eRespond included in Gartner Magic Quadrant

LeT Systems’ eRespond Outage Management software suite has been included in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant market snapshot of Outage Management Systems [1H07 (1)], the company has announced. Version 10.0, the latest release of the outage management software (OMS), has a number of enhancements including tighter integration with SAP applications and mobile functionality.

“We feel our placement in the Magic Quadrant recognizes our singular focus and commitment to provide our customers with industry leading OMS functionality,” said Fionan Murray, CEO of LeT Systems. The eRespond software provides decision support tools for management of customer contacts, outages, workforce and crew dispatch, mobile data, and emergency and disaster recovery.

The off-the-shelf solution, with its J2EE/SOA capable architecture, enables customers to deploy eRespond in ways which will reduce cost of ownership and futureproof investment, the company claims. The Cork, Ireland, based developer is working with global systems integration partners and has recently won contracts to supply software to Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority, where it will manage 13m meter points, and to E.ON group in Central Europe.

Nexans supplies cable for biomass plant

French company Nexans has manufactured and supplied a 33 kV cable to provide a grid connection for a biomass power plant being built for E.ON UK near Lockerbie, Scotland. The contract for the cable was worth around $6.8m.

The new biomass power plant is being built by a consortium of Metso and Siemens under a turnkey project worth around $180m. The wood-fired power station will burn 480 000 tonnes annually and is expected to be the largest dedicated biomass power plant in the UK when complete. Commissioning is due to begin this summer with full operation scheduled for the end of the year.

The cable connecting the plant to the grid was manufactured at the Nexans plant in Bourg-en-Bresse, France. The XPLE insulated cable has a 500 mm2 cross-section and provides two three-phase, medium voltage circuits.

Total cable length is 153 km. It links the new power plant to a Scottish Power substation located 25 km away at the Chapel Cross nuclear power station.

Vattenfall to buy a further 100 000 Echelon meters

Swedish utility Vattenfall AB is to purchase up to 100 000 Echelon NES meters, with associated data concentrators and system software, from Echelon Corp.

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The additional meters, which will be supplied under a third option exercised by the Swedish company as part of a framework contract agreed in 2005, will bring the total number of meters installed under the project close to 600 000.

The revenue from this option is expected to be around $7m depending on the mix and total number of units ordered. Shipments will take place over a period of nine to twelve months beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007. The NES-based Titanium advanced metering system is being installed at Vattenfall by Echelon’s partner Telvent.

The metering market is undergoing a transformation, according to Echelon’s chairman and CEO Ken Oshman, with utilities moving towards smart meters and advanced metering systems. Telvent’s chairman, Manuel Sánchez Ortega, added, “Our project with Vattenfall is certainly one of the most successful advanced metering projects in Europe, if not the world.”

Grimsby, UK, lands specialist instrumentation course for Catch

The Grimsby Institute has designed a specialist instrumentation course for the new Centre for Assessment of Technical Competence (Catch) near Stallingborough, UK. The Institute recently won the contract to supply training to the new Humber facility.

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The Instrumentation Skills Development course is intended to give experienced craftsmen a foundation in process control and instrumentation. It will run for eight weeks and consists of eight modules covering the main aspects of the subject. Combined with work-based training from their employers, the students on the course should be able to fill the role of instrument technician once qualified. There has been a shortage of such technicians in recent years.

The first group of professionals to take the course have come from Novartis, Grimsby. The course is designed so that elements of it can be tailored to adjust individual companies supplying students. The current course is designed to suit the needs of Novartis, according to James Danby, engineering curriculum leader at the Grimsby Institute and Catch. However, it can easily be adapted to suit the needs of a different company or industry sector.

Chemineer agitators to enhance flue gas desulphurization flow

US company Chemineer, based in Dayton, Ohio, has launched an array of process flow products which are particularly suited to process flow enhancement in flue gas desulphurization (FGD) systems. The company’s products include top-entry and side entry agitators as well as static mixers and various other units designed for use with FGD applications.

The FGD products are available in stainless steel, high alloys or rubber covered carbon steel, all materials suitable for the harsh environment of the FGD system. Both the corrosion and the erosion resistance provided by these materials has been found to be important for FGD applications.

