2020 Annual Conference of Florida Engineering Society

By James Khalil, P.E. | Sep 10, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Join Us!  PowerCalc presents Commit to Green: The Conductor is the Link to Save at Least 7% of Electrical Energy Use.

When: Tuesday,  September 8, 2020 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm.

Course Description: "The idea is novel... no Code I am aware of addresses optimization of electric delivery and distribution systems...before a building is complete." Grant Reviewer, US DOE. Whether the power grid or a building's power distribution system, the conductors/wires that transmit electricity are the single largest link between the generation and end-use consumption of electricity. We will examine the math in engineering equations and several buildings.

Speakers: Mr. James Khalil, PE and Ms. June Adams, JD

Biography: June Adams, JD: Passionate leader of technology startup. Strategic thinker with over 20 years of experience as an attorney and executive in major corporations. Co-founder of a company whose vision is excellence in engineering with the goal to design power distribution systems to function optimally in buildings, college campuses and industrial facilities.

James Khalil, P.E. is President and Inventor of PowerCalc. He has 30+ years of experience at Florida International Consulting Engineers, his MEP firm in Delray Beach, FL, and Carter Burgess (now Jacobs) in Fort Worth, TX; Mason & Hanger in Lexington, KY; and Gee & Jenson (now CH2M) in West Palm Beach, FL. He received his B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas. His experience includes projects for Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

You can register for this event by clicking on the hyperlink below:

Event Registration: Commit to Green: The Conductor is the Link to Save at least 7% of Electrical Energy Use

Pricing:

 FES/ACEC-FL Member Price

Non-Member Price

$35 each or $25 each as a package ($200 total)

$70 each or $60 each as a package ($480 total)

 

*You must be logged in to your member profile to receive the member price

And remember, we have a free live / real time demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday, Sept. 11th at 12 pm EST And here is a video of a recent demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDQgCOu2_LA Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

 

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Circuit-by-Circuit, Building-by-Building, City-by-City

By James Khalil, P.E. | Aug 20, 2020 11:00:00 AM

 

PowerCalc is an exhibitor in the Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo  on August 21 and 22nd in Los Angeles as a  participant in the 2020 Net Zero Accelerator of the US Green Building Council's LA 

Since its inception in 2001, MGBCE has become the longest-running and largest gathering of leading sustainability and green building advocates within both the public and private sectors of Southern California.  Over 1,000 attendees are expected on August 21st and 22nd in a virtual setting from local government agencies, the building industry, and the public, all gathering to learn about green building principles, practices, and products.

The focus is best in class content featuring live streaming, interactive exhibitor, and community partner booths, virtual tours, digital networking, recorded content, and much more.

PowerCalc's introductory video is attached.  And, here is the text of our statement:

After 100 years, it is time to change from the waste of Thomas Edison’s day to the efficient use of electricity, copper, and space.

So, out with the old and in the new and that’s PowerCalc. It is patented software that automates the design of the electrical distribution system inside the facility for extreme savings before a building is even built or renovated. All in compliance with the National Electrical Code for the Building, Construction and Facility Management Industries.

But let’s start at the beginning. Electricity powers virtually everything in our world. It is delivered through 2 systems: the power grid outside the building and then inside from the power grid’s connection to the circuit (the light switch or outlet).

Designing the building’s system is complex and requires about 2000 calculations for a 10,000 SF office building. Also, current design practices need to change to save energy. For instance, data centers are gluttons using 3% of global electricity.

The solution is PowerCalcPowerCalc designs from the bottom up -- that’s from the circuit to the connection to the power grid for design based on the actual electrical demand load. PowerCalc is exactingly accurate because its calculations are based on real numbers.

PowerCalc is also easy, fast, and very green. Easy with just 3 inputs per circuit saving at least 40% in design time, and also saving at least 7% in energy use.

In contrast, other electrical softwares design from the top-down with results based on estimates such as the size of the panel frame, feeder sizes, and on and on.

To compare these two approaches, PowerCalc did a peer review of a generator design at a country club. Instead of (10) 112 kVA transformers, PowerCalc reduced these sizes for over $2 million in savings in half the square footage of space.

PowerCalc focuses on the circuit as it is the delivery point for the distribution of electricity by the conductor. The conductor is the single largest link between where electricity is generated (whether at a power plant, solar panel or wind turbine) and where it is delivered and used (again, that light switch or outlet).

For the first time, calculating the exacting detail of conductor sizes is easily possible. Sizing conductors optimizes the delivery of electricity circuit-by-circuit reducing energy losses.

This results because electricity is not hot but becomes hot when electrons are squeezed through a conductor / wire without a clear path. A larger conductor allows electrons to travel without bumps reducing friction and energy loss.

Remarkably, by increasing the conductor size the electrical load on that conductor can be doubled and also reduce the number of circuits required to save copper.

In summary, PowerCalc results in extreme savings in both the use of electrical energy and equipment as well as SF of space.

PowerCalc calculates both energy savings and return-on investment at the preconstruction / design stage of a project.

PowerCalc was Product of the Year for Consulting Specifying Engineer, in 2016 and 2019.

  

And remember, we have a free live / real time demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday, Sept. 11th at 12 pm EST And here is a video of a recent demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDQgCOu2_LA Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

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NetZero Accelerates the Way to Green

By James Khalil, P.E. | Aug 6, 2020 11:00:00 AM

LOS ANGELES (July 16, 2020) The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA) is excited to announce the second cohort of its Net Zero Accelerator (NZA), a major chapter initiative that identifies viable net zero building solutions, positions them for success, and accelerates their market entry throughout the greater Los Angeles region. The 17 member companies have been selected for their strong potential to be game changers in building technologies and materials as well as jobs creation, and with solutions ranging from reducing carbon across emissions-intensive industries to saving buildings from wildfires to providing access to clean power anytime and anywhere.

The first accelerator of its kind to help achieve net zero goals, the USGBC-LA’s cohort addresses:

(Full list and descriptions attached at end, or click here.)

The companies will be on display and able to interact with attendees at USGBC-LA’s virtual Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo (MGBCE), Aug. 21-22. To attend, please click here.

The companies will be on display and able to interact with attendees at USGBC-LA’s virtual Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo (MGBCE), Aug. 21-22. To attend, please click here.
 
“This is an exceptionally compelling group of companies commercializing and scaling diverse solutions that address our shared goals. We're excited to help them overcome market-entry barriers often encountered by new technologies. A big part of achieving this is in how we pair them with green building experts and significant pilot sites throughout our region to increase their momentum and quickly see results, optimally before the new year,” states Colin Mangham, newly appointed Director of the Accelerator.

Mangham has guided the success of dozens of global brands as well as hundreds of entrepreneurs, and has headed marketing for seven early-stage companies, several times as Chief Marketing Officer. He consults internationally on brand positioning and go-to-market for startups and growth-stage ventures, as well as speaks and lectures on social entrepreneurship and bioinspired innovation. He was recently featured on CNN as the Founder of Biomimicry LA, and served as the CMO of Biomimicry 3.8 and the Biomimicry Institute, for which he has helped grow the Global Design Challenge.

The 17 companies were selected from 161 applicants (double that of 2019), reflecting the high quality of submissions, the significant interest in piloting a technology in one of the most progressive net zero regions in the world, and the breadth of partners engaged in the Accelerator. The cohort members hail from the Los Angeles/Orange County regions and Northern California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, and Wyoming.

The 2019 cohort's 13 technologies are currently making their way into the marketplace with 30 pilot projects being tracked by USGBC-LA, including Keewi at Kilroy Realty Corp., and Blue Box at CA State University at Dominguez Hills.
 
Stated Jose Urizar, founder of 2019 cohort member DTE Materials, “The NZA was a great opportunity to be matched with industry and product specific mentors that are keen to the nuances that startups in the built environment experience. The USGBC-LA ecosystem and network were very helpful and welcoming to our team, and we recommend this opportunity to building technology and materials startups in the Southern California region.”

The following expert building owners/operators, industry experts, investors, utilities, and large corporates have committed their engagement to help get the 2020 pilot-ready technologies into buildings: All About Waste, Blue Bear Capital, BuroHappold Engineering, CA State University at Dominguez Hills, the City of Los Angeles, Community Corporation of Santa Monica, Fifth Wall Ventures, Frederick Fisher and Partners, Gensler, HDR, Hudson Pacific Properties, i(x) investments, Integral Group, Kilroy Realty Corporation, the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, NRDC, Passive House, Rising Realty, Skanska, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, UCLA, The Westin Bonaventure, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, and Vanir Construction Management, Inc.

