Electrical: Power Quality


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A6006: Are You Ready for the Electrical Needs of Today and Tomorrow?

Offers a quick primer on the symptoms of power quality problems (most originate within the building). Lists recommended solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities.
A6169: Grounding with Copper: Tinning vs. Non-tinning
[317 Kb]
The selection of a tinned copper conductor versus bare is often dictated by soil analysis or environment. This article discussed the basics of that choice.
A6016: Power Quality Issues and Recommendations and An Abbreviated Bibliography of Power Quality Information Sources
[26 Kb]
Lists 13 recommended practices and procedures to help ensure power quality in all kinds of buildings. Also includes a list of nine of the most useful and widely available sources on power quality issues.
A6018: A Primer on Power Quality

Provides electricians, engineers, designers and facility managers with a thorough "grounding" in what power quality is. Identifies the problems associated with poor quality in today's commercial/industrial environments and recommends wiring and grounding techniques and practices that should be part of the design of new or renovated structures.

Power Quality Case Studies:

A6190: Upgraded Grounding and Bonding Systems Prevent Costly Disasters for Florida Radio Group
[5.7 Mb]
After discovering that their grounding and bonding was inadequate, three FM radio stations located in Trenton, Florida installed new copper grounding rods, some as long as 80 feet, in order to minimize costs and maximize on-air time.
A6189: Proper Grounding System Resolves Electrical Issues at Gainesville, Florida AM Radio Stations
[3 Mb]
After constant lightning strikes would damage equipment and cause the radio station to lose power, WTMN installed a new grounding and wiring system in order to guarantee on-air time.
A6187: New Grounding System Ensures Radio Broadcast Stations Remain on the Air
[4 Mb]
Broadcast radio stations can encounter power outages, interrupted programming and costly repairs in the event of a lightning strike. In order to prevent these catastrophes, the MARC Radio Group installed a new code-exceeding grounding system, which has helped ensure uptime for its stations.
A6159: 100% Copper Ensures Reliability For Nebraska Data Center
[2.9 Mb]
100% reliability is the goal at CoSentry, an Omaha-based data center operator with six current locations. From dual electric feeds to dual chillers, continuous availability is the most important need of their customers, and an all-copper electrical system is an integral part of that requirement. Wherever the need is critical, the copper-based wiring methods are the most reliable available.
A6165: A Tale of Two Churches
[2.6 Mb]
Churches are not immune from lightning. Church steeples and other parts of the buildings are prime targets for lightning, and often are inadequately or not grounded properly. The two stories in this article point out how necessary, and yet inexpensive and cost-effective this protection is.
A6137: Added Copper Improves Grounding, Subdues Thunderstorm Threats
[1.33 Mb]
A robust, low resistance ground system renovation solved many lightning-created problems plaguing this 2000-ft TV tower.
A6031: All-Copper Electrical & Grounding Systems Ensure Reliability at First Data Teleservices
How growing business voulume led to a decision to upgrade the center's electrical systems with high-quality copper grounding for added reliability, lightning protection and improved power quality. Points out the value of thinking "beyond the Code."
A6069: All-Copper Grounding Network Ensures Reliability at Satellite Communications Station
[9.7 Mb]
Only a robust, low-resistance copper grounding system is sufficient to protect the largest array of satellite communications antennas in the Western Hemisphere.
A6088: All-Copper Grounding Systems End Million Dollar Losses at Emergency Response System
[10 Mb]
Florida's "Lightning Alley" wreaked havoc on Orange County's critical 911 operations for more than 10 years. See the details of a new, system-wide replacement and upgrade of the system's grounding and lightning protection. It's enabling trouble-free, reliable service that save lives and saves substantial tax dollars, too.
A6110: Allegheny Power Insists On Copper For Substation Transformers
[486 Kb]
Utility transformers are big and expensive, and reliable service to customers is a paramount consideration. That's why copper windings are so important, and a relatively insignificant cost factor in the overall buying decision. This story discusses Allegheny's reasoning, and why they always specify copper.
A6160: "Boutique" Data Centers for Small Business Owners?
[0.35 Mb]
Data centers come in small as well as large sizes, but the need for continuous up-time is still critical. Power Protection Products satisfies the needs of smaller customers with a concept they call LoCoCoLo–a Low Cost Co-Location center. And copper wiring and grounding is just as much a part of providing reliability here as it is in data centers that are hundreds of times larger.
A6054: Copper-Based Grounding System Ends Lightning Damage at Florida Resort

Following major damage from lightning at a Florida resort, the investment of $3,500 in a copper grounding system upgrade is now successfully protecting $1.5 million in electronic equipment.
A6093: Copper Checks in @ Internet Hotel
[545 Kb]
In a building designed to accommodate high-tech companies, power quality considerations play a key role. This article describes one such building in Phoenix, Arizona, and the wiring, grounding, and protection infrastructure that ensures power reliability. Although designed for internet firms, the techniques this building employed are suitable to every sensitive installation.
A6095: Copper Corrects Power Quality Problems in Columbus, Ohio, High-Rise Office Tower
[495 Kb]
False economies in original construction, including aluminum feeders, led to numerous, hard to solve power quality problems for this otherwise-modern high-rise office building. Among the changes were a switch to copper feeders, which solved power quality problems and provided for additional capacity.
A6134: Copper Ensures Reliability, Power Quality at Boston Data Center
[572 Kb]
Data centers have become a significant portion of the national electrical picture. Power reliability and power quality are exceptionally high. Their robust copper wiring and grounding practices provide an example for every industry.
A6185: Copper Grounding System Guarantees 100 Percent Uptime for Boise Data Center
[6 Mb]
The loss of data can be extremely detrimental to healthcare organizations, grocery chains and electronic medical record facilities. Involta-Boise recently installed an all-copper grounding system at its newest data center to ensure 100 percent uptime for all of its customers.
A6024: Copper Grounding System Protects Mt. Washington Towers

Mitigating lightning strikes and other static discharges was necessary to protect millions of dollars in electronic equipment for this broadcasting operation. A new, robust grounding system was installed at a cost far less than for the repair of annual equipment damages. The system has performed flawlessly for more than five years.
A6111: Copper Protects MIT Computer Center
[376 Kb]
This world-famous university takes quality power seriously, and makes robust electrical design one of their priorities when constructing new facilities. This case history describes one such building on campus, the eye-catching Stata Center, and the "above minimum" design elements used to ensure power reliability and long term capacity.
A6171: Fire Station Lightning Protection and Grounding Systems
[2 Mb]
Fire Departments and police facilities are communications centers, sometimes without realizing it. That means grounding, lightning protection, and other power quality considerations are critical to reliability. This case history relates how two Connecticut fire stations implemented cost-effective modifications that improve up-time and can save lives.
A6071: Florida Credit Union Data Center Shrugs Off Direct Lightning Hit
[4.9 Mb]
Shows the degree of protection afforded a major Florida bank by a solidcopper grounding system and multiple levels of surge protection, even when subjected to a direct lightning strike.
A6053: Florida 911 Center Upgrades Lightning Protection System for Maximum Safety
[8.2 Mb]
Located in "lightning alley" in Central Florida, this emergency communications center and its adjoining tower were extensively retrofitted to provide sufficient protection for lightning and other power surges.
A6155: Inadequate Grounding System Allows Costly Lightning Damage at Municipal Safety Center
[5 Mb]
An Ohio emergency communications center found out the value of a robust bonding and grounding system in the presence of sensitive equipment. A cost-effective retrofit corrected deficiencies and eliminated outages. Video and written stories are presented.
A6158: Involta™ Data Centers Avoid Upsets with 100% Copper Robust Power & Grounding Systems
[4.8 Mb]
Involta is a world-class data center operator, with currently six locations. Each serves a variety of tenants, primarily in secondary markets. The centers were built at different times in slightly different electrical archtiectures, but reliability is the facilities' first and common requirement. That's where a copper infrastructure comes in. There are design lessons for every critical application in this story.
A6167: Lightning Protection for Denver Fire Station Extends Beyond Its Property Line
[2 Mb]
Emergency communications include fire dispatch, where lightning and transients can cause a life-safety problem in addition to equipment damage. This story describes installation of a cost-effective system in the Denver area that prevented further damage.
A6082: New Ground System Ends Lightning-Caused Outages at 100-kW FM Station

A6082 Lightning strikes in "Tornado Alley" regularly took this Nebraska radio station off the air and severly damaged transmitter and HVAC equipment, until they installed a total grounding system upgrade. The simple low-cost system is described in detail. The results have been 24/7 reliability and no equipment damage, despite even a powerful strike that burned through a ground strap at the top of the antenna tower.
A6044: Networked Machine Shop/Manufacturing Plant Learns the Value of Grounding
[2 Mb]
Shows how proper grounding helped one company overcome years of bad advice to realize the full value of its networked CNC-CAD/CAM systems. Points out how grounding can tame network signal noise and it's associated problems.
A6023: New Rules and Copper Conductors Help Upgrade a 20-Year-Old Electrical System

Power quality problems are widespread and growing worse as new businesses occupy older commercial buildings. This case study shows how one data-processing firm overcame a host of typical, disruptive problems and revamped their power distribution system to ensure reliability and productivity.
A6128: Old Walmart + Electrical Upgrade = New 9-1-1 Center
[599 Kb]
The key component of any sheriff's department is its communication center, including the all-important 9-1-1 hub and dispatch room. Sumter County's problem was that its new 9-1-1 center is located smack in the heart of the most lightning-prone region in the entire country, Florida's notorious "lightning alley", yet the building's electrical and grounding systems were built for a 1970s-vintage department store!
A6112: Power Quality Gets Top Grades at Business-Oriented University
[496 Kb]
Copper conductors, attention to harmonics, limiting outlets per circuit and separation of sensitive loads are among the steps Bryant University takes to ensure reliability of service and equipment. This case history describes in detail the "beyond code" design considerations for quality power at this computer-intensive university.
A6032: Proper Copper Grounding System Stops Lightning Damage at Nebraska FM Station
[4.4 Mb]
Reveals how safety, power quality and communications improve with low-resistance copper grounding. Identifies often-overlooked target areas of concern and corrects some misunderstood concepts.
A6175: Proper Grounding and Bonding Saves Thousands of Dollars at Ohio Safety Center
[10 Mb]
After improper electrical grounding and bonding caused expensive equipment failures and took vital emergency communications systems offline, the city of Medina, Ohio looked to copper for solutions.
A6127: Reliable Grounding Saves Years of Seed Development, Protects Equipment, Stops High-Cost Losses
[362 Kb]
The world's largest independently owned agricultural seed producer had a serious problem. For lack of a simple thing like adequate grounding, the Harris Moran Seed Company faced the loss of several years of research and development and a threat to its competitive position.
A6173: Safety Center Tower Grounding
[393 Kb]
Having suffered damage and downtime in the past, Macomb County, Michigan proactively took lightning protection into account when renovating their emergency communications center and satellite facilities. Copper-based lightning, wiring and grounding systems provided the reliability needed.
A6081: Two Miles of Copper Grounding Saves Big Money, Improves Safety on New Mexico Ski Lift

Power quality issues aren't confined to computers and sensitive electronics. Big, sprawling motor-driven operations like this ski lift are heavily impacted, too. Read how installing transient voltage protection and one of the North America's most extensive copperbased grounding systems restored dependable operation and profits at this rugged business environment.