Chemineer’s research and development laboratory can model any FGD mixing application in order to find the best solution for a range of agitator orientations.

Thousands of the company’s agitators are currently operating in FGD service, the company says, offering high reliability and good efficiency. Many of these have now provided long, reliable service with minimal maintenance.

Study shows strong growth in the DC-DC converter merchant market

Worldwide shipments of DC-DC converters for the merchant market are forecast to grow strongly over the next five years according to a recent study by Venture Development Corp.

Shipments of merchant DC-DC converters totalled $2.6bn in 2006. This is forecast to rise to $3.9bn in 2011, an increase of 50 per cent.

During 2006, standard converters represented over 60 per cent of the DC-DC converters shipped, an increase of 45 per cent in two years. Venture Development Corp said that standards developed by industry ­organizations such as the Distributed power Open Standards Alliance (DOSA) and Point of Load Alliance (POLA) may have encouraged this trend by allowing manufacturers to offer converters which are compatible in form, fit and function.

The increased competition that has resulted from the availability of interchangeable products has helped push down the average selling price, Venture notes. The study also revealed that price has become a significant criterion for product selection.

This has led manufacturers to improve efficiency and reliability of their products and add monitoring and control functions in order to differentiate their converters from those of their competitors.

Protection system launches

Fujitsu Siemens has introduced the second generation of its automated network fault and error protection system Auto Immune Systems (AIS).

This version of AIS includes a Service Engine which is designed to correct errors on a system automatically. In operation, users report faults directly to the Service Engine which initiates an automatic error elimination process and at the same time updates the AIS knowledge database. Once a fault has been successfully eliminated, other client or server computers on the network are supplied with the correct fix or update.

AIS includes a patch management component that can distribute software updates and patches automatically. The proactive monitoring and fixing of an IT infrastructure increases availability and reduces IT management costs. The Service Engine has enabled organizations to automate 25 of the most frequently occurring faults, such as lost passwords, reducing service calls by up to 40 per cent.

Nitrogen supply to LNG boost

Air Products will supply nitrogen to an LNG terminal under construction at Milford Haven, South Wales, UK. The contract was awarded by Dragon LNG, the company constructing the terminal which will have the capacity to import 6bn m3 each year.

Nitrogen is blended with imported LNG in order to ensure it meets UK natural gas specifications. The amount of blending depends on the specification of the imported gas, which tends to vary according to source. Air Products will produce nitrogen on-site using air separation units (ASUs) combined with liquid nitrogen storage.

The ASUs will be designed, manufactured, owned and operated by the company, which will also provide a back-up system under a long-term contract. When both LNG terminals are on stream, Air Products will be supplying the nitrogen to blend a volume equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the UK’s gas consumption.

Megger launches new series of distribution profilers

Megger has launched a series of three distribution profilers aimed at power utilities that need a convenient and accurate means of acquiring data to monitor power flows on feeders and overhead cables.

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The three MDP models range from a simple, current-only version to an advanced model capable of recording harmonics and total harmonic distortion (THD). The entry level MDP1 records actual current RMS magnitude up to 1000 A with an additional 200 A over-range.

The mid-level MDP2 adds the facility to record relative voltage RMS magnitude together with power and power factor. The advanced MDP3, meanwhile, provides for waveform capture, harmonics and THD. Both MDP1 and MDP2 can be upgraded to provide additional features.

All units are equipped with large non-volatile memories. RMS response interval is selectable from 10 to 60 cycles and the RMS storage interval can be between two seconds and six hours.

To complement the new profilers, Megger is also offering its Metrosoft software package which allows retrieval of data from up to four profilers at a single site.

Lamerholm launches RD398 ShockLog Monitor

Lamerholm Electronics has launched the RD398, an addition to its range of ShockLog monitors, which it claims offers a whole host of new and improved features.

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This tri-axial shock, vibration and environmental recorder is designed for carrying out research into shocks encountered while transporting fragile and sensitive goods.

The RD398 gathers data which can be used to determine the optimum route for transporting sensitive goods. It can also be used for helping design the packaging used to protect them. The new unit is capable of recording up to 4096 samples per second on three axes.

It has selectable, programmable filters and a dynamic range of between 2.5mg and 100g. Once data has been collected it can be downloaded at high speed.

