Friday, November 4, 2011

Torque and Horsepower

What is torque?  Torque is a radial force that causes an object to rotate.  Torque is measured by multiplying Force and Radius.  Basically, if you connect a one foot long arm to a pivot point (shaft) and hang a ten (10) pound weight on it, you get 10 foot pounds of torque expressed on the pivot point or shaft.  Make sense?

Take the example above and say you want to express 30 ft. lbs. of torque on the shaft.  You can do this by one of three methods:

-         place 30 lbs of weight on the 1 foot long lever
-         leave the 10 lbs. of weight on but increase the length of the lever to 3 feet
-         any combination where the weight and the lever equal 30 pounds

Remember, Force x Radius = Torque

So what is Horsepower?  Horsepower can be defined in foot-pounds per second.  It is a power measurement of an amount of energy that can be expressed in many ways, but the primary way is in Watts.  One horsepower is 746.  Here is a simple formula that can be used to calculate horsepower when the torque requirement and the speed is known:

                               HP =    Torque x RPM                                   

A simple method of calculating the Torque of a specific motor when you know the horsepower and the speed is by doing the following:

                                  Torque =  Horsepower x 5250

Just a few simple formula’s that were taught to me many years ago and I never forgot them.  Believe it or not, once you know how to do this, you really do use it when working around equipment in our field.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Power Factor Capacitors

In today's economy, we all should be doing what we can to conserve and watch every dollar that goes out.  One simple way to make sure we are not paying money that we shouldn't is to make sure you are not being charged for a "Power Factor Adjustment" on your power bill. 

Whether you know it or not, you are contractually bound to be at .90 or better on you Power Factor.  What that basically means is that your electrical equipment needs to be running at 90% efficent or better or the power company is going to charge you a penalty for the difference of where you are and where you should be.

It used to be easy to just look at a facility and see what the load is on a typical day.  From there, we would size a capacitor bank or two in order to get the Power Factor above the .90 range.  In today's world we can't do that due to non-linear loads and other variables that may not exist well on the same system with the capacitors, which brings me to my next topic....

Over the years, many of you have purchased capacitors from us or others.  Changes in your facility since the installation of the capacitors is likely to have happened such as:

Adding a few Variable Frequency Drives, Solid State Starters or ?

Has this happened?  If so, your capacitors are probably no longer in service.  The fuses are blown or the capacitors are just shot.

You can easily check a capacitor with a ammeter on a 480 volt system by multiplying the kVAR by 1.2 and measuring the amps on the caps.  It should be whatever the number is from the above.  If not, they are out of service.  This is a "Power On" test and should be only done by someone trained to do this and they must be doing it in accordance within all the existing safety rules that may apply to this type of activity.

Really in today's environment, a power study of the facility is in order if you are need of Power Factor Correction.  If you have existing capacitors and they are not working, make sure you determine what caused them to fail prior to having them repaired and put back into service.  This is a must if changes have been made to you system.

If you need help with you power bill in determining whether you are paying for the adjustment or not, just send it to me and I will take a look at it for you.

Hope this helps,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Winterizing your pumping system

Now far be it from me to tell you how to winterize your complete system since every system is different and some need to be completely drained to prevent freezing.  Due to that, you’re on your own as far as the plumbing except one important item that seems to get overlooked all to often.... your pressure transducer.

For all of you that have a Variable Frequency Controller running your pumping system and using PID, your system has a pressure transducer that needs to be drained.  Some of these are easily done if the plumbing is done correctly with a drain valve and a shut-off valve isolating the transducer from the system.  Others of you may need to remove it and let it drain out.  If you don't, freezing can ruin the diaphragm inside it and you will need to replace it next season and this is costly.  My advice, get it done. 

I have a diagram of how I plumb this in conjunction with a pressure gauge.  If anyone needs this, drop me a note and I will get it to you.

Regarding your drive.......
If it or they are located outside, a descant bag or two is good to throw in the box to control moisture.  Cover the entire air inlet and outlet ports with rodent proof material so your drive doesn't become a winter play ground for them.  Shutting down the drive for the winter does no harm if you keep it as dry as possible.  The temperature really is not a factor in our area and should cause no concern. 

