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AC Line Voltage in NJ




 
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Author Topic: AC Line Voltage in NJ  (Read 1727 times)
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kc2we
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« on: February 19, 2017, 08:43:38 PM »

When using older tube gear, be advised that the NJ administrative code (for NJ electric customers) for electric utilities was revised last year for line voltage delivered to your home. The standard is 120 Volts +/- 5%. Tolerance used to be 4%, it is now 5%. So that means that the line voltage can be as low as 114 V rms to 126 V rms and still be in tariff. Some consumer electronics items, especially older gear may not be happy with the voltage on the high end. So before one bugs the local utility, one might consider a SOLA regulator or similar for 120 volts for the equipment that may "groan" with 126 volts or use an auto-transformer (Variac). Also short term variations are permitted beyond the 5%.

Every state has a different rule.

From the New Jersey Administrative Code that applies to all NJ Energy Delivery Companies (EDC's)


SUBCHAPTER 3.  SERVICE
14:5-3.2   Adequacy   of   service  
(a)  EDCs  supplying  electrical  energy  on  a  constant  potential  system shall adopt and maintain a standard average value of voltage as measured at  the  point  of  attachment  to  the  customerís  wiring;  and  the  normal variations, as measured by a standardized voltmeter, shall not vary for periods exceeding five minutes for service supplied at 150 volts or less to
ground  more  than  ***five percent *** above,  nor  more  than five percent below said standard average voltage for said location, which is in force at the time; provided, however, the variations in voltage caused by the operation of apparatus in the customerís premises in violation of the utilityís  rules,  the  action  of  the  elements,  or  other  causes  beyond  the EDCís control shall not be considered a violation of this provision. "

Forgot to add: The utility measurements are at the revenue electric meter. Voltage drop internal to the home is not included.

Seth KC2WE


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Seth Taylor
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 10:51:29 PM »

Even out here in corn country the distribution systems are raising their voltages for better efficiency.

Intracity ties have been upped from 7.5kV to 12.5 kV, etc.


Phil
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Mort


« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 10:57:44 PM »



  Hey Seth,


       Right now, 10:39 PM 2/26/2017 I measure
123.9 VAC.  My shop is regulated and right now
reads 116.9 VAC. 10:41 PM 2/26/2017..

       My shop is regulated by virtue of my
GRC 1581-A Automatic Voltage Regulator. He also
runs my radio desk.

http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=40930.0

       Prolly pretty hard to find now a days.
But you never know. I usually just put him in auto-
mode in the morning and let it settle in the voltage
then turn off the auto regulator.

       
        When it's in "Auto" mode, he adjusts every
time you hit the switch on the Weller Gun.


73

/Dan


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n4joy
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 11:34:06 PM »

Very nice, Dan.  My house voltage is typically around 125 VAC but has peaked to 126 VAC in the evenings--not good for the gear.  I am using a 6.3VAC 10 amp bucking transformer to bring it down to 118 VAC or so. I fancied it up with varistors, fuse, switch, and a neon lamp.


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flintstone mop
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 10:52:55 AM »

Our voltage varies from 109 to 119 Winter and summer. Western Pa.

There were times during the heat wave, last summer we were at 90 volts. And the substations, serving our city were tripping off line, to protect themselves from overloads.
Some major generating plant must have been having problems keeping up with a huge summer load. Or off line for maintenance.
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Fred KC4MOP
kc2we
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 07:14:10 PM »

Low line voltage below about 114 should be reported to the Power Company. At JCP&L we install recording Voltmeters at customer's when they have issues. The low voltage, around 109, shouldn't occur often if at all. It could be that the local distribution transformer, 120/240 volt secondaries or even primary has an excessive IR (voltage drop). There are cases were it's OK at the sub station, but out on long rural circuits there could be issues. On long rural lines there are often pole mounted auto-transformer regulators that are designed to maintain a nominal 123 volts out. It's up to the utility to identify and fix the problem. I'd wait until Summer when it happens, then register a voltage complaint. Note that the recording voltmeter is inserted between the watt-hour meter and the meter pan. There's a micro processor controlled recording meter that records voltage as well as amps per leg. We usually leave it there for 1 or 2 weeks, collect the data and based on the results investigate further. I've been doing this for years and never failed to find the cause. On rare occasions it's an inside problem at the customer's premise in the breaker panel (loose bolted connections). Sometimes it's a load unbalance condition at the panel board. National electric code NFPA 70 recommends no more than a 20% load inbalance between the legs of the 120/240.  ST
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Seth Taylor
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 10:30:22 AM »

