Title: The Use and Condition Assessment of Esters in Electrical Equipment

9:30AM - 10:15AM
Presenter: Nick Perjanik, WEIDMANN Electrical Technology Inc.

The use of alternative liquids has historically been based on the need to maintain a transformer's K-class less flammable liquid rating and mitigate the level of risk when operating in enclosed or potentially dangerous environments. Today, the increasing use of natural and synthetic esters are also extending the life of equipment, allowing for increased loading and higher operating temperatures, and are offering a more environmentally friendly footprint. The proper handling and processing, retro-filling, and assessment of the liquid's suitability for continued use all vary when compared to that of mineral oil. Additional interpretive approaches are required when assessing dissolved gas analysis (DGA) results and differentiating between normal, abnormal, and potential fault conditions. The unique chemical, physical, and electrical properties of esters requires an understanding of their advantages and limitations for use. This presentation provides an overview of ester liquids and these issues, an update on industry standards for assessing the liquid's condition, and a summary of the key diagnostic tests applicable to natural and synthetic esters.

Title: MV Cable Termination Failure Prevention

10:30AM - 11:15AM
Presenter: William Higinbotham, EA Technology

Last year at NETA, EA presented a paper that explored cable failures and determined that medium voltage extruded cable terminations are one of the leading points of cable failure. Workmanship issues lead to partial discharge which in turn leads to failure. These failures appear to be on the rise due to the ease of obtaining and installing heat shrink and cold shrink terminations without the proper training. Test companies will find it beneficial to identify and test for these issues before catastrophic failures occur.

This paper reviews the causes of failure and dives into the specific workmanship issues that result in termination and splice failures. Real world examples of workmanship issues will be examined. Proactive steps to detect workmanship issues will be explained and discussed. Spot check survey and full-time monitoring systems for cable termination uses will be described, along with success stories.

Title: There is a You in Analytics

11:30AM - 12:15PM
Presenter: Noah Bethel, PdMA Corporation

With the growth in popularity of Big Data, what does this popularity mean for the data analyst? Will the workload for analysts grow with Big Data, or does Big Data signal the end of the road for the analyst in data analytics? This article will explore the history of big data, how big data is being applied in the industrial market, and discuss best in class considerations for applying big data analytics in plant reliability. This article will put to rest (at least for now) the fear of a world without analysts.

Title: Challenges in Offshore Wind Energy Maintenance

2:15PM - 3:00PM
Presenter: Kevin Alewine, Shermco Industries

The strength of offshore wind energy has always been in the high availability of favorable winds and the resulting low levelized cost of energy that base load wind generation affords. The downside is that the cost and complexity of construction, operations and maintenance can often present very a high barrier to success. How is the industry overcoming some of those hurtles and what special operations and maintenance issues, including reliability programs, might be useful? This presentation will cover several aspects of this rapidly growing market including challenges for turbine maintenance as well as collector systems, substation maintenance and transmission cables.

Title: The Reconditioning of Vacuum Interrupters is Nearer Than You May Think

3:15PM - 4:00PM
Presenter: Finley Ledbetter, Group CBS, Inc.

A new, innovative reconditioning process will allow certain vacuum interrupters (VI) to be reconditioned and return to service after they have reached original life limits. If the VI has not out lived its wear limits or its contact structure has seen too much damage, it will likely be suitable for reconditioning. Most VIs have seen little operation or use and need only to be reconditioned to go directly back into service. The real market disruptions start with the reuse of the original type certified vacuum interrupter design. This reconditioning process is completed within three days in our new, state-of-the-art vacuum interrupter reconditioning facility in Denton, Texas or, in some cases, in the field.

In the future, finding ways to keep old vacuum breakers in service will be needed as the original manufacturers lose the capabilities to support these products. Some vacuum circuit breakers have already been in service for forty plus years and there is no replacement for vacuum technology in sight. However, this new process that Group CBS continues to innovate is truly the missing link in medium voltage breaker life extension.

Title: Addressing Noise Sources During Online PD Testing

4:15PM - 5:00PM
Presenter: Timothy Erwin, EA Technology

Online Partial Discharge testing offers many benefits to a recurring PD maintenance plan. In most cases online testing can provide indications of potential problems that require attention early, allowing a well-planned approach to addressing developing insulation and cable issues before they reach a critical point requiring immediate attention. But there are high noise sources in switchgear that pose challenges to online partial discharge testing and monitoring. Examples of such noise sources are dry type transformers and inverters that both have design characteristics that may produce mechanical resonance in the PD spectrum.

Increased implementation of online PD testing requires a greater understanding of the effects of such noise sources. The "normal" acoustic emissions deemed acceptable in typical applications can provide troublesome to test methods in that they may provide false positives for PD or mask actual PD behind background noise.

The following is a study of how different methods of on line PD detection can be adversely affected and attempt to determine the best methods of PD detection, ultrasonic, UHF and HFCT, when testing is being done around different noise sources minimizing the number of false positives while not compromising the accuracy of being able to detect actual PD.