Meet our TechCon Aus-NZ 2020 conference speakers:


 Dr Michel Duval, IREQ, CANADA

Dr Michel Duval obtained a B.Sc. and PhD. in chemical engineering in 1966 and 1970 and has worked for IREQ (Hydro-Quebec, Canada) since 1970. In the field of DGA, M. Duval is well-known for his «Triangle and Pentagon methods» of DGA interpretation. He has been the Convenor of numerous IEC and CIGRE working groups and the principal author of several IEC international standards and CIGRE Technical Brochures on DGA. He is also very active on several IEEE working groups. 

Recent advances in DGA interpretation and monitoring

Dr Michel Duval will explain the recent advances in DGA interpretation and monitoring described in CIGRE Technical Brochures 771 and 783. More particularly, gas limits in transformers, taking into account the type and location of faults; gas formation in wind farm transformers and bushings; identification of stray gassing of different types of oils in transformers; on-line gas monitors for different applications; accuracy required from laboratories and gas monitors
 K Summers2

 Kate Summers, WSP AUSTRALIA

Kate Summers FIEAust is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers, she holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering (Hons) major in Power and Control Engineering from Swinburne University Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma Management. Her recent work focuses on elevating the role of power system control practises and highlighting where market rules have detracted from good control practice. She was included on the expert panel established by AEMO to review their report covering the power system event of the 25 August 2018. Kate recently commenced work as a Technical Executive with the consulting firm WSP.

Renewable Generation Challenges  

The transition to renewable energy presents challenges to supply but has the loss of the system control philosophy coupled with new control methods for generation to suit the market undermined the system dynamics?  What will it take to transition securely in a market environment? 

 M Pfanner

Martin Pfanner,  OMICRON electronics GmbH AUSTRIA

Martin currently holds the position of product manager for testing software and data management for primary assets at OMICRON electronics GmbH in Austria. Martin joined OMICRON in 1990 and has served in various technical and managerial roles at OMICRON since. From 1982 – 1990 he developed audio measurement equipment at NEUTRIK. Martin Pfanner graduated from the HTL for Electronics and Communication Engineering in Rankweil in 1981.

Power transformer condition estimation by using a graphical evaluation method

Transformers are important components of the electrical supply system. A transformer failure can lead to heavy damage on the equipment and its environment and therefore it is associated with high costs. 

This paper examines a graph-based condition evaluation process that has been generated and evaluated, which allows a flexible and general applicable condition assessment. A graph-based knowledge representation offers two main advantages. The first is an easy human readability and ascertainability. Which is the requirement for enhancing and improving the knowledge base and with it the diagnostic quality. A second advantage is the computer-based interpretability.

 A Bhumiwat

Supatra A. Bhumiwat, Independent Consultant, NEW ZEALAND

Supatra is a Test engineer as well as a Researcher particularly in Diagnoses of aging in dielectrics. Graduated from Bangkok in 1977, she was trained in Switzerland and Germany by Brown Boveri (BBC) in 1983 on Extra-High Voltage Test before working at the Extra-High Voltage Laboratory of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. She represented Thailand for Cigre working groups on Transformers and Lightning and New Zealand for a number of Cigre working groups and Study Committee D1.


Aging in transformer dielectrics and the diagnoses

This paper presents the classification of aging in dielectrics by nature and describes the aging mechanism of transformer oil and how it increases dielectric loss in addition to aging by-products at oil-paper interface which can partially block the cooling oil ducts inside transformer windigs and lead to overheating in oil or local overheating in paper in some cases.

Diagnoses both on-line and off-line tests which are sensitive in the identification of particular problems will be addressed and the advantage in the determination of DDF and conductivity of oil by the test method of IEC61620 from practical experience will be included.




Gilbert Gordon, Gordon Risk & Fire, NEW ZEALAND

Gilbert is a Chartered Fire Engineer (CPENG), and member of Engineering New Zealand CMEngNZ. He has been working in the Power Industry as a fire and risk consultant for 15 years. He has a specialist interest in transformer fire issues.


