Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

July 21, 2017

Keith SonesBy Keith Sones

I am continually amazed at how two people can look at the same thing and see it completely differently. It may be the colour of a piece of clothing, where one person loves the blue shirt and the other simply can’t seem to understand why anybody would make such a terrible fashion choice. Politics, of course, is rampant with folks vehemently supporting their candidate of choice while in equally strong opposition to everyone else. Movie options, best vacation spot, favourite sports team and rancher verses two story house — all of these subjects invariably generate a wide variety of opinions.

I do understand why we live with such a broad array of perspectives, since all of us are merely expressing our beliefs. While I have a view on my preferred vehicles (“Ford Rocks!!!”), I don’t begrudge my Chevy and Dodge friends who also happen to believe in the superiority of their choices. If I were to check the statistics related to lifetime cost and reliability of all similar trucks, I’m confident the data would suggest they are all good modes of transportation. So while I may play favourites, I’m actually weighing in based on non-scientific judgement, not fact. It’s actually kind of fun, since I can throw my views on the table, argue forcefully for their merits, and never have to back them up with inconvenient evidence. So trust me, the Canucks will win the Stanley Cup this year.

The thing I truly don’t understand is when a person takes a strong stand for or against something in direct opposition to logic and fact. To me, this is both strange and dangerous.

Over the past few decades, I have spent time living and working in several different British Columbia locations. Home has been both small town and large city, and I’ve had the pleasure of residing in just about every region of the province, from the farms of the Peace River country to the arid Okanagan, onto the recreational West Kootenays to the rainforests of the west coast. All are beautiful and each zone has terrific people. But when it comes to the topic of resource development and extraction, people often line up along regional boundaries. If a person’s livelihood is reliant on the resource economy, you can bet that most will be supportive of mining and natural gas production. For many who are shielded from the reality of these industries, either because they don’t see them every day or work in a non-resource based function, it’s easier and often more popular to pick up a protest sign and march against oil, LNG, forestry, or fish farms. And this is where logic becomes extremely important.

Earlier in my career I was lucky enough to have a job that included working to gain public acceptance for electrical substation and transmission line projects. From town hall style public meetings to sitting at a landowner’s kitchen table listening to their concerns, we were able to work with the communities to site the facilities that help to power towns and neighbourhoods. I also learned that there are different approaches when people respond to the prospect of a new industrial facility being placed near their home. Some listen, learn and accept. Others will question why it can’t be located elsewhere, and usually there are valid technical and/or financial reasons why the selected site is the best (or only) option. And some folks will simply say no. To the facility, or the location, or both.

It was during this time of my life that my lexicon expanded significantly. While the term NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) had been around for some time, I learned about a LULU (a Locally Unwanted Land Use), a BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone), the NOPEs (Not on Planet Earth) and TEDAOs (Tear Down Everything at Once). It was an eye opener for me to be sure. Sure, I could understand that someone might not want their pristine, untouched views blighted by a tree cleared right of way and large transmission structures, but not to build it at all? Anywhere? As long as people use power there needs to be a way to get it to them. I was confused to say the least. Why would someone argue so strongly against something that logically had to happen?

It wasn’t until a number of years later when I was living near Vancouver and out on Howe Sound enjoying a sunny day on my paddleboard that I had an epiphany. It was summer 2015 and I stumbled across a flotilla of powerboats, many of which had banners waving with a strong anti-LNG theme. No development, no tankers, no pipeline, no nothing. Wow, I thought, they really believe in the cause. Wait a second, I thought. They were in boats powered by fossil fuels decrying the development of a facility that would provide fossil fuels. Whaaaat??? Hang on, that seems a bit hypocritical. And then it hit me. They didn’t see themselves as hypocrites at all. They were simply expressing a belief, not based on fact or logic. Like me picturing my beloved Canucks hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup next June.