In addition, the research capabilities of the ShockLog range has been enhanced by the addition of FFT/PSD (fast Fourier transform/ power spectral density) tools that allow faster analysis of complex vibrational data. Up to 16 FFT/PSD graphs can be displayed in four windows.

For in-house drop testing and system testing a new “last event display” has been incorporated, allowing users to monitor the last event in real-time.

The unit also features a long battery life, Lamerholm claims, and its rugged housing is sealed to IP67.

Imass is Autodesk’s number one partner

Autodesk has designated Imass as its number one manufacturing partner in Northern Europe in 2006. The software provider received the accolade at Autodesk’s Northern Europe Channel Kick-Off event at the World Forum Convention Centre in the Hague, Netherlands, in April.

Imass, a UK company with offices in Newcastle and Aberdeenshire, has been Autodesk’s top UK reseller of manufacturing solutions for two years. In 2006 it was responsible for 21 per cent of Autodesk’s UK sales in this sector. The Autodesk products aimed at the sector include Autodesk Inventor and its incremental data management software, Productstream.

The company’s number one status was announced by Autodesk vice president of Northern Europe Mark Paraskeva and sales director of manufacturing for Northern Europe, Kevin Ison. Colin Watson, Imass business development director, said, “We are delighted to have received this accolade from Autodesk.” With the adoption of 3D design software accelerating, the company believes it is well placed to provide the products that UK companies need to strengthen their product-ivity and maintain a competitive edge.

Unique limit switch installed at nuke plant

Schmersal UK Limited has supplied and installed a number of safety relays and a unique positive-break safety limit switch for applications at British Nuclear Fuels’ (BNFL) Sellafield site.

BNFL placed the first order after identifying that an ultimate stop switch needed to be fitted to a moving platform that is used for the safe monitoring and decontamination of nuclear flasks.

Due to the wet environmental conditions the switch had to be suitably IP (ingress protection) rated.

After talking to various manufacturers, Allan Shaw of BNFL thought he would have to order a bespoke switch, but later discovered that, although most manufacturers offer a 60 A, 415 V positive-break safety limit switch, Schmersal, could supply the IP67-rated version required for the safety system.

In addition to the series limit switch, BNFL had a requirement for a specialist safety gate switch. Schmersal subsequently designed a circuit using a combination of the switch operating through special safety relays that would prevent the operators from being placed in a dangerous position.

Grounding ring for wind turbines gets go-ahead from Electro Static

A system for safely grounding induced electric currents on wind turbines has been developed by US company Electro Static Technology. The Aegis WTG wind turbine grounding ring is designed to prevent damage that might otherwise cause generator failure and unplanned downtime.

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High frequency currents induced in the shafts of wind turbine generators can reach up to 60 A at 1200 V or more. These currents can discharge through the generator’s bearings causing severe electrical damage resulting in bearing failure and catastrophic turbine failure, sometimes within six months of startup.

The Aegis WTG uses patented microfibre technology to remove these currents safely to ground. The grounding ring can carry 120 A of continuous shaft current at frequencies as high as 13.5 MHz with a peak voltage capability of 3000 V. The system can be installed as part of a protective maintenance programme, either at startup or whenever a bearing is replaced. It is effective, the company says, at any wind turbine speed and is available for any size of generator.

Fairchild launches new range of compact inverter circuits

Fairchild Semiconductor has recently launched a wide range of products aimed for industrial applications.

Under its Power Franchise brand, the company provides semiconductor technologies that are capable of delivering high power density and low electromagnetic interference in industrial designs for automation, motor drives, environmental building control, electronic point of sale equipment, instrumentation and power conversion.

In order to meet the demand for highly reliable, compact inverter circuits for motor drive applications with low heat generation and high noise immunity, Fairchild presented its portfolio of Motion-SPM devices.

These integrate power analogue and power discrete functions into a direct-bonded-copper package that, Fairfield Semiconductor claims, provides low thermal resistance for good heat dissipation.

In addition, its range of high-voltage drivers provide high noise immunity.

Where compact driver circuits are required for electronic ballast, Fairchild provides a range of ballast control integrated circuits, 600 V MOSFETS and power factor correction (PFC) controller integrated circuits.