The Net Zero Accelerator was conceived by USGBC-LA Executive Director, Ben Stapleton, with a focus on addressing market barriers for increasing the sustainability of buildings throughout the region. He believes the Accelerator is a key component to building a regional innovation hub and sourcing pilot-ready solutions that help the region get to zero carbon, zero energy, zero water, and zero waste, emphasizing promotion and placement of pilots with building partners at the end of the program.

“We're incredibly excited to build upon the success of the 2019 program, expand our innovation ecosystem in the real estate community here in LA, and ultimately help get technology to market that can have positive impacts on the environment around us,” states Stapleton. “Operators of building types of all kinds across the City have raised their hands to provide pilot sites and their expertise to help us get to net zero, with increased focus on resilience, clean construction, and occupant health. Our goal is to work with our advisors to fine tune the technical and business models of these technologies, helping to deliver solutions today in a way that they can scale at an accelerated rate going forward.”

With no equity participation required, the six (6)-month Accelerator runs through December 31st and includes:
High-impact acceleration services with industry experts, focused on results.
Sustained, professional marketing and storytelling through a leading and respected organization to amplify awareness of cohort companies and technologies.
High potential for pilots with partner building sites, with leads and business development opportunities from committed owner-operators.
Peer-to-peer learning, networking, and talent sourcing opportunities.

For more information on the Net Zero Accelerator, contact Colin Mangham at accelerator@usgbc-la.org. For information on USGBC-LA, please contact Ben Stapleton at ben@usgbc-la.org.
 
------
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County's built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. (www.usgbc-la.org)For more information on the Net Zero Accelerator, contact Colin Mangham at accelerator@usgbc-la.org. For information on USGBC-LA, please contact Ben Stapleton.

You can see our most recent demonstration on video: PowerCalc Demo: July 10,2020  And remember, we have a free live / real time demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday, August 7th at 12 pm EST  Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

Read More >

Now Available! Video of PowerCalc Demo

By James Khalil, P.E. | Jul 23, 2020 11:00:00 AM

In response to your requests, here is a link to the video of last Friday's demonstration of PowerCalc. There was a good turnout with lots of great questions.  For those of you who were unable to attend, here is the link:PowerCalc Demo: July 10,2020

Just so you know, we are available for individual or group demonstrations in real time whenever convenient for you. Just let us know and we'll make it happen.

Also, upon request, we are available to demonstrate how to use PowerCalc for better design build estimates, to save energy, and more (like how our cloud system works for an enterprise). These applications were not demonstrated last week so are not included in the video shared today.

A Few Announcements:

  • The US Green Building Council of Los Angeles has just named PowerCalc one of 17 companies participating in their NetZero Accelerator. We were selected out of 164 applications from around the world. More on the NetZero Accelerator in future newsletters. We look forward to sharing all that happens.
  • Join us at the Florida Engineering Society's Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 8th at 2 pm. Our topic: Commit to Green: the Conductor is the Link to Save at Least 7% in Electrical Energy Use. We will be expanding our discussion from the limited subject of the conductor to also include the electron's  journey through the conductor. Like PowerCalc, the new field of spintronics in the electronics world, focuses on limiting energy lost due to the generation of heat when electrons are distributed through a wire.
  • Just to continue PowerCalc's hectic pace, within the next 4 weeks we launch our industrial package: the first software to automatically design Automatic Transfer Switches, Motor Control Centers, Double Ended Switchgear, Unit Substations, and more. All will be indicated in PowerCalc's automatic and simultaneously generated 1 Line Diagram.

