Lancaster, PA Electrician Directory

Find licensed electrical contractors in Lancaster County, PA for Residential, Commercial & Industrial projects here!

Homeowners need electricians to install new modern circuit breaker electrical service panels replacing antiquated fuse panels. You may need extra outlets installed in an older home that didn't have electrical receptacles installed in every corner of the home. Perhaps you're installing ceiling fans and need them wired to switch panels on the walls. Or, you want to add a hot tub to your backyard and need electrical service installed. You'll find electricians available for all of these services and more here on lancaster electrical .com.

Need an industrial or commercial electrician here in Lancaster County? Whether you need high bay lighting installed or a new three phase feed for that new high powered machine your adding commercial and industrial electricians have the skill set to make every installation and upgrade run smoothly.

 



Read the latest news for licensed electrical contractors in Lancaster County, PA.

Great Plains States Lead in Renewable Power
Great Plains States Lead in Renewable Power hfullmer Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:49

Great Plains States Lead in Renewable Power

As more coal plants age out, Great Plains states—which are sunny, wide-open, and windy and have a lot of room for ethanol-producing cornfields—now have some of the highest percentages of renewable generation within their power mix.

Oklahoma is the leader, with renewables producing 38.4 percent of its energy generation, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

“In 2018, wind energy alone provided almost one-third of the state's net electricity generation,” the EIA writes. “Oklahoma had almost 7,700 megawatts of wind capacity installed by November 2018, which equaled about nine-tenths of Oklahoma's total installed capacity from all renewable resources.”

On average, hydroelectric power provides about 3 percent of the Sooner State's annual net generation. Other renewables, such as biomass and solar, contribute a smaller percentage.

Iowa has the next highest percentage, with renewables producing 37.4 percent of its mix.

“Iowa is the leading ethanol-producing state in the nation and has one-fourth of the nation's ethanol production capacity,” the EIA writes. “The state's ethanol plants can produce about 4 billion gallons per year. Iowa's plentiful cornfields provide the feedstock for most of the state's 44 ethanol plants.”

Though not officially a Great Plains state, the Hawkeye State’s wind resources make it one of the country’s leading states in the percentage of in-state electricity generation from renewable resources other than hydroelectric power, according to the agency.

“In 2016, wind energy powered more than one-third of Iowa's net electricity generation, the highest share of any state, and only Texas and Oklahoma surpassed Iowa in the total amount of electricity generated from wind,” the EIA writes.

Hydroelectric power, biomass and solar energy collectively make up about 2 percent of Iowa's net electricity generation.

Third in line is Kansas, with renewables producing 36.8 percent of its mix.

“Kansas, with its wide plains, is among the leading states in both wind energy generation and wind energy potential,” the EIA writes. “In addition … Kansas is among the 10 sunniest states in the country, with about the same solar power potential as Florida, and some solar photovoltaic capacity is being built.”

The Sunflower State is also one of the top 10 ethanol-producing states in the nation and has hydroelectric power resources.

Vermont follows, along with two more Great Plains states, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to the agency.

Amanda Levin, a policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Utility Dive that, while politicians across the Great Plains may not be particularly vocal in their support of renewables, states like Kansas and the Dakotas nevertheless continue to develop their clean energy capabilities, in part to woo more data centers with “cheap, clean energy.” These states and their neighbors are also trying to meet increased demand with renewables as many of their fossil fuel facilities have become “worn out.”

"Most of the five largest states for wind and solar, as a percentage of generation from wind and solar, are in the Midwest and they're states that I don't think typically get thought of as clean energy leaders," Levin said.

She added that, for all of the country, coal consumption decreased by about 27 percent, replaced by renewables but even more so by natural gas.

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Residential Energy Efficiency Gaining Traction
Residential Energy Efficiency Gaining Traction hfullmer Thu, 03/14/2019 - 13:14

Residential Energy Efficiency Gaining Traction

According to the newly released “2019 Energy-Efficient Home Design Trends Report," published by Fixr, a remodeling cost information firm, homeowners are becoming more motivated to introduce more energy efficiency technologies and systems in their homes. The report notes that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes and residential buildings consume the most energy of any sector, including industrial and transportation.

Among the report's key findings, which come from 25 of the nation's leading experts on residential energy efficiency, as well as a comprehensive look at what homeowners are looking for in new homes related to energy efficiency:

  1. The majority of homeowners are personally motivated to save energy to also save money.
  2. Homeowners also have a significant environmental awareness, which drives some decisions.
  3. Solar power remains the most common way to utilize renewable energy in the home.
  4. Heat pumps are the most popular method to heat an energy-efficient home.
  5. Tankless heaters are the most efficient way to heat water.

While energy efficiency is growing, however, it is not likely to continue to be rolled out and adopted in the same ways that is has been in recent years. According to Navigant Research, the residential energy paradigm is shifting as homeowners invest in emerging smart home technologies and distributed energy resources.

"The single-family home, for example, is no longer simply a metered source of energy demand, but instead has become a source of energy supply and demand management potential and even a focal point for tackling climate change," Navigant states.

Navigant further notes that one thing driving the shift is the fact that a technology-enabled experience, which is made possible by new business models, is creating a pathway to a new "platform" model, which is built around an IT and communications infrastructure, software analytics, hardware and services.

The report also notes that the new platform offerings will succeed as more providers focus on offering open systems that strive for interoperability; harnessing the broad appeal of the smart home; and building partnerships and capabilities designed to employ domain knowledge, channels and services.

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Dodge Sees Signs of Slowing, Wells Fargo More Optimistic
Dodge Sees Signs of Slowing, Wells Fargo More Optimistic hfullmer Thu, 03/14/2019 - 13:01

Dodge Sees Signs of Slowing, Wells Fargo More Optimistic

According to the most recent report from Dodge Data & Analytics, the Dodge Momentum Index lost 4.4 percent in February, falling to 146.9 from 153.6 in January. Both components of the index fell in February. The institutional component was down 5.9 percent, and the commercial component was down 3.4 percent.

According to the Momentum Index report, it has "become clear that the average level of activity has downshifted slightly since the summer of 2018. From April through August last year, the average level of the Momentum Index was 158.6, while from September through the latest month the average is 150.3—a decline of 5.2 percent. The shift continues to suggest that the growth in construction activity will moderate over the coming year."

However, a new Wells Fargo report, "Construction Industry Forecast 2019," is a bit more optimistic, noting a healthy level of optimism among construction executives for 2019. The report, which has been published each year for the last eight years, suggests non-residential construction should see strong activity in 2019.

In specific, according to the Wells Fargo report, 98 percent of contractors who participated in the survey plan to purchase new or used equipment this year. For 76 percent of this group, their new equipment purchases will increase from 2018, and for 75 percent of respondents, purchases of used equipment will either increase or remain steady compared with last year.

In terms of equipment rental activity, 92 percent of contractors surveyed reported that they plan to increase or maintain their current level of equipment rental activity.

As regards 2019 projections in general, 52 percent of respondents predicted an overall increase in industry activity, while only 4 percent predicted that activity would decrease this year.

When it comes to 2020, however, responses were different, with 51 percent of contractors expecting continued expansion but 27 percent predicting a contraction next year.

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IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop Brings Safety Professionals Together
IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop Brings Safety Professionals Together mkraus Mon, 03/11/2019 - 10:29

IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop Brings Safety Professionals Together

Electrical safety is not just a priority for electricians and electrical contractors; there are professionals all over the world who have made it their business. This was evident at the IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop (ESW), held March 4–8 in Jacksonville, Fla.

The workshop was not just about electrical safety as it pertains to U.S. codes and standards; there was a large international contingent as well. Canada in particular was well-represented among the attendees, as they all came together to share their ideas and experiences relating to electrical safety.

