5) A few rules have been developed related to this incident lamp circuits. The rules come from then leaders of industry including Mr. Thomas A. Edison.
Voltage Drop (page 8) “Drop in Voltage” has not been specifically provided for in the Code on the assumption that no fire or lie hazard was involved. However, this article begins to address the issue.
Accident Reports (page 25) This includes the electrocution of a rat, electrocution in a “Beauty Parlor” and others. Continue reading →
Meeting of Electrical Council of Underwriters’ Laboratories Meeting (page 3) that addressed such topics as Cabinet Labels, Armored Cable, Circuit Breakers and more. Circuit breakers are now divided into three classes based on characteristics. This includes circuit breakers used for washing machine protection, one for replacing the cutout and the switch at the service entrance and a standard circuit breaker represents the third class.
Guidance for Three-Phase, Four-Wire Systems. (page 8) This type of system is rapidly coming into use throughout the country and this article helps clarify the terminology and application of these systems.
Separate Fuses for Bell-Ringing Transformers. (page 13) It is recognized that the bell circuit which is frequently run with small size, paraffin covered wire is likely to short circuit.
Neon Signs (page 14) The Neon, sign, with its brilliant attractive, multi-colored glows, has met with very popular favor through the country during the past two to three years. However, there are many questions that this article attempts to address.
In this issue from March 1929 are articles such as:
Talking Picture Equipment – Description of Circuits, Voltages Used and Methods of Installation. With this “NEW” emerging technology, what apparatus must be added to the ordinary motor driven motion picture projector, in order to run talking pictures (page 9). Learn about the “new” safety provisions governing wiring in moving picture booths and more. Quite a blast from the past.
High Tension Service In Chrysler Building, New York City (page 17) With the growing tendency toward construction of higher buildings, with the rapidly extending use of alternating currents for buildings in the congest districts of large cities this article discusses the power supply for the NEW Chrysler building.
Read about various meeting reports such as the Electrical Committee of NFPA’s 1929 Annual meeting (page 12) the New York Chapter’s visit to the Westinghouse Institute and a Meeting of the Ohio IAEI (page 15) Continue reading →
When the 2018 Edition of IEEE 1584 was published last year, one subject was conspicuously absent – DC arc flash. DC power systems are everywhere and include sources such as rectifiers, photo-voltaic installation, transit systems and more. The number and scale of DC systems continue to grow.
The original IEEE 1584 project for developing the next generation arc flash model had quite an ambitious scope and budget. However, during the critical fundraising period in the early years, the great recession occurred and the DC effort had to be saved for another day.
Arc Flash Duration Defined by Clearing Time of Upstream Protective Device
One of the main variables that is part of an arc flash study is the arcing short circuit current. However, going back through the evolution of arc flash calculations, consideration was not always given to this value. Due to the impedance of the arc, the arcing current will always be less than the bolted short circuit current and the lower value could lead to a greater incident energy. Why? Because the lower current could result in the upstream protective device taking longer to operate leading to a longer arc flash duration.
Let’s take a look at a few milestones regarding arcing current calculations up through the use of the Arcing Current Variation Factor found in the 2018 Edition of IEEE 1584. Continue reading →
I was at the IEEE PCIC Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia last week where I had the privilege of being part of the first presentation with three great colleagues (actually thee great friends) The topic was the new IEEE 1584 standard.
During the presentation while I was looking out into the 1000 plus faces, it occurred to me, “I wonder how many people know how IEEE began?” So, in case that very important question has been keeping you up at night, here is the short history from IEEE’s website. Continue reading →
One of the main variables used for incident energy and arc flash boundary calculations is the arcing short circuit current. How the arcing current is calculated has gone through an evolution beginning back in the 1980’s up through today.
The arcing current will always be less than the “bolted” short circuit determined by performing a “traditional” short circuit study that is used to evaluate the interrupting rating of protective devices. During an arc flash, the short circuit current flows across an air gap which introduces an arcing impedance. The result is that the arcing short circuit current Continue reading →
By: Rebecca Frain – Managing Director, Electrical Safety UK, Rotherham, England – A Brainfiller, Inc. Strategic Partner.
Recently I had the opportunity to interview Jim Phillips regarding the new IEEE 1584 standard and what to expect with some of the new changes. In addition to being Associate Director for Electrical Safety UK and founder of Brainfiller.com, Jim is also Vice-Chair of IEEE 1584 and International Chair of IEC TC 78 – Live Working.
As an introduction, IEEE 1584 – IEEE Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations was first published in 2002 and is the standard that defines the equations and methods used in many of the arc flash software packages used for arc flash risk assessments. The second edition was published towards the end of 2018 and is a real game changer. Jim will be the Keynote Speaker at the upcoming International Arc Flash Conference on Tuesday September 24, 2019 in Manchester. Continue reading →
It is once again a privilege to announce the recent publication of IEC 61482-1-1:2019 Live working – Protective clothing against the thermal hazards of an electric arc – Part 1-1: Test methods – Method 1: Determination of the arc rating (ELIM, ATPV and/or EBT) of clothing materials and of protective clothing using an open arc. This standard is one of the dozens of standards that fall under IEC Technical Committee 78 that I have the privilege to Chair.