Lock up the box if there is a chance of vandalism.  Copper is worth a considerable amount of money and people are desperate.  I cannot believe how many jobsites are being preyed upon for the wire.  Seems crazy to me but it happens everyday.

Before the next irrigation season gets started, I will post some items to look for and do prior to starting you system back up…. Look for it and if you need or want that plumbing schematic, let me know.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pictures and updates

If you would like to see some pictures of items we have built lately or are just wondering what is going on, go to our Facebook page.  We have posted pictures there as it is easier to do it there and that seems to be where most check first.

I will continue to post articles on this blog as I like this format and Facebook seems a bit informal to me so it is kinda "just for fun".

To find us on Facebook, login to your account and search for ectsales and it should come up.  There is also a link on the home page of the website (I think).  I know there is a "like" button and I think it takes you there but I may be wrong.

We are gearing up for agricultural pump panel needs shortly after the first of the year.  We met with one of our major suppliers today (WEG) and hammered out our needs for the upcoming season.  Seem early to be thinking about it, not really due to leadtimes, target area focus and forcasts.  We start ordering what we think we will need soon to take care of the needs of next spring....that's what keeps us ahead of the game. 

Let me know if there is something you would like me to write about and I will gladly do it.  In the next week or so, I will be writing about winterizing your VFC's for off-season storage (or non-use).  Be looking for it.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Lightning season

We have been experiencing one weird summer.  The weather has been monsoon like all throughout July and August which has brought in storms that have been very electrically charged. 

Just last night and even the night before had us right in the crosshairs of two storms that were quite spectacular to see and hear.  But with these storms brings outage's, instability and problems to our electrical systems.  Just this morning, we are UPS Red-ing in a couple of large Variable Frequency Controllers for Kennecott and there are a couple of other customers that have called in with other equipment problems.

I really wish that when I tell people about the value of installing quality Transient Voltage Surge Protection (or SPD's), they would listen.  Most all of the problems that are caused by these types of events can be protected against with the use of a properly installed SPD or two. 

These devices are simple to install, require no maintenance, and are covered by a 30 year warranty.  I'm just saying......
Trouble is, very few are listening which by-the-way, keeps our service department busy.  If your system and electrical products are important to your business, you really owe it to yourself to check into some "cheap" protection.
It really is very inexpensive compared to what may happen with these types of events happen.


Thursday, July 28, 2011


In today's world of social media, I have been led to believe that we also needed a Facebook page.  So to stop the onslot of nagging about it, E.C.T. Sales and Service has a Facebook page. 

You are invited to check it out and if you visit it, please "Like" it because for some reason it is important to do so.  Just call me what you like but it is getting hard to keep up with all the things I am suppost to do to keep up with everyone else or whatever the case may be for these things. 

My goal is to keep all our customers informed and have data and material for them at their finger tips at all times and I hope we are doing that much.  If there is something you need in the way of informational documentation, drawings, application data or something else, just let me know and I will do what I can to get it to you.

We are continually adding information to the website under the appropriate vendor as I come up with it.  Facebook may be okay for the social aspect but it will not (at this time) take the place of the website for this kind of information.

Baah humbug....


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More temperature related issues

I can’t stress enough the need for good ventilation and cooling for your electrical equipment, especially this time of the year. In the past few weeks, we have been out on numerous service calls all heat related.

From blown capacitors to overheated input wires we have seen a bunch of heat related issues. This time of year, most of the VFD’s in the field are running pumps and doing it at full bore to try and keep up with the demand. The drives can do it provided they are clean and proper cooling is provided for the environment they are in.

The other problem we see this time of year is input problems due to power surges. These are usually the result of nearby lightning strikes. In some areas, there are stresses put on the utility lines caused by addition loading as a result of the temperature. This can cause blackouts, which causes spikes and surges on the electrical system that can cause input problems.

