Panelboards, Switchgear, & Switchboards

Most people don’t tend to think about it until there is a problem, but the building’s electrical system is so essential that it makes everything else possible. Electrical systems are a mystery to many, so few understand the general basics. Here, we introduce a little about panelboards, switchgear, and switchboards, just so you know, and perhaps help you in keeping things running smoothly.

Panelboards

Panelboards are usually found in commercial buildings due to their large size and the amount of power they can handle. They are designed for single-phase or three-phase applications, depending on your needs. The main function of a panelboard is to distribute power from the source to other devices in your building or facility through breakers designed for specific voltages ranging from 120 to 600 volts or higher, depending on your location. They are the most common circuit breaker box type and are always mounted to a wall. They are used to distribute power to an entire building or other areas. Panelboard covers protect these devices from damage by keeping them dry and clean while providing easy access for maintenance and repair.

Switchgears

Switchgears are used on larger projects, such as factories or warehouses, where there is a need for more than one circuit breaker or fuse within a single enclosure due to increased demand for power or space limitations. This type of equipment is also used in residential homes to automatically shut down the electrical system in the event of a short circuit or other malfunction. Switchgear is for individual components and is the largest of the three. It can be rated for up to 38 kV and run a current of up to 6,000 amps.

Switchboards

Switchboards are typically used where a large amount of equipment requires a lot of power to operate. These devices are designed to control the flow of electricity through multiple breakers without manually closing each one after every use. Like panelboards, switchboards are usually rated for up to 600 volts, but they can manage higher currents, up to 5,000 amps. Switchboards are floor mounted and covered with a panel to provide protection and easy access for maintenance and repair.

Overcurrent protective devices (OCPDs) are devices that send power from the source to the end user. These are sometimes simple devices like light bulbs, or sometimes they’re massive systems that run entire buildings. The three main options for organizing, housing, and utilizing OCPDs are panelboards, switchboards, and switchgear. All three allow for easy access to your power needs in one way or another, but each has its pros and cons that you should consider.

At J&P Electric, we specialize in large industrial electrical equipment, from new surplus to hard to find/reconditioned to like new. Not sure we have what you need? Call us and find out!

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 for assistance.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

AM Ventures Closes $100M Deal Toward 3D Printing

AM Ventures, based in Munich, secured a $100 million fund specifically for backing industrial and commercial 3D printing applications. 

Spanning three continents between 18 countries, the firm’s portfolio lists Headmade Materials, LightForce Orthodontics, Scrona, and Conflux Technology as a few investments. There are asset managers, family offices, enterprises, small businesses, and existing portfolio startup founders. The fund can use $9.5 million in the ultra-high resolution 3D printing company to aid in semiconductor and display manufacturing.  

Arno Held, co-founder and managing partner at AM Ventures said, “The additive manufacturing industry has shown steady and strong growth over the last decade and startups have played a crucial role during this time. We are convinced that startups will continue to be key in providing the innovation required to finally bring the digital world to the real world, and that they will help produce industrial goods in a sustainable manner and thus strengthen supply chains and tackle climate change.” 

Johann Oberhofer, co-founder and managing partner at AM Ventures said, “The fact that portfolio company founders are now investing in our fund is great validation of our exceptional effort. We are proud of the high-level commitment and trust from prime investors that support us on our mission to leading sustainable additive revolutions.” 

AM Ventures is looking to invest in four categories: hardware, software, materials, and applications. Printing parts and creating a manufacturing business is much more efficient than conventional aspects. 3D printed electric motors, for example, can run further on the same exact battery charge as a conventional electrical motor. Applications for 3D printing are also one of the biggest weapons to fight against climate change. 

Additive Drives is a German startup that developed a specific 3D printed stator for an electric motor. Since the stator is printed, it weighs much less than a conventional motor. With the same battery charge, the 3D printed motor can extend the vehicle range by a large amount. 

Spectroplast is a company that 3D prints silicone for healthcare applications, specifically for surgeries. While other corporations have failed to make industrial silicones, the Zurich Spectroplast business has somehow successfully done the unthinkable. 

3D printed products span the gamut and can be used in nearly any application. The horizon is endless!

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 for assistance.  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Reconditioning Industrial Circuit Breakers

Electrical systems should have an industrial circuit breaker to protect your crew and equipment from danger. These can range from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. If industrial circuit breakers become damaged, they must be serviced or replaced immediately.

One option for fixing industrial circuit breakers is recognized by the ANSI/IEEE, which is the process of reconditioning. It is defined as “The process of maintaining existing power switchgear equipment in operating condition as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions, using only the original manufacturer’s recommended replacement parts, without altering the design.” 

