Always Remember: Your Work Is Essential

Eric Beckman, National Field Services Columns, Fall 2021 Columns, President's Desk

I want to start by thanking all NETA members and Board members for their support and trust to help lead the organization as I step into my term as President. It truly is an honor to be part of such a first-class organization that’s so well-respected all across the world and to be able to represent and lead it is …

The Importance of Grounding Renewables

Jeffrey R. Jowett, Megger Columns, Fall 2021 Columns, Tech Tips

The rapidly developing industry of renewable power generation can be compared to an hourglass. Inexhaustible supplies of free resources — sun and wind — are converted into a corresponding outflow of electrical energy at notable return on investment. But the process includes the neck of the hourglass through which the resources must pass. This is the solar array or wind …

A Look Back at History

James R. White, Shermco Industries Columns, Tech Quiz

1. Describe the function of polarity marks on current transformers. 2. Transformer differential relays protecting a 50 MVA, 138 kV – 13.09 Y/7.56 kV transformer have been operating normally during the construction phase of a project. When the transformer is being brought up to full load it trips. There is no indication of a fault, as all tests on the transformer and cable …

Distracted Driving

Paul Chamberlain, American Electrical Testing Co., LLC Columns, Fall 2021 Columns, Safety Corner

People are easily distracted in a world filled with more distractions every day. In this day of modern technology, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the number of distracting devices out there, and these devices have encroached upon the driving environment. Cell phones are convenient means to communicate over long distances, but couple them with texting, email, internet, and …

The Trouble with Ground Fault Testing

Mose Ramieh Jr, CBS Field Services In the Field, Columns, Fall 2021 Columns

“What are you doing here?” asked the manufacturer’s testing representative. “We are doing start-up of the gear, and your work seems redundant.” Redundant? That depends on what each of us is responsible for checking. That depends on who is going to ensure that all the known potential failures get checked and as needed, corrected. As an industrial or commercial buyer, …

Programming Numerical Relays to Alarm

Steve Turner, Arizona Public Service Company Columns, Fall 2021 Columns, Relay Column

Numerical protection relays offer the ability to alarm for many abnormal operating conditions, including the health of the relay. Below is a list of typical conditions to alarm for due to an abnormal condition: Overexcitation Phase undervoltage Loss of potential or blown fuse(s) Relay firmware or hardware failure Relay access Over or under station battery DC voltage Trip coil monitoring …

Proposed Changes to the NFPA 70E Standard, 2002 Edition

James R. White, Shermco Industries Columns, Fall 2021 Columns, NFPA 70E and NETA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is best known for the 70 standard, which is a consensus standard reviewed and updated every three years. The NFPA produces many additional standards covering topics such as Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, Finishing Processes, and Wastewater Treatment Plants. There are three standards that pertain directly to electrical workers and equipment: • NFPA 70  …

Earth Resistivity Test Methods and Evaluations

Jeffrey R. Jowett, Megger Columns, Summer 2021 Columns, Tech Tips

Ground testing is often thought of as ground electrode testing: the measurement of the resistance associated with a particular rod or grounding system. A useful corollary to this is soil resistivity testing. Resistivity is the electrical property of soil itself that determines how well it can carry current. It varies enormously (Table 1) depending on physical and chemical composition, moisture, …

Medium-Voltage Power System Components

James R. White, Shermco Industries Columns, Summer 2021 Columns, Tech Quiz

The Tech Quiz questions for this issue concern medium-voltage power system components. FREE QUESTION! What is medium-voltage? Great question, as there are varying answers from NETA, NEMA, NFPA, and IEEE. NETA’s Standards Review Council has defined and classified medium-voltage within the NETA standards as “a class of nominal system voltages greater than 1,000 volts and less than 100,000 volts,” which …

Medium-Voltage Circuit Breaker Condition Analysis and Hazard Awareness Update

Paul Chamberlain and Scott Blizard Columns, Safety Corner, Summer 2021 Columns

When performing condition analysis on medium-voltage circuit breakers located in metal-clad switchgear, it is necessary to be aware of all potential hazards. The person performing the condition analysis must be qualified to perform the task and have a solid understanding of each possible hazard they may encounter as well as ways to minimize the risks. To better understand the hazards …