I know this time of year is a busy one for most but that is no excuse for not making sure that your equipment is clean and cool. Thousands of dollars have been spent with us in the past few weeks and we are not complaining, just sad to see it happen when it could have been avoided within a few minutes with a shop vacuum and a bit of preventative maintenance.


Friday, July 15, 2011

One more of the Nine used up

After a few procedures over the past two months, I went to the doctor yesterday and he asked me "how many times in your life have you dodged a bullet like that one"?  He then proceded to tell me just how lucky I am that they were able to remove the cancer as easily as they did. 

One more time folks, don't put off what needs to be done.  In my case, it could have cost me my life.

On another note:

Madhu was gone to India for the past few weeks and I have been holding down the fort for service.  Almost every service issue I was involved with was related to either heat or a housekeeping problem.  Remember, keep them clean and keep them cool and they will run forever!  Just a friendly reminder.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Unusual VFD problem

So here is one that doesn't happen very often.  Back in March, we had a customer that lost a 900 horsepower drive that was over 10 years old.  Due to the age of the drive, the customer decided that they wanted to strip out the guts of the old unit and retrofit the cabinet with a new 2 module unit. 

Zach and Brandan when to the site and did this work in a couple of days.  Following them getting done, Madhu went up and did a start-up on the unit.  All seemed to be well and we all felt pretty good about the work that was accomplished in the short amount of time.

About 4 to 5 weeks after the installation, the customer had a power bump and the drive would not start back up.  They were on the phone with Madhu describing the problems when Madhu just told them to reset the unit and try it started and we forgot the entire episode.

Last week, the drive was shut down due to a problem with a stack fan.  When the customer went to start the drive back up it started again to fault out on M2 overcurrent. 

They had me on the phone for the better part of the day and I had them run various tests on the drive.  The drive passed every test we put it through but still continued to fault out on the M2 OC fault.  After consulting with the factory and doing my own thinking about this, we all reach the conclusion that the motor must have a problem. 

We shipped up the spare we had in our warehouse.  They installed it but this did not fix the problem.  The motor that was removed was not meggering correctly so the focus then turn to the motor leads.  The customer went through the process of changing out the leads but this did not clear the problem either.

Thursday night, 10:20 pm:  The customer calls me and wants me at the site to get the beast to run.  I left early the next morning and during the course of traveling the 500+ miles to the site, I had parts shipped in to the local airport.  After arriving at the site, we did several tests on the unit.  In checking the unit I noticed that the dip switches on both paralleling boards we set the same (to module 2).  This is not correct as the dip switches are what set the address for each module.  As soon as I changed the settings the fault moved to module one.

After going to the local airport and getting the parts, I went back to the site and started the process of elimination to see what could be wrong.  After a quick check of several items and eliminating them as the problem, I decided to change something that I have only seen go bad 2 other time in the past 28 years, the Hall CT's.  That did the trick. 

I still don't understand what happened or whether they were bad from the beginning but that did it.  Odd thing about this, I did numerous voltage checks to make sure the Hall CT's were operating correctly and it seemed that they were.  Obviously they were not.


Friday, June 17, 2011

DNH Starter

In order to button up on the topic that has been previously addessed on this solid state starter, we did a start-up on the Well on Tuesday and all went as planned.  I can only attribute the heat on the one phase to a motor failure which I did find out had happened prior to us finding out about what was going on during the previous episode when we were not present.

The best thing to do to check these starters for proper operation when a phase loss happens, is to do the following:

Turn down P18 (CL2) all the way CCW- Master BD.
Turn down P1 (CL1) all the way CCW- Master BD.

Power up the unit and measure the output.  You should have about 212 volts phase-to-phase which is leakage voltage and is a correct reading.

Give the unit a start command and quickly measure phase current on each phase.  These should be somewhat balanced.  If not, you have a firing problem and that will need some further investigation but at least will give you direction. 

Make sure that you have checked the motor (or are using a test motor) and that it is not the problem prior to doing the above test.

Make sure that in while performing the above tasks, you are in proper PPE for the voltage and task at hand and that you are someone that is authorized by the governing body or company to do this work.