Below are the five steps taken to ensure a quality reconditioning process:

  1. Inspection: A visual analysis is performed to pinpoint mechanical damage, missing parts, discoloration, etc. The breaker’s trip settings are recorded, along with the breaker’s overall electrical condition. 
  2. Disassembly: Defective components can more easily be identified after the breaker is deconstructed into its component parts. Components labeled by serial number are not commingled with others. All parts are thoroughly inspected, cleaned, lubricated, repainted, and replated as necessary. 
  3. Reassembly: Components are put back together with precision, ensuring all bearings, pins, retainers, nuts, bolts, and hardware that show wear are replaced with OEM pieces. All contact pivot surfaces (stationary and moveable), operating mechanisms, linkages, and bearings are lubricated based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Afterward, they are adjusted and aligned for mechanical integrity and tension. 
  4. Testing: After the circuit breaker is reassembled, it must be tested to make sure it works properly. The trip mechanism and indicator is tested to ensure proper operation. A record of the amount of electricity required to trip the breaker is also documented. Once they are in working order, low-voltage breakers must be tested as well. Electrical operation including the spring change motor, closing operation, shunt trip, and more are all tested to ensure proper functionality.

Reconditioned breakers are thoroughly verified to be safe. The fundamental role circuit breakers play in the safety of electricians, and electrical equipment is paramount. 

Are you looking for genuine reconditioned electrical parts? You’ve come to the right place! Check out our expertly assembled refurbished products today.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 for assistance.  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Consumers Energy Announces Plan to Invest $100 Million in Power Grid

With power outages happening more frequently as a result of inclement weather, Consumers Energy has vowed to invest $100 million in upgrades to improve reliability for customers. 

The High Voltage Distribution (HVD) system, nicknamed the “Backbone of the Power Grid,” will receive significant upgrades thanks to the 2022 investment. The HVD enhancements will impact roughly 130,000 customers across the state of Michigan. 

Josh Paciorek, Consumers Energy Media Spokesperson, said, “Our job is to keep the lights on for folks and when those lights don’t come on, they’re frustrated.” Paciorek explained they are taking such proactive steps ahead of the storm season to ensure clients have a more reliable, resilient power grid. 

Over the past number of years, Michigan has seen an increased amount of severe weather, including a recent tornado in Gaylord. These once-in-100-year weather events are becoming increasingly common, with 70 to 80 MPH wind gusts that can wreak havoc on the power grid. 

In an effort to make electricity more reliable, Paciorek said Consumers Energy needs to upgrade and make investments to ensure the grid is more resilient. 

Over 40 miles of HVD lines will be rebuilt, as well as repairing more than 64 miles of HVD line pole-top equipment. Roughly 750 poles will be replaced, and novel technology will enable Consumers Energy to swiftly identify power outages.

The upgrades performed by Consumers Energy throughout 2022 represent a segment of their larger effort to build a better energy grid through its five-year, $5.4 billion Electric Reliability Plan. 

Efforts such as trimming trees, replacing poles and wires, improving substations, and replacing vital equipment are all high priorities, especially with the pressure from climate change affecting the weather and causing more frequent, severe weather storms. 

Since 2018, Consumers Energy has also raised its investment in forestry by over 60 percent. Trees are the number one cause of power outages, so the plan has a section dedicated to increasing spending to keep distribution lines clear. The plan currently outlines more than $500 million throughout five years. 

The reliability plan will also reduce the average length of time that customers are powerless by roughly 15 percent by 2025. 

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J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 for assistance.  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Bus Duct 101

Bus duct is a familiar sight to electricians, but what about the terms “busbar” or “busway?” Keep reading to learn about this vital aspect of electrical distribution.

The automotive industry first introduced busways in 1932; since then, it has expanded to serve many other industries. Busway is just another word for bus duct, which provides an alternative means of conducting electricity. Used in commercial and industrial settings, bus duct conducts electricity to power cables or cable bus.

Bus duct is comprised of sheet metal duct containing either aluminum or copper busbars in a grounded metal enclosure. Busbars are metallic strips or bars that conduct a substantial electrical current. Since bus ducts are flexible, they are easy to maintain and can handle different charging load requirements.

Bus duct is typically used where cable and conduit would be used in residential applications. Bus duct provides a high degree of electrical efficiency for both low- and high-amperage conditions. It’s also incredibly versatile, thanks to advancements such as elbows and offsets. These developments allow bus duct to adapt to directional changes.

To effortlessly meet load changes, tap-off units or new sections can be implemented. Some cases do require cable and conduit, however. For example, if a bus duct will be installed near corrosive vapors, it should not be used.