Low line voltage below about 114 should be reported to the Power Company. At JCP&L we install recording Voltmeters at customer's when they have issues. The low voltage, around 109, shouldn't occur often if at all. It could be that the local distribution transformer, 120/240 volt secondaries or even primary has an excessive IR (voltage drop). There are cases were it's OK at the sub station, but out on long rural circuits there could be issues. On long rural lines there are often pole mounted auto-transformer regulators that are designed to maintain a nominal 123 volts out. It's up to the utility to identify and fix the problem. I'd wait until Summer when it happens, then register a voltage complaint. Note that the recording voltmeter is inserted between the watt-hour meter and the meter pan. There's a micro processor controlled recording meter that records voltage as well as amps per leg. We usually leave it there for 1 or 2 weeks, collect the data and based on the results investigate further. I've been doing this for years and never failed to find the cause. On rare occasions it's an inside problem at the customer's premise in the breaker panel (loose bolted connections). Sometimes it's a load unbalance condition at the panel board. National electric code NFPA 70 recommends no more than a 20% load inbalance between the legs of the 120/240.  ST

The QTH is a late 90's construction...no old or antiquated of deficient wiring problems here. It was the utility. Parts of the city were going through these outages from the various substations, feeding the city. Power drops out and immediately resets, to prevent emergency generators from a false starts. Great herky jerky voltage for sensitive electronics. I kept making outage phone calls to the automated service, every time it did this. Took a few days and then the problem went away.

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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 12:38:09 PM »

Anyone using one of the newer line conditioners from Tripp-lite, or others? I use an old Elgar 6000B which delivers very tightly regulated, pure as the driven snow AC but it weighs 80 lbs, hums, has a fan, and is expensive.

Input: 95-135 VAC
Output Harmonic Distortion: <2%
Regulation: +/- 0.025%

It has some incredibly fast response time too. Output voltage is adjustable. I keep mine at 117.

Something less noisy would be an improvement and it doesn't need such over-the-top specs, but +/- 5% isn't very interesting.
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kc2we
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 06:19:15 PM »

When power goes out due to a fault on the primary, i.e. tree limb across the lines, crazy squirrel etc, @ 12.47  or 13.2 KV typically the sub station breaker will trip all three phases, and then RECLOSE in about 15 seconds. It does this to allow the fault to clear, burn off etc., then when the power comes back, if the fault is still there, the breaker will open for 30 seconds (second shot). Then RECLOSE again bringing the power back. If the fault (or short) on the lines is still there, the the breaker will LOCK-OUT. Restoration will occur when a troubleshooter patrols the line and determines the cause and clears the fault. Fault currents can run into 1000's of amps, so the strategy is to react quickly to prevent damage to the substation transformer. By the way, when lightning occurs on the lines, the same scenario of trip and reclose will happen. Next time during a T storm count the reclose sequence. Note that if there is only one reclose event in 90 second period, the whole scenario resets the count back to zero.
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Seth Taylor
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 10:47:36 AM »

I e-mailed my power company's engineering technologist and expressed concern about my house voltage reaching approximately 128VAC in the evening.  I was told the acceptable limit is 114 to 126 and they will be installing a RVM to record voltages over time.   
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kc2we
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 01:05:18 PM »

Wud be interesting to see what their findings are. If voltage over time swings on a 24 hr one day period it could be a problem in a primary line regulator not working oR the tap changer regulation at the substation. There is not much air conditioning load now so that's not likely a loading issue. Good luck with that ST KC2WE
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Seth Taylor
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 03:14:59 PM »

Just an update from the power company (and my apologies for possibly hijacking the thread)... perhaps this information might useful to someone in the future.  I was informed that they are not installing a RVM at the meter.  Quoting the engineer, they located a "capacitor bank that had a blown fuse on C phase which controls the controller for the bank which wouldn't turn off when it needed to.  We opened up all three phases on this bank until we can fix it".

Interesting...

Chris, N4JOY
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kc2we
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 06:34:59 PM »

Typically line capacitors on the high voltage primary are used for power factor correction and tend to elevate voltage (based on a 120 base) about 2 to 3 volts. They are either fixed or controlled. The controlled ones usually are set (with pole mounted oil switches & controller) to either come on when the ambient temperature is over 85 deg F to anticipate lower voltage issues and caps go off-line if the 120 volt baseline goes over 123.5 Volts. The high temperature mode is for higher air conditioning loads in the summer, and the 123.5 volt limit is to avoid higher voltages in general. It's like a "Goldilocks" situation, just right. When one of the capacitor fuses open, and other two phases are in, there can be an inbalance in the KVAR correction. That's probably what happened in your case. The rule is that the pole mounted fuse blew for a reason, so the capacitors have to be tested by a crew before it's restored. It's then best to open the remaining caps until repairs can be made. You should see the baseline voltage drop about 2 to 3 volts. Also, at this time of year there's not much HVAC (inductive load) so you can "live" without the capacitors for a while until Summer. Seth T
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Seth Taylor
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 07:00:58 PM »

Anyone using one of the newer line conditioners from Tripp-lite, or others? I use an old Elgar 6000B which delivers very tightly regulated, pure as the driven snow AC but it weighs 80 lbs, hums, has a fan, and is expensive.

