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More Light From the Same Lights

More Light From the Same LightsA few weeks into his new job, a plant engineer decided act on his feeling that lighting in production areas was insufficient. Things just seemed too dark to him.

He asked his electrical engineer to bring in a lighting consultant to conduct a lighting survey. The results confirmed what the plant engineer had suspected all along.

If you were the plant engineer, what would you do at this point? Is not the obvious solution to upgrade the lighting? That’s how you get more lumens, right? Yes, and it is what the plant engineer wanted to do. But it is not the only way.

The electrical engineer wasn’t sure if the lighting circuits would handle bigger loads. And there weren’t any drawings he could use. So he told his boss he needed to assess what was actually out there.

He discovered three things that would change the plan entirely:

  1. While the current-carrying conductors met the ampacity requirements of Article 310, their size meant excessive voltage drop over the long runs.
  2. The lights were wired with shared neutrals, which could not handle the amount of undesired current they were carrying. The insulation on most neutrals was charred black.
  3. Most of the connections were poorly made.

The electricians replaced and upgraded the wiring. The electrical engineer then had a new lighting survey performed. It showed all light levels to be more than sufficient. Have you checked your wiring, lately?

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection