Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, April 10 to 16: commissioning electrical systems, VFDs, pump curves, standby generator systems, NFPA 101

Articles about commissioning electrical systems, networking VFDs, reading pump curves, standby generator systems, and NFPA 101 were Consulting-Specifying Engineer's five most clicked articles from last week, April 10 to 16. Were you out last week? You can catch up here.

By Joy Chang, CFE Media April 17, 2017

Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s top 5 most read articles online, for April 10 to 16, commissioning electrical systems, networking VFDs, reading pump curves, standby generator systems, and NFPA 101. Link to each article below. 

1. Risk management: Commissioning electrical systems

Commissioning electrical systems has become a study of economics and risk. Factors such as capital expenditure, age, safety, reliability, efficiency, and energy costs must be weighed in conjunction with replacement costs and liability risk to formulate and prioritize recommissioning and retro-commissioning plans.

2. Networking VFDs in high-performance buildings

Historically, the use of variable frequency drives (VFDs) has been limited to large motors and projects with healthy infrastructure budgets. However, as each iteration of the energy code mandates variable flow control of mechanical systems on smaller systems, VFDs have become more commonplace. While their implementation has been typically limited to providing code-required variable flow, VFDs are capable of communicating a wealth of information on system energy consumption, equipment health, and diagnostics.

3. Your questions answered: How to Read a Pump Curve

Jim Swetye, senior technical trainer at Grundfos Pumps Corp. in Ohio, tackled unanswered questions from the Jan. 24, 2017, webcast on how to read a pump curve.

4. Designing emergency and standby generator systems

Consulting engineers who specify emergency and standby power equipment understand that installations for mission critical facilities, such as hospitals and data centers, are required to comply with NFPA 110: Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, in conjunction with NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC). System designers must interpret the requirements of NFPA 110, ensure their designs follow them, and educate their clients about how the standard affects their operations.

5. Understanding NFPA 101 for mission critical facilities

NFPA 101: Life Safety Code 2015 is a reference used for strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection, and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and other related hazards. It is the only document that covers life safety for new and existing structures. It is vital to understand the electrical/power systems in mission critical facilities and best practices.

This list was developed using CFE Media’s web analytics for stories viewed on, April 10 to 16, for articles published within the last two months. 

Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media,