Archive | September, 2013

205

6:33 pm
September 23, 2013
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Schneider Electric on Obama's Grid Resiliency Report and Disaster Preparedness

We applaud the Obama administration’s recent report on the Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages. The report calls for increased spending to revitalize the nation’s aging electric power system to improve resiliency against severe weather events. The report is an important call to action designed to spur momentum in modernizing our electric grid and raise awareness of the economic risks that come with not investing in revitalizing our grid.

Severe weather is the number one cause of power outages in the U.S. and costs the economy billions of dollars a year in lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production, inconvenience and damage to grid infrastructure. The report estimates the average annual cost of power outages caused by severe weather to be between $18 billion and $33 billion per year. In a year with record breaking storms, the cost can be much higher.

Creating a resilient electric grid is critical to reducing our vulnerability to severe weather. Furthermore, as highlighted in the report, smart grid technology designed to increase resilience can improve the overall effectiveness of grid operations leading to great efficiencies in energy use and reduction in carbon emissions. As utilities look to modernize the grid they not only have the opportunity to improve resiliency against storm damage, drive greater energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, but also to support the increased integration of renewables.
 
Intelligent energy management and modernizing our nation’s infrastructure is critical. Our experience shows that the simple act of evaluating and monitoring energy usage leads to more efficient consumption. Some of our customers save up to 30% of their energy consumption. By lowering operational costs many organizations are able to free up scarce resources to invest in modernizing infrastructure. Through investments in our infrastructure, the grid will become more automated and interconnected and will enable greater energy efficiency.

In our view, modernizing the electric grid is the foundation for creating smarter, more resilient data centers, homes, buildings, cities and communities. Collaboration across all levels of government and the private sector will be key to enabling the development of the Smart Grid and ultimately to creating a more sustainable, energy efficient country.

Many thanks to the Obama administration for continuing to focus on this important issue and for encouraging the collaboration needed to make a smarter, more resilient grid a reality. There is much more to do, but this report continues to drive our country on a good path as it calls for comprehensive planning and execution on the next generation of smart grid.
 
Andy Bennett
Senior Vice President, Infrastructure
Schneider Electric

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199

4:54 pm
September 18, 2013
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My Take: Strivers Wanted

newjaneresize2 thumb thumbBy Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor

Classes are back in session for children across the country. Wherever they are, I hope all those bright, shiny faces are paying attention, and not just in their crucial STEM-related courses (science, technology, engineering, math). Invaluable life skills can be gleaned from all areas of study. The trouble is, not all kids are capitalizing on the opportunities to do so. I’ve sat in on too many industry events over the past few years where folks decry the lack of math, reading, problem-solving, communication and just plain people skills among annual crops of newly minted high school grads. The situation has evidently been bad all over.

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278

4:37 pm
September 18, 2013
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Don’t Procrastinate…Innovate!: Looking Into The Past For The Future

ken bannister thumb thumb thumbBy Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

“Al, bent over the wheel, kept shifting eyes from the road to the instrument panel, watching the ammeter needle, which jerked suspiciously, watching the oil gauge and the heat indicator. And his mind was cataloguing weak points about the car. He listened to the whine, which might be the rear end, dry; and he listened to tappets lifting and falling. He kept his hand on the gear lever, feeling the turning gears through it.

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162

4:24 pm
September 18, 2013
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Boosting Your Bottom Line: Forget Guesswork — Tracking Boosts Reliability

motor-decisions-matterImproving your plant’s reliability is a gift that keeps on giving. In implementing effective motor management practices, you make your job as a maintenance professional easier by improving operating and production performance, lowering maintenance costs and reducing equipment downtime. The first step toward greater relia-bility is to conduct a plant-wide motor survey that records basic, but crucial, data about your motor fleet. 

It’s worth the time 
Although conducting a motor survey and implementing a tracking program may seem daunting, remember that it’s not necessary to survey every motor in the facility. If your site has many motors, it could make sense to start with equipment running the most critical applications, units with the longest run-times or highest failure rates, or simply the oldest ones. 

Maintaining a log of motor repairs through a tracking program can help flag opportunities to repair or replace motors before failure, during scheduled downtime. Some facilities have reported that it’s not unusual for a motor to be repaired and then installed in a different application in another part of the plant. Tracking programs record the unit’s history to help predict reliability or prevent misapplication. Your local motor-service expert can help you with a motor inventory.

Free help is available
There are also a number of motor tracking resources available that will not only make your life easier, but are free to download. One of the best-known tools is MotorMaster+ 4.0*, created by Washington State University through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE). This software is a comprehensive program that enables you to create a detailed motor database. You can use the database to make data-driven decisions for long-term savings. It also contains important manufacturer information for more than 20,000 motors. 

What’s next?
A motor survey and tracking program are the first steps in developing a motor management plan. Simply put, you can only manage a motor fleet if you know what’s in it and monitor changes over time. That’s where Motor Decisions MatterSM (MDM) can help. 

The MDM Motor Planning Kit, available as a free download at www.motorsmatter.org, explains the fundamentals of motor management and helps you get started. The MDM 1·2·3 Approach software tool includes a motor inventory sheet that runs simple calculations and provides motor reports and tags, using sample data from customer plants and facilities. Additionally, MDM has a comprehensive case-study library with numerous examples of how customers saved money and energy by implementing motor management strategies, beginning with a motor inventory. Start tracking today, and enjoy the long-term benefits of increased reliability. LMT

* MotorMaster+ 4.0 is available here.

The Motor Decisions Matter (MDM)campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For further information, contact MDM staff at mdminfo@cee1.org or (617) 589-3949.

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398

4:24 pm
September 18, 2013
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Boosting Your Bottom Line: Forget Guesswork — Tracking Boosts Reliability

motor-decisions-matterImproving your plant’s reliability is a gift that keeps on giving. In implementing effective motor management practices, you make your job as a maintenance professional easier by improving operating and production performance, lowering maintenance costs and reducing equipment downtime. The first step toward greater relia-bility is to conduct a plant-wide motor survey that records basic, but crucial, data about your motor fleet. 

It’s worth the time
Although conducting a motor survey and implementing a tracking program may seem daunting, remember that it’s not necessary to survey every motor in the facility. If your site has many motors, it could make sense to start with equipment running the most critical applications, units with the longest run-times or highest failure rates, or simply the oldest ones. 

Maintaining a log of motor repairs through a tracking program can help flag opportunities to repair or replace motors before failure, during scheduled downtime. Some facilities have reported that it’s not unusual for a motor to be repaired and then installed in a different application in another part of the plant. Tracking programs record the unit’s history to help predict reliability or prevent misapplication. Your local motor-service expert can help you with a motor inventory.

Free help is available
There are also a number of motor tracking resources available that will not only make your life easier, but are free to download. One of the best-known tools is MotorMaster+ 4.0*, created by Washington State University through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE). This software is a comprehensive program that enables you to create a detailed motor database. You can use the database to make data-driven decisions for long-term savings. It also contains important manufacturer information for more than 20,000 motors. 

What’s next?
A motor survey and tracking program are the first steps in developing a motor management plan. Simply put, you can only manage a motor fleet if you know what’s in it and monitor changes over time. That’s where Motor Decisions MatterSM (MDM) can help. 

The MDM Motor Planning Kit, available as a free download at www.motorsmatter.org, explains the fundamentals of motor management and helps you get started. The MDM 1·2·3 Approach software tool includes a motor inventory sheet that runs simple calculations and provides motor reports and tags, using sample data from customer plants and facilities. Additionally, MDM has a comprehensive case-study library with numerous examples of how customers saved money and energy by implementing motor management strategies, beginning with a motor inventory. Start tracking today, and enjoy the long-term benefits of increased reliability. MT

* MotorMaster+ 4.0 is available here.

The Motor Decisions Matter (MDM)campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For further information, contact MDM staff at mdminfo@cee1.org or (617) 589-3949.

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401

4:20 pm
September 18, 2013
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Automation Insider: Get More From Intelligent Field Devices

garymintchellBy Gary Mintchell, Editorial Director

This month’s column is the third installment in a series on how modern digital technologies help maintenance and reliability professionals and plant management improve performance. (The previous installments discussed HART Communication protocol and FDT.)

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248

4:18 pm
September 18, 2013
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Reliable Gadget

0913gadgetTest Fluorescent Lamps, Pins And Voltage With One Pocket-Sized Tool

Amprobe® has introduced the LT-10 Lamp Tester, a lightweight, pocket-sized tool that takes the guesswork out of troubleshooting fluorescent fixtures. According to the company, the one-button device can verify in seconds whether fluorescent bulbs are operational prior to installation or removal, making it well-suited for facilities with large numbers of fixtures to maintain. Featuring a highly responsive 48” retractable and removable antenna, it extends the reach of technicians and reduces the amount of time they spend climbing up and down ladders. While the unit’s non-conductive antenna sleeve allows for safe testing, its 2” plate delivers better readings and is removable so personnel can troubleshoot bulbs through architectural grids. The LT-10 also features VolTect™ non-contact voltage detection to provide both visual and audible alerts to identify the source of voltage without the need for an extra tool. 

Amprobe
Everett, WA

 

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