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/

Power Transformers 101

Power transformers are conduits of electricity that increase or decrease voltage efficiently. These machines are used for transferring power from one circuit to another without changing the frequency.

When electricity comes into the transformer from the power source, it is called primary voltage. Any voltage leaving the transformer is called secondary voltage. Two examples of transformers include step-down, which lowers voltage, and step-up, which raises voltage.

Step-down transformers have higher primary voltage than secondary. These transformers are useful for situations requiring a lesser voltage than provided by the power source. 

Step-up transformers have lower primary voltage than secondary. When the power source is inadequate, these transformers can provide a boost.

Technically, all transformers can operate in both step-down and step-up modes, so the attribution is given based on how the transformer is being used. 

Other types of transformers include: 

  • Three Phase: used in three phase power systems; most cost-effective
  • Distribution: steps down the voltage for commercial or domestic distribution; operates 24/7 with 50 percent of a full load at maximum efficiency
  • Electrical Power: operates at high or peak load times with maximum efficiency at or near full load; used in a transmission network to step up or down voltage
  •  Instrument: C.T. and P.T. are used to lower high voltage and current to levels that can be measured by common instruments
  • Autotransformer: used in situations where the ratio between the high voltage and low voltage is less than two
  • Two Winding Transformer: used in situations where the ratio between the high voltage and low voltage is greater than two
  • Outdoor/Indoor: specifically designed for either application
  • Oil Cooled: refers to the cooling medium as transformer oil
  • Dry Type: refers to the cooling medium as air cooling
  • Core Type: contains two vertical legs with two horizontal sections called yokes; rectangular with a common magnetic circuit
  • Shell Type: has a central limb and two outer limbs with a double-magnetic circuit
  • Berry Type: core resembles wheel spokes with tightly fitted metal sheet tanks; oil used inside

Are you looking for a specific type of transformer, or have one to sell? You’ve come to the right place! Contact the experts at J&P Electrical to talk about transformers 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 team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Bus Plugs 101

Bus plugs are electrical instruments used to allocate power throughout large electrical areas. Flat copper conductor plates are enclosed in a metal casing, which creates a compact design. Bus plugs are typically beneficial in areas where cables cannot be wired in large industrial factories. The plugs are connected to busways or bus bars to provide electrical power when needed.

Since bus plugs have a wide variety of uses and advantages, they are considered more effective than electrical cables. Given that they have no physical electrical wires within the building, the entire system can easily be disconnected and rearranged to fit almost any floor plan.

Bus plugs are used for a variety of reasons, most notably:

  • Streamlined Current Distribution: Cabling is usually chaotic throughout most industrial plants. With various manufacturing aspects requiring electricity, distributing power can be a challenge. However, with bus plugs, electricity can be installed almost anywhere…and they are easy to move.
  • Safety and Security: Bus plugs are guaranteed to be safer than cable systems due to their metallic casing, which reduces wire damage and electrocution.
  • Easy Installation: Typically low in complexity, bus plugs do not require holes, cable cutouts, or any other special equipment. Ceilings or walls do not require support for heavy cables, and the installation time is relatively quick.
  • Energy Savings: Bus plugs are compact, which means the copper conductors are placed next to each other. Energy is conserved due to the reduction in induction resistance.
  • Flexibility and Maneuverability: More flexible than a typical cable system, bus plugs are light, easy to carry, and do not need ceiling or wall support. They can also be transferred to a new location effortlessly.
  • Compact, Concealed Design: Bus plugs appear much more organized than a traditional cable system since everything is concealed inside the casing. There are no more twisted, dusty, entangled bundles of cables running throughout your building.

Electrical components should only be purchased from a reputable company. At J&P Electrical, bus plugs are our business. Contact us today to learn more about our products and pricing.

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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

Freedom Convoy That Protests Against Pandemic Restrictions Affects Consumer Pricing in U.S. & Canada

The number of COVID-19 cases is regularly decreasing, but some government officials are still trying to use the pandemic as a means of control. Recently, the Freedom Convoy took a stand against new vaccine requirements for the truckers who transport goods into Canada.

These truckers created blockades as a way to show their disdain for the requirement that truckers either quarantine 14 days when they go into Canada from the United States or be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirement covers all truckers, regardless of if they’re from the U.S. or Canada.

There were more than 4,000 truckers who took place in the protest. The horns honking and blockades caused Ottawa businesses to close temporarily. The demonstrations also shut down the Ambassador Bridge and other border crossings crucial for trade.

Supply Chain Disruptions Impact Pricing

Commerce traffic flow through the Ambassador Bridge accounts for around $360 million worth of trade between these countries each day. Without this, transactions become critical for both Canada and the U.S. The disruption in the supply chain is impacting prices on a variety of goods in the U.S.

There’s some concern about similar protests happening in major U.S. cities, but those haven’t occurred yet. One reason for this is likely that states are starting to relax the mandates related to the pandemic.

In the electrical services industry, supply chain disruptions have caused an increase in pricing partly due to the cost of the wiring and other components. Therefore, taking steps to control the costs to consumers has to be a priority for service providers.

 At J&P Electrical, we can save your business 50-75% off the cost of buying new, as our specialty is salvaging and reconditioning heavy industrial electrical equipment. You can rest assured that our refurbished products are completely rebuilt, inspected, and tested, often mistaken for new surplus.

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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 team at Creative Programs & Systems: 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.