The industrial package joins our long list of "firsts": 

     (1) first electrical design software in the cloud (Product of the Year 2016, Consulting Specifying                  Engineer) (one and only) ;
     (2) first to design from the circuit out to the service entrance (bottom-up) for calculations based on        the actual demand and connected loads / never on  estimates (exactingly accurate);
     (3) first to have just 3 inputs per circuit for over 300 NEC compliant outputs (load kVA, # of poles,          and load type) (incredibly easy);
     (4) first to have automatic and simultaneously generated 1 Line Diagram (Product of the Year                   2019,   Consulting Specifying Engineer) (technology magic);
     (5) first to save at least 40% in design time (very fast);
     (6) first to have an energy module to save at least 7% in energy use (optimizing electric                                 energy before a building is completed) (green innovation);
     (7) first to use the US Army Corps of Engineer's panel format (best practices observed);
     (8) first to mirror the NEC’s structure: branch circuits / conductors, equipment, and special                        occupancies (the automated NEC).

PowerCalc not only designs the power distribution system in a building, but can be used to maintain an inventory of electrical equipment and design for facility management.

  

And remember, we have a free live / real time demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday, August 7th at 12 pm EST  Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

Read More >

Digital Transformation: Out with the Old and In with the New

By James Khalil, P.E. | Jul 2, 2020 11:00:00 AM

After 100 years, there is a new digital circuit breaker on the market:  first-of-its-kind using software and semiconductors to manage and connect power sources digitally. For non electricals, a circuit breaker is omnipresent in all power distribution systems from houses to factories. The circuit breaker protects equipment powered by electricity from overheating resulting in fires. Instead, the circuit breaker "trips" to stop the flow of electricity when temperatures reach hazardous levels.

Atom Power just got its breaker UL approved...and it has lots of other electrical equipment too. https://www.atompower.com/  It was invented by an electrical professional who has installed electrical equipment for over 20 years. It is a leap into the modern age of increasingly complex systems and uses of electricity: data centers, renewables, charging stations, and more.

Like this new "soft" circuit breaker, PowerCalc brings new ideas, automation,and innovative software to the electrical design industry. Automation technologies have increased in demand across organizations reflecting the evolution from "nice-to-have" to "must -have" technology necessary for today's world of sophisticated software, increased customer demand, and digital business transformation.

In July, we launch our industrial  package: the first software to automatically design Automatic Transfer Switches, Motor Control Centers, Double Ended Switchgear, Unit Substations and more. 

It joins our long list of "firsts": 

(1) first electrical design software in the cloud (Product of the Year 2016, Consulting Specifying Engineer) (one and only) ;
(2) first to design from the circuit out to the service entrance (bottom-up) for calculations based on the actual demand and connected loads / never on estimates (exactingly accurate);
(3) first to have just 3 inputs per circuit for over 300 NEC compliant outputs (load kVA, # of poles, and load type) (incredibly easy);
(4) first to have automatic and simultaneously generated 1 Line Diagram (Product of the Year 2019, Consulting Specifying Engineer) (technology magic);
(5) first to save at least 40% in design time (very fast);
(6) first to have an energy module to save at least 7% in energy use (optimizing electric energy before a building is completed) (green innovation);
(7) first to use the US Army Corps of Engineer's panel format (best practices observed);
(8) first to mirror the NEC’s structure: branch circuits / conductors, equipment, and special occupancies (the automated NEC).

PowerCalc not only designs the power distribution system in a building, but can be used to maintain an inventory of electrical equipment and design for facility management.

  

And remember, we have a free demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE DEMO Friday, July 10th at 12 pm EST  Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

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Design Build: "How to" with PowerCalc

By James Khalil, P.E. | Jun 18, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Fig 1: Settings on Panel WIZARD 

In our last article Design Build: Better Estimates for Electrical Costs, we walked you through the basics of how to use PowerCalc for estimates of electrical costs for increased accuracy in design build projects.

Ultimately, the goal of using PowerCalc in this process is to increase (1) the profitability of design build projects by avoiding underestimating with the contractor absorbing costly mistakes, or alternatively, (2) the competitiveness of the contractor's bid by improving the pricing process to reflect actual costs.

So, let's take another look at the details. Start with the Panel Wizard as pictured in Fig 1. Set up each panel overriding the pre-set
"Auto" functions. Instead, input your estimates for the "Panelframe" and "Main" sizes. 

Once these two values are input, then PowerCalc jumps into action automatically calculating all corresponding values: sizing and quantifying equipment and associated conductors (with neutral and ground), conduits, overcurrent protection devices, panel frame, main frame, phase, equipment AIC ratings,voltage drop, and fault current calculations.