Fairchild Semiconductor recently introduced two families of 200 MW digital transistors that integrate an external resistor bias network into the smallest form factor package on the market. Tailored for use in switching, inverter, interface and driver circuits, the FJY30xx (NPN) and FJY40xx (PNP) series eliminate the need for an external resistor.

This integration reduces part count, which in turn helps designers save board space, lower design costs, simplify circuit designs and maximize system performance. Board space is further optimized by utilizing surface-mount technology (SMT).

VacStat vacuum interrupter monitor detects vacuum loss in real time

Joslyn Hi-Voltage has introduced the VacStat vacuum interrupter monitor, a device intended to provide real-time monitoring of vacuum interrupters on power systems and in other applications.

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If the monitor detects a loss of vacuum it prevents operation of the switch, provides a local indication of the failure and activates a relay contact to provide remote indication.

The monitor from the Cleveland, Ohio, based company is intended for continuous monitoring of vacuum interrupters. Its use will eliminate the need for routine off-line interrupter inspections and should provide for increased reliability and reduced risk.

The company is fitting the interrupters to its own range of VBM capacitor switches.

The new VacStat vacuum interrupter monitor technology is a breakthrough in vacuum switching technology. A simple device is attached to the vacuum interrupter during manufacturing. This device monitors the interrupter to determine if it has vacuum or not.

If there is vacuum, the light via fibre optics will have a continuous path. If there is no vacuum, the indicator will turn on the orange flag to let the operator know there is a problem. The remote status contact will provide a signal that notifies the user there is a problem and electrical operation of the switch is blocked.

Laser mask hits market

Huntsman Advanced Materials has introduced its Probimer 77 LDI solder mask and Probimer 355 LDI liquid resist for image transfer at an international workshop in Germany. Both systems offer dual imaging process capabilities so that they can be exposed using laser direct imaging (LDI) or standard exposure equipment.

Probimer 77 LDI solder mask meets the requirements of PCBs with solder mask clearances of 25 µm and below. It will allow PCB manufacturers to produce fine pitch designs of lower than 0.4 mm on large production panels.

Probimer 355 LDI liquid resist has been developed for use in inner layer production or for applications where tenting is not required. The resist has excellent LDI capability using low exposure energy, the company claims.

The LDi materials have been optimized for the advanced photospeed, high resolution and high image accuracy necessary for the production of high density interconnect, fine pitch ball-grid array (BGA) boards.

Roebuck launches all-in-one spanner

UK company Roebuck has launched what it claims to be the UK’s first universal spanner set.

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Called Uniwrench, the set is available exclusively from BuckHickman InOne. The product, which carries a worldwide patent, is said to fit all known nuts and bolts including spline, 12-point, square, star and six-point.

It uses an open-end, non-slip design, allowing removal of damaged fasteners. According to Roebuck nuts and bolts which are up to 70 per cent rounded off can still be removed.

The set is manufactured from polished chrome-molybdenum steel. Each spanner comprises one straight U grip with a non-slip surface and an angled ring grip. The metric spanner set includes sizes 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19 and comes with a lifetime warranty from Roebuck.

“We think that the Uniwrench will become a must have for any toolkit,” said product manager Kevin Thompson. “Each spanner will be able to tighten or loosen virtually any nut or bolt of the same diameter, whatever its configuration.

“It is essentially a very simple product concept but achieves something that to date no other spanner set has managed.”

Power disruptions on the rise says SunGard

Businesses affected by power disruption are in the fastest growing category of system disasters among its customers, according to SunGard Availability Services, a division of SunGard. The company, which provides information availability and business continuity services, said the number of customer disaster declarations due to power disruption had increased by over 350 per cent during 2005 and 2006.

In 2005 such disruptions accounted for 7 per cent of all the customer declarations but by 2006 they were the cause of 26 per cent. Hardware failure neverhtless remains the leading cause of disruption to business operations, accounting for 48 per cent of the company’s customer disaster declarations. Flooding and infrastructure-related problems such as air-­conditioning faults and uninterrupted power supply loss were joint third most likely cause of problems, each accounting for 5 per cent of disruptions

“It is critical that organizations consider the impact of any potential incident,” according to Keith Tilley, SunGard’s UK managing director and European senior vice-president. Business impact analysis can help organizations plan for possible power outages. This is a vital ingredient of BS 25999, the British Standard for business continuity management, Tilley noted.

