T&D World Magazine
NY Power Authority Wins Award for Research on Power Line Failures

NY Power Authority Wins Award for Research on Power Line Failures

EPRI Cites Work on Power Transformer Bushings and Overvoltage Dangers

The New York Power Authority has received two Electric Power Research Institute Technology Transfer Awards for research that sheds new light on how crucial components of transmission lines can fail and on conditions that can jeopardize the safety of workers working on energized lines.

The first award was for work to better understand the failure modes and degradation mechanisms of power transformer bushings. Bushings are insulated devices that allow an electrical conductor to pass safely from one point to another. When bushings are damaged or fail, electricity can be leaked out to surrounding areas and cause burning or arcing (an outward flow of electricity).

NYPA developed forensic testing procedures, failure modes and degradation mechanisms, and an understanding of the effects of thermal stresses on the insulation system of power transformer bushings. Alan Ettlinger, NYPA director of research, technology development and innovation; and Ramadan Elmoudi, research and technology development engineer, received an award for this work.

NYPA also collaborated with several other utilities to further explore a standard published by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for overvoltages. An overvoltage is a pulse of energy – usually much stronger than normal voltage – that can pose a risk for workers who are working around energized lines.

NYPA’s William McQuillan, senior electrical engineer; Natasha Owczarek, assistant engineer; and James Sheldon, director of electrical engineering, were awarded for this work.

“NYPA has made cutting-edge research a top priority and I’m proud that our R&D team has been recognized for this important work,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, who also serves as EPRI chairman. “NYPA has helped provide the energy industry with important tools in dealing with worker safety and handling damage to essential pieces of the power system.”

EPRI presented its 2015 Technology Transfer Awards for Power Delivery and Utilization (PDU) R&D to more than 60 individuals, representing 21 electric power companies, on Feb. 23.

“The 2015 Technology Transfer Award winners made significant headway in applying EPRI research results toward a more reliable, affordable, efficient and safe power system,” said Rob Manning, vice president of Transmission at EPRI. “The collaboration of these teams and individuals enables the industry to continuously improve and enhance power delivery for the benefit of their stakeholders and society.”

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