While the user is imputing values into the Panelboard WIZARD (or alternatively on the panelboard itself - the WIZARD is just easier / faster), PowerCalc's 1 Line Diagram is automatically and simultaneously generated providing a basic layout of the facility's power distribution system.

PowerCalc's 1 Line Diagram is not a "click-drag" process with the user providing specifications. Instead PowerCalc's 7.5 million calculations, enable the placement of all required equipment on its 1 Line Diagram with all specifications automatically and simultaneously populated with each and every input on the WIZARD.  All in compliance with NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC). Virtually, no guess work or "real" work for the user.

Fig 2: 1 Line Diagram: PowerCalc with Feeder Table

In short, estimates based on PowerCalc's calculations allow the design bid quote to be much closer to actual cost.

Fig 3: Feeder Table from PowerCalc's 1 Line Diagram

PowerCalc's 1 Line Diagram summarizes the power distribution system on the graphic itself indicating the power distribution components such as distribution panels, lighting / power panels, feeders, overcurrent protection devices, generators, Automatic Transfer Switches (ATSs), motor control centers (MCCs), and more. Included with the 1 Line Diagram is the Feeder Table indicating the number and size of feeders / conductors.  

The information generated by PowerCalc's 1 Line  Diagram can also be viewed and checked on PowerCalc's eNODE(tm) table where it is provided in a graphic format. eNODE  The eNODE maps the power distribution system and aggregates the information from all panels, schedules, and modules to indicate the electrical load by type, demand load, transformer size, and connectivity. It lists the electrical NODEs of the power distribution system. Each electrical NODE represents an electrical point of connection on the power distribution grid in the facility. 

Also useful for a Design Build estimate, is PowerCalc's function of instantaneously updating for any change. Change an input anywhere on the design, and  all values on the power distribution system and 1 Line Diagram are instantaneously updated across the entire power distribution system, both upstream and downstream.

Among the many reasons to use  PowerCalc for such estimates is that only PowerCalc can provide details like sizes and quantities for necessary equipment as outlined above. While still estimates, the quantity and sizing of  equipment results in an estimate much closer to "actual" costs especially compared to estimates generated by other means. 

And remember, we have a free demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday July 10th at 12 pm EST Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

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Design Build: Better Estimates for Electrical Costs

By James Khalil, P.E. | May 28, 2020 11:00:00 AM

 Fig 1: 1 Line Diagram: PowerCalc with Feeder Table 

At PowerCalc, everything is focused on the electrical circuit. Our patented software starts at the circuit adding loads to reach the service entrance for exacting accuracy in our calculations and incredibly fast design of the power distribution system (PDS) inside a single or multiple facilities. The PowerCalc system mirrors the National Electrical Code's (NEC's) "bottom-up" framework and automates all the calculations required for compliance with the NEC.

But, in speaking with a user recently, the power of PowerCalc's 7.5 million equations took on a new use.  What if PowerCalc's automatic calculations are  used to estimate the size and characteristics of the electrical equipment and labor costs for the PDS in bidding Design Build projects. 

In today's construction industry, a preferred method for construction is Design Build. The Design Build process combines the design of the structure with the construction cost in one price submitted to the owner. In order to bid, the Design Build contractor needs to determine what equipment is necessary and its costs prior to the PDS even being designed.

In a Design Build construction project, as opposed to a conventional method of design / bid / construction, the contractor is locked into its bid. Currently, the bid for a Design Build construction project is based on estimates often relying  on "rule of thumb" electrical design. The reality is that the actual quantity and price of the electrical equipment for the power distribution system is likely not known at the time of bid

For sure, PowerCalc can help the Design Build contractor to accurately estimate the cost of providing the electrical equipment and labor for the project.  The reason for using PowerCalc for such an estimate is that only PowerCalc can provide the  details like sizes and quantities for the necessary equipment such as Main Distribution Panel, Distribution Panels, Lighting / Power Panels, Motor Control Centers (MCCs), Automatic Transfer Switches (ATSs), UPS Transformers,and Generators.

