Monthly Archives: July 2015

Meet Code Requirements with Mersen’s Fused Coordination Panelboards

Mersen’s Fused Coordination Panelboard (MFCP) is designed to meet requirements defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC) to protect critical power operations.

The MFCP provides a simple 2:1 coordination ratio with upstream Amp-Trap 2000 fuses, eliminating the need for a costly short circuit current study. Panels are provided with a default short circuit current rating (SCCR) of 200kA and provide overcurrent protection through a combination of a circuit breaker and a fuse. MFCP is a UL67 listed panelboard that utilizes commonly available class CC and class J fuses.

Combination rated circuit breaker and fuse for branch circuit protection ensures fuses will open only on short-circuits and the circuit breaker can easily be reset on common overloads. The circuit breaker is designed to operate on overloads up to two times their rating and the fuse over two times up to 200kA.
MFCPs can simplify the process in achieving code compliance for designers. Highlights include:

  • Easy selectivity ratios with upstream fuses
  • Resettable overload protectionPHP-Fused-Coordination-Panelboard-Door-Open_SMALL
  • Voltage: 120/208, 120/240, 277/480, 347/600
  • Main Bus: 250A or 400A,
  • MLO, Fused Main or Non-fuse Main disconnect
  • SCCR: 200kA
  • Surge Protection (SPD) optional
  • 20, 32 or 42 branch circuits
  • Standard 20″ wide
  • Feed through lugs optional
  • Surface mount
  • Uses commonly available class CC and J fuses

Selective Coordination is Simpler with MFCPs

Selective coordination is now simpler, less time-consuming and less costly thanks to Mersen’s Fused Coordination Panelboard (MFCP). Achieving selective coordination typically requires a costly short circuit current study. However with the MFCP, coordination can easily be determined with upstream Mersen fuses. MFCP utilizes Amp-Trap 2000® ATDR and AJT fuses for branch circuits. Simply maintain a 2:1 ratio with upstream Amp-Trap 2000 fuses and the system will coordinate. Many circuit breakers will coordinate easily with downstream fuses.

A system that is selectively coordinated will ensure that any fault condition is localized to the nearest overcurrent protective device. This increases system reliability and decreases downtime. Selective coordination is desired for all systems but is also mandatory per NEC for critical circuits:

  • 62 – Elevator Circuits
  • 27 – Emergency Systems
  • 18 – Legally Required Standby Systems

By localizing a fault to the nearest overcurrent device selective coordination prevents unnecessarily disconnecting other circuits in the system. An electrical system that utilizes Mersen fuses can simply be selectively coordinated by meeting the minimum amp rating ratios. By adhering to the minimum fuse ratios engineers and installers can save time and money because no complex coordination study is required.

Want to learn more about how Mersen’s Fused Coordination Panelboards can help with your selective coordination code compliance?  Ask your French Gerleman representative for more information today!

Getting – and Keeping – Kids Interested in STEM

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is the key to manufacturing innovation. We’re in the business of innovation, so it’s important to us to see more kids going into the STEM fields.

A recent study done by Georgetown University found that America isn’t producing enough students trained in the STEM fields to fill jobs in the future. If we plan on keeping up with the growing number of STEM jobs, there needs to be a strong push to strengthen STEM education programming.

One key plus of the STEM industry is the constant need for employees. In a recent Yahoo! Finance article, engineering is where the most jobs are at the moment, and the hottest job is petroleum engineering. However, engineering is constantly a popular field with many job opportunities. As of February, there were 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in America. Why you may ask? Lack of qualified employees with background and experience in STEM.

Saul Fenster, President emeritus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, said the lack of students going into the STEM fields was a call to action. “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is not only a prelude to engineering, but also to innovation manufacturing in the 21st century. STEM education is also crucial to fields in all areas of society including the financial, medical and biology sectors. Engineering is a problem-solving profession, and when young people realize it is creative and fun, they are less apprehensive about its more challenging curriculum, and learning is made significantly easier.”


If you want to engage your kids in the STEM field, now is the time! With the summer months upon us, there are great camps and fun activities for kids. In St. Louis, The Science Center has several great activities and exhibits that are perfect for any kid with a budding interest in STEM. This summer their focus is on energy, from energy basics, batteries, electric vehicles to green energy.  In Kansas City, Science City at Union Station offers some great summer exhibits focusing on water and genetics.SLSC_eVieTruck


Throughout the year, French Gerleman supports events and STEM education including St. Louis Science Center’s EVie electric vehicle; the FIRST Robotics competition in St. Louis where we have sponsored the Westminster Christian Academy Cyborg Cats Team 4256; and the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Formula SAE Electric Series of Racing Formula Electric Design Team. It’s truly amazing to see kids and young adults getting involved with STEM.  It’s proof that the STEM industry is exciting and engaging to young minds.


The moral of the story is this: kids, now is the time to invest in a STEM education! There is a link between STEM subjects and the miracles of the modern world. It is innovation, hands on and dynamic.



Product Spotlight: 5 SQUARE® Box from Thomas & Betts

Thomas & Betts has introduced a new line of 5-inch square boxes ideal for low voltage cabling systems and alarm devices.  The new 5 SQUARE® Boxes more than double the cubic-inch capacity of a standard 4″-square deep box, making it faster and easier to route wiring and make terminations in the box.

The 5 SQUARE® Telecommunication Box supports copper CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7, CAT7A and fiber optic cables as well as expected future generations of cables. The boxes include cable management posts to ensure minimum bend radius requirements for high speed data cables and enough interior volume to properly store the slack cable loop.

Avoid the hazards of ground faults and short circuits in fire alarm systems with the 5 SQUARE® Fire Signal Box. Its increased size and space added around the perimeter of an appliance helps to prevent ground faults and short circuits.