According to the ESW website, the workshop was founded in 1991 by the IAS Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee. Since then, it “has served to accelerate the dispersion of information and knowledge impacting electrical safety.”

Attendees are able to submit their own papers for discussion, and the question-and-answer sessions are more involved than a standard convention keynote. Electrical safety is the livelihood of almost everyone there, and they are excited to share their experiences and learn from others.

The passion of the attendees was evident at the Product and Services Expo and Social on March 6, during which product and service providers showed off how they work to promote electrical safety themselves. A number of personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers promoted their flame-retardant products, and larger companies such as Eaton also discussed how their products work to promote safety.

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR also had a booth at the expo, and it was impressive to see how many were intrigued by the magazine’s coverage of the National Electrical Code and other codes and standards, as well as safety. Many of them were not electrical contractors—the crowd included safety experts and engineers from various national laboratories, utilities, automobile manufacturers and more—but everyone there was excited to consume as much information as possible.

The rest of the conference included a series of presentations, tutorials, keynotes, presentations, working groups and more. Students from around the globe had a chance to present their own posters, and they came from such places as Texas, Washington, D.C., New Zealand, Poland, Pakistan, China and Scotland.

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IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop Brings Safety Professionals Together
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IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop Product and Services Expo


GM and Ford Power Michigan Facilities with Local Wind
GM and Ford Power Michigan Facilities with Local Wind hfullmer Mon, 03/11/2019 - 09:17

GM and Ford Power Michigan Facilities with Local Wind

Recently, two of the world’s biggest automakers—and two of its biggest consumers of fossil fuels—made major announcements concerning renewable power. GM and Ford will now power some their biggest facilities with wind power generated by a local utility.

In late February, GM announced a partnership with DTE Energy for 300,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of wind energy in the state of Michigan. Once complete, the energy sourced will be enough to power 100 percent of the electricity needs of GM’s global technical center in Warren and its Detroit-based operations at the Renaissance Center. GM will source the wind power through an agreement with DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower, a renewable energy program that enables DTE customers to attribute up to 100 percent of their energy use to DTE clean energy projects in Michigan.

One week earlier, Ford Motor Company, announced a similar arrangement. Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, its Raptor Assembly Plant, several new buildings on its Research and Engineering Campus, and its Corktown campus will soon all be powered by 100 percent locally sourced renewable energy. The Dearborn Plant is home to the F-150. The Raptor facility is home to the new 2020 Ford Ranger

This collaboration is part of a commitment by Ford to a substantial renewable energy procurement through the DTE MIGreenPower program. It will provide 500,000 MWh of locally sourced Michigan wind energy in the automaker’s Southeast Michigan portfolio.

In January 2019, DTE received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to offer a MIGreenPower program designed for major Michigan corporations and industrial companies who want access to more renewable energy to meet corporate sustainability goals.

Already the state’s largest provider of renewable energy, DTE plans to build additional renewable energy projects and expand MIGreenPower to meet increasing customer demand. The company will more than double its renewable energy generation capacity, investing an additional $2 billion in wind and solar by 2024.

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U.S. Power Sector Emissions Rose in 2018, Upturn Limited by Energy Efficiency
U.S. Power Sector Emissions Rose in 2018, Upturn Limited by Energy Efficiency hfullmer Fri, 03/08/2019 - 11:11

U.S. Power Sector Emissions Rose in 2018, Upturn Limited by Energy Efficiency

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States rose last year due to higher demand at power plants as well as greater energy use within the transportation sector, from industrial activity and in buildings—demand that energy-efficient systems could not fully offset.

Power plant CO2 emissions in 2018 rose 0.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.93 billion tons, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which deemed the increase modest as electric generation increased by 5 percent. The agency collected data from plants in the lower 48 states.

The agency also noted that 2018 power plant emissions of nitrogen oxides declined 3.8 percent to 1.02 million tons, and sulfur dioxide emissions declined 5.9 percent to 1.26 million tons.

