Many large commercial buildings have problems with electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) . The issues typically range from concerns about human health and safety — to interference problems with computers and medical instruments — to serious and costly problems with the operation of sensitive electronic equipment.
In fact, problems with EMFs, EMI and "dirty voltage" are on the increase. Typical sources include power lines and transformers, electrical metering and distribution equipment, building wiring systems, electrical grounding problems, stray currents and voltages in metal water and gas pipes, electric motors and machinery, computers, fluorescent lighting, electronic power supplies and equipment, and many other sources.
Michael Neuert is an electrical engineer and licensed California electrical contractor, with over 14 years experience in the testing and mitigation of troublesome EMF and EMI problems in commercial and industrial buildings. The following are four case examples, to give some familiarity with the typical types of problems and solutions.
Case 1. Internet Facility in Los Angeles. The Problem: Magnetic fields from nearby power lines caused troublesome interference on computer screens in a third of the building. Most Cost-Effective Solution: Installed a special custom-designed active magnetic field cancellation system.
Case 2. Office Building in Kansas City, Missouri. The Problem: High EMFs and computer interference in offices above a large transformer vault. Most Cost-Effective Solution: Rerouted transformer cables to make use of passive automatic self-cancellation.
Case 3. Warehouse Accounting Office in Sacramento, California. The Problem: The electrical meter/distribution panel for this large warehouse caused high EMFs and interference problems on computers in the adjacent office area. Most Cost Effective Solution: Installed magnetic shielding material onto the wall between the electrical meter and the office area.
Case 4. Electronic Manufacturing Facility in Santa Rosa, California. The Problem: Mysterious interference problems were causing costly operation setbacks when this high-tech manufacturer moved to a new production facility. Most Cost Effective Solution: Systematically traced and repaired a series of wiring error conditions within the building's electrical system.
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