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Cyber Security Strategy is a Must-Have for AMI/MDMS and DA Systems

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Over the past decade, utilities around the world have taken advantage of the many clear benefits that Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and subsequently Distribution Automation (DA) can afford.

In addition to the proven cost savings of automated and remote meter reading, utilities have been able to improve reliability and power quality in the distribution grid and take important steps toward updating and modernizing our aging power delivery infrastructure. Smart meters do so much more than provide automated meter reading; the power quality data they collect make them an integral part of a distribution automation system.

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Breaking Down OSHA’s Revised Fall Protection Standards for Utility Workers

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Ineffective or missing fall protection has been OSHA’s most-cited violation every year since 2011, and falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Year after year, fall protection remains a key concern for employers throughout the United States. Not just that, but electrical workers routinely face hazards in the form of high-voltage equipment, dangerous heights, and extreme weather conditions.

OSHA recognizes these dangers and in 2014, updated some of its fall protection regulations to keep employees safe while working at heights. 29 CFR §1926.954 covers PPE requirements, including fall protection, and 29 CFR §1910.269 covers electric power generation, transmission and distribution work. The agency hadn’t updated its rules since 1972 and sought to align them more closely with general industry standards.

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The Role of Thermal Imagining in Today’s Electrical Utilities Sector

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In today’s society we are faced with many obstacles, one of these obstacles is the high cost of electricity around the world.  Electricity prices for commercial, industrial and institutional have increased a considerable amount.  There are many reasons why this is occurring, including the lack of energy efficient businesses, the need for further investments to hook up to other reliable and cheaper resources, and the lack of not being able to handle peak hours causing electrical companies to use other means of energy such as oil and gas.  Labor costs from outages caused by mother-nature, through thunder and lightning storms is also a major cause.

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Fighting Heat Stress With Effective Workwear

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In a perfect world, we could all work in weather-controlled environments where heat wouldn’t be a factor and comfort could be maximized. Many workplaces however, deal with very high temperatures and heat stress is a year-round risk that requires serious consideration. For many years the standards addressing the prevention of heat stress-related issues went untouched. Recently the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released an evaluation of the available data on this subject (criteria for a recommended standard), with the goal of setting a new standard. The report; Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments, contains detailed information to aid employers, managers and workers in managing the occurrence of heat stress.

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Speed Up Damage Assessment, Assembly and Dispatch of Resources During Outage Events

Helicopters fly over the skyline of lower Manhattan as it sits in darkness after a preventive power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York October 30, 2012. Hurricane Sandy began battered the U.S. East Coast on Monday with fierce winds and driving rain, as the monster storm shut down transportation, shuttered businesses and left hundreds of thousands without power. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT CITYSPACE)

In a survey conducted in September 2016 by ARCOS LLC (a provider of emergency resource management software), the software provider asked utilities how they manage damage assessment in the wake of major events like storms and earthquakes. Thirty-five percent of utilities polled said they relied on paper and pencil along with manually entering data in their outage management systems (OMS). Another 31 percent relied on electronic forms, but still entered data by hand into an OMS. Twelve percent made use of online damage assessment software, which was not integrated with an OMS. And another 12 percent had damage assessment software fully integrated with an OMS.

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ET Partner Media




News

Fulham Adds New HotSpot Plus LED Driver & Emergency System with Bottom Side Leads for Downlight Installations

HAWTHORNE, Calif. – September 27, 2016 – Fulham Co., Inc., a leading supplier of lighting components and electronics for commercial and specialty applications, today announced the addition of a new HotSpot Plus LED Driver & Emergency System with bottom side leads and studs (BLS) form factor designed for downlight and troffer installations where the driver resides on top of the fixture. The new BLS configuration makes the HotSpot Plus even more versatile, providing an LED driver with emergency lighting functionality in a compact enclosure that can be easily installed in tight spaces. In fact, the HotSpot Plus is the smallest complete emergency LED system on the market.

