Dave Kaspersin
Subject: Voltage Problem

At my business, Dynamic Recording Studios, we keep very careful track of our 
voltage. As a recording studio we have not only the usual power requirements of 
a 4000 square foot building, like air conditioning, but a wide variety of 
sophisticated and expensive electronic recording equipment as well. 
For the past several years we have had many voltage problems, especially in the 
summer months, and in the summer of 2001, we dropped to 110 volts while our 
normal voltage is 120 to 123 volts. 
(Keep in mind that if we are receiving low voltage and a piece of major equipment 
cuts in, whether itís in our building or any other building on the circuit, 
the voltage momentarily goes way lower.) 
The voltages we were getting were causing our recording equipment to 
malfunction, and our air conditioning compressors to lock up. 
Low voltage causes higher current, overheating, higher demand reads, and 
thermal damage to equipment. RG&E was not able to rectify this 
situation until the temperatures in Rochester came down. And at one point 
while the voltage was already too low, the RG&E did a voltage cut back 
(voltage reduction, referred to as a brown out), 
which made things much worse. We actually had to 
cancel recording sessions because of the low voltage, as well as send customers 
home from sessions that had started. 

Friday, 08/02/02 the voltage dropped to 112 volts at 1 PM. At this time the main HVAC 
compressor for the Studio stopped working. Isaac air conditioning company 
said they were swamped, and it would be a while until they could get here. 
Therefore as the studio was already up to 80 degrees, we had to shut all of 
the equipment down and send our very upset customers home. 
A lineman (Brett) came out and read 117 / 117 / 207, which he said was good! 
Of course it's not good. 
And he was reading it while the HVAC and all equipment were turned off. 

Following is the Isaac techís statement: 
Unit would not run, it only had 15v to contactors, not enough to pull them in. 
Unit has low voltage coming to it. Between legs 1 and 2 = 230v. 2+3 = 240v, and 
1+3=225v. Transformer is getting voltage from legs 1 and 2. Switched legs 1 and 
3 to give 240v to transformer. Unit cycled OK. Voltage problem needs to be 

When the voltage goes up again, this move could cause further damage to the
microprocessors that control our Trane Varitrac HVAC system. Especially if we
go to 128 volts again.

Please be aware that I will not tolerate this condition any longer. 

Insufficient power from RG&E is hurting my business. And the fluctuations 
from low to high, (sometimes we reach 128 volts) is damaging our equipment. I 
have an Isaac bill for the service call 8/2 caused by low voltage. 
I lost the income from a recording session that may not be able to be 
re-scheduled, and I still had to pay the recording engineers! Additionally, the 
time I've spent trying to get this recurring problem rectified is valuable and 
pretty much wasted when the result is that a lineman is sent to investigate a 
low voltage problem, doesn't / can't do anything, and leaves.

This must be fixed now. We are paying every month to have service that we are 
not receiving. We are still paying the excessive demand charges, and RG&E 
cannot supply the demand. I would like a written response by August 12th 
detailing how this situation is going to be rectified. 

David R. Kaspersin 

Dynamic Recording Studio Independent Label / Dynamic Web Pages 

RG&E responce:

Subject: Low Voltage investigation 
X-Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 5.0.8  June 18, 2001 
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 06:45:30 -0400 
X-MIMETrack: Serialize by Router on HUBWA10/RG&E(Release 5.0.10 |March 22, 2002) at 08/14/2002 
 06:45:31 AM 


I am the Electric System Planner for Greece and have investigated your low
voltage complaint from July.  Base on the charts that the Power Quality
Group has provided me, I have modeled the 4 kV circuit that feeds your
business.  The analysis shows that the voltage drops  under peak load
conditions thereby limiting load growth or contingencies.  When those
conditions exist, we must intervene to protect the system and the customers
it serves.   Based on this information I am having a set of regulators
installed on the circuit to correct the voltages on the latter half of the
circuit, that will affect your service.

I have requested an in service date of August 30. We may need to extend
this based on equipment delivery and manpower availability.  However, we'll
make every attempt to meet that date.  I have requested the Power Quality
Group to contact you once the equipment is installed.

