The RAI Centre in the colorful cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam proved to be an attractive venue for the 16th CIRED Conference and Exhibition, which was held June 18-21, 2001. More than 700 delegates representing 57 countries participated in the packed program.
The three-day conference program addressed six technical subject areas:
Operation, Control and Protection of Systems. The papers were considered in four key areas: fault management and outage reduction; maintenance and refurbishment; protection and control; and distribution automation and management systems.
Dispersed Generation and Utilization of Electricity. This theme was presented in two subject areas: dispersed generation and energy-efficiency demand-side management. The papers discussed generations ranging from 1-kW photovoltaic (PV) panels to multi-megawatt wind farms and cogeneration schemes.
Network Components. This theme proved one of the most popular conference sessions, creating immense interest in terms of the number of papers presented and the number of delegates in attendance at the equipment design, diagnosis and preventative maintenance and environmental issues sessions. Distribution equipment continues to benefit from new materials and designs that also offer economic advantages.
System Development. Planning issues and planning methodologies and IT tools were the selected subjects for the two subsessions. Authors from mainly European utilities and research organizations contributed papers describing a variety of methods to achieve network development for cost-efficient distribution. System-loss determination, tariff structuring, satisfying quality of supply targets and system reliability modelling captured delegates' interest in the concluding period of this session.
Power Quality and Electromagnetic Fields. This technical theme had the largest number of papers on four key areas: electromagnetic compatibility and safety; voltage dips and interruptions; disturbing loads and phenomena; and power-quality monitoring and technologies. The papers described sources of disturbing loads, variable speed drives and harmonic filters highlighted the problems associated with industrial loads.
Management Organization Skills. A CIRED first, this theme was introduced to focus on the challenges the utilities in electricity distribution envisage as a result of the new market conditions. The keynote speaker for this session, J. de Jong, an electricity regulator from the Netherlands, gave delegates an interesting overview on deregulation. Session contributions also confirmed that deregulation had seen a reduction in energy prices.
CIRED 2001 Exhibition
The exhibition attracted some 60 exhibitors from 17 European and North American countries representing the industry's manufacturers, research and testing institutions, consultants and professional associations. Attendees were able to discuss the technical features of equipment from cables to customer metering.
New developments on show included Pauwels SliM 2-MVA distribution transformer some 30% smaller in dimensions and weight than conventional transformers. With the environment in mind, Cooper Power Systems offers the Envirotran transformer, the industry's first transformer to use the edible seed-oil-based high-fire-point dielectric coolant, whose unique dielectric coolant is Envirotemp FM3. These transformers are available as substation pole- and pad-mounted units up to 10 MVA and 46 kV. The CITEQ booth displayed the three-phase Solid Insulation Distribution Transformer (SIDT). Utility engineers could select from the range of MV auto-reclosing switchgear presented by FKI GVR recloser, Cooper's maintenance-free NOVA solid-insulated unit and ALSTOM's new 100% maintenance-free VPR Recloser, a new design concept offering an integrated recloser and disconnector.
Pfisterer & Seher introduced a new range of mechanical connectors and joints for overhead lines and medium-voltage underground cable systems which, together with similar new accessories from Tyco Electronics Energy Division, reduce the skill-factor required to complete these field staff activities.
The feature of ABB Norway's stand was a distribution substation enclosure complete with the latest range of SF6 switchgear, protection and remote control features while Schneider Electric's contribution included a new generation of distribution customer metering. EFACEC Energia's (Portugal) booth attracted great interest with its demonstrations of the state-of-the-art energy management system currently being installed for EDP. Similarly the TEKLA booth, offering the industry Xpower, the leading Network Information Management Solution (NIMS) for energy distribution, gave delegates the opportunity to see why this company is a market leader with system users in more than 50 countries.
There is still a niche for specialist services and Syme Power Engineering Software and Power Technologies were among those booths sought by delegates. Finally, the R&D and testing organizations who continue to provide an outstanding service to manufacturers and utilities were well presented by the Dutch, United Kingdom, Italian and German organizations, KEMA, EA Technology, British Short Circuit Testing, CESI and IPH.