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Use Standards Education to Stand Out

stand out with technical standards education what is a standard how are standards developed

Approximately 90% of all households in the United States use wireless services and an estimated $1.1 trillion is spent on wireless communications worldwide. But just three decades ago, none of the wireless technology we know today existed.

What started as a simple business need – wireless cash registers – became IEEE 802.11, the international standard commonly known as Wi-Fi®, established to get manufacturers and consumers involved in sharing compatible products.

Wi-Fi continues to push the boundaries of innovation decades after its inception. Think of all the devices you use every day that require Wi-Fi technology, from smart phones to solar panels, GPS navigation systems and more. With the addition of Wake-Up Radio, the groundbreaking new technology developed by the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group, wireless devices will have significantly improved battery life, driving innovation and exciting new applications.

“In a nutshell, standards fuel the development and implementation of technologies that influence and transform the way we live, work and communicate,” says Dr. Konstantinos Karachalios, Managing Director of the IEEE Standards Association. “Wi-Fi already underpins wireless networking applications around the world, such as wireless access to the internet from our offices and homes, but also from airports, hotels, restaurants, trains and even aircraft – and the number of devices that are connected wirelessly is expanding at a furious pace. The standard’s relevance has grown further with the emergence of new applications, such as smart grids and monitoring technologies in the healthcare industry.”

Beyond Wi-Fi

And Wi-Fi isn’t the only standard that affects our daily lives. Several thousands of standards support ongoing technological innovation and allow products to work seamlessly for consumers around the world.

IEEE’s standards-related activities contribute to innovations that define today’s technologies and future technologies, including creating and connecting smart cities worldwide, addressing electric power systems communications, and enabling secure vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure wireless communications.

Standards Education

Mars Space Colony: A Game of Standardization from IEEE

Practicing engineers will encounter or use technical standards with great frequency. They’ll need to know about standards in advance of developing new products to ensure that performance, safety, and environmental factors are built in from the start.

This means engineers who understand standards before entering the workforce are more valuable. IEEE resources provide insight into what standards are and how to create them. To learn more about how understanding standards will help new engineers stand out to potential employers, watch Standing Out with Standards: Transition from University.

And be sure to check out Mars Space Colony: A Game of Standardization, an exciting, hands-on, team-building experience that teaches how standards are developed. The game is crafted by experts with 20+ years’ experience in high-stakes, real-world technical standards development.

Resources

Expert Interview: The importance of industry standards. European Patent Office.

(29 Dec 2017). Standing Out with Standards: Transition from University. IEEE Standards University.

(13 Oct 2017). IEEE Standards Fulfill the 2017 World Standards Day Theme: “Standards Make Cities Smarter”. Beyond Standards.

(27 Sept 2016). Standards Education: Strategic Standardization. IEEE Standards University.

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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.

Resources

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

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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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Creating A Smarter, More Connected Electric Grid

Bain & Company compiled numerous fascinating statistics along with a helpful infographic about how new technologies are transforming the electricity landscape. While there are an abundance of new opportunities for energy companies to create a smarter electric system, there are also four key steps that utilities need to take in order to make the current system more efficient and sustainable for the future.

Check out Bain & Company’s full report on the subject here: Harnessing New Technologies at the Edge of the Electric Grid.

For both public and private utilities, the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) specifies best safety practices for electric supply and communication systems such as telephone, cable and railroad signal systems (and their associated equipment). The more-than-100-year-old code is applicable to everything from the generation of power or communications signals, all the way to the customer “service point,” which is the point of transfer to a premises wiring system.

IEEE offers a series of online courses to help educate power utility personnel on the rules, regulations, and changes in the NESC 2017 edition. With this comprehensive course program, your team can take advantage of expert instruction from seasoned NESC contributors that cover each part of this code in detail.

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Working With Electricity: How the NESC Differs From the NEC

IEEE NESC 2017 Edition code revision

The titles National Electrical Code® (NEC®) and National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) may sound similar, but you shouldn’t confuse the two.

In the ever-changing electrical landscape, it’s important to understand the intent and application of each code. When it comes to working with electricity, being adequately prepared to protect lives and property could mean the difference between a safe environment and running into serious problems.

The NEC In Short

Issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA®), the NEC addresses proper installation and use of electrical systems and equipment in buildings and structures in order to help protect people and property from potential hazards. Many engineers think of the NEC as design rules that stipulate minimum standards for how safe installations must be achieved. It’s adopted by municipalities, legislative bodies, utility commissions, and other Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

The NEC contains thousands of requirements not found in the NESC, and primarily is a construction standard for residential, commercial, and industrial building wiring. The 2017 edition of this trusted code presents the latest comprehensive regulations for electrical wiring, overcurrent protection, grounding, and installation of equipment.

How The NESC Differs

The NESC is a performance standard that specifies what is to be performed, not how it is to be accomplished, leaving that part to the engineers. Published exclusively by IEEE, it sets the ground rules for the practical safeguarding of persons and utility facilities from the hazards arising from the use of electricity. Unlike the NEC, the NESC contains an entire section dedicated to work rules for utilities employees. It continues to be a stronghold in the U.S. electrical industry and communications utility field, and serves as the authority on safety requirements for power, telephone, cable TV, and railroad signal systems.

The NESC is updated and re-published every five years to reflect changing technologies and industry-wide best practices – the latest of which came in 2017. The NESC is adopted as law by a large majority of U.S. states, and is utilized in many countries around the globe.

The Codes in Context

Neither is merely a design guide or instruction manual. Rather, each code is considered de facto minimum criteria for engineering reliable, resilient, and functioning networks.

The two codes are not in competition with one another, and do have some overlap. For example, both codes have requirements for service drop clearances, and both codes refer to the other for additional information. The point of demarcation between the two codes is the service point, differentiating the line side (covered by the NESC) and the load side for premises wiring (covered by the NEC). The service point is usually set by the service utility.

Responsible professionals must meet the minimum standards in the NESC and the NEC, whichever is applicable, or else risk severe consequences. IEEE offers a series of online courses to help educate power utility personnel on the rules, regulations, and changes in the NESC 2017 edition. With this comprehensive course program, your team can take advantage of expert instruction from seasoned NESC contributors that cover each part of this code in detail.

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