As a veteran (some would say old in the tooth) utility and energy guy, I’ve been to a lot of conferences and exhibitions: air and water pollution control, renewables and energy technology shows to name a few. But, hands-down, the IEEE PES T&D conference is one of the best and 2016 definitely did not disappoint. Vendors come to this show prepared with their latest product innovations; the roundtable discussions and technical sessions cover truly trending topics; and there’s a lot of end customer activity as well as more business to business interaction going on than one sees at most shows.
Participants learned about safety innovations including manhole event suppression systems, mobile mat systems with built in grounding grids, new devices for tracing underground cable and remote racking systems with partial discharge detection monitors. There were many innovative products for testing vacuum breaker components, evaluating transformer health and recloser testing. Plus, numerus vendors offered more comprehensive system resiliency and intelligent grid technologies.
All aspects of this show were exciting, but the technical dialogue about the future of the industry really got participants amped. Some old things are becoming new, like the opportunities for the use of HVDC technology to reinforce our system networks. The prospects for digitalizing our electric systems were made more vivid with industry examples. And, finally, the give and take about where we might go with ISOs, distribution level ISOs and interconnected technology in the transactive energy world of the future were simply spellbounding.