Hayward Tyler wins Sizewell B contract

The UK-based Hayward Tyler Group has won a contract to design and implement a diverse trip system for the Sizewell B nuclear power station. The value of the contract is around $200 000.

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The design of the diverse trip system, one of the plant’s safety features, is based on an electronic over-speed trip for both the A and B auxiliary turbine driven feed pumps. The trip will function within two seconds should the existing mechanical trip system fail. The design of the necessary pipework must comply with ASME Class III-ND 1983 edition guidelines in order to meet the high standard necessary for a nuclear power plant system.

The Sizewell B power plant is a 1188 MW pressurized water reactor (PWR), the only PWR in the UK, which entered service in 1995. Output from the plant to the end of March 2006 was 8.9 TWh and it is due to remain in service until 2035. Hayward Tyler’s contract represents the first time the company has serviced a PWR unit. The diverse trip system is due to be commissioned on 30 October 2007.

Element Six in diamond detectors venture

Element Six has set up a company called Diamond Detectors Ltd to exploit the potential of synthetic diamonds in novel radiation detectors in a range of markets. The company intends initially to focus on four main areas: high energy physics, nuclear monitoring, radiotherapy dosimetry and deep-UV detection.

The use of diamonds as an advanced engineering material has been made possible by breakthroughs in chemical vapour depos-ition processes for diamond synthesis.

Element Six is at the forefront of these developments according to CEO Christian Hultner. The ability to make diamonds of a size, quality and consistency for advanced detection applications opens up new markets for detectors in a wide range of industries.

Diamond is a semiconductor and is capable of being used to detect many types of radiation from UV to X-rays as well as subatomic particles.

Initial products under development include applications for high energy physics projects such as the Large Hadron Collier project at CERN, a new facility for antiproton and ion research under development in Germany and the Diamond Light Source, a UK-funded scientific facility. Industrial applications include detection of alpha and beta particles and neutrons in the nuclear industry.

GE creates conductive media for pleat filters

GE Energy has announced a new conductive media for use with its PulsePleat filtration product line. The new media is aimed at baghouse dust collection applications where static electricity has been identified as an issue.

The media is FDA grade acceptable for food contact and helps eliminate product contamination, GE said. The collection and conveying of dusts and powders can create static electricity hazards in certain applications.

Since static build-up can occur in dust-collection equipment handling conductive, insulative dusts and powders, customer attention is directed to preventing potentially ­hazardous electrical discharges from conventional filter bags and support cages. GE Energy’s new pleated, conductive media has been developed for those applications needing the benefits of Pleated Filter Elements made with static-charge dissipating filtration media, as a part of a programme for addressing static electricity risks in applications where such risks are present.

The pleated filter elements provide a surface conductivity equal to or less than 1 megaohm/m2 as determined by ASTM D-257.

It also conforms to FDA’s food contact guidelines 21 CFR 177.1630. In addition, GE’s PulsePleat filtration technology also carries the company’s Ecomagination certificate.

Sandvik wins $2m Drax boiler tubes order

An order, worth over £1m ($2m) for Esshete 1250 steel grade boiler tubes for use at Drax Power Station has been received by Sandvik Materials Technology in the UK.

Required as replacement superheater tubing to cover outage needs during 2007, the order covers several different tube sizes between 38 mm and 67 mm od.

The use of material-grade Esshete 1250 (EN 1.4892) is further confirmation of its suitability for demanding conditions in superheater and reheater units in coal-fired power generation and its specification as a standard design material in UK power stations.

Esshete 1250 (EN 1.4892) is an austenitic CrNiMn steel with high strength relative to other austenitic alloys used in power generation.

Developed in the 1960s, the grade was produced in response to industry demands to utilize higher pressures and temperatures than were suitable for the normal austenitic steel grades, such as AISI 316H, 347H and 321H. The grade was designed with high strength at elevated temperatures up to 675°C combined with high ductility.

Next-gen transmission cable test a success

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) and Nexans have tested the first power transmission cable made with second-generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire.

The cable was produced by Nexans utilizing AMSC’s proprietary 2G HTS wire known as “344 superconductors”. The 30 m-long transmission voltage cable was tested successfully at Nexans’ high-voltage facility in Hannover, Germany.