IEC 61482-1-1:2019 specifies test method procedures to determine the arc rating of flame resistant clothing materials and garments or assemblies of garments intended for use in clothing for workers if there is an electric arc hazard. An open arc under controlled laboratory conditions is used to determine the values of ELIM, ATPV or EBT of materials, garments or assemblies of garments. Continue reading →
One of my latest articles regarding the new 2018 IEEE 1584 Standard was recently published in the United Kingdom’s premier publication Electrical Review. In this article I take you through the major changes to new IEEE 1584 Standard – IEEE Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculation Studies and what it means for arc flash studies and risk assessments.
I just returned from a CENELEC TC78 Live Working Standards meeting in Brussels, Belgium a few days ago and it occurred to me that many people may not know what CENELEC is – or does.
CENELEC is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization and is responsible for standardization in the electrotechnical engineering field. CENELEC prepares voluntary standards, which help facilitate trade between countries, create new markets, cut compliance costs and support the development of a Single European Market.
Ever since the 2018 Edition of IEEE 1584 – IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations was published a few months ago, people continue to sift through the many changes that have occurred. One of the more significant changes is the introduction of a correction factor to adjust the calculated incident energy and arc flash boundary to account for the effect of the enclosure size.
When an arc flash occurs, the size of the enclosure can influence the arc flash hazard. The smaller the enclosure, the more concentrated the energy is – focusing it more towards the worker resulting in greater incident energy exposure. The opposite is also true. Larger enclosures have Continue reading →
The most frequently asked question that I receive regarding the 2018 edition of IEEE 1584 is:
“How do I determine the electrode configuration?”
The 2002 edition was based on arc flash tests with the electrodes oriented in a vertical configuration. When performing an arc flash study based on the 2002 edition, there were only two options available – an arc flash in an enclosure and an arc flash in open air – both based on a vertical electrode configuration.
Since the original 2002 edition was published, additional research has shown that incident energy can be influenced by the electrode configuration. As a result, many new tests were conducted using additional new electrode configurations including vertical electrodes that terminate into an insulating barrier as well as horizontal electrodes in an enclosure/box and in air. This is in addition to the original vertical configurations in an enclosure and in air. The additional configurations and the resulting Continue reading →
Yes, you read the title correctly – Second degree burns, my wife and a chili cookoff! And it all took place at home. But, before I get into that story, let me back up a bit.
Standards such as NFPA 70E, IEEE 1584 and several others address the arc flash hazard in terms of incident energy with the severity quantified in terms of calories per square centimeter (cal/cm2). The generally accepted value for “the onset of a second degree burn” is 1.2 cal/cm2 as shown in the following examples.
The NFPA 70E definition of the Arc Flash Boundary contains an Informational Note that references the “the onset of a second degree burn on unprotected skin is likely to occur at an exposure of 1.2 cal/cm2 “
“The onset of a second-degree skin burn injury based on the Stoll curve.” is also found in Informational Note 3 of the definition of Arc Rating. Continue reading →
125 kVA – Going, going, gone!
After much speculation about the fate of the 125 kVA transformer “exception”, the 2018 Edition of IEEE 1584 – IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations has finally been published and made it official. The 125 kVA transformer exception has been deleted!
In its place is the new language:
“Sustainable arcs are possible but are less likely in three-phase systems operating at 240 V nominal or less with an available short circuit current below 2000A”Continue reading →
It has been sixteen long years since IEEE 1584 – IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations was first published in 2002. This standard was highly celebrated back then because for the first time there was an internationally recognized standard that provided a method to calculate the arcing short circuit current, incident energy and arc flash boundary. The results of these calculations are often listed on arc flash/equipment labels and have become an integral part of arc flash studies and risk assessments globally.
However, it did not take long before the focus began to shift towards what comes next. Continue reading →
The circuit breaker just tripped. Production is down, alarms are sounding in the background. Panic time. For many, this scenario would mean quickly re-set the circuit breaker and “see what happens.” Not the best idea – the question needs to be asked – why did the circuit breaker trip? This situation can become an even larger problem if the circuit breaker has setting adjustments. Before I go any further, let’s back up a few steps. Continue reading →
The fourth edition of IEC Standard 60900 Live working – Hand tools for use up to 1,000 V AC and 1,500 V DC was just published. This standard is applicable to insulated, insulating and hybrid hand tools used for working live or close to live parts at nominal voltages up to 1000 V AC and 1 500 V DC.
