Tag Archives | IEEE NESC

Assessing the Safety of Utility-Owned Smart Grid Equipment

smart grid safety online courses learn NESC smart grid

One of the biggest frontiers in electrical engineering today is the development and implementation of smart grid technology. Fueled by the global demand for greener technologies and alternative fuels, environmentally-friendly smart grid technology has the ability to stimulate stagnated economies and change the way power is delivered to electricity consumers around the world.

Smart grid technology combines existing electrical infrastructure with digital technologies and advanced application to provide much more efficient, reliable and cost-effective energy distribution. It’s a merger of power systems, information technology, telecommunications, switchgear and local power generation, along with other fields. As these separate technologies become merged, new safety considerations must be taken into account.

Ever since the days of Thomas Edison, people have been concerned with the safety of electrical devices. As innovative technologies and new opportunities and safety issues arise, the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) evolves to address any and all concerns.

As Technology Advances, So Does the NESC

As plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and full electric vehicles (EVs) replace gasoline-only burning vehicles, public parking lots will need to be equipped with outdoor charging stations, including pay-for-use charging stations. These stations will integrate technologies such as electrical metering, switching, information technology, telecommunications and currency handling technology.

Safety comes into play in making the charging station terminals safe for unskilled drivers to use, guarding against intentional access to hazardous voltages, as well as in protecting communication circuits. This may mean putting telecommunication protectors at each end of a campus-run communication conductor where an exposure to lightning or to accidental contact with electric power conductors exists.

Vehicle charging stations are just one example of how advances in technology lead to NESC updates.

Stay on Top of the NESC

smart grid safety national electrical safety code 2017 ieee standardsThe safety of utility-owned smart grid equipment within power generation or transmission circuits, up to and including the service conductors to customer buildings, will to continue to be evaluated for safety in accordance with basic utility safety standards or codes, including NESC.

To help your company prepare to comply with the latest safety guidelines, IEEE offers a complete seven-course NESC program online through IEEE Xplore :

Order the complete program today and stay on top of the critical tech issues affecting the industry.


Gies, Don. (1 Mar 2014). Safety Considerations for Smart Grid Technology Equipment. In Compliance.

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Understanding How Technical Standards are Made & Maintained

standards process IEEE standards universityStandards are used by people around the world, in various industries and professions. From healthcare, to education, energy, construction, environment, technology and more, published specifications and procedures help maximize the reliability of materials, products, methods, and services. Standards are the foundation for the development and implementation of technologies that transform the way we live, work and communicate.

IEEE is one of several Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), which develop and maintain standards. SDOs adhere to fair and equitable processes that ensure the highest quality outputs and reinforce the market relevance of standards.

The Standards Process

While the goals of each SDO are essentially the same, each organization has its own rules, processes and terminology.

IEEE uses a time-tested, effective and trusted process. The six stages of this process lifecycle are:

  1. Initiating the Project. A formal request is submitted by an individual or entity (known as a Sponsoring Body) for review and evaluation.
  2. Mobilizing the Working Group. Once the request is approved, the sponsor follows the SDO’s rules and processes to recruit and assemble a collaborative team (IEEE refers to this team as a “Working Group”) of volunteers to engage in active standards development.
  3. Drafting the Standard. The team members engage in meetings, draft and review position pieces, create and review presentations, examine data and engage in active discussion and debate to resolve outstanding issues. All this leads to the gradual definition of each standard, which is compiled into a draft standard that may undergo multiple revisions.
  4. Balloting the Standard. Once a draft standard has been finalized, reviewed and approved by the Working Group, it’s submitted to the sponsor who forms a balloting group consisting of persons interested in the standard. Group members will comment, discuss and then vote to approve the standard.
  5. Gaining Final Approval. The balloted draft is submitted to the Review Committee and then to the Standards Board for approval. Once it’s reviewed and accepted, the approved standard is published and made available for distribution and purchasing within a number of outlets, including through the SDO itself.
  6. Maintaining the Standard. Standards are “living documents,” which may be initially published and iteratively modified, corrected, adjusted and/or updated based on market conditions and other factors.

Mars Space Colony: A Game of Standardization

IEEE offers an exciting, hands-on, team-building experience that teaches how standards are developed. Check out Mars Space Colony: A Game of Standardization. It’s crafted by experts with 20+ years’ experience in high-stakes, real-world technical standards development.


The Standards Development Lifecycle. IEEE.

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Complete NESCⓇ Course Program Now Available

NESC 2017 edition, updates to national electrical safety code, IEEE NESC course program now availableRenewable energy technologies like solar and wind are delivering a steady stream of new distributed generation concepts and, along with new technologies related to Smart Grid and distributed energy resources, are changing the entire utility business model. Moreover, the build out of 4G and 5G small cell antenna systems that will enable the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles (AV) depends largely on placing additional attachments onto existing utility structures. The potential impacts from all of this growth and expansion to our professional and personal lives are very significant.

Just as it has done for more than a century, the National Electrical Safety CodeⓇ (NESCⓇ) is continuously evolving and being refined to embrace new technologies while also addressing the opportunities and any safety issues they present. Regardless of your company’s role in the industry, this is clearly a time to be at the forefront of change. Participation in the NESC will provide the opportunity to both contribute–and benefit from–the non-stop innovation that is impacting our society and economy.

Recommend this course training program to your organization

When questions or issues arise in the field, it’s important that power utility workers know how to safely address the situation and comply with the latest safety guidelines. This training program will ensure your organization and its staff are prepared.

All seven online courses are now available for the 2017 edition of the NESC, exclusively through IEEE Xplore:

Stay on top of tech issues that are critically important to the success of your organization. Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist to order the entire NESC course program today.

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The 2017 National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®): Rules To Live & Work By

IEEE Standards for National Electric Safety Code NESCThe National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) can be found everywhere in everyday life. You probably just aren’t aware of it.

The NESC protects the public as well as utility workers, as it is the authoritative code for ensuring the continued practical safeguarding of utility facilities during the installation, operation, and maintenance of electric supply and communication facilities (i.e. power, telephone, cable TV, and railroad signal systems).

It’s the industry consensus standard, produced exclusively by IEEE and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), revised every five years to address new technologies impacting electrical safety requirements. The latest revision to the NESC came in 2017, and includes some new rules changes and exceptions, while also introducing updated tools to more easily access NESC content. Many of these updates were made in an effort to make the code more logical and useful for current and up-and-coming engineers.

IEEE offers a series of educational online courses based on the NESC 2017 Edition, and subscribers can now view the code in the IEEE Xplore digital library.

To understand the 2017 edition of the NESC strictly by the numbers, our helpful infographic (at left) has got you covered.

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