To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 addressed. 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 President Dynamic Recording Studio Independent Label / Dynamic Web Pages RG&E responce: Subject: Low Voltage investigation To: email@example.com X-Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 5.0.8 June 18, 2001 From: John_Bliss@rge.com 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 Dave, 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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