It is becoming less and less acceptable to have unplanned power outages, asserts Scotty Carroll, engineering manager and co-owner of ECHO Power Engineering. Carroll will present a class at the 2010 Southeastern Distribution Apparatus School & Conference on Insulating Oil and Dissolved Gas Analysis.
“This class helps people understand transformers and how to monitor their health,” Carroll said. “Transformers are such a critical portion of a power distribution system, owners and operators must know how to recognize warning signs and be able to respond to them before the power goes out.”
The course, to be held Sept. 29 in Auburn, Alabama, will cover the various types of insulating oils and mediums used in distribution equipment. There will also be a discussion on testing and sampling practices. Students will learn about the components of dissolved gas analysis testing and what valuable information can be obtained from testing.
“In this class, I want to communicate to the students how important it is to have a consistent transformer maintenance program,” Carroll said. “If you have critical loads, oil sampling really shouldn’t be something that is viewed as ‘optional.’”
As engineering manager and co-owner at ECHO, a professional electrical and power engineering services company in Nashville, Carroll brings current knowledge and understanding of operational issues to his teaching. He helps many clients with oil-filled transformers and sees the issues that customers face such as budget constraints, downtime and safety.
Carroll also has 18 years of engineering experience. He began his career on active duty in the U.S. Air Force where he managed research and development programs for munitions and instrumentation development. For the following 10 years, Carroll worked in the power distribution industry with broad responsibilities, including power distribution equipment design and testing, service shop management, and customer technical support. For the last four years, Carroll has provided an array of engineering services to utilities, industry, and government.
He decided to be an electrical engineer when he graduated high school and started college. Not because he knew a lot about the engineering field, he said, but because he thought it would be a challenge and it increased his chances of getting scholarship money for school. “It worked out well for me, though, because I love engineering,” he said.
Carroll also loves his job because of the people he works with. “ECHO has been blessed to have people that do great work, are dedicated, and are trustworthy. This makes my job as an owner and supervisor much easier,” Carroll said. “The second best thing is that it never gets boring. Every day brings new problems that challenge me and make me think.”
He has taught classes on transformers and partial discharge testing and will likely be doing some arc flash training in the near future. In all of his classes, Carroll tries to make people think about the subject in ways they never have before. “If I can shift their thinking, they discover oil analysis is not a boring topic but is something they really need to know about. I also like for my classes to be interactive. I hate listening to myself talk”
He likes to spend time with this three kids and his wife, though, and when he is not working at ECHO, he pastors a small Baptist church. He also tries to get outdoors as much as possible to hunt and fish, he said.