The voltage standard that the utilities follow including RG&E ranges from
114-128 volts based on the ANSI C84.1 Standard.  This is a +/-5% deviation
of nominal.  During our  investigation of your situation, RG&E found the
utility voltage at the service entrance is within these standards.
Specifically, we noted  a 3-volt drop from the service entrance to an
outlet in your facility..  Additionally, the differences in voltage you are
noting between phases are caused by unbalanced loading of the phases.
Since you are the only customer fed from the transformer bank, your
electric load is  the cause of the unbalance.  Balancing your load should
correct the voltage imbalance.

The changes I have outlined both from RG&E's standpoint and yours should
bring the voltage at your business to acceptable levels.


"Since you are the only customer fed from the transformer bank", 
however is not the case.
Two other buildings, with a total of five business 
and one apartment feed from the transformer that feeds our building.
And one RG&E tech told me the lines feeding the transformer are
very unbalanced. The regulator bank will solve our
problem, for now, BUT continued load growth, without upgradeing
the substation and lines that feed us will eventually bring the
problem back.

Update 10/10/02 The regulator bank was finally installed today. However, it is not regulating ! Seems the person who was sent to program the controls was giving the wrong settings. (As I have said many times, Downsizing Does Not Work !) Today, 10/24/02 the RG&E announced it is starting lay offs. The regulators are STILL NOT REGULATING ! (And I have made many calls to the RG&E) lAY OFFS WILL NOT WORK EITHER !
Update 11/06/02 The regulators finally started regulating today ! For the first time in 7 or 8 years we have normal voltage at Dynamic Recording. Of course no one from the RG&E called or e-mailed to let us know !
Update 08/04 When the temperature reaches 85 F or above our voltage stays at 120 volts. Which is good. However, the regulators are going to almost full raise, which means without them we would be in serious trouble. A 32 step voltage regulator can raise or lower the voltage 10 % or 5/8 % per step. Therefore without the regulators our voltage would be less than 108 volts. This also means the poor customers between the regulators and the sub station are getting SCREWED !
RSES Refrigeration Service Engineers Society Compressor Failure and Replacement 2002 Understanding the Causes of Motor Failure Many motor failures can be directly traced to the malfunction of electrical components. Low voltage often contributes to component malfunction, and ultimately to compressor failure. To be sure that the voltage being supplied is within the accepted tolerance stamped on the units nameplate, always check the supply voltage while the unit is under load. A +/- 10% deviation from the nameplate value is usually acceptable, but many 208/230-v motors will present problems if the voltage being supplied is more than 5% below the nameplate value (that is, the lower voltage on multi-voltage motors). In three-phase installations, it is very important to check phase voltage for proper balance. Make this check on the "T" side of the contactors, with the compressor operating under load. The deviation between phases should not exceed 2%. Two Percent More than this will seriously affect the compressor motor, and should be corrected.

Things to which out for if you have an equipment failure in your business or home. Your Air Conditioner, Refrigerator, Washer, etc fails during High Ambient Temperatures. The reason may be it was over worked due to low voltage. When the repairman arrives, have him check your voltage. If it is low, that may be the reason it failed. Normal Voltage is 118 to 123 volts. In fact when the voltage returns to normal your appliance may start working again! No matter where you live today, it is wise to own a volt meter, or a voltage monitoring devise. High Voltage can also cause many problems. 127 Volts is the maximum your home / business should ever receive. (phase to neutral) If you are recieving 118 Volts or less your appliances / electronic devices are being damaged! Best voltage is 120 to 124 volts.

During high temperature conditions your utility will claim the temperature is the problem and not them. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT THE TRUTH ! At some point in the last 10 TO 20 years, most, if not all electric suppliers, have become unable to deliver full peak demand loads. Rolling blackouts, brown outs, and general low voltage situations are costing all of we consumers money. Power companies are not building new electric plants. They are not keeping their transmission and distribution systems up to date. And therefore there are many times when we are not getting the full power we are paying for.

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