Hope this helps,


Happy to have a soapbox sometimes

After listening to all the rhetoric that spews out in the arena of politics over the past several years, and now listening to what is going on in the past few years I am almost convinced of one thing:

The Tea Party movement is a bad thing for the GOP.

Maybe some or even most see this group as a good thing but I have a differing viewpoint.

So the champions of the Tea Party seem to be about beating the Democrat's but if you look and listen closely, they are (in large part) about getting rid of all the “dead wood” in Washington representing our (Republican) party.  That’s great, unless you look at it from the Democratic view.  They see us, one-by-one picking off our most senior members that are in powerful places or soon destine to be and replacing them with young, energetic loud-mouths that have zero seniority or experience in Washington.   [Most if not all of these newly elected guys and gals will spend the majority of their first term just getting the lay of the land before doing anything of importance, and believe me when I tell you that everything revolves around seniority and power with these folks.  Newbee's get nowhere in that environment.  Don’t believe me, do your homework or just watch informational television like C-SPAN for a while and you will get the picture.]  Now in doing this, those positions of power that were destine for one of the older members of either the house or senate will now go to the next person in line which in most cases will be a Democrat.

The Democratic Party is looking at this Tea Party thing as a blessing for them since their folks will most certainly own all the senior positions in both the house and in the senate and will in-fact control most if not all of the over-sight committees as well.  We (the GOP) won’t be getting anything done with these folks in charge of everything, will we?

How in the world is this doing us (the members of the GOP) any favors?  Long term, if we could be like the people that came before us and really be able to see the “long term” of anything, it may do some good.  But then we would just end up in the same place we are today since as soon as someone starts doing well (in our eyes), we never vote them out and they become the Bob Bennett’s and Orrin Hatches of today.

Can we really believe our Jason Chaffettz and Mike Lee’s (darlings of the Tea Party movement) can get through to the old dogs back in Washington and be heard even in their own party?  Ever heard of “if wishes were fishes…..”

This Tea Party stuff is tearing at us, not helping and healing.  I for one wish it would go away and take Sarah Palin with it.  So what she is easy on the eyes for most.  Bigger and better things to think about or do so get over it and move on and anybody that looks like Tina Fey needs help, seriously. 

Talk about chuming the waters.......


Monday, June 13, 2011

DNH Starter

Just to give you an update, we found that the firing board was not operating correctly so we changed it out.  We also replaced the wire that runs from the SCR firing board to the snubber circuit as this is the one that was discolored and burned from what seemed to be an overheating problem as well as the SCR's in that phase.  There had been some current problems as the SCR's showed signs of pitting on the surfaces and this also was apparent on the heatsinks.  We resurfaced the heatsinks and installed the new SCR's.

The contractor went to the jobsite and reported back the the contactor (bypass) looked fine and that the contacts are as new.  We are going to the site tomorrow to do a start-up on the unit.  I will report further about this.


Monday, June 6, 2011

DNH Soft-Starter Problem

We recently had an issue of a DNH Starter not turning the motor that was connected.  I went to the site and took along a 25 horsepower motor to connect to the starter to see what was happening.  When we gave the Starter a run command, the shaft of the motor viberated back and forth but did not spin.  I really didn't give it too much time to do anything since I could tell that things were not good.

We brought this unit to the shop and in looking it over, we found that a wire from the firing board that goes to the snubber for that phase was burned.  In disassembling the unit, we also found that the heatsinks of that phase had been very hot.  Hot enough to burn the fish paper that is used as an insulator around the bottom of the heatsinks.  This would indicate that the units bypass contactor is not carrying the load on this phase but rather the current is traveling across the SCR's to the motor.  We have not at this time checked the contactor but will do so in the next few days as that part of the starter is still on site.

I will get back to this and give you the end result when we get some more information and draw our final conclusion regarding this matter.

