Connection, and, more importantly, quality connection, is crucial in business. Long-lasting success is based on relationships. So, as you work to develop strategies to add value, look at how you communicate and stay connected. Invest in your relationships; they are your most valuable asset.
Zack O'Malley Greenburg is senior editor of media & entertainment at Forbes and author of four books, including A-List Angels: How a Band of Actors, Artists and Athletes Hacked Silicon Valley and the Jay-Z biography Empire State of Mind. Zack's work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Billboard, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, McSweeney's and the Library of Congress. In over a decade at Forbes, he has investigated topics from Wu-Tang Clan's secret album in Morocco to the return of tourism in post-conflict Sierra Leone to the earning power of Hip-Hop's Cash Kings, writing cover stories on subjects ranging from Richard Branson to Ashton Kutcher to Katy Perry. A former child actor, Zack played the title role in the film Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and arrived at Forbes in 2007 after graduating from Yale with an American Studies degree. For more, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, newsletter and via www.zogreenburg.com. Got a tip on a music, media & entertainment story? Send it over via SecureDrop. Instructions here: www.forbes.com/tips
Assemble is a next-gen compensation platform that empowers teams to make better compensation decisions. We help forward-thinking companies like ServiceTitan and Verkada attract and retain talent with fair, equitable, and transparent pay. Our platform helps teams manage compensation end-to-end, from defining a compensation program (philosophy, job architecture, comp bands), to making and communicating decisions for new hires and employees. With Assemble, companies can give decision makers self-serve access to information and workflows including conducting compensation review cycles, monitoring pay equity, compliance with pay transparency laws, and more.
A grid-connected system allows you to power your home or small business with renewable energy during those periods (daily as well as seasonally) when the sun is shining, the water is running, or the wind is blowing. Any excess electricity you produce is fed back into the grid. When renewable resources are unavailable, electricity from the grid supplies your needs, eliminating the expense of electricity storage devices like batteries.
In addition, power providers (i.e., electric utilities) in most states allow net metering, an arrangement where the excess electricity generated by grid-connected renewable energy systems "turns back" your electricity meter as it is fed back into the grid. If you use more electricity than your system feeds into the grid during a given month, you pay your power provider only for the difference between what you used and what you produced.
Aside from the major small renewable energy system components, you will need to purchase some additional equipment (called "balance-of-system") in order to safely transmit electricity to your loads and comply with your power provider's grid-connection requirements. You may need the following items:
Because grid-connection requirements vary, you or your system supplier/installer should contact your power provider to learn about its specific grid-connection requirements before purchasing any part of your renewable energy system. See our page on balance-of-system equipment requirements for small renewable energy systems.
You will need to contact your power provider directly to learn about its specific requirements. If your power provider does not have an individual assigned to deal with grid-connection requests, try contacting your state utilities commission, state utility consumer advocate group (represents the interests of consumers before state and federal regulators and in the courts), state consumer representation office, or state energy office.
Power providers want to be sure that your system includes safety and power quality components. These components include switches to disconnect your system from the grid in the event of a power surge or power failure (so repairmen are not electrocuted) and power conditioning equipment to ensure that your power exactly matches the voltage and frequency of the electricity flowing through the grid.
In an attempt to address safety and power quality issues, several organizations are developing national guidelines for equipment manufacture, operation, and installation (your supplier/installer, a local renewable energy organization, or your power provider will know which of the standards apply to your situation, and how to implement them):
Although states and power providers are not federally mandated to adopt these codes and standards, a number of utility commissions and legislatures now require regulations for distributed generation systems to be based on the IEEE, UL, and NEC standards.
When connecting your small renewable energy system to the grid, you will probably need to sign an interconnection agreement with your power provider. In your agreement, power providers may require you to do the following:
In addition to insurance and fees, you may find that your power provider requires a great deal of paperwork before you can move ahead with your system. However, power providers in several states are now moving to streamline the contracting process by simplifying agreements, establishing time limits for processing paper work, and appointing representatives to handle grid-connection inquiries.
With a grid-connected system, when your renewable energy system generates more electricity than you can use at that moment, the electricity goes onto the electric grid for your utility to use elsewhere. The Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA) requires power providers to purchase excess power from grid-connected small renewable energy systems at a rate equal to what it costs the power provider to produce the power itself. Power providers generally implement this requirement through various metering arrangements. Here are the metering arrangements you are likely to encounter:
Some power providers will now let you carry over the balance of any net extra electricity your system generates from month to month, which can be an advantage if the resource you are using to generate your electricity is seasonal. If, at the end of the year, you have produced more than you've used, you forfeit the excess generation to the power provider.
Electrical equipment used in medical technology must not place patients or medical staff in danger. This, in turn, requires that designing safe equipment starts at the point where the power is supplied. Power connectors and power entry modules with or without a powerline filter must fulfill the requirements of the base standard for medical electrical equipment, IEC/UL 60601-1.
Connectors and power entry modules used in the equipment are tested to component standards and, if in compliance with these standards, can generally be used in most equipment without additional testing. This is especially true for medical equipment, where extensive requirements regarding safety are in effect, as defined in the base standard for medical electrical equipment, IEC/UL 60601-1. In addition, there are a wide range of specific requirements for each category of equipment according to IEC 60601-x-xx. The IEC standards for medical electrical equipment are harmonized with UL so that the same requirements are also in effect for equipment in North America.
The line switch at the power feed has an important function. Just as with fuse holders, it must be ensured that the equipment is completely disconnected from the power network after being turned off. If only one pole in a nonpolarized power distribution network is interrupted, the equipment could still be live. Thus, it is preferable to use a switch that disconnects the power feed on two poles. (IEC 60601-1: 8.11.1)
The power line filter is a central protective element. It protects equipment from external high-frequency (HF) interference and reduces the HF interference radiated by the equipment. A power line filter is often necessary in order to fulfill the EMC standards for CE declaration of conformity. Because power line filters can be under constant voltage, they are subject to strict requirements:
Capacitors store energy corresponding to their value of capacitance. If you pull a power cable out of a power socket, the stored voltage from the X capacitors is still present on the power pins. If touched, they can result in an electrical shock. Thus, medical electrical equipment with detachable power connectors may only have a maximum of 60V on the touchable plug pins one second after the plug has been pulled. To achieve this, a bleeder resistor is switched in between the phase and neutral conductors, and it discharges the capacitor in a very short time. (IEC 60601-1: 8.4.3)
In the case of power line filters, voltage separations inside the devices must also be observed. Here, too, the base standard for medical electrical devices specifies 3 mm between the energized phase conductor (L) and the neutral conductor (N), and it must be 4 mm to earth. According to base standards for medical electrical equipment, these air and creepage distances can be reduced to some extent if the filter is potted. (IEC 60601-1: 126.96.36.199) Figure 4 shows a diagram of minimum air creepage.
As a safety test, the base standard for medical electrical equipment specifies a high-voltage test of 1.5 kVAC between L and N as well as between L/N and earth (PE). To PE, the 1.5 kVAC corresponds to the values of the filter standard and can be met without any problem. However, a filter between L and N should not be tested with 1.5 kVAC because its capacitors could be damaged. Therefore, here IEC / UL 60601-1 makes an exception for interference suppression capacitors, which can be removed for a high-voltage test if they have been tested to IEC 60384-14. If capacitors in power line filters are tested to IEC 60384-14, then no additional high-voltage testing is necessary. (IEC 60601-1: 8.8.3) 2b1af7f3a8