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Case Study: Rural Transformer Failure

Case Study: Rural Transformer Failure

This case history involves the investigation of a utility transformer failure that occurred in a rural area surrounded mostly by farmland and open space. The failure occurred in a location where power quality problems are rare.
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Top stories

  • Case Study: Half Wave Rectifier

    Case Study: Half Wave Rectifier

    One winter morning, the electrician received a call from a local school. The caller said a transformer supplying power to three portable classrooms was making a chattering noise, as if something were loose inside.
  • Case Study: 5th Harmonic Resonance

    Case Study: 5th Harmonic Resonance

    A small city gets its water from a mountain lake 30 miles away. A pumping system at the lake brings water up a short incline and into a long gravity pipeline that feeds the city's water distribution system.
  • Case Study: Malfunctioning Traffic Light

    Case Study: Malfunctioning Traffic Light

    The engineer carries a Fluke 43B on all trouble calls, because it provides a graphical display that allows customers to see a picture of the problem.
  • Case Study: Lighting Ballast Evaluation

    Case Study: Lighting Ballast Evaluation

    In most facilities, lighting is a major element of operating cost. Part of that cost is due to energy, and part is due to maintenance.
  • Case Study: The Malfunctioning Medical Machine

    Case Study: The Malfunctioning Medical Machine

    This case history is a classic example of the importance of a systematic approach to solving a problem. It involves a contractor who works with several high-technology manufacturing plants.

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Default image, Grounding articles

Why Ground, Why Test?

Poor grounding not only contributes to unnecessary downtime, but a lack of good grounding is also dangerous and increases the risk of equipment failure. Without an effective grounding system, we could be exposed to the risk of electric shock, not to mention instrumentation errors, harmonic distortion issues, power factor problems and a host of possible intermittent dilemmas. If fault currents have no path to the ground through a properly designed and maintained grounding system, they will find unintended paths that could include people. The following organizations have recommendations and/or standards for grounding to ensure safety.
Default image, Grounding articles

Selective Measurement

Selective testing is very similar to the Fall-of-Potential testing, providing all the same measurements, but in a much safer and easier way. This is because with Selective testing, the earth electrode of interest does not need to be disconnected from its connection to the site! The technician does not have to endanger himself by disconnecting ground, nor endanger other personnel or electrical equipment inside a non-grounded structure.
Default image, Grounding articles

Stakeless Measurement

The Fluke 1625 earth ground tester is able to measure earth ground loop resistances for multi-grounded systems using only current clamps. This test technique eliminates the dangerous, and time consuming activity of disconnecting parallel grounds, as well as the process of finding suitable locations.