I felt that this is worth writing about because in almost 30 years, we have never seen this before.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Putting it off

I am a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to certain things and this is one of them.  My doctor has been hounding me about getting a colonoscopy for about three years now and I keep saying that I would get it done.  Well, finally my wife got tired of me saying I would and made the appointment for me and here is what happen:

Four polyps found and removed.  One did not look normal and was isolated to be checked independently.  The lab diagnosed it to be cancer and the doctor called me within three days of the procedure and that includes a weekend.

We met with the doctor the very next day and I was scheduled for a CT scan the following day to see the extent of the cancer.  The scan showed that the cancer was localized to just that area.  Now the doctor had already scheduled another procedure at the time of my visit to remove the remainder of the cancer and also has schedule one of his partners to do a follow-up ultrasound to make sure the cancer will be all removed at the time of this next procedure.

I will undergo the first procedure the week after next and the other the following week.  Thankfully the cancer has not spread outside of the colon at this time and the removal of it should be a fairly simple procedure.  I am certainly happy at this point that my wife scheduled the test to be done because if left up to me, it would still be one of those things I would be putting off probably to the point of no return.

My advice to all, when they tell you to do this at 50, you better gets it done if you want to see 55.  I may not have if I had not gone in to do this a 8 days ago.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

VFC’s and motor noise

We recently provided some sizable VFC’s on a project replacing some old SCR (six-step) controllers that we had sold to the customer about 20 years ago. They are currently running a couple of the units and the customer has commented about the noise coming from the motors.

The old six step drives, being a variable bus-SCR based controller, induces no real audible noise on the motor. The controllers of today, being a fixed-bus type controller, induce noise generated by the carrier frequency used for the rate of firing of the IGBT’s. This noise is a ring that is very pronounced especially when the carrier is set to low frequencies and is (in some applications) very annoying.

Most manufacturers of Variable Frequency Controllers today have an adjustable carrier that can be programmed to different frequencies. These are generally from 2 kHz up to 16 kHz. Usually when you program the carrier of a controller above 10 kHz, the audible noise seems to disappear. Honestly, it does not go away but rather is moved now into a range that is undetectable by us lowly humans.

One big problem-

When you program a controller’s carrier frequency above 4 kHz, you now need to start de-rating the unit. Why do I say, “start to de-rate”. Mainly because there is a point to where the controller gets into trouble at any given carrier setting above 4 kHz. Where that percent of speed/current de-rate crossover is depends on the setting and size of the unit. The higher the carrier setting, the larger the de-rate is. This also means that the unit will get into a critical current issue lower in its speed range and will reach maximum operating current at a very much-reduced frequency.

I cannot give you specific numbers on the de-rating. Each manufacturer has their own numbers on this and can usually be found in their literature if one looks hard enough. Know this, some manufacturers are worse than others because their VFC’s are produced on the ragged edge of the nameplate rating to begin with so shop carefully if you are looking for a controller that will have the capabilities of higher carrier operation.

I thought I had better add one more statement to this.  Even though there is noise coming from the motor, this noise being generated by the lower carrier is not detrimental to the motor.  At least it is not near as harmful as the higher carrier settings can be.  Higher carrier frequencies generate not only spikes to the motor, but the higher "ring" caused by the speed of the carrier causes the motor to electrically viberate and will cause premature failure of the insulation and will eventually lead to failure.  The higher the carrier, the worse it is on the motor, but if that makes us feel better in the long what makes you feel good.  Motors are cheap to replace, right?

Just though you may want to know,


Friday, May 13, 2011

Our shop is full

It is a good thing to have backlog in the shop. We are currently on schedule for most all projects but the shop is very busy. We are working on several different projects for multiple customers and Zach and Brandan have their hands full.

We just finished a couple of starter panels for a customer near the western state line.

Below are a couple of photos of them.


These are actually some of our Pumpro products but as you can see, in our haste we put the Startpro labels on them. They were corrected prior to being shipped out to the customer. These are available in many configurations and in a wide range of horsepower. Please call us for one (or more) to suit your application needs.

Our salesperson from the Phoenix area, Jim Esneault has been in town for the past few days helping spread the word about our Swivelpole line of products. If you don’t know what these are, contact us and we will be happy to send you some literature on this line or you can just see it on the website. It’s a great product and we are starting to see some orders for them.

