Maintaining for Energy
Savings, Part 5
Bottleneck Motor Repairs, Part
NEC in the Facility
Answer to Electrical
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The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered
trademark of the National Fire Protection Association.
Energy Savings, Part 5
In some facilities, one "cost-cutting" measure is to
reduce the HVAC maintenance contract to the minimum services required
avoid an EPA-related offense. Such false economization almost always
leads to higher costs of operation and repair. However, even a fairly
rigorous HVAC maintenance contract may not sufficiently reduce those
costs — especially when it comes to energy-efficiency dollars.
Your system probably met existing energy standards when installed.
Since then, however, energy standards have become more vigorous (and
more useful). Does your system meet today’s standards? Don’t base
your answer on the installation specs but on actual performance.
When did you last review your maintenance contract and system test
data against the current energy standards and recommendations? Do you
know what those standards and recommendations are?
For example, the old way was to conduct a pass/fail refrigerant
for EPA purposes. The new way is to ensure all HVAC units have the
correct level for performance purposes. Take it up a notch by
for possible contamination and taking corrective action promptly.
A good HVAC inspection covers the entire system, not just the HVAC
units. Suppose this spring that delivery temperature readings seem a
high to your experienced HVAC tech. The tech correctly suspects a
problem within the system, perhaps in a compressor or condenser, or in
the lines. Inspection of just the HVAC units would miss any sign of
problem. It’s costing you money until it’s fixed. You can’t fix
what you don’t find.
Your spring HVAC check is coming up. Now is the time to update the
related maintenance procedures so you capture more of those energy
101 uses for the new Fluke 416D and 411D Laser Distance
Best-in-class tools take you long distances,
beyond hard-to-reach areas and through time-consuming calculations,
laser accuracy. You can use the Fluke distance meters in dozens of
electrical, industrial, and HVAC applications. Go to www.fluke.com/101uses to find
out all 101!
Winter solstice is now behind us, so the days are
getting longer again. Yet, your facility seems drearier. Being the
electrical troubleshooter that you are, you grab a light meter and take
When you review your findings against the lighting plan, your
suspicions are confirmed. Light levels really have dropped. In some
places where the plan shows 45 footcandles, you measured only 25. In an
inspection area that requires 90 footcandles, you measured 70. How can
you figure out what’s going on?
The answer to this question appears at the end of this
Repairs, Part 1
In the previous issue, we looked at the concept of
production bottlenecks — those restriction points in the production
"piping system" that limit overall flow of product out the door.
For purposes of both maintenance and repair, you need to identify
your bottleneck motors. For example, if six production lines converge
onto a single palletizing line, then that palletizing line is a
bottleneck and so is its drive motor. When the palletizing motor is
down, the output of all six lines goes nowhere.
If the palletizing motor and the Line 2 drive motor are down at the
same time, which one sits while the other one gets repaired? Your
Not only can the bottleneck concept help you decide which fire to
out first, it also can help you prevent fires in the first place. In
next issue, we’ll explore this further.
NEC in the
If your site has a Class I location (flammable gases,
vapors, or liquids), you probably know that any electrical parts
operating at more than 30V can't be exposed. But did you know this
threshold drops to 15V under wet conditions [501.25]?
If you have exposed parts in a Class I location, make sure you apply
the appropriate protection technique from 500.7(E), (F), or (G) to
Be careful when grounding in Class I locations. Grounding where you
should bond violates 501.30 and creates a dangerous difference of
potential. To avoid this, know the definitions of grounding and bonding
The Sleep Institute has conducted extensive studies on
the effects of sleep deprivation. One of those effects can make you
unsafe. The studies show that if you’re 20% sleep-deprived, you’re
as mentally impaired as if you were drunk.
In addition to putting you at risk all on its own, sleep deprivation
compounds the effects of drugs that diminish alertness or alter
— for example, alcohol or antihistamines. It can make the ordinarily
safe use of a given substance or remedy extraordinarily dangerous.
The real kicker is another fact that the Sleep Institute discovered:
Most sleep-deprived people are unaware of how severe their problem is.
What should you do? Online, you can find books and courses to help
you determine if you have a sleep problem and help you solve
Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
A drop in light output is hard to isolate in time,
because it tends to creep up on us. As light output diminishes a little
each day, we adjust to the new normal. That makes troubleshooting more
difficult, but not impossible.
Light output diminishes as lamps near end of life (the output curve
varies by lamp type). So, maybe it’s just be time for relamping.
However, there are probably other factors to correct. Things to check
- Dust and grime accumulation. Are the lamps, lenses, and
- Overloaded neutrals. A plastics plant in Kentucky solved a
dim lighting problem in one building by rewiring the lighting system.
Most of the neutral wires had overheated to the point of discoloration.
This rewiring more than doubled some footcandle readings.
- Transient protection deficiencies. Is your surge protection
(Art. 285) plan tiered so that it protects lighting ballasts from
generated from inside your facility? If not, you probably have damaged
ballasts. Replace a few ballasts to see the effect. Correct the
- Bonding deficiencies. Walk down your lighting system for
violations of Art. 250, Part V. You should not have connections to
ground (as defined in Art. 100) anywhere in this system.
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