Archives 2021

The 2011 Nec Has Made Important Changes


It will come as no surprise that electrical professionals have a total love hate relationship with the National Electrical Code. Every three years, the NEC is revised, with the 2011 NEC being the latest version. Unfortunately, for many, three years seems like a very short period of time. They had only just been able to get completely to grips with the 2008 NEC and the 2011 NEC appeared. Just when they thought that the last set of revisions was fully understandable and can be applied, it all changes again. The 2011 National Electrical Code actually has 25 changes compared to the 2008 NEC, so electrical professionals have once again had to stop and learn about new things. The original document was printed in the 1890s and it would stand to reason that it doesn't need much else than a few revisions and tweaks. In reality, however, new technologies and new products are being developed at an ever increasing rate. Also because new research findings flood the market from private and public groups alike, the changes are actually very drastic.

In fact, some of these revisions are so comprehensive that they actually do a complete u-turn on a point that may have been accepted for decades before. Any electrical professional has to serve the needs of the Code. Luckily, NEC consultants are available to shed light on the latest 2011 NEC changes. Although these changes have now already been in place for a year, many electrical professionals still haven't quite understood it. They should get prepared since the next changes are set to be released in less than two years. NEC consultants can be found online and they can explain everything to you, from the AFCI and GFCI requirements as well as rules and guidelines about conductor ampacity for instance. As stated, the 2011 National Electrical Code has seen 25 changes compared to the 2008 version. When looking up explanations on these changes online, you should find articles that do a complete analysis of each change, and also explain why it was changed in this way.

Lastly, it should explain to you how these changes may affect you in your professional life. Once you have found an article that meets these needs, make sure you find a quiet place where you will be uninterrupted for a while. Read through each of the changes found in the 2011 NEC and find additional information on any part that you struggle with. Look into anything that you struggle with and make sure you also read the fine print. Hopefully, in doing so, you will feel a lot less overwhelmed with the new national electrical code and you won't actually spend the two years you still have getting to grips with something that won't be valid anymore.

Will High Electricity Prices in Texas Trigger More Energy Generation


A report released in May this year predicted a gloomy picture about the state's future electric reserves. According to the analysis, by 2014, Texas energy reserves are predicted to drop below the safe levels. What's more threatening is that beyond 2014, the reserves are likely to dip even lower, which in turn is expected to cause rolling blackouts. Plans for the future With such dire predictions and an expected rise in Texas electricity prices, it becomes imminent to plan for the future. However, some experts say that there's still hope as the outlook for 2013's summer has actually improved since the last CDR, which was released in 2011's December. After the release of that report, almost 1240 MW of previously "shelved" capacity has returned, which would help meet the future needs. Another 1,130 MW is also expected, as a coal-fired plant which was earlier slated to discontinue under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule but has been ruled over by the federal court. After the last CDR report, ERCOT has started operation of almost 600 MW of new renewable power sources, which includes solar power (59 MW), biomass (105 MW), and wind power (432 MW). The additional capacity of these Texas energy resources are expected to help reduce the growing blackout threats in the state.

According to a forecast, by 2016, Texas will have several new power generation plants in place, which will deliver over 2,000 MW (for wind power), 3,657 MW (attributed to gas-fired facilities), 900 MW (from coal-fired resources), and 60 MW (solar energy) of power. Demand response In addition to the energy generation that the above sources will bring, ERCOT is also planning to bring "demand response" in use, which will allow it to deal with forthcoming summer months when the load on the grid is high. Though ERCOT has adequate electric power to serve users throughout the year, the demand response programs will help in addressing the highest demand periods, where consumers agree to decrease their power usage when particular conditions occur. High price cap a deterrent for new power plants According to Robert McCullough2 - an economist based in Portland, the rising power cap in Texas can discourage power companies from setting up more power plants, since by letting scarcity of power stay intact, these companies can benefit more from the higher prices.

Thus, McCullough and several other experts feel that the new cap on Texas electricity will encourage traders to create artificial shortages. Conclusion According to McCullough, Texas has more energy resources than many other US states, and yet it has skyrocketing prices, which are higher than most of its neighboring states, due to a failing electric system. Though ERCOT's plan to bring more energy resources into play in the near future to tide over blackouts and energy scarcity gives hope to Texas electricity consumers, only time will tell if power companies will set up power plants to trigger more generation or opt for easy profits by making the most of the higher rates and letting the energy scarcity prevail.