The HotSpot Plus LED Driver & Emergency System is an all-in-one unit that includes a 0-10V dimmable LED driver, emergency LED driver, and replaceable battery backup, thus eliminating the need to install a separate emergency lighting system. The HotSpot Plus functions as a 40W constant current LED driver with programmable output range of 250-1400mA. In the event of an emergency, the built-in battery automatically provides emergency lighting for up to 180 minutes at 5W or 90 minutes at 10W. In addition to the new BLS form factor, the HotSpot Plus also is available in a compact or linear design with end leads.

“Our HotSpot Plus units showcase some of Fulham’s latest lighting innovations,” said Alvaro Garcia, Product Director LED & Emergency Drivers for Fulham. “The HotSpot Plus combines an LED driver with battery-powered emergency lighting, available in three form factors for any type of installation, and the drivers are fully programmable using our SmartSet systems. Our objective is to deliver innovative, energy-efficient lighting solutions that are easy to install and can evolve with our customer’s needs. Clearly the HotSpot Plus fills the bill.”

One of Fulham’s growing family of smart, programmable LED drivers, the HotSpot Plus LED Driver & Emergency System is programmable in 1mA increments using a handheld SmartSet controller. Fulham’s SmartSet programming enables integration of more efficient lighting modules in luminaire design with programmable step dimming and dim-to-off. It also features an illuminated test switch/AC power indicator and self-diagnostics. The driver comes with a five-year warranty.

Fulham’s SmartSet light programming platform uses either a handheld controller or SmartSet PC Software to control Fulham’s LED drivers. The driver doesn’t have to be powered on to be programmed, and SmartSet includes an auto-program feature that enables fast, one-touch programming of multiple fixtures.

All three models are now shipping from Fulham and its distribution partners in North America.

For more information, visit www.fulham.com.

About Fulham

Fulham Co., Inc. is a leading global provider of intelligent, socially-conscious sustainable commercial lighting components and electronics for use in commercial general lighting, parking structure, signage, horticultural, UV and other applications. The company develops and manufactures a variety of award-winning LED and emergency products, as well as legacy products across multiple lighting platforms. Fulham sells its lighting solutions worldwide through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electrical equipment distribution channels. Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., the company has sales and/or manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, China, India and the UAE. For more information, visit www.fulham.com.

 

Contact:
Andy Firchau
Marketing Manager
(323) 779-2980, ext. 1252
afirchau@fulham.com

Vegetation Management

Advanced Survey Technologies Deliver Clear View of Geologic Hazards

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Electric utilities commonly use trained foresters, traversing thousands of miles, to manually identify vegetation or other geographic hazards posing risks to transmission infrastructure. For one utility in the Western United States, the challenging terrain and accuracy limitations of laser range finders used to visually identify at-risk trees resulted in 1,424 trees assessed as requiring maintenance, potentially costing $200,000.
 

Months later, surveying the same assets using high-resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) on fixed wing aircraft, the utility determined only 35 trees needed management, including 17 trees not originally identified in the forester’s survey. Ultimately the use of new technology saved the utility more than $150,000 in maintenance fees.
 

LiDAR and other improvements in geological hazard mapping are proven to reduce maintenance costs, minimize outage risks, improve safety of field workers and deliver greater shareholder value.
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Wire and Cable

Utility Proactively Tests Underground Cable

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Distribution companies are continually looking for ways to improve system reliability, all while conserving capital investments and operational costs. With an aging infrastructure, one of the main issues that utilities face is a way to assess the actual condition of their capital assets.

With respect to underground cables, utilities can achieve enhanced reliability by developing a smarter asset management strategy. Historically, utilities used a reactive-based maintenance approach: when a cable fails, have it replaced. However, with increasing proportions of cables approaching end of life, this method is not sustainable because it consumes a significant portion of the operation and maintenance budget.  Simply put, for most utilities, not enough capital dollars are available to replace all of the aged cables. For this reason, utilities must employ an effective strategy to adopt condition-based maintenance to balance this issue.

Many utilities have switched to condition-based maintenance programs to more efficiently spend their capital budgets. Generally, utilities diagnose the health of a cable based on its age, and they expect cables to last 25 to 30 years. The age of a cable, however, is not always an indication of the cable’s quality.
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