Tech Briefs

The Climate Registry releases greenhouse gas reporting protocol

The Climate Registry has published its Electric Power Sector Protocol. This protocol provides a set of standards North American electric power organizations can use in measuring and reporting the entire range of greenhouse gas emissions sources associated with generating and delivering electric power, the registry says.

This protocol is a supplement to The Climate Registry’s General Reporting Protocol, which provides guidance for all emissions reporting. The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories, and Native Sovereign Nations that sets standards to calculate, verify, and report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry. The Climate Registry’s reporting program is a voluntary program for businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

The 128-page protocol contains information on:

– What organizations should report, based on types of gases, boundaries, and level of reporting required;

– Quantifying emissions, including direct and indirect emissions; and

– Reporting emissions, including optional reports and third-party verification.

Many companies with hydro plants were represented on the 22-member work group that provided input on the protocol. These companies include BC Hydro, Duke Energy, New York Power Authority, Pacific Gas and Electric, PacifiCorp, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Seattle City Light, and Xcel Energy. Bonneville Power Administration, Edison Electric Institute, and EPRI also were represented in the work group.

The protocol is available on the Internet at

Reclamation using guidelines to adjust water releases

The Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, is using guidelines adopted in December 2007 to determine the amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead each year. Under these guidelines, the planned release from Lake Powell in 2008 was increased above the minimum objective amount. With different water conditions in 2009, no adjustment was made. Based on currently forecasted 2010 hydrologic conditions, it is slightly more than 50 percent likely that Lake Powell’s release will be adjusted upward again in 2010, says Carly Jerla, water resource engineer with Reclamation.

These guidelines, adopted after the completion of a 2.5-year-long public process pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, established a prescriptive methodology for determining the annual release of water from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Glen Canyon Dam impounds Lake Powell, the second largest man-made reservoir in the U.S., which provides water for a 1,312-MW hydro project. Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest water storage reservoir in the U.S., which provides water for a 2,079-MW project. Glen Canyon Dam is about 370 river miles upstream of Hoover Dam. Together, these two lakes provide about 85 percent of the total water storage in the Colorado River system. Seven western states depend on the river for water supply, power production, recreation, and environmental resources.

Under these guidelines, the two reservoirs now are being operated jointly to more evenly balance the amount of water each contains under all conditions. Although it is not likely that the amount of water in each reservoir will be exactly equal at any given point in time, the amount of water in storage in each of them will be more equitably balanced over the long term, Jerla says. The guidelines also provide additional water conservation and water use efficiency tools for use in the lower basin, she says.

The guidelines allow the annual release from Lake Powell to be adjusted each April to be above or below the 8.23 million acre-foot minimum objective, depending on the projected water storage amounts of both reservoirs in September.

From 2000 through 2004 – the driest five-year period in the 100-year historical record of the Colorado River – the combined storage in lakes Powell and Mead dropped from about 95 percent to about 46 percent of capacity, Jerla says. (In November 2009, combined storage was at 53 percent.) During that time period, there were no specific guidelines in place to address operation of the lakes during drought and low reservoir conditions, Jerla says.

In December 2007, new operational guidelines were adopted, using a process that involved analyzing a broad range of alternatives to assess the tradeoffs between the frequency and magnitude of reductions of water deliveries to the lower basin states. This analysis considered the effects on reservoir storage in lakes Powell and Mead and other resources, including power production, Jerla says.

For more information about the guidelines, visit the Internet:

NEMA publishes standard on high-voltage circuit breakers

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) offers standard SG 4-2009, Alternating Current High-Voltage Circuit Breakers. This standard is a revision of a previous version, which was published in 2000 and reaffirmed in 2005.

NEMA published this 39-page standard under license from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE). The material in this standard has been offered to IEEE for inclusion in revisions of two of its standards, C37.04 (Rating Structure for AC High-Voltage Circuit Breakers) and C37.09 (Test Procedure for AC High-Voltage Circuit Breakers Rated on a Symmetrical Current Basis).

This revised standard applies to all types of high-voltage circuit breakers, except those used in metal-enclosed or metal-clad switchgear and automatic circuit reclosers, NEMA says. The association says this standard covers several areas that are not included in existing IEEE standards, such as:

– Requirements for circuit breaker operating mechanisms;

– Bushing terminal connector re-quirements;

– Ground terminal requirements;

– Current transformer thermal and short-time capabilities and accuracy classes;

– Multi-ratio current transformer tap connections;

– Current transformer lead identifications and polarity conventions;

– Radio influence voltage tests and limits;

– Noise levels for outdoor circuit breakers located in switchyards; and

– Repetitive duty requirements for special purpose arc-furnace switching circuit breakers.

Standard SG 4-2009 is available on the Internet at It can be downloaded for free or purchased for US$72.

Ingeteam opening production facility in Wisconsin

Ingeteam, a Spanish company that specializes in highly-engineered electrical and electronic equipment and services, is beginning construction of a $15 million combined production facility and office complex in Milwaukee, Wis.

Ingeteam, headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, said it will begin construction of the 100,000-square-foot combined production facility and office complex in April 2010, with completion set for December 2010. When completed, the plant will focus primarily on the renewable energy industry, initially producing Indar wind power generators and Ingeteam converters and solar power inverters for the North American market. However, future plans for the facility could include Indar hydro generator engineering and production, company officials said.

The Milwaukee plant will produce generators and converters for 1.5-MW to 5-MW wind turbines, and solar power inverters that range from 2.5-kW units for residential use up to 500-kW units for utility-scale installations. Later, Ingeteam plans to add a facility for system testing.

This will be Ingeteam’s first manufacturing facility in the U.S. Ingeteam already has an office in suburban Milwaukee and a sales office in Santa Clara, Calif.

The company expects to begin manufacturing operations in January 2011 and will employ about 275 workers by 2015.

Indar produces generators for several varieties of turbines.

The new facility will also provide better access to North American markets for Indar Maquinas Hidraulicas (Indar MH), an Ingeteam company that designs and manufactures large submersible pumps. Indar MH has been active commercially in the U.S. market since 2003.

Eaton switchgear wins product of the year honors

Eaton Corp.’s arc-resistant low voltage switchgear has received a Product of the Year award from Plant Engineering magazine. This award was presented for outstanding achievements in product design and innovation, Eaton announced.

The award was presented in March 2010 at the annual Manufacturing and Automation Summit.

Eaton’s arc-resistant low-voltage switchgear protects against arc faults in breaker, bus, and cable compartments with no increase in footprint, the company says.

This American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Type 2 arc-resistant low-voltage switchgear protects operating and maintenance personnel from dangerous arcing faults by redirecting or channeling the arc energy out the top of the switchgear, regardless of the origination location of the arc.

Eaton manufactures products and services for a range of applications, including electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution, and control.

Plant Engineering provides information on automation, electrical systems, mechanical operations, and maintenance to plant managers and engineers.

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