James Timperley: ‘Revolutionary’ Instructor

Oct. 20, 2011
James Timperley finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping people operate and maintain their high-voltage assets in the most efficient way possible.

James Timperley finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping people operate and maintain their high-voltage assets in the most efficient way possible. That is why he is leading two sessions at Doble Engineering’s Revolutionary Machines seminar on Nov. 14-17, 2011, in Hollywood, Florida.

Timperley’s position as an EMI engineer at Doble Engineering Co. helps him to maintain his area of expertise with large, high-voltage equipment. His work activities include upgrading and maintaining high-current isolated phase bus, equipment root cause failure analysis, and the development and application of EMI diagnostics.

“The work is a continuous learning process. We discover new conditions EMI can identify every year,” Timperley said.

Timperley's first session at the Revolutionary Machines seminar is "Motor Failure Analysis," which will cover several types of deterioration that result in the failure of large high voltage machines. How to identify the root cause of a failure will be discussed. Several examples will be presented including discussion of what tests can be performed to determine conditions and help prevent failures.

His second session, "EMI Diagnostics," will cover the application of this on-line technique for high-voltage machine condition assessment. Motor and generator electrical and mechanical deterioration that can be identified with EMI will be discussed with case histories.

“The topics covered should provide the students a better understanding of how equipment deteriorates, how this can be detected and how deterioration can be prevented and repaired,” Timperley said.

Timperley has been an engineer from an early age. He decided to become an electrical engineer involved with high voltages when he was in high school, and the 100,000-V Tesla coil he built provided him with a one-year scholarship for his first year of college.

He graduated with his B.S.E.E. in 1968 from Oklahoma State University and began working in the utility industry with American Electric Power in Canton, Ohio. He was involved with station engineering, establishing an electrical R&D laboratory and a large motor/generator repair shop. He developed guidelines for inspecting, operating, repairing and maintaining large electrical rotating machinery. This included ac and dc motors, hydro-generators, steam turbine and combustion turbine generators up to 1300 MW. He retired from AEP after 38 years of service and joined Doble Engineering in 2007.

Timperley has been closely involved with EMI diagnostics, specifically, since 1980. He won the 2006 Dakin Award by the IEEE Dielectric & Insulation Society for the development of EMI Diagnostics.

As he has demonstrated throughout his career, Timperley tells students that “you never stop learning.” Experience and knowledge are earned the hard way, he said. “’There is no royal road to geometry,’ to quote the Greeks.”

Timperley has also been involved in public speaking since his days with 4H in 1954, so he brings plenty of teaching experience to the classroom. He has made more than 100 technical presentations over the past 40 years. These have covered a wide range of subjects on insulation testing, motors, generators, transformers, cables, high current bus, acoustics and EMI diagnostics. In the future, his focus will be on advancement of EMI technology.

Doble has been working on that advancement and has recently expanded on-line diagnostic technology to testing diesel generators in the Caribbean and Latin America.

“Working in numerous countries like Jamaica, Nicaragua, Bolivia and others provides an excellent perspective on equipment and how critical electricity is to local economies,” Timperley said. He enjoys the food choices in the different countries as well. “I am beginning to appreciate Jamaican Curried Goat.”

In his spare time, he enjoys staying active as an IEEE Fellow and subscribes to 20 magazines. He writes several white papers each year for EPRI, IEEE and Doble conference. He also maintains his 1880s farm house and the surrounding 54 acres.

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