Canadian Electrical Industry News Week


The adoption of LED lighting continues at a rapid pace.Although the extended life of LEDs is beneficial, it also presents a compatibility challenge with older technology controls, especially with outdoor photocontrols. This rapid change to LED fixtures andluminaires can leave contractors, designers and distributors facing questions they cannot answer.

LED and other new lightingtechnologies exclusively useelectronic drivers and ballasts for operation. Their designshave different electrical start-up characteristics than older,magnetic models. In the case of photocontrols, matching theextended lifespan of LED fixtures requires a more complexcontrol unit for a reliable, turn-on/off.

Design considerations for electronic ballasts

A more complex control unit is required because some electronic ballasts produce inrush currents at turn-on that can cause premature relay contact failures. Intermatic has completed simulations in our UL-certified laboratory and has videotaped the phenomena of this spike of energy. This energy spike can and has caused control failures in the field.These inrush currents can be much higher than thoseexperienced with traditional tungsten or magnetic ballastloads because many electronic ballasts employ large energystorage capacitors. Such capacitors can charge up to 400Vfor a 277 V line voltage, and will briefly draw high currentfrom the line to achieve this voltage.

As mentioned above, these typically short inrush currentscan climb as high as 100-times the nominal operating levels.(See table below for typical inrush value comparisons.)

LED Control Table

An overlooked source of photocontrol failure

Inrush currents have not always been recognized as a source of failure for controls. Some contractors may mistakenly believe that a switch has failed because it’s a“bad” switch or a power surge has occurred. Jay Hoch, Lighting Specialist for Wyandotte Electric Supply, Wyandotte, Michigan, noticed photocontrol failures on a large, exterior LED lighting project in Detroit. “We had multiple fixtures on one circuit fail, but not all of the fixtures failed. That didn’t make any sense. If one failed, they all should.” Hoch was looking for an explanation and wondering how best to advise the contractor coming to him.Information on inrush currents supplied by Intermatic made sense of the performance of the controls that Hoch andthe contractor had noticed. After reviewing the information,Hoch realized that in rush currents were adversely impacting the controls. “The failure wasn’t in the circuit,” Hoch says.“Intermatic’s research solidified the fact that the in rushcurrent affects photo cells.”

Variances in inrush current

The inrush current magnitude and duration depends upon the value of the capacitance (measured inμF), along with circuit and power distribution network impedances.This current may weld relay contacts and other switching devices or possibly fuse semiconductors. Overall, these high-current transients can negatively impact the lifespan of traditional photo controls,negating the reduced maintenance cost associated with LED luminaires.

Therefore, the actual performance of electronic ballasts can’t be determined by a straight watt-to-watt comparison of incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs. At first glance, it may make sense to assume that ten 15 W LED bulbs could be substituted for a single 100 W incandescent bulb. However,an inrush current in the LEDs can negatively impact the control, causing failures over time.

If contractors don’t look at the specs for the controls, they may believe when a switch failsit’s a bad switch. However,providing proper control specifications would enable contractors to avoid failures that are caused by very highinrush currents.

New electronic ballast designs can provide low or zero in rush currents, but they are more costly to implement and have not been universally adopted by lighting manufacturers in the marketplace. This created a challenge for control suppliers. Hearing questions from distributors and contractors, Intermatic chose to design electronic photo controls for worst case in rush currents, as characterized bythe National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)’s survey of electronic ballast technologies.

Read the Rest of the Series:
- The Impact of Arc Flash Events on Photocontrol Longevity in LED Lighting - Part 2
- The Impact of Arc Flash Events on Photocontrol Longevity in LED Lighting - Part 3



Source: Intermatic Incorporated, 7777 Winn Road, Spring Grove, IL 60081; 815-675-2321; www.intermatic.com/zerocross. Intermatic’s new line of electronic photocontrols for LED applications successfully utilizes zero crossing techniques to suppress inrush current impact and deliver on the extended lifespan of LED luminaires. As a result, Intermatic offers costeffective, 8 to 12 year warrantied electronic photocontrols, while providing large inrush current carrying capacities. Lab testing shows the visible reduction of inrush current, which Intermatic has captured on video.

 

Changing Scene

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ment Act

 

EDA DEIJoin the EDA on November 25 from 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. for a full day of content and networking.

