Issue 121 July - August 2017

Please note: The issue content below is just a summary of the articles in the printed magazine.
The articles are not available on-line. Please refer to the printed magazine for the complete article.
Light up your workplace

Whether it’s new construction work, maintenance, working with power safely disconnected or trouble-shooting a power outage, there is no quicker way to light up a work site than using battery-powered portable LED lights from Milwaukee.

There are over 15 different lights available in the growing Milwaukee M18 range, says Milwaukee product manager Jim Challis, and all are designed to provide instantly available, high-output illumination for typical electrical work.

“Milwaukee is leading the way with the industry’s first system of high-output LED lights to offer full day run-times in portable packages using the same batteries that power Milwaukee tools.

“We’ve optimized the LED design to deliver a high-definition light output with consistent beams and a neutral white colour temperature, as well as ‘Trueview’ colour rendering that illuminates colours accurately for safer electrical work.”

Judge gets wires crossed

The ruling by the New South Wales Supreme Court against the sole director of Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd has finally been released, revealing details of a judgement that could set a precedent for testing low risk electrical products before offering them for sale.

Currently in Australia and New Zealand, suppliers of low risk articles do not have to be tested in a laboratory for safety and compliance, but if a fitting turns out to be either unsafe or non-compliant, failure to have conducted comprehensive testing could result in a conviction, if the judge’s ruling in this case is followed by other judges.

Infinity Cable director, Lu Luo, was fined $18,000.00 plus $15,000.00 costs for the breach of the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act following her company’s supply of 4,314 kilometres of non-compliant ‘Infinity’ branded TPS and ‘Olsent’ branded Orange Round cable.

Issues leading to the prosecution and the implications for New Zealand cable suppliers and installers were addressed in ElectroLink (November issue 2013, two articles on pages 10 and 22, and the November issue 2014, page 10).

TPS cable under investigation in New Zealand

Unlike Australia, New Zealand has not had to grapple with the recall of a faulty building wiring cable before, but that could be about to change with Energy Safety now investigating cables imported from Australia and supplied by two different local companies.

What these two investigations have revealed is the growing concern of electrical regulators on both sides of the Tasman with the way the test laboratories interpret the cable standard AS/NZS 5000 and the resulting reliability of their cable testing and their certification of the cable compliance.

The recent prosecution of the managing director of Infinity Cable Pty Ltd in the New South Wales Supreme Court has highlighted the difficulties suppliers can face in understanding the legal requirements for cable compliance and the verification of it. (See page 10)

New electrical competencies for mining

Progress is now being made on a path to safer mining following a meeting of electrical superintendents in Christchurch in April where agreement was reached on the need to upgrade the competency requirements for their certification.

The upgrade has been driven by the Mining Board of Examiners which is a part of WorkSafe New Zealand – the government organisation set up to replace the Department of Labour workplace safety functions following the disaster at the Pike River mine.

The Mining Board advises WorkSafe on ‘certificate of competence’ requirements and issues these certificates for the safety-critical role of electrical superintendent.

The industry will have the opportunity to review the proposed new certificate of competence requirements following the release of a consultation document at the end of July.

Electrical superintendents are mandated in the Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016, for mining operations where an electrical engineering principal control plan is required to be in place.

Clevertronics goes all-lithium

When emergency lighting supplier Clevertronics released its L10 Optimum range in 2012, it was the first range of exit signs, battens and specialty LED emergency lights in the world to be powered by highly efficient lithium battery technology.

This breakthrough took the typical four-year life of NiCd battery units to 10 to 15 years making L10 Optimum the best performing emergency lighting series on the market, says head of Clevertronics in New Zealand, Marc Lander.

He says the impact of the breakthrough was not simply the development of a lithium battery suitable for emergency lighting, but the unique lithium nanophosphate battery chemistry that delivers huge cost of ownership savings to building owners and operators.

“When it comes to saving lives, emergency systems stand or fall on how well their batteries perform. Nanophosphate lithium delivers much longer service life compared with anything on the market, and with the added advantage of containing none of the toxic heavy metal contaminants and carcinogens that NiCd and NiMH contain.

Power factor and its impact on lighting design

Students in the second year of their lighting qualification at Massey University are learning about New Zealand’s electrical distribution network and how the network is affected by power factor.

Most people in the electrical industry are familiar with power factor, which is the difference between apparent power (VA) and active power (W), with the loss of energy or difference between the two being the power factor.

Applying this to a practical example, an office lit by twenty 35 W light fittings that had a power factor of 0.50 would have a 1400 VA demand rather than the 700 VA that might be expected. The electrical infrastructure would need to be specified to handle 1400 VA rather than 700 VA.

A low power factor can be caused by displacement, where an inductive load in a circuit causes the current to lag behind the voltage. This means more current must be supplied to make up for the lag.

It can also be caused by distortion, where a device like a computer or a microwave draws current in short bursts rather than in smooth wave forms and, as a result, harmonics might arise. Harmonics can shorten the lifespan of appliances and equipment through the failure of components or motors, or through overheating. Harmonics can also damage the distribution infrastructure, for example wiring and transformers, through power spikes or excessive heat generation.

Become the local lighting expert – Part II

are an electrical contractor doing residential work, you can use a bit of lighting knowledge to win projects, get repeat visits and sell your customers a higher-margin product. It can be easy to fall back on tried-and-true basics. This series of articles will help build your knowledge to make you the local go-to guy for lighting, and help you expand your business.

Home lighting types can be divided into ambient lighting, accent lighting and task lighting. Ambient lighting is the general background lighting that is often provided by downlights. Accent lighting is decorative, or draws attention to itself or to another object, and is usually a pendant, a spotlight or maybe a table lamp.

This issue we are talking about task lighting – the type of lighting needed to carry out household tasks and activities quickly and easily, without eyestrain or discomfort.