David Lovelady: Smart Grid Professional

May 2, 2013
“The exciting changes the power industry is going through right now provide both challenges and unique opportunities,” says David Lovelady, a power systems consultant at Siemens PTI.

“The exciting changes the power industry is going through right now provide both challenges and unique opportunities,” says David Lovelady, a power systems consultant at Siemens PTI. And that includes the development of the smart grid. Lovelady has been drawing on his electrical engineering experience in industrial manufacturing and substation design to research the potential impacts of the smart grid on the transmission and distribution system. He has been focusing on distribution automation, storage, distributed generation, demand response and the optimization of the distribution network.

Lovelady recalls speaking to a former consulting colleague who has since retired, who said “I wish I could re-start my career as the industry has never been so exciting as is it today.” Lovelady says “Today’s opportunities bring great variety in the role as consultant, one day performing detailed power system simulations and the next day, instructing a classroom of students in a different country.”

Lovelady will be teaching a featured course, The Smart Grid Professional Series, on June 24-26, in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The course is a three-day series. Material is presented in both morning and afternoon sessions for a total of six hours of daily instruction. The series covers smart grid objectives, distribution systems and grid performance, distribution system equipment, smart grid solutions, communications and IT, and smart grid economics. In addition, the course has practical demonstrations, insightful videos and a distribution automation workshop exercise to bring the theory to life.

“The power industry has recently recognized that the seemingly forgotten distribution system can play a significant role in the future of electricity transportation. Through such smart grid programs and technologies as demand response, de-centralized generation, distribution automation, metering and communications, storage, and microgrids, significant economical efficiencies will be made,” Lovelady said. “However, to implement these changes requires (a) an understanding of the existing distribution system, and (b) knowledge of the smart grid elements and how to economically implement them while maintaining system reliability.”

Lovelady brings passion and enthusiasm to the classroom; he has enjoyed teaching since his electromechanical technician days, working in a thermal insulation manufacturing factory, training young engineering apprentices how to solve mechanical and electrical problems in order to maintain factory operation.  This passion continued as Lovelady was the leading co-coordinator of a young apprenticeship program that Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd operated with local high schools in the UK.

Lovelady joined Siemens PTI in 2009, when he completed an 18-month graduate program with Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd in the UK. “This gave me the unique opportunity to spend time in multiple departments within the T&D business, of which Siemens PTI was one,” he said. “At Siemens PTI UK, I was lucky enough to find my true vocation. Now, as a power systems consultant, the wonderful mix of specialized technical knowledge, business acumen, client liaison, project management, worldwide teaching opportunities and software knowledge suits me perfectly.”

Lovelady has participated in multiple steady state and transient stability studies, using PSS®E, PSS®MUST, PSS®SINCAL and CYMDIST, for independent system operators in New England and New York as well as utilities such as BC Hydro. Other studies have included PV, QV, short circuit, switching analysis, distribution area planning and microgrids analysis. He has performed generator interconnection studies for the following technologies: wind turbine, solar thermal plant, combined cycle gas turbine, pumped hydro storage and biomass.

Coming from that practical engineering background, working as an electro-mechanical engineer in an industrial factory, Lovelady likes to instruct from a practical perspective and is a great believer in "you learn by doing." He encourages class participation and includes many in-class exercises.

Lovelady likes variety in his job and in his spare time. “My problem is I have too many interests and not enough time,” he said. “I am a keen outdoor enthusiast and love to cycle, hike, run, rock and ice climb, mountaineer, camp and travel.”

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