Operated at 138 kV, the cable contained only 33 hair-thin 344 superconductors, yet it demonstrated the capability to transmit 435 MVA of power, enough for over 250 000 homes. This rating is approximately 50 per cent higher than conventional cables at the same voltage level and is expected to enable broad application of this technology in power grids.

This demonstration confirms that 344 superconductors are a drop-in replacement for first-generation HTS wire that has been utilized to manufacture all prototype HTS power cables worldwide over the past ten years. AMSC expects to initiate volume production of 344 superconductors in December 2007 to meet the expected demand for HTS wire.

Oceanlinx goes west

Oceanlinx Limited, an international developer of wave technology, has been chosen to deploy its unique wave energy converter at the UK’s £28m ($56m) Wave Hub project, to be built off the coast of Cornwall in South West England.

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Oceanlinx’s unit combines the established science of the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) with its own patented turbine technology.

A full-scale operational unit has been constructed and successfully tested at Port Kembla in New South Wales, Australia. Oceanlinx Limited, which was founded ten years ago, is also pursuing wave energy projects in North America, Mexico, South Africa and Hawaii.

Wave Hub will be Oceanlinx’s first installation in Europe. The South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) is planning to create the world’s first large-scale wave energy farm by constructing an electrical “socket” on the seabed ten miles off Hayle on the Cornish coast.

Oceanlinx joins three other wave device developers that have also been chosen to use Wave Hub. Each will be granted a lease of sea area of two square kilometres. A sub-sea transformer will be provided with capacity to deliver a total of 20 MW into the local distribution network.

In April 2007, the South West RDA announced that it had approved £21.5m of funding to construct the Wave Hub, subject to UK Government and EU approval. The Department of Trade and Industry has also committed £4.5m to the project.

The South West RDA estimates that Wave Hub could generate £76 million over 25 years for the regional economy and enough electricity for 7500 homes, saving approximately 24 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year when displacing fossil fuels. This would support South West England’s target for generating 15 per cent of the region’s power from renewable sources by 2010.

Oceanlinx’s Tom Engelsman said, “We are delighted that the South West RDA has given us an opportunity to showcase the efficiency and reliability of our power generation technology.”

Dampening the fun

Blacoh Fluid Control has expanded their line of 2000 psi dampeners with new sizes ranging from 30 cubic inches to 500 cubic inches.

The Californian-based manufacturer said that this enables them to go into high-pressure applications with larger volumes than were available before.

In addition to pulsation dampeners and surge suppressors Blacoh also manufactures a leak containment unit for AODD pumps.

The patented Spill Stop prevents liquid from leaking out when the diaphragm of an AODD pump fails. Instead the liquid is contained in the Sill Stop, which in turn sends a signal to shut off the air supply to the pump.

Blacoh claims that this prevents any hazardous liquid from spilling out and potentially causing injury or harm to people around. In some cases the cost of the liquid wasted will exceed that of the pump and/or the Spill Stop together.

Yokogawa crazy over power analyzer add-on

A 2-amp current input module has been just been introduced to further enhance the functionality of the Yokogawa WT3000 precision power analyzer.

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The manufacturer claims that the new module is particularly suited to testing power electronics systems in areas such as motors and drives, lighting, domestic appliances and mobile telephones.

Yokogawa said that the new module, which has a crest factor of 3, can measure voltage across eight ranges from 15 V to 1 kV and current (using direct input) across nine ranges from 5 mA to 2 A. With an external sensor input, the voltage ranges are from 50 mV to 10 V.

Input impedance for voltage measurement is approximately 10 megaohms, and input capacitance is approximately 5 pF. For current measurements, the input impedance is approximately 500 milliohms plus 0.07 µH for direct input, and approximately 1 megaohm with an input capacitance of 40 pF for external sensor input.

Instantaneous maximum allowable input voltage for one second or less is 2500 V peak or 1500 V RMS, whichever is less. Corresponding current vales are 9 A peak or 3 A RMS for direct input, and the peak value less than or equal to 10 times the measurement range for external sensor input.

