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Speakers and Topics

Welcome address presented by Ed Wilson, Managing Director - Wilson Transformer Company, Australia

Keynote address presented by Jane MacMaster, Chief Engineer - Engineers Australia, Australia

Engineering: Emerging Trends

Jane MacMaster has worked as an aerospace, mechanical and systems design engineer in Australia and internationally, focusing primarily on supersonic flight vehicle design, operations research and rapid prototyping in the Defence sector.

She has worked as a senior advisor within the strategy unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and as a management consultant in the financial services sector. Most recently she was Founder and Director of Ponder Enterprises, where she used her engineering skillset to address complex societal challenges. She developed a conceptual model and practical techniques for complex problem solving which she taught across all faculties at universities, and to staff from Commonwealth and State and Territory government departments.
She has a Masters degree in International Relations and is currently a Board Member for the Australian Council of Professions and the Engineers Australia Accreditation Board.

System dynamics, the market and renewable energy presented by Kate Summers, WSP, Australia

The transition to renewable energy presents challenges to supply but has the loss of the system control philosophy coupled with new control methods for generation to suit the market undermined the system dynamics? What will it take to transition securely in a market environment? 

Kate Summers FIEAust is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers, she holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering (Hons) major in Power and Control Engineering from Swinburne University (Melbourne) and a Graduate Diploma Management. Her career covers ten years working in transmission planning (dynamic modeling, power system control) and system operations with the SECV, then Victorian Power Exchange and later the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) and fifteen years work with the renewable energy company, Pacific Hydro. In conjunction she has served four years as the technical director for the Australian Wind Energy Association and a further five years as the the Chair of the Grid Directorate for the Clean Energy Council. Her recent work focuses on elevating the role of power system control practises and highlighting where market rules have detracted from good control practice. She was included on the expert panel established by AEMO to review their report covering the power system event of the 25th August 2018. Kate recently commenced work as a Technical Executive with the consulting firm WSP.

Recent advances in DGA interpretation and monitoring at CIGRE presented by Dr Michel Duval, IREQ, Canada

Dr Michel Duval will explain the recent advances in DGA interpretation and monitoring described in CIGRE Technical Brochures 771 and 783. More particularly, gas limits in transformers, taking into account the type and location of faults; gas formation in wind farm transformers and bushings; identification of stray gassing of different types of oils in transformers; on-line gas monitors for different applications; accuracy required from laboratories and gas monitors. 

Dr Michel Duval obtained a B.Sc. and PhD. in chemical engineering in 1966 and 1970 and has worked for IREQ (Hydro-Quebec, Canada) since 1970. In the field of DGA, M. Duval is well-known for his «Triangle and Pentagon methods» of DGA interpretation. He has been the Convenor of numerous IEC and CIGRE working groups and the principal author of several IEC international standards and CIGRE Technical Brochures on DGA. He is also very active on several IEEE working groups. 


High Power Factor Values on Power Transformers and Associated Equipment – Case Studies presented by Ami Singh & Joe Williams, SSE – Peterhead Power Station, the UK

Power factor test forms a critical assessment tool for an asset owner to understand the condition of transformer insulation structures. It is often used as a diagnostic assessment tool on transformer bushings. As asset owners we are required to make condition assessments based on these test results. Often it is relatively easy decision to make when low power factors are obtained, and on the other hand it can be technically challenging to explain unusual, or high results.

This paper presents a series of case studies from various transformers and associated equipment such as bushings in the fleet where decisions can be interpreted to be not straight forward, and a further assessment was required. Some examples of these case studies include:

  • High power factor CHG on a two winding station transformer

  • High power factor CHL on a service aged power transformer

  • High power factors C1 on all three HV transformer bushings

  • Early deterioration via C1 testing on HV transformer bushings

This presentation will provide examples of varying power factors so that asset owners can use these case studies as references for wider fleet management.

Ami Singh is an energy industry professional with over 15 years of industry experience. Since July 2018 he has been the Engineering Manager at SSE - Peterhead Power Station, Scotland’s largest CCGT site.
Prior to that he was the Lead Electrical Engineer at SSE – Engineering Centre for about 2 years. Prior to that he worked as a Senior Electrical Engineer with Genesis Energy in New Zealand for about 10 years.

He has previously published/delivered 30+ presentations on high voltage fault diagnostics and testing. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET, making him the second youngest fellow in Scotland. He is a Professional Registration Advisor, STEM Ambassador, BAME Officer for Wrexham University in Wales, Member of the incoming IET Council, and on the Leadership Board for Association for Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers (AFBE) Scotland. 