In a few weeks it is time for the Elko Mining Expo.  This is always a great time in the area of the Humboldt River and I hear the Halibut is fantastic (just a joke).  For some of you, we’ll see you there.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Navy Seals Rock

Just a quick note about some of the most mean, strong, stealth, loyal, trustworthy, talented, giving and honorable men in our armed forces…..the Navy Seals,

 Way to go guys!   YOU ALL ROCK!  Not just now but all the time for doing things to keep us safe that I really don't care to know about other than you are doing them for our protection and way of life.
Thank you is too little.  Daily acknowledgements of your selfless deeds are never enough.

Thank you.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Made in the USA, Really?

Interesting how a simple statement like “Made in the USA” is being used today.  Take for instance Toyota.  They have plants in Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia and Indiana.  While Toyota does manufacture many parts here in the US for their cars and trucks and also rely on many US companies to manufacture other specific parts for them, they still rely on parts shipped in from Japan to make a complete product.   

The same goes in our industry.  I watched a video on Youtube the other day about Yaskawa Variable Frequency Drives.  The person introduced the product and made it a point to state that the drive was being manufactured in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.  Really?  Assembled, that much I can believe but manufactured?  I really don’t think so.     

Truth of the matter is that I don’t know of one US manufacturer that is making IGBT’s that are rated for output use on a Variable Frequency Controller, not one.  Oh sure, there are companies like Harris Semiconductors and International Rectifier making IGBT’s and doing it very well.  But they are not producing IGBT’s that have the current ratings nor are they designed for the rigorous duty of the output of a drive.  Therefore, all of your drive manufacturers (here at home or abroad) are using output IGBT’s mostly manufactured in Japan or China somewhere else in that approximate region.

So, what I am saying is that if it is important to you that your product be made in the USA and that you understand that a few parts are going to be made elsewhere, you only have a few choices.  Key point, none of which have a foreign sounding name.

I just get tired of hearing some things and feel the need to say something.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Late March News

We spent a few days last week in Las Vegas during the Con-Ag show.  We had some meetings to attend and visited with a few customers while there.  I'm beginning to believe that the old Dodge can make it from the Salt Lake valley to most points South-Southwest on I-15 without much input from me.  That was our third trip down in that area this year but you must do what you must to keep things going, right?

While in Vegas I noticed something that should be pointed out, the worst drivers ever!  No less than five times did I have someone change lanes right in front of me and then hit their brakes.  It sure seems a lot of folk are looking for insurance money from whiplash by being rear-ended.  Just my observation so if you are traveling to that area you have been properly warned. 

TKI Representitives is now rep'ing our starter line.  This is mainly product for the agriculture marketplace but these starters can be used on a host of applications.  Also in the line-up is our Constant Pressure VFC package, once again mostly for the agricultural market.  They (TKI) will be doing this for us in nine states and hopefully this product will do well for both us and them.

Zach and Brandan just returned from being in Montana for the past few days building a 900 horsepower drive on-site at one of our customers locations.  We just received news that Madhu was on-site and the drive is currently running.  This was quite a task for all involved and with everyones hard work, it came together and went well.  When faced with a challenge, it is impressive to me how everyone always steps up their game to do whatever it takes to make things happen.  Many thanks to all that were involved in this endevor!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Just a quick note here in early March.  The Rural Water show was a great time.  It is always good to see many people that you don't normally get to see very often.  Mostly it was the same vendors that have been there over the past few years that we have been attending.

The Rural Water Association puts on a great show and I hear from customers that I talked to that the conferance was great as well.  We had the Swivel Pole demo at the show and there seemed to be some good interest in that product.  We also had the Sales manager for Swivel Pole in the booth with us for one of the days.

While in St. George, we dropped of the 1952, 45 inch Solo Harley at the local Iggy's.  It is resting on the bar in all it's glory.  If you get a chance, stop in and see it.  Tell Jared that you are a friend of mine and they will probably charge you double on your bill!  No, these guys are great and the food is very good.  It is well worth the visit and I bet you will be back.   

