Skip to main content

Substation Safety – Are You Rock Solid?

By Conduit
Substation design typically calls for 2-6” of aggregate (crushed rock) as a top layer upon completion of construction. This layer serves several purposes, including improved vehicle access, reduced erosion, and suppression of vegetation. Another significant function of this layer is to provide personnel safety by increasing the allowed (maximum permissible) touch and step potential values versus native soil. When the aggregate becomes a critical part of the site’s safety, knowledge of the aggregate’s composition and...
Read More

Pre-Commissioning Readiness – The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

By Conduit
Quality installation is the goal for all construction projects – especially data centers. Today’s construction environment has created a perfect storm of obstacles to the quality goal: complex equipment and systems, numerous equipment vendors, skill disparity, speed of construction, equipment delays, and a constant squeeze on prices and margins. On many projects, these challenges create a gap in the quality process that, if unaddressed, leads to a less-than-desirable outcome. The solution to this gap is...
Read More

QA/QC – It’s More than a Checklist

By Conduit
Mechanical and electrical Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) play a significant role in today’s data center construction. Coordinating all design, construction, installation, and start-up efforts in any project involving multiple trades and interests is challenging due to differences in participant philosophies and overall approaches. While this role was not essential in the past, the schedule, size, and complexity of today’s facilities mean QA/QC is necessary to keep projects on time and on budget. The...
Read More

A Safety Perspective – What Makes an Electrical Worker Qualified?

By Conduit
Contact with electricity is a significant cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. While many of these incidents can be prevented by ensuring only qualified workers perform all electrical work, what education, training, and experience make an electrical worker qualified? The answer is “it depends.” To properly answer this question, we must examine the nature of the work, the tasks to be performed, the methods to be utilized, the regulations involved, the risk of electric shock...
Read More

Company Culture: The Key to Long-Term Success

By Conduit
Many companies in the United States measure their success by benchmarks known as key performance indicators (KPIs) - most commonly revenue growth, profit margin, and labor productivity. Best practices state that KPIs must be clear, meaningful, cost-effective, realistic, aligned with objectives, and measured regularly. Investor-owned and large companies in the service industry are likely to be data-driven, but what happens to these companies and their cultures when they are primarily accountable to reports, metrics, and...
Read More

Are You Safety Compliant? The Importance of Safety, Health, and Environmental Audits

By Conduit

Facility managers should review safety practices often to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. A safety, health, and environmental audit assesses an organization’s ability to protect against occupational injuries, illnesses, property damage, and negative environmental impacts while ensuring regulatory compliance, protecting the organization’s brand, and potentially preventing financial losses. Where Do I Start? Safety, health, and environmental audits are essential for protecting people, profits, and the environment. While safety audits are not required for every workplace,…

Read More

Have You Been Snubbed? A Transformer Case Study

By Conduit

A manufacturing company was building a small data center fed by several 3000kVA, 4160/480V, dry-type, delta/wye transformers. Upon energization of one transformer from an alternate feed, a fault occurred, which caused its upstream medium voltage (MV) breaker to trip. The transformer was then re-energized from the primary feed, and facilities management personnel observed a flash. Assuming the breaker was the issue, the team inspected and tested the breaker.  Finding no obvious problems with the breaker,…

Read More

Modernizing Aging Data Centers

By Conduit

Data center design practices have improved over the years due to industry lessons, equipment design improvements, increased operational reliability, innovations in mechanical system control technologies, and enhanced programming capabilities. However, electrical equipment’s reliability rapidly decreases after 20 to 25 years; parts availability dwindles, compatibility between new and older technology becomes problematic, and failures become more frequent and difficult to repair. Built in 1978 as an office building for an aerospace company and later converted to…

Read More

Relay Replacement in Live Data Centers

By Conduit
As data center construction ramped up in the 1990s and the size of facilities grew, electrical distribution transitioned from low voltage (480 volt) to medium voltage (12-14kV). These design changes brought about the need for more sophisticated electrical distribution protection, which coincided with the early generations of electronic protective relays, including the widely used GE MultiLin relays. As with all electrical equipment, relays have a life expectancy. The majority of 1990s and early 2000s installed...
Read More

Hood Patterson & Dewar Named 2022 Commissioning Giant

By Conduit

For the fourth consecutive year, Hood Patterson & Dewar is pleased to be in the top tier of the 25 firms recognized on the Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2022 Commissioning Giants list. “This recognition is a testament to the faith our clients have put in us, and we feel honored to be in this position,” said Mike Bryan, President and CEO. “Our success is truly due to the hard work of our people and the relationships we have…

Read More