Underground transformers and their life safety risks

This paper examines the pressure that may build up in an unvented transformer explosion and the radius of effect to life safety this may cause. Recent research has provided more up to date data on the probability of catastrophic transformer failure. The paper will develop a specific catastrophic failure adjustment matrix taking account the age of the transformer, bushings type, maintenance quality and other relevant factors. This matrix will be used as a multiplier for the transformer failure probability. Probability of occupancy will be discussed, with a table of probability of occupancy bands, that would allow the overall probability of life safety losses to be assessed. A discussion of these probabilities against comparative life safety loss acceptance levels will be discussed. Mitigation strategies for occupants will be discussed in the final conclusions.


Dr Naser Hashemnia, ABB Power Grids, AUSTRALIA

Naser Hashemnia holds a BSc Degree in Electrical Utility Engineering and a PhD in Electrical Power Engineering.  He is currently employed at ABB Power Grids Australia as the Lead Digital- Transformer Intelligence Engineer. He implements strategies to develop service solutions aimed at addressing problems with transformer products such as Advanced Diagnostics and Asset Management solutions by means of condition monitoring systems with predictive analytics and support sensor and monitoring technology. His expertise is transformer condition monitoring and application of artificial intelligence to power systems.

Robotic internal inspections of oil-filled power transformers

There are several methods to perform internal inspections on power transformers.  The internal inspection depends on the design of the power transformer and may be carried out through the inspection window or hand hole, or by sending a person into the transformer tank via the manhole, this not only poses a financial impact but a significant and severe safety and health risk for the person and could lead to a fatality.

This paper discusses an innovative, robotic technology designed to perform the internal inspection remotely that is efficient, cost-effective, safe to the internal components of transformers and most significantly presents zero harm to the personnel involved on-site.


Jackson Hill, Live HV AUSTRALIA

Jackson Hill is the Principal Engineer and founder of LIVE HV. Holding a Bachelor of Technology and Master of Science from Waikato University New Zealand, Jackson has 17 years’ experience in the electrical engineering and HV industry with a strong focus on preventative and predictive maintenance and high voltage testing techniques.

The positive consequence of enforced REFCL maintenance

Amendment to Victoria’s Electricity Distribution Code in August 2018 forced several HV customers to undertake preventative maintenance to ensure their network can cope with overvoltage’s that can occur with a REFCL system installation

The consequence of the Distribution Code amendment is that several customers, who traditionally use corrective maintenance, have been forced to resilience test their HV network. This imposed shift to preventative maintenance has highlighted numerous issues at most sites tested. Many of the issues detected were present at service voltage and therefore would have led to major HV faults regardless if REFCL overvoltage’s were introduced or not, causing unplanned outages and financial burden. This paper examines how a shift from corrective to preventative and predictive maintenance is a proactive approach which reduces unforeseen HV events and costly, unwanted network failures.

 Diego R

Dr. Diego M. Robalino,  Megger, USA

Diego Robalino is Business Development Director – Power Transformers at Megger Group, where he specializes in the diagnosis of complex electrical testing procedures and strategic development of state-of-the-art transformer testing technology. He has over 20 years of involvement in the electrical engineering profession with management responsibilities in the power systems, oil and gas and research arenas. Diego is a Senior Member of IEEE, a member of IEEE/PES Transformers Committee, a certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute (PMI), and the General Chairman for the IEEE/DEIS 2020 Electrical Insulation Conference. He is the author and co-author of multiple technical articles related to power, distribution and instrument transformer condition assessment. Diego received hid Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University while doing research in power system optimization with a focus on aging equipment.

Optimization of power transformer insulation dry-out process using dielectric frequency response

Like in any other manufacturing process, quality of end-product and optimization of resources are resolute monitoring indexes to determine the efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability of a business. Power transformer manufacturers are aware of the effect of a global economy driving them to rigorous quality control procedures and optimized resource administration. Therefore, for transformer manufacturers, every single step is important. Design, material selection, assembly, testing, they are all interconnected. If any of these steps fails, the whole process is probably condemned to fail. 

The dry-out process of the core-coil assembly, the liquid insulation filtration, degasification, as well as the impregnation process of fluids into solid insulation materials are of utmost importance for the transformer manufacturer and the end-user.

