July 31, 2003
LAM Lighting Systems Inc. announces new Web site
LAM Lighting Systems Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., has a recently established a new Web site at www.lamlighting.com. The user-friendly Web site offers visitors an interactive way to learn about the company’s products. Links along the left hand side of the page allow the visitor to learn about the company’s history. The mission statement, access to specification sheets on products arranged by type, and photometric data for specific features are also available to customers. Browsers can also locate their local sales representative or contact the company.
July 30, 2003
UL celebrates its 100th year in standards development
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), Northbrook, Ill., celebrates the 100th anniversary of its first safety standard. UL has published nearly 900 Standards for Safety since 1903 and its familiar mark appears on billions of products each year.
UL’s first Standard for Safety, UL 10A for Tin-Clad Fire Doors, has grown into the 886 current UL standards, each developed and maintained with input by UL engineers in conjunction with industry, government agencies, regulatory authorities, members of academia, and consumer advocates.
“UL has played an integral role in establishing the U.S. safety system by bringing together experts from varied fields to develop product standards,” says Robert A. Williams, UL’s director of Standards. “As a result, UL Safety Standards are recognized for establishing the basic safety principles in North America.”
July 29, 2003
Shell WindEnergy plans to construct wind farm
In a joint venture with Padoma Wind Power, Shell WindEnergy, Inc. will build a wind farm at a site 90 miles southeast of Lubbock, Texas. The wind farm will consist of 160 Mitsubishi MWT 1,000A wind turbines, some of which will stand 226 ft tall and weigh more than 370,000 lb. The total output will generate enough electricity to power about 30,000 homes. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2003.
July 28, 2003
Indiana energy company plans cogeneration plants for local industrial users
The chairman of Private Power LLC, the newest player on the Northwest Indiana energy scene, pledges to give steel mills and BP Amaco’s Whiting refinery new opportunities to produce more of their own electricity on-site while cutting down on pollution. Private Power, which will soon own six Primary Energy plants located at area steel mills, intends to work on plans for at least two more cogeneration plants in northern Indiana. Under a recent agreement, Private Power will buy the six cogeneration plants at the steel mills from NiSource, Inc. for $335 million. The transaction will be complete in the third quarter of 2003.
The cogeneration plants provide savings to industrial users because they produce power from waste products, cutting down on energy costs while reducing pollution at the same time.
July 25, 2003
Physical Optics Corp. announces expanded line of optical products
Physical Optics Corp. (POC), Torrance, Calif., recently announced an expanded range of optical products for OEM, government/military, and commercial applications with its 100-page Web site launch. The site demonstrates the latest offerings of optical products and provides a technology summary at www.poc.com.
The company has integrated advanced technologies in optics, electronics, and software to develop a variety of products ranging from 3D visualization and intelligent hypercompression to light shaping products, advanced information display, optical instrumentation, sensor systems, and biotechnology products.
July 24, 2003
Dranetz-BMI and Electrotek selected as Exclusive Power Quality Training Partner
WPT recently announced that its Dranetz-BMI and Electrotek Concepts subsidiaries have been chosen by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as its exclusive training partner for power quality and power reliability. The NJATC, sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), is responsible for the development of training curriculum for the unionized electrical construction and maintenance industries in the United States.
Under the alliance, Dranetz-BMI and Electrotek will work with NJATC to prepare technical training material for both apprentice and journeyman electricians working in the commercial and industrial marketplace. These courses will include topics ranging from understanding power quality terminology, costs, and concepts to more complex issues like harmonics, troubleshooting, and problem mitigation. The continuing education journeyman courses will include hands-on training of power quality monitoring, measurement, and troubleshooting instrumentation and software.
July 23, 2003
The Blue Book announces joint marketing agreement with McGraw-Hill Construction
The Blue Book of Building and Construction and McGraw-Hill Construction have entered into a joint marketing agreement that will enable The Blue Book to deliver McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge project leads to its customers through the BB-Bid/BidScope Network. This collaborative effort and shared commitment will provide Blue Book customers with targeted project information available for locating and bidding prime job opportunities.
July 22, 2003
Leviton acquires Structured Wiring Division of Listman Home Technologies
Leviton Manufacturing, Little Neck, N.Y., recently announced it has acquired the Structured Wiring Division of Listman Home Technologies. Leviton Integrated Networks, the company’s structured wiring division, will assume responsibility for Listman’s inventory and service centers, including the software and Web site it has developed for management of installed systems. Leviton will also now support Masco Contracting Services, Listman’s existing distribution partner.