PowerCalc does not stop there, but also sizes and quantifies this equipment and associated conductors (with neutral and ground), conduits, overcurrent protection devices, panel frame / main, phase, equipment AIC ratings, and voltage drop. In short, estimates based on PowerCalc's calculations allow the design bid quote to be much closer to actual cost. 

 

Fig 2: Settings on Panel WIZARD

So, let's step through the process of  how to use PowerCalc to put together an electrical  cost estimate for a Design Build project.  At the Panel WIZARD,  override the "Auto" pre-set functions and instead input estimates such as the panelboard "Main" size.  With this single input, the results estimate specifications for feeder, conduit, ground, overcurrent protection devices, voltage drop, equipment AIC ratings, and fault current calculations. See Fig 2: Settings on Panel WIZARD

With this information, PowerCalc generates a basic layout of the PDS with its automatically and simultaneously generated 1 Line Diagram.  See Fig 1: One Line Diagram  Included with the 1 Line Diagram is the Feeder Table indicating the number and size of feeders conductors.  See Fig. 1: 1 Line Diagram with Feeder Table and  Fig 3: Feeder Table from 1 Line Diagram

 

 Fig. 3  Feeder Table from 1 Line Diagram

Also useful for a Design Build estimate, is that any change is easy. Change an input anywhere...and  all values on the PDS and 1 Line Diagram are instantaneously updated across the entire PDS both upstream and downstream.

This is  a wealth of information for estimators to use for Design Build projects. While still estimates, the quantity and sizing of necessary equipment is much closer to the "actual" and final numbers than is available by other means. 

Hope this information helps Design Builders and Electrical Contractors to increase their profits!

 

 

And remember, we have a free demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday June 5th at 12 EST Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

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Renovation: How to Update for Existing Conditions

By James Khalil, P.E. | May 7, 2020 11:00:00 AM

1 Line Diagram: Existing Conditions from Record Documents

Designing for renovation is easy...let's go through the steps.

PowerCalc user with an engineering consulting firm recently sent us this 1 Line Diagram documenting existing conditions at a meeting facility in Alabama. His  question: how to modify just 6 of the 9 existing circuits in a power panel (PP). 

Above is the 1 Line Diagram of existing conditions provided by the user. For purposes of this article, we input these values into PowerCalc and 1st, creating the model of the 1 Line Diagram for existing conditions.  See below:

1 Line Diagram: Existing Conditions as modeled in PowerCalc 

The 3 unchanged circuits were to remain in their AsBulit state. As an example, CKT PP-3 currently feeding a 2 HP AC-A4 (Air Conditioning # 4A), 20 A-3P OCPD, 3#12 AWG. 1#12 GND, in 3/4" conduit. 

The way to design a renovation with PowerCalc:

1. Recognizing that not all renovations are a total demolition, this response distinguishes between existing loads that remain As Is in the final project and those loads that will be modified to accommodate the new design.  

2. First, create a Project file:  Project Name_Existing.  The use of the "Existing" label organizes your design files. Then, input all existing conditions in the project's panels.

For equipment, remember to use a separate Building Equipment (BE) calculation / worksheet for each piece of equipment such as a pump, an HVAC unit, or an elevator. The practice of a separate BE worksheet for each piece of equipment makes it easy to update circuits quickly throughout the design process.

3.  Once all existing conditions have been input, then go to the Related Projects button. Find Project Name _Existing, then under Actionsclick on Save As to create a second file.  Save this new file as  Project Name _Modified

4. Keep both files.  You now have 1 file documenting existing conditions and a new second file that reflects your modified design.

Go to each circuit in the Project Name_Modified and update the design by changing each individual branch circuit.

1 Line Diagram: Modified for Renovation by PowerCalc 

5. The second part of the user's question on renovation was:  how to override PowerCalc's default values. To override, go to Building Equipment worksheet AC-4A, and in the footer find the FEEDER region. In this region are 5 cells titled AUTO.

These cells can be changed from the automatically calculated NEC values, to the size you determine as an electrical professional to use for your project. Also in the FEEDER region, the user can enter the actual conductor length. Then, PowerCalc will also automatically calculate the Voltage Drop (VD) and Short Circuit Current (S2C). 