This paper examines the DFR monitoring process for factory and field dry-out using representative case studies. 
 V Meschwinskij

Vladislav Meschwinskij, Siemens AG, GERMANY

Vlad Meschwinskij is Head of Oil Regeneration Competence Center within the business segment Transformer Lifecycle Management (TLM) at Siemens Transformers in Nuremberg. He studied technical chemistry at Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg, Germany. His diploma thesis was the topic "corrosive sulphur in transformer oil". Since 2006 he worked as a chemical engineer in the Siemens oil and material testing laboratory in Nuremberg.

Measures against corrosive sulphur in transformer oil - Regeneration versus Passivation and Oil Change

Sulphur can be present in insulating liquids in various form including elemental sulphur, inorganic sulphur compounds and organic sulphur compounds. Certain sulphur compounds improve antioxidant and metal deactivating properties without being corrosive, whereas other sulphur compounds have been known to react with metal surfaces in a corrosive manner. The phenomenon of corrosive sulphur has caused numerous failures in transformers. In the time between 90’s and 2008 several new transformer oil brands contained corrosive sulphur. The sulphur compound dibenzyl disulphide (DBDS) was the root cause for corrosiveness in most cases.

This paper examines common methods applied to mitigate this effect. The methods are compared to each of the others. Experience of oil reclaiming of corrosive oils will be described in detail.

 Chian Yaw4

Chian Yaw Toh,  Nynas, SINGAPORE

Chian-Yaw TOH is currently Head of Technical Development & Market Support, Asia Pacific. Chian-Yaw has worked in several applicationdevelopment and technical roles with Dow Chemicals, DuPont Dow Elastomers and 3M. Chian-Yaw received his B. Eng in Chemical Engineering from the National University of Singapore and holds a MBA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

A Biodegradable, Low Viscosity and Oxidation Stable Insulating Oil for High-Voltage Applications

Viscosity of insulating oil plays an important role in the cooling ability of the liquid. In general, oil with low viscosity leads to better overall cooling in a power transformer. Convection – especially natural convection, which is critical in Oil-Natural (ON) cooling type transformers, almost entirely depends on the liquid’s viscosity. Transformer’s dynamic rating may be increased – without a significant increase of the hot spot temperature, when using low viscosity insulating liquid. There is also potential for design optimization with compliment from the improved heat transfer offered by the low viscosity liquid. Viscosity also has influence on the impregnation of insulating paper - lower viscosity oils require shorter impregnation time. Oxidation stability is most relevant in mineral oils at the common operating temperatures of power transformer. With better oxidation stability of the liquid, the insulating liquid can last the lifetime of the power transformer. Biodegradable oil can sometimes be desired for use in sensitive environments or where local legislation mandates the use of it. 

This paper examines development of a new biodegradable, low viscosity yet with excellent oxidation stability insulating oil will change the way how we perceive and use of this liquid for high voltage applications.

 K Chong

Kevin Chong, Rio Tinto,  AUSTRALIA

Kevin Chong is an experienced Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) with over 17 years’ experience in the electricity, mining and resources industry coupled with broad experience in planning, operation, maintenance, asset management, reliability engineering and capital investment of Non-Process Infrastructure (NPI) utilities assets. He holds an honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Canterbury and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He is also a Fellow member of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) and AusIMM (FAusIMM).

 Aaron K

Aaron Knight, Rio Tinto, AUSTRALIA

Aaron Knight is an employee of Rio Tinto - Utilities division as a Specialist Electrical Engineer. As part of the electrical maintenance engineering team, Aaron provides day to day support to operations and maintenance teams responsible for the Rio Tinto Pilbara Power Network (RTPPN), is responsible for the execution of capital improvement projects and manages major substation maintenance. Aaron has eight years of experience in the operation and maintenance of high voltage transmission, distribution and generation systems.