Planning ahead is vital when ordering bus duct for a specific use. Pay close attention to dimensions, note any bends, columns, floor elevation changes, route information, etc. Sketches of where the bus duct will flow are helpful. Standard bus duct can be ordered from inventory stock if the job is not too complex.

At J&P Electrical, we strive to provide the best electrical equipment possible. We have a massive supply of bus duct and plugs, along with other reconditioned products. Check out our inventory today!

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J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Positive Outlook on the Horizon for Contractors

Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was passed in November 2021, contractors country-wide are optimistic about their 2022 prospects. However, according to a survey report released by the Associated General Contractors of America, significant challenges still remain.

Over 1,000 American contractors were surveyed, and many were positive about the available bidding projects in 2022, since they have such a high dollar value. Respondents who expect the dollar value to expand is higher than those who expect it to shrink. Power construction is expected to benefit from the new law.

The authors wrote, “This represents a stark turnaround from the 2021 survey, in which contractors were bearish about the prospects for all but a few segments.”

Just under half of the respondents are looking to increase their employees by 10 percent or less, and more than a quarter of them anticipated bigger gains.

The report stated, “The construction industry is in much better shape overall than a year ago but there is wide variation among companies. For instance, small contractors, on average, have been slower to recover than larger businesses and are generally less optimistic about the 2022 outlook. While contractors in all regions expect 2022 to be a year of growth in business opportunities and employment, firms in the Northeast are less upbeat than elsewhere.”

Rising material process and supply chain dilemmas posed significant challenges which were exacerbated by the global pandemic. Higher prices were given for bids and contracts, with 44 percent noting longer completion rates. With increased supply chain issues, accelerated purchases were secured and winning contracts have turned to alternative suppliers.

The authors wrote, “While the past year has been filled with many challenges, technology has played an integral role in keeping people connected and businesses up and running. Firms are becoming more strategic about IT as they try to remain competitive in the current environment.”

With the rising use of technology comes an increase in electrical use. Connectivity is imperative, so many companies are utilizing electrical contractors to ensure their IT challenges are being handled. 

The report states, “The use of information technology, however, continues to pose challenges. Forty-one percent of contractors say it’s difficult to find the time to implement and train on new technology, 39% list keeping company data secure from hackers as one of their biggest IT challenges, and more than a third cite connectivity to remote job sites or communication between field and office as among the biggest IT challenges.”

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J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Developing Electrical Code

Most standardized procedures aren’t developed overnight. Rather, they can take years to form with help from stakeholders, owners, employees, and more. With the invention of the Internet, advanced technology can simplify and complicate standards that might have already been in place.

Developing codes is an intricate process with much to take into consideration. First, there are many details to factor in while accounting for every step in the process. Then, other, perhaps surprising, aspects should be taken into consideration. Lastly, a trial run should be performed to ensure everything is working as it should, in accord with the overall intention. 

NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, sets codes and standards in the electrical industry. To streamline the regulatory process, proposals (public inputs) are presented to the committee, answering every letter. Any changes are developed by the committee go through several steps:

  1. Revision stage: committee uses public input or their own discretion to create a vision or not, with reason.
  2. Draft stage: panel alters something from the first stage, if necessary, typically without public intervention.
  3. Reject stage: changes are analyzed using a new software called TerraView, designed to prevent conflicting actions. Comments made by the public can still be rejected during this stage or held for consideration during the next cycle of changes.
  4. Motion stage: those who might be disappointed with the process can file an online form to NFPA as a notice of intent to make a motion.
  5. Review stage: the NFPA Standards Council will assign a task group to review all motions and judge them based on their compliance. Once verified, the motion turns into a CAM, or Certified Amending Motion.
  6. Judgment: the Standards Council will have the last say; the results of the above process will be delivered to the panel, who will hear appeals and make decisions regarding the code.

At J&P Electrical, we respect the force of electrical power and its dangerous byproducts: shock and fire. Part of what we do is refurbish industrial electrical equipment using stringent standards. All electrical components are completely disassembled, then each and every part is cleaned, inspected, and repaired as needed. We then paint the product using an exclusive acrylic enamel chosen for its durability. The equipment is then reassembled and thoroughly tested to meet or exceed the manufacturer’s UL certification. The dielectric voltage withstands all tests, from phase-to-phase and phase to ground (neutral). The final product looks as close to new as possible. J&P Electrical stands behind its work; all our products come with a full one-year warranty.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Utilities See Shift in Winter Electrical Demand

According to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), wintertime energy demand is set to rise due to the growing shift toward electrically-powered heating devices.