6. Then, repeat this process in the Enclosed Circuit Breaker and the DISCONNECT regions to override PowerCalc's automatic NEC calculated values so that the values reflect existing conditions.

Designing renovation projects with PowerCalc, is as easy as new construction.     

And remember, we have a free demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday May 1st at 12 EST Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!  Stay well.

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Commit to Green: Optimize Electrical Energy Use & Meet PowerCalc Team

By James Khalil, P.E. | Apr 2, 2020 11:00:00 AM

At PowerCalc, we are committed to optimizing electrical energy use before a building is even built.

In our video, we discuss our energy savings module (ERASE(tm)). Its approach is unique: it focuses on the conductor / wires that transmit electricity...the single largest link between the generation and end-use consumption of electricity. It saves 7%+ of energy use by optimizing the design of the power distribution system inside the facility.

We also introduce the PowerCalc team, our company, our software, and our goals.

So take a look.

Unlike other electrical design software, PowerCalc's patented process designs from the bottom-up, i.e. from the circuit to the service entrance / power grid. For the first time, the ability to calculate and specify the exacting detail of conductor sizes is easily possible due to PowerCalc's automation of the electrical design process.

Designing with PowerCalc, including ERASE, can save at least 7% in energy use and likely a lot more.  Extreme Savings in Data Centers  Energy Savings Module  Commit to Green #1  Commit to Green #2    Commit to Green #3  

Listed on US DOE's Building Energy Software Tools Directory

PowerCalc is listed on the US Department of Energy's Building Energy Software Tools Directory. 

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And remember, we have a free demonstration  on the first Friday of each month:  FREE Demonstration Friday, April 3rd at 12 EST Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!

Read More >

Voltage Drop in Data Centers: Re-think for Extreme Savings in Energy & Equipment

By James Khalil, P.E. | Mar 19, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Traditional and current electrical design practices for Voltage Drop overlook best practices relevant for digital age facilities such as data centers, robotic manufacturing complexes, and more. It is time to re-think  current practice to capture extreme savings in both energy use (at least 7%) and electrical equipment (over-specification of equipment -- too much expensive copper).

The approach for this new age: optimize the utilization of the circuit's capacity to deliver the maximum amount of energy and reduce energy wasted through heat dissipation without  adding more circuits and conductors. 

What is Voltage Drop?

"Voltage Drop is the decrease of electric potential [Volt] along the path of a current [Ampere] flowing in an electrical circuit. Voltage drops in the internal resistance of the source, across conductors, across contacts, and across connectors are undesirable because some of the energy supplied is dissipated." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_drop

In a power distribution system that supplies power to branch circuits for lighting and appliances, the National Electrical Code (NEC) provides guidance in an Informational Note that the maximum voltage drop of 3% for branch circuit conductors, and 5% for feeder and branch circuit conductors together, provides a "reasonable efficiency of operation for general use circuits."

This guidance fails to address the increasing complexity of digital age facilities.

Traditional and Current Electrical Design Practice

Traditional and current electrical design methods to minimize Voltage Drop are:

1.  Increasing the number or size of conductors,

2. Reducing the load current on the circuit,

3. Decreasing conductor length, and

4. Decreasing conductor temperature.

Copper Development Assn.

Increasing the number or size of conductors

Traditional and Current  Electrical Design Practice: By specifying parallel or oversized conductors, resistance per unit length is lowered below the NEC's requirements.This method decreases the Voltage Drop and increases energy efficiency while exceeding the NEC's minimum  requirements for conductor sizes.

This practice for power distribution system design in data centers generally increases conductor sizes for phase, neutral, and ground conductors. Then, it goes even further adding an additional  "parallel conductor" at the branch circuit  to reduce the load by splitting it up.

Ongoing Issue: So using traditional and current electrical design practices, an additional conductor is added to the electrical design significantly increasing the cost of the equipment (expensive copper) in the facility. While the Voltage Drop is reduced, equipment costs are unnecessarily increased.

Reducing the load current on the circuit

Traditional and Current  Electrical Design Practice: Current practice also deals with the Voltage Drop in digital age buildings by limiting the amount of equipment connected to a single circuit. This limits the load current on the circuit and also reduces the Voltage Drop.

