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Lord Consulting - Articles

Application of Corona Imaging to MV & HV Insulator Management

By Trevor Lord and Graham Hodge Lord Consulting Limited

Re-released due to popular demand.

Abstract

This paper examines the current state of corona discharge imaging technologies for high voltage electrical power networks. Thermal imaging has been extensively used for surveying thermal losses from buildings and industrial plant for many years, and the benefi ts of its application to electrical network problem detection and diagnosis are now well established. The newer cousin, corona imaging, creates an electronic image of corona discharge activity using UV light generated by the impact of excessive electric fi eld stress on air. Corona imaging is rapidly proving itself as a very useful diagnostic tool to network operators concerned with preserving the life of the system components. This paper focuses on UV imaging in electrical power networks, outlining the corona mechanisms at work and some practical applications of these cameras.

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Embracing ‘State of the Art’ in MV Cable Testing

By Trevor Lord Director, LORD Consulting

When assessing what might at first appear to be a “new technology” to our industry, it is reasonable to seek a degree of evidence of its established provenance offshore and in the application to which it is intended to be applied in the ‘local’ context.

When that ‘new technology’ is well established offshore but new to our region or industry, we must consider the question what information is required to address and allay any uncertainties or questions as to the suitability of the technology per se for the intended application and the quality of its said provenance.

This discourse, in part philosophy and in part technical update, illustrates but one such current scenario of significant consequence presently before us in the Australasian Power Industry. In this case, however, the gravitas of the situation is magnified…there is a major and pressing job to be done but it appears presently that there is little interest from our Industry in embracing either the task at hand or the pathway to that end. This discussion document is, then, timely in its theme and discourse in laying the matter before us as an Industry.

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On-line Monitoring of Strategic Transformers …Why Bother?

By Trevor Lord Director, LORD Consulting

Most executive engineers managing transformer fleets are quick to acknowledge that certain of that fleet would be classified as ‘strategic’ assets to their company. They would readily agree that the unforeseen loss of such strategic assets would be a calamity but then the interesting conversation begins. When asked to articulate the likely cost of that impact to the business most would cite an approximate figure for the transformer replacement cost but begin to pale when asked next to articulate the cost to the business beyond the value of the asset itself. Perhaps a ‘well it depends…’ statement could be expected but few really have worked it through in reality to the extent that the true likely impacts sit at their fingertips, nor by corollary, at their top of mind.

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When Online Monitoring Goes Wrong

By Terry Krieg for Lord Consulting

For more than 20 years, consultants at Lord Consulting have been working with utilities in a range of sectors to implement real-time condition monitoring and assisting companies to improve asset management practices. Although this has been largely successful in many companies, we have started to see some concerning trends in some organisations.

Some companies have not recognised that their traditional monitoring techniques are hopelessly inadequate and key assets such as transformers are vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

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Observations on Specifying a Transformer Main Tank DGA Monitor

By Trevor Lord

In his recent paper: “When On-Line Monitoring Goes Wrong”, my colleague Terry Krieg spoke very wisely about the wider implementation of transformer main tank monitors, making clear that not only are these devices covering some 80% of the demonstrated insurance risk of a plant, they are only going to deliver a viable and useful result if they are purchased, installed, and implemented suitably (i.e.: alarms set, plan of response in place etc). Fortunately, there is readily-available assistance to hand and LORD Consulting takes pleasure and pride in taking its unique IP in this area to clients Australasian-wide with excellent success in the overall risk minimisation.

Today there are many devices sold as ‘transformer DGA monitors’ but they are by no means equal and in some cases, we are sad to observe, simply unsuited to the role. It is truly a case of ‘buyer beware’ and here too the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ very much applies to the purchase and successful deployment of these devices. Well then, what should one buy to do the job optimally? Firstly, we need to make the observation that there two generic types of monitor sold: ‘Detection’ and ‘Diagnostic’ monitors.

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