The 5 SQUARE® Boxes can save contractors up to 50% in labor costs. By storing the recommended slack loop of communications cabling in the box instead of in a closet or drop ceiling, terminating cables at the box becomes a job for a single technician, eliminating the need for a second technician to access the drop ceiling space where the cable loop is typically stored.

In addition to labor savings, our 5 SQUARE® Boxes provide equipment savings. Compared to standard electrical boxes, the larger size of 5 SQUARE® Boxes enables more circuits and zones to be pulled through, which can reduce conduit and installation costs.

Key features:

  • Twice the volume as standard electrical boxesTnB_SteelCity_5SquareBox
  • Integrated cable management posts prevent kinked and over-bent cables
  • Save up to 50% in labor, increase profits
  • Eliminate the need to remove ceiling tiles to access the slack cable loop, preventing damage and debris
  • Eliminate troubleshooting time and costs
  • Fully upgradeable system
  • Available in red powder-coat finish or zinc-galvanized


Ask your French Gerleman representative for information on how the Thomas & Betts 5 SQUARE® Box can help save you labor and material on your next project.


What Do the Changes to Self-Test GFCIs Mean to You?

Unless you are an electrical contractor, you might not have heard about UL 943 and the necessary transition to self-test Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). We’re here to break it down and make it simple to understand!

What is it?

The Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard 943 for GFCIs requires manufacturers to include a new function for all ground fault receptacles (GFRs) being built after June 29, 2015.

What does that mean?

The new functionality required by the UL means that each GFR must automatically monitor the GFCI circuit/functionality periodically every three hours or less. It must also automatically test within five seconds of power to the device.

New 2015 GFCI Requirements

Standard 943: June 29, 2015, changes:

  • “Automatically” monitor GFCI circuit/functionality “periodically”
    • Automatically test within five (5) seconds of power to line and load terminals
    • Periodically means every three (3) hours or less
  • If the unit can no longer provide GFCI protection, it must comply with the following
    • “Deny Power” (trip with the inability to reset)
    • Trip with the ability to reset, subject to the next auto-monitoring test cycle
    • Visual and/or audible indication as permitted by UL 943
  • 30.8 visual and/or audible indication
    • GFCI must visually or audibly indicate that it does not go to power denial


What is changing for the customer?

The external changes are very minimal. There are no changes in wiring or method of installation, nor are there changes in user interface or physical size. The only physical external changes are an added power indicator and an added trip indicator.

The internal changes are moderately major. They include:

  • New microcontroller/programmed for auto monitor
  • Major component additions to printed circuit board for filtering, diagnostics and monitoring
  • Single printed circuit board changed to a double sided PCB
  • Added power LED board
  • Added electronics for trip indicator (solid red when tripped)
  • 100% new tooling across all lines for internal design changes

You can still buy and install the current generation of GFCIs until the inventories are depleted, but manufacturers will no longer produce the previous generation of GFCIs after June 29.Hubbell_SelfTestGFCI

Hubbell’s Got Your Back

With Hubbell’s Self Test GFCI Patented Technology, the GFCI receptacles continually test and monitor for “people protection capabilities” automatically. This patented safety feature includes disconnecting power to the receptacle if critical components are damaged. Give your French Gerleman representative a call to learn more about the full line of Hubbell GFCIs or to place your order!


Source: Hubbell Wiring Device- Kellems

Honoring the Fourth of July With U.S. Made Products


In honor of the Fourth of July weekend, we wanted to write a blog that focuses on products manufactured in the USA. What better way to celebrate Independence Day? T&B says it best, “American innovation and hard work produce a current like no other.” When you connect with companies who manufacture in the USA, you connect with American jobs, products and people.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was signed in 2009 and intended to stimulate the U.S. economy by injecting $787 billion in spending and tax cuts. For federal, state and municipal projects funded by the ARRA, there is a preference for the use of U.S. domestic products. The following companies are all “Buy American” compliant:

Thomas & Betts

While Thomas & Betts has a global operations, their American workforce is more than 4,900 strong! Its U.S. plants produce a wide range of components that improve the transmission and distribution of electrical power. T&B’s Distribution Center, located in one of the top distribution regions in the country, ships 85,000 products a day to keep industry powered up. T&B has manufacturing plants in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

T&B Steel City, manufactured in the USA Steel EMT Fittings, are high-quality steel construction, ideal for use in ARRA projects requiring US manufactured components. To learn more about the available sizes, you can view their sales brochure HERE.

Hubbell Logo

Hubbell has a wide range of products available for your next project, all manufactured in the U.S.! They range from ground fault receptacles, switches, occupancy sensors, lighting controls, network wiring, cable protection products and more. For a full list of products available from Hubbell that are “Buy American” compliant be sure to download their PDF HERE.


SolaHD has a complete line of energy saving transformers that are compliant with the “Buy American” provisions of the ARRA. They are manufactured in the U.S., are compliant to NEMA TP-1 standards, single and three phase availability and are high efficiency for low cost operation. To see the full list of features and benefits and to learn more about products available from SolaHD, you can download the PDF HERE.

General Cable LOGO Green and Black

General Cable products are manufactured in America to build America. At General Cable, they provide cutting and paralleling services as well as pulling eyes for easy installation. They offer great products including STABILOY® Brand aluminum building wire as well as copper building wire and Carol® Brand cord products. They are perfect for portable power during construction. To learn more about the products available from General Cable, you can download their Manufactured in America PDF HERE.


To learn more about products that are manufactured in the USA or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, contact your French Gerleman representative. From all of us at French Gerleman, we hope you and your families have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday!

photo credit: Flag via photopin (license)