Continuous maximum allowable input voltage is 1600 V peak or RMS value of 1100 V RMS, whichever is less. Maximum current value is 6 A peak or 2.2 A RMS, whichever is less (direct input), or less than or equal to five times the measurement range (external sensor input).

The Yokogawa WT3000 precision power analyser provides ‘best in class’ precision and stability. Yokogawa said that, with a basic power accuracy of ±0.02 per cent of reading, DC and 0.1 Hz-1 MHz measurement bandwidth, and up to four input elements, the WT3000 provides a high-accuracy measurement solution for testing all types of power electronics products.

World’s first ‘smart’ tripsaver recloser installed by Oncor

Oncor Electric Delivery has become the world’s first utility to install S&C Electric Company’s new TripSaver Dropout Recloser, a cutting-edge technology designed to decrease outage times and increase overall reliability.

Jim Greer, vice president asset management and engineering at Oncor, said, “Sometimes a strong wind can make a tree blow and graze a line. Any time a limb touches a power line, a connecting fuse is liable to blow, resulting in a customer outage. Even though no damage was done to the line, the power goes out. The TripSaver Dropout Recloser TM prevents those customers from experiencing that permanent outage. This device senses the severity of the problem and restores power if the problem no longer exists. It’s the type of technolo-gical advance that will improve reliability for consumers over time.”

Oncor is installing these devices as part of a Smart Grid initiative in which the electric grid will monitor, think, act, repair and prepare itself to respond quickly to consumer needs. The term Smart Grid refers to the deployment of a number of advanced technologies on the Oncor system with the goal of ultimately improving service to three million homes and businesses by 2010. The Smart Grid will heal itself, sense outages as they occur, monitor equipment performance, report back on needed maintenance and more, all of which will result in an increase in reliability and service quality.

“Reliability is a top priority for Oncor,” said Rob Trimble, president and chief operating officer, Oncor. “Currently, Oncor performs among the top 25 per cent of utilities in the nation in terms of reliability. Our goal is to be even better than that in future years. Proper application of technological advances such as this will help us achieve this goal.”

Oncor installed three of these devices in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in heavily wooded areas.

Founded in 1911, Chicago-based S&C Electric Company company designs and manufactures switching and protection products for electric power transmission and distribution. Oncor Electric Delivery, a subsidiary of TXU Corp., is an electric distribution and transmission business that provides power to 3m Texan homes and businesses and operates more than 115 000 miles of transmission and distribution lines.

Beavering away at flywheel technology for clean energy storage

Pentadyne Power Corporation, a US manufacturer of clean energy storage systems using advanced composite flywheel technology, has announced it has received a follow-on order worth $4.5m from Beaver Aerospace & Defense for an additional 100 Pentadyne VSS+DC systems with DX-A2 rating.

This latest follow-on order from Beaver Aerospace is part of a procurement contract with Pentadyne to be the exclusive supplier of more than 500 clean energy storage systems that will be deployed in US homeland security military defence applications during the next few years. This new order amounts to nearly double that of all previous Beaver Aerospace orders for Pentadyne flywheel systems.

The Pentadyne VSS+DC stores energy kinetically instead of chemically, delivering stable, reliable DC voltage for energy recycling and power continuity applications. In these Department of Defense energy recycling applications, the flywheel system periodically absorbs regenerative energy and stores it until it is later reused.

This is similar to the way hybrid vehicles capture deceleration energy and store it in chemical batteries, later releasing that energy to aid acceleration and minimize fuel consumption.

“I’m proud Pentadyne was selected to be the exclusive supplier of flywheel-based clean energy systems for energy recycling at vital national defense facilities,” said Pentadyne President & CEO Mark McGough.

“The superior performance and reliability of our VSS+DC clean energy storage flywheel systems over competing products was the overriding factor in Pentadyne being designated as the sole supplier in what we believe is the world’s largest flywheel energy storage deployment program.”

Beaver Aerospace Program Manager Jim Diroff said, “We’ve installed quite a few of these so far. Installing them is practically plug-and-play. They’ve reliably discharged and rapidly recharged flawlessly every time we’ve needed them.”

Los Angeles-based Pentadyne designs, manufactures and markets clean energy storage systems using a high-strength carbon-fiber-composite flywheel cylinder. Pentatdyne also provides uninterruptible power supply systems.