July 21, 2003
Black & Veatch’s Global Renewable Energy Group awarded three-year contract
Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan., recently announced that its Global Renewable Energy Group has been awarded a 3-yr contract by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to support the expansion of its renewable resources. LADWP operates the “Green Power for a Green L.A.” program, one of the largest green power programs in the United States.
Black & Veatch will provide consulting and engineering services to the LADWP for a variety of projects, including wind, biomass, geothermal, small hydro, and other renewable energy sources. Potential services will include technical review and due diligence, feasibility studies, strategic planning, support, and project engineering services.
July 18, 2003
Construction employment climbs in June while falling economy-wide
Of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) three construction segments, building construction employment fell by 1,500 jobs last month but has risen by 38,300 jobs (2.4%) since June 2002. Heavy and civil engineering construction employment gained 2,700 jobs last month but lost 25,000 jobs (2.7%) over the year. Specialty trade contractors added 14,500 jobs in the month and 63,100 jobs (1.5%) over the 12-month span.
The seasonally adjusted value of construction put in place decreased 1.7% in May to an annual rate of $870 billion, according to the Census Bureau. The Census also made its annual revision of past data, upping the total for 2002 to $861 billion, a 1% gain over the revised 2001 total. Construction in the first five months of 2003 is 1.6% ahead of the same period in 2002. Under the new classification, private residential construction rose by 8% in 2002 and 9% from January to May 2003, private nonresidential fell by 13% and 10%, and public construction of all types climbed 5% and .6%.
July 17, 2003
The IESNA introduces Discover Lighting
The IESNA announces the release of a new online learning module entitled Discover Lighting. Launched from IESNA’s Web site in May, this interactive module serves as an introduction to the lighting industry. Discover Lighting is designed to engage the lighting newcomer and encourage further learning. The participants are challenged along the way by “test your knowledge” multiple-choice quizzes that are interspersed throughout each section.
For more information, visit www.iesna.org.
July 16, 2003
Remke launches a new Web site
Remke Industries, Wheeling, Ill., recently launched a Web site at www.remke.com that along with a new design and easier navigation provides more information for both customers and sales channel partners.
Content on the new Remke Web site includes a product section with an online catalog, a custom solutions section that describes options for developing custom products and variations, and a sales login section for channel partners. It also includes ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ sections with forms to request a quote or more information.
July 15, 2003
IEEE approves new power standards for adjustable-speed drives and harmonic filters
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board, Piscataway, N.J., recently approved two new power generation standards, one for adjustable-speed drives, IEEE 958, and the other for harmonic filters, IEEE 1531. The board also approved a revised standard for evaluating how solar radiation affects outdoor metal-enclosed switchgear, IEEE C37.24.
IEEE 958, “Guide for Application of AC Adjustable-Speed Drives on 2,400 to 13,800 Volt Auxiliary Systems in Electrical Power Generating Stations,” is a new standard on the operation, selection, and use of adjustable-speed drives (ASD) for motor-driven systems. It reviews ASD terminology, theory of operation, and selection, as well as drive system classification, typical applications, and ASD design, specifications, and installations.
IEEE 1531, “Guide for Application and Specifications of Harmonic Filters,” is the first standard developed specifically for harmonic filters. It provides guidelines for the use and specifications of shunt harmonic filters operating in 50 Hz and 60 Hz power systems at 216V or more. It also includes criteria for designing, controlling, and protecting these filters.
The revised standard, IEEE C37.24, “Guide for Evaluating the Effect of Solar Radiation on Outdoor Metal-Enclosed Switchgear,” looks at how the sun affects outdoor metal-enclosed switchgear, control switchboards, and metal-enclosed bus. The thermal effects of solar radiation are a factor in defining how much current outdoor metal-enclosed switchgear can carry.
July 14, 2003
Square D Services offers safety training sessions
As part of a nationwide effort to increase understanding of workplace electrical safety practices, Square D/Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill., is offering a one-day Safe Employee Workplace training course that will be held at several regional locations. The course is targeted to qualified plant personnel who maintain and operate low- and medium-voltage electrical equipment. Each one-day session will review NFPA 70E Part 2 (Arc Flash), March Edition; OSHA 1910.331-335 (shock protection); OSHA 1910.137 (boundary protection); OSHA 1920.269 (proper grounding); hazard prevention; and project management. The course will also include a basic overview of proper distribution equipment maintenance.
For a complete course description and listing of dates and locations visit www.squared-services.com.