“Through state and federal fulfillment of the Clean Air Act, and advances by the power sector, we’ve seen significant reductions in key pollutants while electricity generation has increased,” said Bill Wehrum, EPA’s assistant administrator for air and radiation.

However, a report by Rhodium Group LLC based in New York City states U.S. power sector CO2 emissions increased by 1.9 percent in 2018 as power consumption “increased meaningfully” in 2018. U.S. power sector emissions rose by 34 million metric tons in 2018, compared to a decline of 78 million metric tons in 2017 and a 61-million-metric-ton average annual decline between 2005 and 2016. 

“While a record number of coal-fired power plants were retired last year, natural gas not only beat out renewables to replace most of this lost generation but also fed most of the growth in electricity demand,” Rhodium Group’s energy and climate staff writes in the report.

Between January and October, U.S. power companies added a greater share of gas capacity than the share of retired coal capacity, and twice as much gas went online as combined wind and solar capacity additions during that period, according to the report. Natural gas-fired generation increased by 166 billion kilowatts during the first 10 months of 2018—three times the decline in coal generation and four times the combined growth of wind and solar.

Rhodium also considered CO2 emissions from other sources, including energy use statistics in certain industries and buildings based on emissions data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) for the first three quarters of the year, weekly EIA petroleum supply data, daily power generation data from Genscape and natural gas data from Bloomberg.

Overall, energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 3.4 percent in 2018, Rhodium estimates—the second largest annual gain since 1996. Last year’s rise was surpassed only by the 3.6 percent increase that occurred in 2010 when emissions rebounded from a recession-driven 7.2 percent decline the year before.

The largest source of CO2 emissions in the country continues to be the result of energy use by the transportation sector, with demand for diesel and jet fuel rising by 3.1 percent and 3 percent, respectively, during the first nine months of the year. For the full year, Rhodium estimates transportation emissions grew by 1 percent, roughly the same as the 2017 growth rate.

“This highlights the challenges in decarbonizing the transportation sector beyond light-duty vehicles,” the report states. “Here we see efficiency improvements and electrification beginning to make a dent, albeit not nearly a big enough one to meet medium- and long-term U.S. emissions targets.”

The biggest year-over-year growth in emissions came from energy use in buildings and industrial activity, according to the report. In 2018, direct emissions from the combustion of fuel oil, diesel and natural gas within residential and commercial buildings rose by 10 percent to their highest level since 2004. Last winter was colder than the prior winter, but 2017 overall was also warmer than normal, making the year-over-year increase even more marked.

“While there have been modest improvements in the efficiency of oil and natural gas furnaces, it is not enough to offset the emissions impact of population growth and increased demand for heating and other non-electric building energy services,” the authors write. “Building electrification has recently gained traction as a concept within the energy and climate wonkosphere, but much less headway is being made on the ground among actual building owners and operators.”

The industrial sector posted the largest emissions gains in 2018 at 55 million metric tons, due mostly to growth in industrial activity, according to the report.

“Absent a significant change in policy or a major technological breakthrough we expect the industrial sector to become an increasingly large share of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the years ahead (including non-CO2 gases),” the authors write. “We expect it to overtake power as the second leading source of emissions in California by 2020 and to become the leading source of emissions in Texas by 2022.”

The United States will need to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions by 2.6 percent on average over the next seven years—and more if emissions from other gases don’t continue to decline at the same pace—if the country is to meet the Paris Agreement target of a 26–28 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2025, Rhodium’s staff assert.

“That’s more than twice the pace the U.S. achieved between 2005 and 2017 and significantly faster than any seven-year average in U.S. history,” the report states. “It is certainly feasible, but will likely require a fairly significant change in policy in the very near future and/or extremely favorable market and technological conditions.”

