Rightsizing Electrical Power Systems

In the energy domain there is an oversupply of "high level" expertise and a shortage of expertise to make high level tangible, safe and sustainable -- except the University of Michigan workgroup (begun in 1993) that took a hammer and tong to electrical design standards that prohibited engineers from beating out the waste in building premises wiring systems.

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Rightsizing Electrical Power Systems

August 25, 2022
mike@standardsmichigan.com

University of Michigan

 

Rightsizing Commercial Electrical Power Systems: Review of a New Exception in NEC Section 220.12

Michael A. AnthonyJames R. Harvey

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Thomas L. Harman

University of Houston, Clear Lake, Texas

For decades, application of National Electrical Code (NEC) rules for sizing services, feeders and branch circuits has resulted in unused capacity in almost all occupancy classes. US Department of Energy data compiled in 1999 indicates average load on building transformers between 10 and 25 percent. More recent data gathered by the educational facilities industry has verified this claim. Recognizing that aggressive energy codes are driving energy consumption lower, and that larger than necessary transformers create larger than necessary flash hazard, the 2014 NEC will provide an exception in Section 220.12 that will permit designers to reduce transformer kVA ratings and all related components of the power delivery system. This is a conservative, incremental step in the direction of reduced load density that is limited to lighting systems. More study of feeder and branch circuit loading is necessary to inform discussion about circuit design methods in future revisions of the NEC.

CLICK HERE for complete paper

University of Houston

 

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