Ongoing Issue: This limitation results in additional circuits being required...again, resulting in a significant increase in the cost of equipment (expensive copper) in the facility. While the Voltage Drop is reduced, equipment costs are unnecessarily increased.

Decrease Conductor Length

Traditional and Current  Electrical Design Practice: Decreasing the conductor length, moves the source of electric energy closer to the load resulting in a reduction in resistance and the Voltage Drop. It requires the placement of expensive panel boards closer to the load.

Ongoing Issue: Again, this solution results in additional panel boards, feeders, and conductors at a significant increase in the cost of equipment (expensive copper) in the facility. While the Voltage Drop is reduced, equipment costs are unnecessarily increased.

Adjust Conductor Temperature

Traditional and Current Electrical Design Practice: Adjusting the temperature decreases the ampacity of the conductor requiring additional circuits.

Ongoing Issue: This limitation also results in additional circuits being required at a significant increase in the cost of equipment (expensive copper) in the facility. While the Voltage Drop is reduced, equipment costs are unnecessarily increased. Also, the more circuits in the system, the higher the energy costs as more electric energy is dissipated. 

What's the problem?

With the world's increasing use and dependence on data, continuously expanding with streaming video, internet connected devices, and artificial intelligence, the demand for electric energy is expected to double every four years. And the expense of powering a data center is likewise out of control. According to Wikipedia, "the cost of power for the data center is expected to exceed the cost of the original capital investment." Wikipedia Data Center

Efforts to reduce energy consumption at data centers have been heroic - from improving server power draw to reducing energy use in storage, network, and infrastructure. But this "low hanging fruit" has not been enough to satisfy the insatiable need of data centers for electric energy.

More needs to be done to control Voltage Drop in these digital age facilities as extreme savings are easily possible for both energy use and equipment costs.  It is time to "re-think" traditional and current electrical design practices.

A new approach: actual reduction of the number of conductors and circuits

Like traditional and current electrical design practice, PowerCalc increases conductor sizes to reduce heat generation due to friction during the transmission / distribution of electricity inside the facility. It meets the minimum requirements of the NEC, but meeting the NEC's minimum requirements does not mean that a design minimizes electric energy losses and maximizes  electric energy savings.

PowerCalc  meets the initial threshold of the NEC's design requirements by increasing conductor sizes just like in traditional and current electrical design practice. But then, PowerCalc goes a step further: it also decreases the actual number of conductors and circuits. This reduction is accomplished by bundling more loads on these larger conductors. 

Traditional and current electrical design practice increases conductor sizes without adding more electrical loads to these conductors. In contrast, PowerCalc uses the larger conductor size to maximize the load for said conductor by bundling. This "new" approach makes additional conductors and circuits unnecessary for reductions in  electric equipment (expensive CU) and electric energy costs for extreme  savings.

How does PowerCalc design to reduce the number of conductors and circuits?

PowerCalc's energy savings module  (ERASE(tm)) focuses on saving energy and optimizing the design of the power distribution system before  a facility is even built or renovated by focusing on how electricity is transmitted / distributed inside the facility.  

ERASE's approach is unique: it focuses on the conductor / wires that transmit electricity...the single largest link between the generation and end-use consumption of electricity. It saves 7%+ of energy use by optimizing the design of the power distribution system inside the facility. 

And for the data center, ERASE eliminates the need to add unnecessary conductors or circuits to reduce the Voltage Drop. This re-thinking results in extreme savings in both electric energy use and equipment costs.

Unlike other electrical design software, PowerCalc's patented process designs from the bottom-up, i.e. from the circuit to the service entrance / power grid. For the first time, the ability to calculate and specify the exacting detail of conductor sizes is easily possible due to PowerCalc's automation of the traditional and current electrical design practice.

Designing with PowerCalc, including ERASE, can save at least 7% in energy use and likely a lot more. Energy Savings Module  Commit to Green #1  Commit to Green #2    Commit to Green #3    

Listed on US DOE's Building Energy Software Tools Directory

PowerCalc is listed on the US Department of Energy's Building Energy Software Tools Directory. 

And remember, we have a free demonstration  on the first Friday of each month:  FREE Demonstration Friday, April 3rd at 12 EST Hope you will join us!

Thank you for your support!

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