Now, before you jump all over me for being a climate change denier, you couldn’t be more wrong. I am keenly aware that the planet is warming, based on facts and evidence as presented by an overwhelming majority of scientists around the globe that oughta know. However, we have built our entire global infrastructure and lifestyle based on the ongoing extraction and processing of materials we take from the earth.

Don’t believe me? OK, try this little test. Wherever you are, look around. I’m currently at a desk made from wood products, typing on a computer made from plastic (oil processing) and metal circuits (mining), with a very small amount of silicon on a chip somewhere. My clothing is a combination of cotton (farming) and synthetics (oil processing). I’m about to drive to a meeting in a vehicle made of metal and plastic, powered by gasoline. You may well be reading this on a cell phone (plastic and metal). Or, perhaps in the luxuriousness of your home made from wood (forestry), drywall (quarry), tile (more quarries), windows (glass from processed sand), etc. You see the point.

Now, picture what your world looks like with all of that gone. All of it. You should see yourself without clothing (or dressed in hunted animal skins) living in the forest or the prairie. Because without the resource industry, that’s what you have left. Yup, that’s it.

Your other counter argument may go something like this. “C’mon Keith, wake up. If we keep building new oil, gas, mining, forestry and other resource facilities, we will never end the cycle.” And I would agree, but here’s the kicker. We need to do it thoughtfully. It will take many years to divest ourselves of the lifestyle we have built. If we in Canada merely protest and refuse to ship oil or mine metals, it will simply occur in other areas of the world, many of which have far less environmental regulation and terrible track records on human rights. There is a global demand for all of this stuff, and feeling artificially good about ourselves for snuffing out these industries while simply exporting the problems to the other regions of the world helps no one, least of all planet earth.

So, where to go for here? Let’s look to the uber logical Mr. Spock for some guidance. Reason dictates that unless we want to live the lives of our ancient ancestors, and I’m not seeing a lot of volunteers, we keep mining, drilling oil wells, and cutting timber into two by fours. At the same time we continue to invest and research intensely into energy storage, true renewable energy, and potential replacement building and manufacturing products for those that are currently globally ubiquitous. And it wouldn’t hurt to think about other huge issues like global population. We need measured intelligent debate to get to a new future, not just a BANANA salad.

Real, sustainable answers will take decades to get right and a lot of legitimate commitment on the part of all of us. If you want to sink the boat we are currently sailing in, be my guest. But when your feet get wet and you have nowhere to go, I hope the protest sign floats.

Oh, and one more thing. Go Canucks!

Keith Sones is Vice President, National Business Development, The Valard Group of Companies.

 


 Salex Expands to Southwestern Ontario                                                                   

LDS Salex 12 175

Salex continues to support the Southwestern Ontario market with representation of key market leaders in lighting and controls, including its partnership with Axis Lighting, Beghelli Canada and OSRAM.

Axis Lighting is an innovative, forward-thinking manufacturer delivering high-performance LED luminaires for general, ambient and task lighting in office, commercial and institutional spaces. One of their leading-edge developments includes Stencil. Stencil brings together lighting segments and connectors called Hubs, the building blocks for creating forms and patterns of all sizes. 

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Changing Scene

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ESA’s response team has been working diligently to address the emerging issues. We are moving into ...


The Jaibot executes its tasks based on building information modeling (BIM) data. The robot is a completely cordless and easy-to-use system that doesn’t require expert skills. It locates itself accurately indoors, drills the holes dust-controlled and finally marks them according to the trade. 

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EIN AEA virtual 400Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical presentations. AEA, the exhibitors and presenters are so excited to present this event to the entire province of Alberta.

Attendees will have easy access to virtual booths with an opportunity to have their questions answered by qualified people, and win some prizes throughout the days at both the trade show Virtual Floor and by attending the seminars.

 

Go HERE to register and for the full event details

 

 


 



Lighting ControlsBy Jeremy Day

Building a control system for a modern lighting installation can seem like an impossibly complex task. To simplify it, a systematic approach to understanding the needs of the design, facility, and user can be employed. In this white paper, we aim to define the questions one must answer to construct an appropriate control system.