Joe Williams has over 5 years of industry experience across a range of power generation technologies. After completing his graduate programme with SSE, he has worked as an Electrical Asset Engineer at Peterhead Power Station CCGT for 3 years. 

He is responsible for managing the integrity of HV assets, including two 660MW and three 281MW turbo-generators. He holds a Master of Engineering MEng (Electrical) degree and is working towards his Chartership with the IET.

Modelling power system dynamic stability presented by Robin Pittwood, Powerco Limited, New Zealand

Dynamic stability is fundamental to overall power system capability and reliability. At its most basic level, power system dynamic stability is about the power balance between generation and load, and the system’s frequency response to power imbalance. The key equation describing this response is the swing equation; P/M = df/dt where P is the magnitude of the power imbalance (MW), M is the synchronously connected angular momentum (MWs/Hz), and df/dt is the system’s response in terms of the rate of change of frequency (Hz/s). This paper describes the physics behind the swing equation while developing it from Newton’s second law. It then presents an Excel spreadsheet model based on a time step incremental view of the swing equation, to aid understanding and visualisation of the system’s frequency response. The Excel spreadsheet model simulates the dynamic behaviour of a power system allowing the user to make changes to various parameters, including the type of generation (either with or without inertia), an overall governor operating point, several governor control parameters, several load shedding responses, and two ‘synthetic inertia’ responses. Dynamic response is graphically observed while the changes are made to the parameters.

Robin Pittwood completed his engineering degree at Canterbury University (NZ) in 1975 and has worked in the electricity distribution industry since. His roles have always had a high engineering content, including design and specification of substations, protection, control and metering equipment, upgrading a small hydro station, fault analysis, network planning and economics. A few years ago, he took on a new role, Supply Quality Engineer and his attention now is focussed on power quality standards and performance.

Lessons learnt in the deployment of asset health pilot programs presented by Seamus Allan, Dynamic Ratings, Australia

Those charged with managing assets in any electric, gas, or water utility face similar challenges when trying to meet their respective companies’ obligations to the owners, operators, regulators and the public affected by these assets. 

This paper examines the condition monitoring of pow¬er transformers and their key components. One significant improvement the industry has seen over time is the addition of condition based monitoring. This practice provides asset owners with real-time information, visibility and control over their usage. The information generated by the devices can also assist utilities in avoiding failures, optimising maintenance and postponing replacements. The challenge for asset managers is discovering and implementing these new technologies. A successful pilot program enables asset owners to make the right decisions at the right time with reliable asset knowledge, increased system reliability and safety benefits.

Seamus is a Product Manager for Dynamic Ratings based in Melbourne, Australia. Seamus has subject matter experience in areas including transformer and electrical apparatus monitoring technologies for Dynamic Ratings. Currently Seamus is focused on helping Dynamic Ratings understand and meet the emerging challenges in the low and medium voltage distribution networks.

Seamus has a background in embedded system and software development, and within the last decade has applied this knowledge to the field of transformer and electrical machine monitoring. Bringing both a customer and product development focused perspective, Seamus provides invaluable direction leading to innovations in Dynamic Ratings’ continually evolving sensors, monitors and software product solutions.

Underground transformers and their life safety risks presented by Gilbert Gordon, Gordon Risk and Fire, New Zealand

Transformer design in Australasia generally adopts the prescriptive design guides from Australian Standards, Energy Australia Network Standard, National Fire Protection Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Standards, International Electro-technical Commission Standards or FM Global design recommendations. Although these prescriptive design guides may provide some guidance they do not offer specific solutions for all existing underground transformers and their installation configurations in relations to explosions.

This paper examines the pressure that may build up in an unvented transformer explosion and the radius of effect to life safety this may cause. Recent research has provided more up to date data on the probability of catastrophic transformer failure. The paper will develop a specific catastrophic failure adjustment matrix taking account the age of the transformer, bushings type, maintenance quality and other relevant factors. This matrix will be used as a multiplier for the transformer failure probability. Probability of occupancy will be discussed, with a table of probability of occupancy bands, that would allow the overall probability of life safety losses to be assessed. A discussion of these probabilities against comparative life safety loss acceptance levels will be discussed. Mitigation strategies for occupants will be discussed in the final conclusions.

Gilbert Gordon is a Chartered Fire Engineer (CPENG), and member of Engineering New Zealand CMEngNZ. He has been working in the Power Industry as a fire and risk consultant for 15 years. He has a specialist interest in transformer fire issues.