Input: 95-135 VAC
Output Harmonic Distortion: <2%
Regulation: +/- 0.025%

It has some incredibly fast response time too. Output voltage is adjustable. I keep mine at 117.

Something less noisy would be an improvement and it doesn't need such over-the-top specs, but +/- 5% isn't very interesting.

Those line conditioners are lab grade, capable of delivering pure ac to lab equipment and can be set.  There is another approach.  https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/  I'm running a 1500 watt version of a pure sinewave  UPS.  Some of the more expensive units can have the output voltage programmed.  This might be a less expensive alternative to the line conditioners plus it has the advantage of a graceful shutdown.  I have tested mine by pulling the plug from the wall and the Flex 5000 didn't blink an eye just kept on trucking.

Yet another approach would be a isolation transformer with a bucking transformer that reduces the voltage by, say, 5 or 10 volts.
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RF in the shack


« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 11:56:59 PM »

Anyone using one of the newer line conditioners from Tripp-lite, or others? I use an old Elgar 6000B which delivers very tightly regulated, pure as the driven snow AC but it weighs 80 lbs, hums, has a fan, and is expensive.

Input: 95-135 VAC
Output Harmonic Distortion: <2%
Regulation: +/- 0.025%

It has some incredibly fast response time too. Output voltage is adjustable. I keep mine at 117.

Something less noisy would be an improvement and it doesn't need such over-the-top specs, but +/- 5% isn't very interesting.

Those line conditioners are lab grade, capable of delivering pure ac to lab equipment and can be set.  There is another approach.  https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/  I'm running a 1500 watt version of a pure sinewave  UPS.  Some of the more expensive units can have the output voltage programmed.  This might be a less expensive alternative to the line conditioners plus it has the advantage of a graceful shutdown.  I have tested mine by pulling the plug from the wall and the Flex 5000 didn't blink an eye just kept on trucking.

Yet another approach would be a isolation transformer with a bucking transformer that reduces the voltage by, say, 5 or 10 volts.
Thanks for the pointers but I think I'll stick with the Elgar. Voltage fluctuation was driving me crazy. In the course of a long QSO, I might see the +5% at the start and -5% at the finish. VFO's and other oscillators in the vintage gear seem to be sensitive to that much filament swing so I'd drift quite a bit off frequency. I could regulate the filament voltages as some do but regulating the incoming AC managed the problem. Those Cyberpower systems have voltage regulation but the spec is +/- 5%.
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2017, 08:31:25 PM »

A couple of 120V 200A GE Inductrol units wait to be installed here for the workshop/shack. Very old having sensitive voltage relay type controllers. I like them because there are no moving contacts carrying high power. It's also nice to be able to address each side of the 240V individually yo keep them equal.

The Stabiline and other variable autotransformer types use a moving brush but are still very reliable and there are two 120V 55A ones here, one for the workbench and one for the sub-KW ham gear.

The above can be set for any reasonable voltages. 117 would be fine for the test bench and shack gear.

These were all had for a song, but the new stuff is faster to act and priced accordingly!
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2017, 07:46:50 PM »

I spoke with my local REC electrical engineer the other day and got this info:

Old System: 161kV from cross-country lines; down to 35kV at substation, interacity distribution was 7.2kV to local pig pole or transformer vault to 240V.

Present System: 345kV from cross-country lines; down to 69kV at substation, intracity distribution is 12.47kV at local pig pole or transformer vault to 240V.

Future System: 345kV from cross-country lines; down to 115kV at substation, to 12.47kV local pig pole or transformer vault then 240V.

The 12.47kV system will remain because all of our intracity lines are buried.

Variaton is +,- 2.5%, which means the 120V line can vary between 117V and 123V.


Phil  
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2017, 07:41:23 PM »

That system is antiquated in areas as well.

We have a one mega volt transmission line about 40 or so miles away.  DC from the Oregon / Washington border to Socal.

--Shane
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2017, 09:04:09 PM »

That system is antiquated in areas as well.

We have a one mega volt transmission line about 40 or so miles away.  DC from the Oregon / Washington border to Socal.

--Shane
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They run DC on the transmission line??  How do they deal with DC voltages to get to AC??
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flintstone mop
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2017, 09:16:53 AM »

I read or heard on TV, or somewhere on the information highway, that there is still thoughts about using DC volts. I do not know why "THEY" can't let this go.

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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2017, 09:28:49 AM »

 DC is much less lossy over long distances for transmitting large amounts of power. That pesky skin depth thing and AC having to deal with the reactance of the transmission line.

As to how they convert.....  Google is again our friend.

Here's a link to the system I was speaking of. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_DC_Intertie  this system is a combined AC and DC system.

More are slated to come online.

--Shane
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