First, and perhaps counterintuitively, one must start with the control narrative. A lighting programming and control narrative is a document that is essential to coordinate the design/construction process with a fully realized final architectural product. 

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Terry BeckerBy Terry Becker

Changes in the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety standard are slowing down. Good news! The 2021 edition will see significant reorganization of content in Clause 4.1, changes to existing annexes, some new annexes and a significant change to the arc flash PPE category method of determining “additional protective measures” for a work task’s arc flash risk assessment are included in the 2021 edition.

CSA Z462 2021 edition will not be 100% technically harmonized with the 2021 edition of NFPA 70E...


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Product News

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The Boca Flasher’s HP-Submersible is designed for submersible installations where light output is a ...
TL210-WCS Series Plugging Boxes are recessed and pedestal mounted enclosures designed for the ...
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A contemporary style wall sconce suitable for interior and exterior use. Available in three ...
Visioneering’s new OnCurve family of recessed troffers provides architectural appeal and uniform ...
nLight is a distributed, intelligent digital lighting controls platform to meet the demand for ...
Siemens Canada is proud to offer one of the highest quality, broadest and most flexible loadcentre ...
White non-metallic cable entry device with slotted cover for low-voltage wire. Installs with a 3.5" ...
Universal folding cutter for everyday use. Durable and robust: Top quality, extremely sharp blade – ...
Hazlux H3 LED is a luminaire designed to maximize heat dissipation and energy efficiency.


 

Shat-R-Shield Ironclad VR ProShat-R-Shield's Correctional Cell Fixture is designed to withstand extreme abuse by using materials that are virtually indestructible. Built with 1/2" thick 304 Stainless Steel and a cast .400" thick diffused lens, this light fixture is built to withstand hard/repetitive impacts and its tight design offers no point of entry.

The Ironclad® Vandal-Resistant (VR Pro) fixture uses an LED high efficiency light engine with a cool light that simulates daylight. The incorporated count light LED module can be turned on and off. Tested to Canadian and US standards by Underwriters' Laboratories, this fixture carries a cULus rating.

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M12™ Heated TOUGHSHELL™ Jacket KitOur heated TOUGHSHELL™ jacket is powered by our powerful M12™ REDLITHIUM™ batteries. Each heated jacket uses carbon fiber heating elements to create and distribute heat to your chest, back and front hand pockets. A one-touch LED controller heats up the battery heated jacket to three heat settings, creating a comfortable heat for any environment or weather.

This MILWAUKEE® heated jacket has a new Quick-Heat function that allows you to feel heat three times faster than our previous jackets and market competitors. 

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Peers & Profiles

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For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
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ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC). Their inaugural ...
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Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical ...
ELG Electric is an electrical contractor based out of Goderich, Ontario serving the area’s ...


Kenzie GillanBy Sarah Pickard

Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned to love the electrical trade in high school, and how that path has carried her forward to unexpected places and new heights—literally. Gillan is set to begin a Powerline Technician Apprenticeship with Hydro One, and as she explains below, she had some interesting experiences during two college co-op placements.

While her career has just begun, Gillian is already active in the broader industry as an advocate for women, working as an ambassador for KickAss Careers, Women of Powerline Technicians, and Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE).

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Rutul Bhavsar 1 400By Blake Marchand

Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently co-authored a whitepaper on Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation discussing the technologies utilized in the state-of-the-art zero-carbon/carbon-neutral facility. Rutul was the lead author on the project, supported by Dr. Mariano Arriaga, General Manager of Mohawk’s Energy and Power Innovation Centre (EPIC) and Dr. Tony Cupido Research Chair,

Sustainability at Mohawk College. Rutul’s interests lie in the more progressive areas of the industry, automation, control, and energy efficient technologies. It is no doubt a positive sign for the industry to have talented individuals such as Rutul who are passionate about contributing to a more sustainable future. 

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