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Continuity of Supply means Continuity of Production


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Implementing Continuous Improvement in the High Voltage Test Industry

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Continuity of Supply means Continuity of Production

  1. 1. Title: Continuity of Supply means continuity of Production.Implementing Continuous Improvement in the High Voltage Test Industry.Intro:How do you feel when you turn on the light switch and nothing happens?Right now is your freezer running at home?Today I‟d like to talk about continuity of the electrical supply and the integrity of the assetsthat run our electrical grid.Welcome, I‟m Peter May, I‟m an asset integrity specialist with Tenix Australia.Firstly, a bit about me, I‟m an electrician who has come up through the ranks, working invarious industries my entire working career, Domestic, Industrial and Commercial. For thelast ten years I‟ve been involved with either power generation or power transmission.I was working at the Port August Power Station prior to my current role with Tenix and I waslucky enough to learn its operation from start to finish and everything in between. After 5years I moved from the inside of the Power Station fence to the outside and got involved withthe Transmission of the same power that the station produces.The role of “Asset Integrity Specialist” incorporates High Voltage Testing of both newlyinstalled equipment and routine testing of equipment already in service. There‟s been a bigpush-on in the state to bring our electrical delivery services up-to-date after about a ten yearlull. With the expansion of Olympic Dam the electrical grid as a whole will have to continueto expand with the greater demands put onto it.Middle:In our modern society everybody uses electricity. Between the generator and the end userthere must be a delivery method. In the electrical supply industry there is a split between thetransmission suppliers (here in South Australia Electranet) and the distribution suppliers (whois Electricity Trust of South Australia, ETSA) but at all stages in the supply chain there mustbe confidence in the system – the assets. We must have asset integrity for continued supply.Tenix mainly contracts to Electranet for High Voltage testing of their equipment but we alsodo work for AGL, International Power, ETSA and SA Water. Our real speciality istransformer testing but some of the other equipment includes instrument transformers andcircuit breakers. To minimise losses on the transmission system there are also capacitorbanks and reactor banks dotted around the state that also require regular testing.
  2. 2. Tenix offers a holistic service to our clients in that we – 1. Mobilise to the site 2. Switch out the equipment to be tested (that‟s in a „dead‟ state) [called Isolation] 3. Disconnect the equipment ready for testing 4. Actually test the equipment 5. Analyse the results 6. Reconnect ready for energisation 7. Switch the equipment back on [Restoration] and 8. De-mobilise from the siteBoth new and existing equipment must be tested to prove its integrity and stability on thesystem. At Tenix we use a test set made by an American company called Doble; it‟s theDoble M4100 test set. Although this unit can put out 12000 volts, here in South Australia wegenerally run it at 10000 volts. When applied to various apparatus we can build a picture ofthe equipment by technical analysis and determine its reliability for service.In the 5 years that Tenix have been HV testing we have come a long way in terms of our ownknowledge. There is the test set itself and the various connections that have to be made, thedifferent equipment that we come across, the analysis and interpretation of the data andgenerating the final report for the client.Electranet prides themselves on using world‟s best practice by providing Site DesignManuals to standardise the construction process. As an endorsed company working forElectranet, Tenix is always looking for ways to improve our standard working procedures.Some of the learning‟s for me have been found through mistakes made yet moving forwardwith new found knowledge.One example has now lead to a new process being implemented on a daily basis. It‟s a giventhat the operator of the test set must have confidence in the readings being obtained by theunit. We found that a series of instrument transformers were failing our standard testprocedures. The units were replaced at great cost and moved to a workshop. On re-test in theworkshop the suspect units were, in fact, found to be satisfactory.There was an investigation into the problem and subsequently we found that on theseparticular units we obtained faulty readings if they were tested with some wiring leftconnected. In the workshop, there was no wiring connected.Some recommendations were made, that where possible test the equipment with no wiringconnected. More importantly, we now run some diagnostics on our test set on a daily basis.This gives the operator full confidence in the test set‟s ability.
  3. 3. End:To summarise, assets do break down. By having a proactive, routine testing program in placeminimises the risk of unplanned outages and provides continuity of supply for the end user.I‟d like to say thank-you for your attention to my presentation. In closing, I have a power billsitting at home that I‟m due to pay. I think it‟s gone up by about $40 since the last quarter. Iguess that working in the industry has given me a greater appreciation of what goes on andwhy. I hope that with my presentation in explaining the processes involved in the running ofelectricity grid, you‟ll now have a better understanding when you pay your next power bill.Thank-you.