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U.S. Power Sector Emissions Rose in 2018, Upturn Limited by Energy Efficiency
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China Plans to Build Space-Based Solar Power Station
China Plans to Build Space-Based Solar Power Station hfullmer Fri, 03/08/2019 - 10:55

China Plans to Build Space-Based Solar Power Station

It might sound like newfangled science-fiction tech, but China has plans to build the world’s first space-based solar power station by 2050, according to an article in Forbes. The solar power station, owned by the state’s China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., may provide enough clean energy to power an entire city.

While China is a latecomer to the space age, the country has already accomplished historic feats, including landing a rover on the far side of the moon earlier this year. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. also plans to launch small solar satellites that can harness energy by 2021.

If energy can be beamed to Earth from space using microwaves or lasers and then converted to electricity and distributed via electric grids, this would open a new era of renewable energy for the world. The station might be able to collect solar power 24/7 without dealing with adverse atmosphere or weather.

The space-based solar power station would be placed in geostationary orbit, more than 22,360 miles above Earth. The station would need to be large, at least 0.8 square miles to produce 1 gigawatt of power, according to an article in CNN. China plans to build a receiving station in Xian.

China has pledged to invest $367 billion in renewable power generation by 2020, including solar, wind, hydro and nuclear energy. It made an initial investment of $15 million to build a 33-acre testing facility in Chongqing's Bishan district. The facility will develop space transmission technologies and study the effect microwaves beamed to Earth may have on living organisms.

To examine the feasibility of a space solar power station, scientists plan to use balloons equipped with solar panels to test microwave transmission technology. So far, Chinese researchers have transmitted energy-carrying microwaves over 328 feet.

“We plan to launch four to six tethered balloons from the testing base and connect them with each other to set up a network at an altitude of around 1,000 meters," said Xie Gengxin, deputy head of the Chongqing Collaborative Innovation Research Institute for Civil-Military Integration in Southwestern China in a China Daily article. "These balloons will collect sunlight and convert solar energy to microwave before beaming it back to Earth. Receiving stations on the ground will convert such microwaves to electricity and distribute it to a grid.”

China is not alone in exploring the possibilities of space-based energy. The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) also has been working for years on an orbital array of photovoltaic dishes. With the Space Solar Power Systems, JAXA plans to transmit energy from orbiting solar panels by 2030. JAXA is currently developing technology to transmit electricity wirelessly, and in 2015, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. successfully conducted a ground demonstration test of this technology.

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Global Mining Industry Digging Renewables
Global Mining Industry Digging Renewables hfullmer Tue, 03/05/2019 - 12:06

Global Mining Industry Digging Renewables

Solar panels and windmills are powering up homes and businesses at a growing rate. However, they also are making an impact in some unlikely industries. According to a recent study by Navigant Research, the global mining industry is increasingly relying on renewables to meet its energy needs.

Released in the first quarter of 2019, the study titled “Renewable Energy in the Mining Industry” analyzes and forecasts the integration of renewable technologies that supply power to mines. It focuses mostly on on-site generation of systems up to about 10 megawatts (MW) of capacity, although it does include data from larger, off-site facilities. The study focuses on solar PV, wind and energy storage.

Navigant describes the trillion-dollar mining industry as “notoriously energy intensive.” According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), approximately 11 percent of the total global energy consumption is attributed to the mining sector.

While mines get most of their energy from on-site diesel generators, many operations are migrating to renewables. According to Navigant, several factors are contributing to this change. The declining costs of renewables have made it a more cost-effective proposition for mining operators, even in parts of the world where renewables do not receive support from government subsidies. Reliability is also an important consideration for mining, and renewables are increasingly providing a reliable source of backup generation, especially in the form of solar or wind combined with storage. Finally, the combination of regulations, environmental awareness and corporate social responsibility are compelling more mining operations to migrate to renewables.

Although the industry has been slow to adopt renewable power, Navigant expects the total global renewable generating capacity in mining to grow from less than 80 MW in 2018 to more than 160 MW in 2027. Navigant projects the Asian mining industry to comprise the largest share of renewable generation and the largest share of growth from about 30 MW in 2018 to 80 MW in 2027. In North America, Navigant expects renewable power adoption in mining to be much less significant.