July 11, 2003
State construction employment, hiring plans, permits, and supplies turn up
Building permits in May rose 3.7% from a revised April total and 3.9% from the May 2002 level. May’s growth was led by permits for multi-unit housing, with structures of five or more units rising 18%, while permits for single-family homes rose just .3%. For the first time in five months, both single- and multi-unit permits totaled 3% more than in the same period of 2002.
Housing starts climbed a seasonally adjusted 6% from April’s revised figure to May but were down by 1% from May 2002. Year-to-date starts were up 1% from the first five months of 2002 as a 3% rise in single-family starts overcame a 4% decline in five or more unit starts.
Industrial production (IP) at mines, utilities, and factories rose .1% in May, following drops of .6% in both April and March. IP was .8% lower than in May 2002, with factory output down by 1%. Output of construction supplies rose .3% in May but was 3.6% below the 2002 level.
Factory capacity utilization stood at 72.6% compared to 73.9% a year before and an average of 80.2% in 1972-2002, suggesting that demand for factory construction could remain dormant for quite some time.
July 10, 2003
McGraw-Hill Construction Network set for nationwide launch
McGraw-Hill Construction has launched an online integrated service that helps customers obtain more business opportunities. Customers can view project news and bidding documents together on one site. The online service provides information on projects coming out for bid within the next 60 days and allows clients to download and print to a local plotter. Additionally, it offers the option to order full-sized, hard copy plans delivered overnight to the customer’s door. The network also features automatic e-mail alerts for specific projects and keyword search capabilities.
Following the successful launch in January in Ohio, the network was unveiled for customers in Dallas/Fort Worth in April, Atlanta in May, and South Florida in June. The national launch will take place in July.
July 9, 2003
New applications drive demand for less-than-5kVA UPS products
In the recently released multi-volume study, “The 2002 Power Protection Market Intelligence Program,” Venture Development Corporation (VDC) concluded in its North American Demand Analysis that the under-5kVA UPS-market will undergo extensive transition over the next five years. Global consumption of battery-powered UPSs of all ranges is expected to increase at a relatively modest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.95% through 2008.
July 8, 2003
Wisconsin utility found liable for stray voltage
The Wisconsin state Supreme Court recently ruled that a utility can be held responsible for harming the health of a dairy herd with stray voltage even though state-recommended voltage tests failed to find potentially damaging levels where the animals congregated.
“For the first time in Wisconsin, an appellate court has rejected each utility’s argument that unless you can measure harmful voltage at points of cow contact, you could not collect damages,” says Lynn Laufenberg, a Milwaukee attorney representing former dairy farmers Allan and Beverly Hoffmann of New London, Wis.
In writing for the court, Justice William Bablitch ruled there was sufficient evidence to support the Hoffmanns’ claim that stray voltage from a utility’s electrical line had harmed the health of the Waupaca County family’s dairy herd and cut milk production.
July 7, 2003
Members of NECA voice concerns of proposed safety rules
According to the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), new safety rules proposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for powerline construction have the potential to help reduce fatalities and injuries among electricians performing high-voltage work on utility-owned systems.
However, some of the association’s small business owners voiced strong concerns about particular aspects of the proposed rules. One concern the owners have is electric utilities that hire contractors to perform construction and maintenance work must share responsibility for ensuring worker safety.
Another concern is that the proposed rules’ emphasis on fire-resistant clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) discourages more effective means of hazard reduction, such as working only on de-energized systems.
“We welcome improvements that will truly enhance safety performance, yet eliminate unnecessary burdens on our efforts to provide electrical power service to this country,” says Dave Potts, NECA’s director of safety and insurance.
July 3, 2003
EPRI grants license to Global Power Products
The Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), Palo Alto, Calif., has granted Global Power Products, Lawrenceville, Ga., a license to manufacture and market GenerLink, an interconnection device for portable generators. GenerLink allows safe disconnection from the electric distribution system during an outage and directs power to various parts of the home.
The agreement gives Global Power Products the right to manufacture and market the device in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
July 2, 2003
Klein Tools partners with CEDIA
Klein Tools, Chicago, recently announced that it will be the official tool sponsor of the Boot Camps for the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA). As the sponsor, Klein Tools is providing CEDIA with tools like side cutters, wire strippers, tape measures, and tool boxes. These comprehensive hands-on training programs for the custom design/installation industry are held several times throughout the year.
July 1, 2003
The Blue Book launches Taking Bids messaging
The Blue Book of Building and Construction recently launched a new messaging system called Taking Bids. The system is designed to contact qualified contractors and suppliers and is available within private online plan rooms hosted by Plan Express, Memphis, Tenn. Users of the system can solicit bids from local contractors and suppliers by promoting their projects to the specific trades needed for the job.