We have meetings later this month that will offically kick off our new product line in Las Vegas.  We have however started to sell some product and are in the process of building up some units that will be shipping next week to Kansas.  Very exciting to say the least.  Hopefully we will have these products available for you to see on the website soon.  I am working on this but I don't want to try this myself.  Last time I tried to change something on the website left a scare that we are still trying to fix!

Hopefully spring is here,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Special VFC’s for Constant Pressure Systems

For sometime now, we have been involved with one of our suppliers selling a Variable Frequency Controller with several special features for running a "Stand-Alone" system to ran a pump for constant pressure.
This VFC has built-in PID for pressure regulation and also has a built-in “Sleep Mode”.  What Sleep Mode does is when the system requirements are met and there is no need to pump water, the VFC simply shuts down and waits for the system to call for pressure again.  The drive then wakes up and starts delivering water into the system again.  This is not necessarily unique.  A few other drive manufacturers offer this as well, but they do not have the flexibility that we have for setting on and off pressures and an unsurpassed PID function.  We also have special ramp capabilities that we can program in for special pump considerations.

Another thing we do is that we can drive the control signal with the built-in 24 VDC power supply on board the drive.  This makes it so you only need to add a 2-wire pressure transducer to the drive and you have all you need to make the system work.

We have done this for many customers.  Farmers particularly like this system, as no matter how many sections of either hand-line or wheel-line they connect up to the water source, the drive will maintain constant pressure through the system for even water distribution up to the systems maximum rating.  And do to the sleep mode function, there is no need to run to the well and shut it off.  The VFC is always ready in sleep mode waiting for a call for water.  Just open a valve located on the main system line and the VFC comes to life and produces water from the source.

We have a well at our house, which is our only source of water.  We have been running a drive on it for the past 8 years and it is wonderful.  We used to set out a sprinkler to water the lawn and it would go up and down with the pressure, as the pump would turn on and off to meet the demand.  Now, it is just like being hooked up to the city water only better because I’m in control.

In our area, to develop property for almost any use you need to secure the water rights that come along with the property for secondary irrigation.  We have installed many units just for this need with great success.  Many a subdivision, apartment complex and townhouse village is being irrigated by one or more of our drives.

The single phase input units are used quite extensively in these applications, as most areas do not have three-phase power available.  Most of these units we build-up in a NEMA 3R Enclosure with a fused disconnect, input line reactor and a DV/DT filter so as not to disturb the lines in the area do to harmonic issues caused by the drive.  This is especially needed in a residential application and works very well.

Some of our customers that have used this are mostly pump installers such as Widdison Turbine Service, Zimmerman Well Service, Nickerson Pump Company and many others.  If you have a need for something like this or know someone who may benefit from this type of system, give us a call.

Scott Gordon

Monday, February 21, 2011

Late February Early March News

In one week it will be the first week in March.  This brings the thoughts of spring, warmer weather and water.  What?  Water?  Yes!  The first week in March is the Rural Water Association of Utah's annual meeting in St. George at the Dixie Center for training, meetings and the yearly show for all us vendors.

The show is not closed to the public, but is expensive to gain access to if you are not part of the RWAU.  This is mainly for all the members to come to and attend courses on various subjects relating to water and the associated issues in pumping, moving, handling and testing and treating it properly and safely.

During two days of the week, vendors will have booths setup in the Dixie Centers expo area for members to walk-thru at their leisure when they are not in class or attending a discussion.  That's where we come in.  We will have a booth (as we have had in the past) in the expo center showing various products we have to offer these folks.  This is always a great show for us or at least for me because I get to see a lot of people that I know and have done projects for over the years.  It just turns into a great time to catch up with folks and learn what's going on with them.

Also as I told you previously, I had some shoulder surgery a few weeks back but as you may be able to tell, I am getting along fine at this juncture.  Currently,  I am typing this with both hands and am able to use the arm to some degree but the doctor will not let me lift anything for a minimum of eight weeks.  By the way, me typing with both hands is just double the chance of making a mistake for those of you that follow along regularly.