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USGBC Creates New DC Power Pilot Program for LEED
USGBC Creates New DC Power Pilot Program for LEED hfullmer Tue, 03/05/2019 - 11:58

USGBC Creates New DC Power Pilot Program for LEED

According to a new report from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), while power generation, transmission and distribution in the United States tend to be predominantly alternating current (AC), an increasing number of devices in buildings use direct-current (DC) power, meaning AC power entering these buildings must be converted to DC before DC-compatible devices can use it.

The report notes the inefficiencies in the conversion process result in energy waste of between 5–20 percent. Furthering the problem is that, even with the parallel rise of DC power sources in buildings, this DC power is almost always converted back to AC power before running through a building's electrical system, where it is then converted back to DC for use by the DC-compatible devices.

According to the report, an effective way to reduce this consistent energy waste would be to require building designers and developers to integrate DC power systems into their buildings. To help move this concept forward, the USGBC has created a new pilot program: Direct Current Power Systems.

"The new LEED pilot credit is designed to break the chicken-and-egg dilemma related to DC power in buildings," the report states. "Manufacturers are not inclined to produce DC-powered systems, because they aren't specified in design plans. On the other hand, design teams don't specify them, because manufacturers don't produce them. This new incentive for building designers to integrate DC power into buildings will help spur interest in the specification of DC systems, and thereby their production by manufacturers."

Building project teams will have two options to earn up to 18 LEED points for integrating systems or subsystems into their design that operate directly on DC power.

Option No. 1 is a prescriptive approach that will require 95 percent of the load of at least one major energy system to operate directly off DC power. Qualifying systems will include: elevators, escalators, indoor LED lighting, outdoor LED lighting, EV charging, heating-cooling-ventilation, fans, plug loads, information technology and process loads.

Option No. 2 is a performance-based approach that will offer a whole-building energy simulation alternative compliance path, awarding more points for more energy saved in designs that integrate DC power.

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California Opening Up to Independent Developer Distributed Energy Storage Projects
California Opening Up to Independent Developer Distributed Energy Storage Projects hfullmer Tue, 03/05/2019 - 11:49

California Opening Up to Independent Developer Distributed Energy Storage Projects

A recent administrative law judge ruling in California may pave the way for more private-sector development of the state's mandated distributed energy storage system projects.

In September 2016, the state passed Assembly Bill 2868, known as the "Energy Storage" bill. It requires California's public utilities commission (PUC) to determine appropriate targets for each of the state's three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to "procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems to be achieved by Dec. 31, 2020." The bill also required the PUC to encourage the three IOUs to "accelerate widespread deployment of distributed energy storage systems."

In addition, according to the bill, "The state, through the Public Utilities Commission, has taken action to promote energy storage, including setting energy storage procurement targets applicable for certain load-serving entities, totaling 1,325 megawatts, and for all other load-serving entities, to be met by 2020, with installations of the energy storage systems meeting the procurement targets by no later than the end of 2024."

Since that time, the IOUs have made headway. However, they have focused on their own (utility-owned) projects, rather than making open solicitations that would allow independent developers to become involved in these projects.

Last week, a California administrative law judge (ALJ) handed down a decision that would require the IOUs to issue requests for offers (RFOs) for these projects without bias toward any ownership model. In his decision, the administrative law judge stated, "When procuring energy storage systems through competitive RFOs, the utilities shall consider all forms of resource ownership (utility-owned, third-party owned, customer-owned, joint ownership)."

While the decision is not a final order, the PUC has a history of generally adopting all ALJ decisions with few if any changes. If the PUC does adopt the ALJ's decision at its meeting at the end of March, private contractors would be on a "level playing field" with the IOUs themselves when it comes to being involved in these energy storage system projects.

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