Suzanna Zagar, CEO of the Ontario Energy Board will kick-off the day as our opening keynote. She will be followed by panel discussions on Combatting Systemic Racism and Overcoming Unconscious Bias. The afternoon will feature presentations on social impact and how technology is driving community value. The day will close with a panel discussion on how leadership can change the diversity conversation.

 


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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 



 

Desert HomeA combination of stunning design, a spectacular desert setting, and exceptional architectural lighting is a winning combination for a private residence just outside of St. George, Utah. JRC Lighting was hired by the homeowner to create the lighting concept for the showpiece home.

"The house has an almost industrial look to it, with a focus on clean lines," said Kevin Meredith, principal at JRC Lighting. "My goal was to keep the lighting understated and let the architecture, and the views, sell themselves.”

 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

This summer EiKO is launching its Z10 product offering. I know, what is Z10 other than the sports cars some of us remember (’69 Z10 Camaro or a 2009 BMW Z10, but let’s go with an American muscle car!)?

So, since it seemed like a sports car “name” (since sports car naming seems to be in numbers), we reached out to Sarah Eastman, VP Marketing for EiKO, who shared that Z10 is an alliance of manufacturers who have developed standards to support an easier lighting controls process within fixtures (remember, I’m not a product maven).
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Product News

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The Schneider Electric (Lithium-ion) battery solution for three-phase UPSs is a high-value, ...
The SLC-MIV pure sine wave inverter represents a unique approach to power failure lighting ...

 

Milwaukee M12 Cable StripperM12™ Cable Stripper Kit for Cu THHN / XHHW aims to improve the cable stripping experience. With no exposed blades, the cordless cable stripper provides safer stripping than with a knife. The cable stripper's compact, right-angle design allows you to maneuver it more easily in tight spaces with less strain on the wrist. The bushing design and adjustable depth gauge deliver cleaner, more accurate and consistent strips across all sizes.

The cable jacket stripping tool is not only compatible with all MILWAUKEE® bushings but is also compatible with competitive quick-change bushings.

 

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Incoplas HybridThe Incoplas® LED Hybrid is a durable multi-purpose and corrosion-resistant LED lighting solution that can be used in heavy industrial applications where hazardous location lighting is required.

Certifications

Class 1:

Flammable Gases and Liquids

Division 2: The hazardous atmosphere is only available infrequently (i.e. in case of spill).

 

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EarthTronics 25-Watt Emergency Driver for Linear HighbayEarthTronics LED emergency drivers regulate the power supplied to the LED fixture so that it can operate as a light source in the event of a power failure. The purpose of emergency lighting is to ensure that lighting is provided promptly, automatically and for a suitable time when the normal power supply fails.

This insures that people within the building can evacuate safely in the event of an emergency. All EarthTronics emergency drivers meet specific UL, CSA and NFPA requirements. Always consult local code requirements when specifying emergency lighting products.

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Peers & Profiles

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Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
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As a 34-year-old female owner of an electrical contracting business, Danielle Gray may be unique. ...
Mark Klein is Co-President of Klein Tools, managing Sales & Marketing activities, alongside ...


EngWorksBy Blake Marchand

EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After a short time we realized there was a niche in hazardous locations, in particular in hazardous area classification design requirements for various facilities. And also helping people understand just how the Canadian Electrical Code applies to hazardous locations.”

Given the complexity of hazardous locations, Bozek saw a need for education while working in the field and began developing training courses designed.

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Eric TordjmanBy Blake Marchand

Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, multi-residential/commercial property management, energy service companies (ESCO), and auto dealerships. “From design to specifications, we offer turn-key services that go beyond the typical distributor model,” explained Mercury Lighting Vice President, Eric Tordjman. Their value-added approach leverages well-established supplier relations to help clients find a lighting solution that suits their needs.

“How we differentiate ourselves is we’re lighting specific, we do very little in the way of electrical, and really emphasizing our expertise towards solutions selling...

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Éric DeschênesBy Line Goyette

As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the electrical industry. He has a long track record and a passion for finding practical solutions to optimize technology adoption. Deschênes took on his current role with ABB January of 2020, he joined ABB in 2017 as Executive VP of the Electrification business after 15 years with Schneider Electric.

We met with him recently to discuss his new role at the helm of ABB Canada and his plans moving forward. He began by pointing out that the recent change to ABB Canada's structure, as elsewhere in the world, was made to make customer relations more straightforward. 

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