'Electrical Substations: Living With the Old' Course Description

May 15, 2008
This is a challenging time for utilities and their employees. Competition compels utilities to minimize costs wherever possible.

This is a challenging time for utilities and their employees. Competition compels utilities to minimize costs wherever possible. Customers demand better service, including reliable, quality power. Operations and maintenance costs continue to rise, but at the same time there is pressure to reduce those costs. More critically, it is evident that much of the basic electric utility infrastructure is approaching the end of its design life. At the same time, demand for power continues to increase, placing higher stress on the already ailing facilities. Many of the experienced personnel needed to address these problems are poised for retirement and are not being replaced.

Can yesterday’s substations meet today’s demands? Should substation equipment be refurbished or should it be replaced? If replacement is the chosen option, what should it be replaced with? New advanced technologies can improve efficiencies and increase existing equipment and line ratings without adding facilities. For example, embedding intelligence in the power system can reduce the demands on executives, engineers, technicians, and operators. Industry professional needs to understand both the underlying analysis techniques and the new advanced technologies in order to assess the problems and address those issues effectively.

This seminar will examine these problems and present potential solutions. It will speak to advanced technology’s impact on maintenance, and examine strategies for evaluating the condition of the equipment. New and advanced technologies of the Intelligent Grid will be developed as they relate to the bulk transmission system, the distribution system, and the customer connection.

The course structure is unique in that the electric power-systems concepts required for an understanding of the focus material will be summarized in sessions distributed throughout the course. We will begin by introducing the Intelligent Grid and then clarify essential definitions, nomenclature, and relevant topics of power system analysis. Included later in the course will be intensive reviews of basic power calculations, power factor correction, simulation techniques for balanced and unbalanced short circuits (including symmetrical components), load flow, and power quality.

The instructors (the principal engineer of a consulting firm actively involved in power system refurbishment issues and an experienced professor of electric power systems) have designed the course to balance theory and up-to-date practice. Introduction of the relevant theory makes the course ideal for those who have been out of academia for some years, and for those utility personnel whose electrical background did not emphasize power system analysis.

The textbook and notes
As part of the course, each attendee will be provided a copy of a course textbook (to be decided)as well as a relevant set of notes. This material will be a useful permanent reference.


Gene Wolf, P.E., FIEEE has been designing and building substations, HVDC facilities, FACTS devices, wind farm interconnections, and other high tech installations for over 34 years. He is a MSEE graduate of New Mexico State University’s Electric Utility Management Program and is a registered professional engineer in New Mexico and California. Widely recognized as a technical leader in the electric power industry, He is a Fellow of the IEEE and serves as the Chairman of the IEEE PES T&D Committee. Gene is also an editor for Transmission & Distribution World magazine where he has written a detailed and comprehensive study of the Intelligent Grid presented in a four-part series of supplements.

Dr. Howard A. Smolleck, PhD, PE recently retired as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, where he remains active on a part-time basis. He joined the NMSU faculty in 1979, having served as an Electrical Engineering faculty member at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA from 1974 to 1979.
During his entire professional career, Dr. Smolleck has specialized in developing and teaching short courses to professionals in industry, government, and private practice in the areas of electric power system analysis, industrial electrical systems, machine control, and process control. He is presently Director of Electric Power Systems Continuing Education at NMSU, with the responsibility of developing and teaching short courses to meet the needs of electrical professionals in the Southwest. He has consulted and developed instructional programs for numerous organizations including Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Albuquerque Water Utilities, El Paso Natural Gas, Public Service Company of New Mexico, and many legal firms.


Day One - Morning
An overview of the advanced technologies of the intelligent grid (8:15 to 9:30)
· Discussion of the problem
· Advanced Hardware – intelligent monitoring, power electronics, two-way smart meters
· Advanced Software – load management, outage management, asset management
· Advanced Materials – ceramic conductors, superconducting cables, energy storage

Basic power-system analysis (9:30 to 10:45)
· Power system analysis fundamentals
· Per-unit and base calculations
· Power factor correction

Break (10:45 to 11:00)

Aging Equipment/New Technology (11:0012:00)
· Introduction
· Power Circuit Breakers
· Transformers
· Bus and Structures
· Switches
· Ground Grid

Day One – Afternoon
Advanced power system analysis I (1:30 TO 2:45)
· Network models and analysis
· Power in single-phase and three-phase circuits
· Introduction to load flow (power flow) studies
· Introduction to power system stability

Break (2:45 to 3:00)

The Intelligent Transmission System (3:00 to 4:30)
· Introduction
· Substation Intelligence
· Grid Congestion
· Power Electronics
· Superconductivity

Q & A Time (4:30 to 5:00)

Day Two – Morning

Advanced power system analysis II (8:15 to 9:30)
· Transmission line models
· Three Phase Short Circuits
· Symmetrical components
· Unbalanced short-circuit analysis

The Intelligent Distribution System (9:30 to 10:45)
· Distribution Automation
· DV 2010
· Asset Management
· Smart Software across the Enterprise
· The last mile

Break (10:45 to 11:00)

Transmission Line Technology (11:00 to 12:00)

· Introduction
· Advanced Conductors
· More Power from Existing Lines
· Intelligent Sensors
· Weather Monitoring

Day Two- Afternoon
Advanced power system analysis III (1:30 TO 2:45)
· Synchronous Machines
· Power System Protection
· Motors

Break (2:45 to 3:00)

The Intelligent Customer Connection (3:00 to 4:30)
· Automatic Meter Reading (AMR)
· Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
· Home Area Network (HAN)
· The Negawatt

Q & A Time (4:30 to 5:00)

Who Should Attend

This seminar is designed to cover a wide range of topics relating to the aging utility infrastructure and the advanced technologies and concepts of the Intelligent Grid. Industry professionals (Regulators, Technicians, Engineers, Managers, and Executives) involved in design, construction, procurement, operations, and maintenance of the system in general and substations in particular will benefit from the practical information presented in this seminar.

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