Traditionally, summer months have shown a higher peak in demand because of air conditioners. But now, the report predicts that a growing number of utilities nationwide will see electricity rise during the winter months instead.

One factor driving the shift is solar energy, which is becoming more popular. The demand for power from utility companies is diminished when solar power is implemented, reducing summer utility bills. Another factor of the reduced shift is the decrease in natural gas use. A growing number of homes and businesses are opting for electric heat pumps, electric space heaters, and electric water heaters, which are all typically used more in the winter months. These electrical devices can oftentimes be used instead of gas-fired appliances.

ACEEE has referred to state policymakers and regulators to create utility goals, which will reduce winter peak demand prices. Utility companies and city administrators should apply existing programs to correlate technology with new measures to reduce winter peak demand. Weatherization and home retrofit funding should also be a top priority.

Utility companies can implement energy-efficiency measures to winterize homes and enhance heating and energy use. Smart controls are one way utility companies can help customers monitor their usage. Also, demand-response measures such as electrical grid water heaters, electric vehicle charging, and battery systems can also help.

Homes that are better equipped to handle winter weather had higher-performing heat pumps and water-heating systems than others. These efficient homes could reduce winter peak by up to 12 percent. To add to that number, deep retrofits, smarter commercial HVAC controls, and intelligent technology systems can reduce peak demand during polar vortexes by up to 34 percent.

By implementing more efficient space heating, water heating, ventilation, lighting, and more, homes can reduce the electrical impact on the total grid.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Utility Transformers Strained by EV Growth

Electric Vehicle (EV) sales are growing. As an increasing number of people implement charging stations in their homes or businesses, nearby transformers are becoming affected. Overloads to the power supply, premature aging, and potential failures are all culprits for transformer damage.

Thankfully, an alternative exists: BESS, or Battery Energy Storage Systems. These devices can be especially beneficial when paired with photovoltaic (PV) panels.

A study conducted in 2020 by Milad Soleimani and Mladen Kezunovic titled, “Economic Evaluation of Transformer Loss of Life Mitigation by Energy Storage and PV Generation,” showed that using BESS and PV was economically more effective and mitigated transformer distribution due to decreasing prices.

Soleimani released a second study titled, “PV Generation, EV and Stationary Battery Optimal Control and Management in Distribution Grids,” which evaluated tactics to alleviate the loss of life on the transformer due to high voltage caused by EVs. It also investigated how transformers become overloaded from EVs. Because of potential failures, utilities and consumers typically experience excess expenses.

The study found that in areas with a large number of EVs, the use of BESS devices (with or without PV panels) decreased the risk of transformers becoming faulty. PV installations were also negligible in certain instances.

Since PV panels are more costly, combining solar power with BESS might not be practical without subsidies.

Soleimani suggests, “Utilities should be investors,” which can be accomplished by, “Developing and providing rebates and other incentive programs to motivate consumers to deploy these resources.” When the technology provides an ample return, utilities will benefit as well.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Billions of Dollars Set for Energy Projects via Infrastructure Bill

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) will fund a number of projects for electrical contractors thanks to an infrastructure bill signed into law on November 15, 2021. Numerous infrastructure projects will reap the benefits from a pot of more than $62 billion.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Investing over $7 billion in the supply chain to be used toward mining, sourcing, and recycling batteries. These are essential to power the grid with clean, affordable, and resilient energy.
  • Improving workforce development by investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the power grid, green building, and industrial sectors. Thanks to this funding, access to cutting-edge technology will spur training and career expansion.
  • Establishing an Energy Jobs Council to oversee the development and release of energy jobs and workforce data. By joining with stakeholders, decisions made by national, state, and local governments will be well-informed.
  • Providing grants to communities, cities, states, territories, and more through investments of $500 million or more into the State Energy Program, which develops and implements clean energy programs and projects, thereby creating jobs.
  • Devoting $550 million into the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG).

Additionally, about $17 billion will exclusively focus on the electrical grid. The DOE said, “Extreme weather events like the Dixie Wildfire, Hurricane Ida, and the 2021 Texas Freeze have made it clear that our existing energy infrastructure cannot endure the impacts of climate change. Modernizing and expanding the electricity grid will make our energy sector more resilient, while enabling the buildout of affordable, reliable, clean energy.”

Of the $17 billion, $11 billion will go toward grants for states, Native American tribes, and utilities to increase electrical infrastructure against extreme weather, ransomware, and other issues. A $3 billion expansion of the Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program will be allocated, as well as a $2.5 billion Transmission Facilitation Program. Both programs aim to develop the power grid’s flexibility, upgrade to clean energy, deploy energy storage, and more.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.