This fourth edition cancels and replaces the third edition, published in 2012. This edition constitutes a technical revision. This edition includes the following significant technical changes with respect to the previous edition: Continue reading →
For many, it is nightmare scenario. Your department manager just came by and asked you to prepare and present a short training program for a client. It doesn’t matter if it is about Electrical Safety, Arc Flash, the latest National Electrical Code or any one of an infinite number of topics, your reaction could range anywhere from feeling faint to watching your life pass before your eyes or any number of other responses. Today, training has become more important than ever and there is an increasing likelihood that someday you may be called upon to put on the show – if you haven’t already.
I conducted my first training program “under duress” back in the very early 1980’s. It was exactly the scenario above – the department Continue reading →
A question that I am often asked either on-line or in one of my arc flash training classes is in regards to incident energy calculations and line-ground short circuit current:
“Since it is possible for the line-to-ground short circuit current to be greater than the three- phase current, could the line-to-ground condition be the worst case for incident energy calculations using IEEE 1584 equations?”
The short answer: No.
The longer answer: Let’s look at the equations for each short circuit calculation using symmetrical components.
As the International Chair of IEC TC78 Live Working Committee, I am excited to announce the recent publication of the second edition of IEC Standard 61482-2 Live working – Protective clothing against the thermal hazards of an electric arc – Part 2: Requirements.
This revised standard is applicable to protective clothing used in work where there is the risk of exposure to an electric arc hazard. The document specifies requirements and test methods applicable to materials and garments for protective clothing for electrical workers against the thermal hazards of an electric arc. Continue reading →
The 65th Annual IEEE-PCIC Conference will be held this year in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 24-26.
This year I will have both my “IEEE hat” and “IEC hat” on and join a couple of colleagues in presenting a technical paper comparing the use of ANSI vs. IEC short circuit calculations as part of an arc flash study. The official title is: “Comprehensive Overview and Comparison of ANSI vs. IEC Short Circuit Calculations: Using IEC Short Circuit Results in IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Calculations” Continue reading →
I have been receiving many questions lately about the status of the next edition of the standard: IEEE 1584 – IEEE Guide for Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations. As Vice-Chair of the IEEE 1584 working group, I would like to provide an update about the progress and current status.
The formal voting process (known as a Sponsor Ballot) for the next edition of IEEE 1584 was actually completed during August of 2017. However, that was only the beginning of a very long process. As part of the first round of balloting, many comments were submitted by the voters which needed to be formally addressed. There are over 160 people in the ballot pool that represent a wide cross section of the industry.
The IEEE 1584 Working Group voted to establish a Ballot Resolution Committee (BRC) which includes the Chair, Secretary and me along with a few others that represent various sectors of the industry. Continue reading →
When the topic of incident energy above 40 calories per square centimeter (cal/cm^2) comes up, the discussion can be quite interesting. People will sometimes refer to the high values in terms of a bomb or some other sensationalized description. Although a higher calculated incident energy can be more hazardous, all is not as it appears to be. Is the large value due to a very strong source or is it simply due to a protective device possibly taking a long time to clear? Each will behave differently.
When performing an arc flash study, if the calculated incident energy exceeds cal/cm^2 at any locations. people often just shake their head and ask, “Now what do we do?” We need to place the equipment into an electrically safe work condition but that in itself poses some risk.
When the 40 cal/cm^2 value is exceeded, it is often treated like an absolute go/no-go threshold and can trigger many different responses and comments that are not always correct. Above 40 cal/cm^2, arc flash labels may have the statement “No PPE Available.” This value also frequently triggers using the signal word “DANGER” on the label. There may be comments made such as, “Above that value, the blast pressure will kill you.” My favorite sensationalized comment that I have heard is, “Above that level, PPE just Continue reading →
March has been a busy month for me with Standards Committee work. I just returned home from three weeks of travel that included IEEE Standards meetings in Ft. Worth, Texas and various IEC meetings held at British Standards Institute (BSI) in London, U.K.
On the IEEE front, the IEEE 1584 Standard where I am Vice-Chair, has made significant progress over the past year and has completed the formal consensus ballot process, resolution of numerous comments from the balloters and has proceeded though another round of balloting. This new edition will provide more detailed equations for the calculation of incident energy from an arc flash as well as more detailed arcing current and arc flash boundary equations. Although I can’t provide a date when it will finally be published, the draft has been clearing Continue reading →
Short Circuit Calculations – Transformer and Source Impedance
An infinite bus short circuit calculation can be used to determine the maximum short circuit current on the secondary side of a transformer using only transformer nameplate data. This is a good (and simple) method for determining the worst case MAXIMUM short circuit current through the transformer since it ignores the source/utility impedance. Ignoring the source impedance means it is assumed to be zero and voltage divided by zero is infinite, hence the often-used term “infinite bus” or “infinite source”.
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