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January-February 2011
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Smart Grid 101: Understanding the Primary Enabling Features of Smart Grid

by Paul Molitor

There are many terms used in the context of Smart Grid: demand response, distributed generation, advanced metering infrastructure, home-to-grid, and electric transportation to name a few. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has committed $3.4 billion in stimulus grant funding and upwards of $11 billion (depending on how you read the federal budget numbers) to the development of Smart Grid. Read more

Perspectives on PV

Conductor Sizing and Overcurrent Device Ratings

by John Wiles

Conductor sizes and overcurrent device ratings are critical to the safe, long-term operation of any electrical system, but are of particular importance in PV systems where the outdoor environment can be extreme and the PV modules will be sourcing current for 40 years or more. Read more

Electrical Code for the Combination Inspector, Part 3

by Randy Hunter

Last issue we made it through the "g” definitions in Article 100. In this article, we will finish reviewing selected definitions. Our first definition isin sight from(within sight from, within sight). These variations of phrase are used in various parts of the code, but would likely engender many arguments over meaning if theCodedid not include a clear definition. Read more

An Introduction to Electrical Fundamentals

by Stephen J. Vidal

By strict definition a material can be classified as either a conductor, an insulator, or a semiconductor based on its electrical properties. Before getting into the definition of each of these, a brief introduction to atomic theory is in order. Read more

Chuck Mello: 2011 International President

by Chuck Mello

As we begin this next year, it is a good time to reflect on the association in general, and most of this article will be some of my reflections and future goals, long range and for 2011 specifically. As I look back on my twenty-seven years as an IAEI member (as both an associate and inspector member), and the last eleven years on the International Board, this has been an unbelievable experience. I am deeply honored and humbled by your support and trust that have been placed in me. My most important goal is to serve and to represent you in the best way that I can. Read more

The Art of Dispenser Safety: A Safe Environment for Vehicle Fueling Station Maintenance

by Jonathan Cadd

With the new 2011 National Electric Code hitting the streets all over the country, I am often asked, "Are we there yet?” No, this isn’t that yearly trip to the in-laws’ house halfway across the country, with one question seared into your brain that you know you will hear 500 more times before you arrive. Read more

Ring in Some Financial New Year’s Resolutions

by Jesse Abercrombie

Now that 2011 is here, you may want to make some New Year’s resolutions. Planning to volunteer? Go to the gym more often? Learn a new language? All worthy ambitions, of course, but this year, why not add some financial resolutions as well? Read more

Energy Update: Technology Converts Waste Material into Electricity


A dairy farm in North Troy, Vermont, is using an innovative technology to convert farm waste products, such as manure, into electricity. The project was funded with assistance from USDA. Read more



Core Elements First

by Kathryn Ingley

Core elements—those upon which all else depend—are vitally important, both in our careers and in our lives. Often, however, we get distracted by the familiar, comfortable, sparkly or fun; then it becomes difficult to focus on the highest priority. Nevertheless, to be successful, we must take care of the core elements first. Read more

Canadian Code

Grounding Resistance and Spacing of Ground Rods

by Leslie Stoch

As we already know, the Canadian Electrical Code requires a minimum distance of 3 m between ground rods forming an electrical system grounding electrode. Why? This article discusses the reasons for this code requirement.. Read more

Canadian Perspectives

Main protective and control devices for emergency generators — are we consistent on this issue?

by Ark Tsisserev

Let’s say, you are a supplier of an emergency generator or a designer of an emergency distribution system, and your task is to select an emergency generator and main disconnecting means and overcurrent devices that will manually or automatically disconnect the electrical system supplied from the emergency generator. Read more

Safety in Our States

Inspection Best Practices and More Inspection Perspectives

by Thomas A. Domitrovich

As members of IAEI, we are among some of the best when it comes to inspectors, something of which we must take advantage when it comes to doing what you do on a daily basis, inspect. We work hard across the country to understand the National Electrical Code and all of its grey areas as well as the application of products in our industry, but sometimes it is that one overlooked detail, like how do you conduct an inspection, that can make all of this knowledge for naught. Read more

UL Question Corner

Are wire connectors that are filled with silicone Listed to splice THWN conductors in an open bottom handhole for an outdoor parking lot light?

by Underwriters Laboratories

Unless the wet locations connectors or their shipping carton or installation instructions state that they are for use with THWN conductors, then they are not Listed for use with THWN insulated conductors. Read more

UL Question Corner

Is it permissible to stub up conduits into the bottom of a stationary generator enclosure and continue the conductors out of the conduit directly into the generator itself, or...

by Underwriters Laboratories

It is permissible to stub up conduits into a generator enclosure and have exposed conductors inside of the generator enclosure provided that the generator is mounted on a non-combustible surface such as concrete. Read more

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