The "Salt Project" is at a stand still as we have been busy building a couple of big projects in the shop.  One just picked up today is going to Roosevelt to a Sewer Lift Station, and the other is for another Lift Station here in the valley for Granger-Hunter Improvement District.  We have also built several small items in-between all of this so we have been rather busy and lost a bit of focus on the bike at the moment.

Next month brings not only the RWAU show but we will be traveling to Las Vegas for meetings on our new product line we are introducing.  These items are mostly pump related and are controllers for pumps which will be sold exclusively through outside representation.  That's the reason for the meeting in Vegas, it is with the Rep firm.  This is exciting for us as some serious interest has been shown in these products and we are a bit anxious to get this ball rolling!

Our hope is that all is going well with all of you and that this year is a good one for all of us.  Here comes the Water and Aggregate season and we are all hoping for a better year than last.

I still haven't heard from anyone about the Jazz issue.  Nobody have an opinion but me?  I'm waiting.....

Check out our website in the coming weeks as we will be adding the new products to it as soon as possible.  We are also putting together a brochure on these products and hope to have this ready in the next several weeks for distribution.  Until then, if you would like more information you know where to get in-touch with me.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

February News

Well, I haven't posted much lately due to having shoulder surgery.  So far, so good with that and I am able to be sling free right now but the darn thing is not working very well and it will take some time I am told.

As some of you know, we have season tickets for the Utah Jazz games.  Today coach Jerry Sloan and his assistant coach, Phil Johnson, both stepped down following the loss to the Bulls last night.  It is being reported that Deron Williams got into it with coach Sloan at halftime of last nights game.  No one told me that D-will was running the Jazz organization but I guess he thinks he does!  What a brave one, to get into it and want to go blows with a 68-year old who just happens to be YOUR BOSS Stupid!  

In my humble opinion, get rid of him!  I know that quite a number of you like having the tickets to a game now and then but I feel it's time to stop supporting these over-paid babies and contributing to their extravegant lifestyles all the while inflating their ego's!  No?  Am I wrong?

Let me know what you think, please.  I may change my mind if I hear from you or if the Jazz get rid of the cancer in a timely manner.  But for now, I know what I will probably will do.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ground Fault Problem?

So here’s one that I have been working on for the past few weeks.  I was called out to a booster station where the main breaker in the outdoor switchboard keeps tripping on Ground Fault when the customer tries to start one of the pumps.  When this happens, the station back-up generator comes on and the pump then tries again to start.  The pumps successfully start every time on generator power.

I connected my Dranetz to the MCC and monitored the power hoping to catch one of the instances in which this is happening and we did.  Funny thing, in going through the report I did not see anything during the start
cycle (on utility power) that would lead me to believe there was a ground fault issue.  I did however see a huge ground current event when the power is transferred to the generator, more on that later.

Due to the fact that I am not seeing anything unusual on the input of the Motor Control Center (which also has a Solid State Breaker with GF), I can only assume that the issue is happening somewhere between the utility transformer to the outdoor switchboard, or to the transfer switch that is also connected to the MCC and  the generator.  We decided to go to the site and pull some covers to try to get some answers.  Here is what we found.

The MCC main breaker is equipped with GF in the trip unit.  The ground is picked up via a current transformer located on the neutral.  This is not connected as the contractor did not pull a neutral into the building.  There is
a ground but no neutral.  The ground is connect back through the transfer switch and heads out of the building to the main switchboard.  We go out and pull these cover and there we find that the Main Breaker here (which
happens to be the one tripping on GF) is also a breaker that picks up GF via a current transformer located on the neutral bus which is connect to the ground bus by a neutral-to-ground jumper which is installed.  The problem
here is that the grounds are all tied to the ground side but yet again, there is nothing connected on the neutral side thus making it impossible for current to flow across the bus portion that contains the CT.

The only thing we can point to at this time is that the trip unit in the main breaker located in the Switchboard must have a problem. 

More on this to follow…..