Power Projects Leufkens, LLC

Product generation changes
in cable systems and switchgear
 
Independent labs  develop into commercial business
Developments of the last decades that are important for the power industry

Background

Circuit-breakers, transformers and other equipment for transmission and distribution grids can only be tested on full voltage and power.

 

The basic aim of the Short-Circuit Testing Liaison (STL) between testing organizations is the harmonized application of IEC and Regional Standards for the type testing of electrical power equipment. One objective is the adoption of a uniform front sheet for the Type Test Certificates issued by and under the responsibility of individual Members.

 

Since the end of last century there came much pressure on High Power and Short-circuit laboratories. Deregulation lead to commercialization. Demand to test the largest equipment went up with the global power system ratings to 1200 kV and 80 kA and more. This required huge investments into the labs, while often the same test installations were old and needed larger and costlier overhaul. A number of labs closed and mergers and acquisitions took place.

 

XLPE is nowadays the most applied insulation for underground High Voltage cables. In the last century the first generation of joints were taped or field-molded. For systems of 110 kV and above however it became clear that to make cable systems reliable pre-fabricated joints were necessary. In those days, unique products had to be developed who were game changers in the industry and needed different supporting technologies.

 

In the same way Medium Voltage switchgear faced a generation change from technology with SF6 as extinguishing and insulating medium to vacuum and epoxy encapsulated

New York’s electric grid faces a number of challenges.

New York households face some of the highest electricity rates in the country. The state’s grid infrastructure is aging and the transmission and distribution systems are increasingly being stressed by new demands placed on the system. Events such as major storms and heat waves further exacerbate the grid’s vulnerabilities. In addition, the imperative to reduce harmful pollutants and address the threat of climate change is driving the transition away from fossil fuel energy sources toward clean renewable energy.

New York State has taken a number of steps to address these challenges.

In addition, the New York State Public Service Commission has launched an initiative entitled, “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV), to modernize and transform the State’s electric grid by accelerating clean distributed energy resource deployment. Energy storage has a major role to play in the transformation of New York’s electric grid and in achieving the goals of REV.

These actions will position New York State to realize the energy and economic benefits of the energy storage industry. The global market for storage is growing, in 2012, almost 3,000 were employed in New York State in this sector and New York companies sold nearly $600 million in global sales.

 

In 2012 the nation’s first comprehensive Battery and Energy Storage Test & Commercialization Center was co-founded between DNV GL and NY BEST in Rochester NY. It provides the key missing elements necessary for product commercialization and growth in the energy storage business, including a suite of test, validation and independent certification capabilities to accelerate commercial deployment of energy storage technologies. These capabilities—while vital to the commercialization of emerging technologies—are difficult for individual companies to procure, and not presently available in reasonable geographic proximity or at reasonable cost.

ANSI, American National Standards Institute:

GUIDE FOR U.S. DELEGATES to Meetings of ISO and the IEC [April 2013]

“To remain competitive in world trade, U.S. standards and engineering practices must be in line with international standards. (...)

Your participation as a knowledgeable expert is key if U.S. interests are to successfully influence the contents of International Standards and ensure the global relevance of the standards produced.”

The need of Battery and Energy Storage Systems labs in New York
Standardization is a global process and part of global marketing
Super grids and testing technology challenges

The need to create a sustainable energy supply that can meet the ever-increasing demand for electricity is driving growth in (often remotely located) renewable sources. That in turn is leading to the rise of so-called super grids: extremely high voltage, interconnected networks that transport electricity over very long distances.

 

Hydro-Quebec for instance is reinforcing and upgrading its 800 kV transmission system by adding new 800 kV series capacitor banks close to Quebec City. The substation is major within the transmission network transiting part of the power from the James-Bay hydro-power generating complexes and from the north-east hydro-power generating centers. The future stage ratings of the banks are of the highest Mvar rating for single segment banks of the existing series compensated banks and result in a capacitor discharge fault current and stored energy values significantly higher than tested for earlier projects.

 

Now, between all rapid changes and developments, Maxwell’s laws (dating from 1865) still rule. That means, that when the voltage arrestor protection of this system was tested in 2011, the capacitor discharge current and frequency induced significant currents and voltages in laboratory control, protection and measuring wiring systems. In nowadays test set-up layout advanced technology must be applied to avoid or to minimize the effects.

GE’s evolution into a digital industrial company

 

"The long-term bets we’ve made on technology, digitization, globalization — those are all paying off right now,” said CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt.

"GE is integrating software with hardware, capitalizing on new capabilities and opportunities that position the company for strong organic growth, margin expansion, and returns for its investors."