Turning data into intelligence - A mining utility industry approach

This paper examines a methodology adopted by one mining utility that has begun to use data analytics and condition monitoring solutions to optimise the presentation of its data, specifically for electricity supply assets such as power transformers, switchgear and overhead power line.  The methodology has increased the asset management reach, knowledge and decision-making across the organisation and demonstrates this journey using real technical case studies which showcase how effective decisions can be made using data analytics to drive the maintenance and replacement activities of utilities assets into the future. 

 L Jonsson4

Lars Jonsson, ABB AB Components, SWEDEN

Lars Jonsson works as Company Senior Specialist at ABB in Sweden and has been closely involved with transformer components and their applications for over 30 years. His experience includes design, product development and many field investigations. He is also the chairman of IEC TC 36A – Insulated Bushings.

Generation of combustible gases in oil-filled transformer bushings

Condition assessment in the field of capacitance graded high voltage bushing reduces the risk of service failures and thereby substantially increasing transformer availability, particularly in applications where bushings may be subject to excessive stress from the grid. Sometimes, questions are raised about gas levels and their origin to assess the risk of future operation. This paper examines cases where acetylene is the only combustible gas exceeding the normal concentration levels and identifies regions with gas generation inside a commonly used design of Oil Impregnated Paper (OIP) bushing.

 Drew Blake 1

Drew W. Blake, Dynamic Ratings, AUSTRALIA

Drew is a Senior Applications Engineer in Dynamic Ratings’ Asia headquarters office based in Melbourne.  With over 5 years of experience in implementing online monitoring systems, he has applied his knowledge to many areas of the business including project management, design and commissioning, as well as customer facing responsibilities such as support and training.  Drew graduated with an Electrical/ Electronic Engineering degree at Swinburne University in 2012 and has since had 7 years of experience in industrial control systems and power industry projects. 


Lessons learnt in the Deployment of Asset Health Pilot programs

Those charged with managing assets in any electric, gas, or water utility face similar challenges when trying to meet their respective companies’ obligations to the owners, operators, regulators and the public affected by these assets.  

This paper examines the condition monitoring of pow­er transformers and their key components. One significant improvement the industry has seen over time is the addition of condition-based monitoring. This practice provides asset owners with real-time information, visibility and control over their usage. The information generated by the devices can also assist utilities in avoiding failures, optimising maintenance and postponing replacements. The challenge for asset managers is discovering and implementing these new technologies.  A successful pilot program enables asset owners to make the right decisions at the right time with reliable asset knowledge, increased system reliability and safety benefits.


 R Pittwood

Robin Pittwood, Powerco Limited, NEW ZEALAND

Robin completed his engineering degree at Canterbury University (NZ) in 1975 and has worked in the electricity distribution industry since.  His roles have always had a high engineering content, including design and specification of substations, protection, control and metering equipment, upgrading a small hydro station, fault analysis, network planning and economics.  A few years ago he took on a new role, Supply Quality Engineer and his attention now is focussed on power quality standards and performance.

Modelling power system dynamic stability

Dynamic stability is fundamental to overall power system capability and reliability.  

At its most basic level, power system dynamic stability is about the power balance between generation and load, and the system’s frequency response to power imbalance. The key equation describing this response is the swing equation; P/M = df/dt where P is the magnitude of the power imbalance (MW), M is the synchronously connected angular momentum (MWs/Hz), and df/dt is the system’s response in terms of the rate of change of frequency (Hz/s).

This paper describes the physics behind the swing equation while developing it from Newton’s second law. It then presents an Excel spreadsheet model based on a time step incremental view of the swing equation, to aid understanding and visualisation of the system’s frequency response. 

 Daniel Oosthuizen

Daniel Oosthuizen, Genesis Energy, New Zealand

Daniel Oosthuizen is a Senior Electrical engineer for Genesis Energy in New Zealand. All of his experience has been obtained working for an asset owner. His main responsibility over the past 8 years have been the asset management of power transformers with limited time spent on thermal generators and diesel generators. Prior to joining Genesis in New Zealand, Danie worked at a utility in South Africa.

 J Pringle

 John Pringle, PBA Limited, New Zealand

John a founder of PBA Ltd and has been working in the electrical power industry for over 30 years. While with ABB, John trained at the ABB training centres in Sweden and Australia.

Practical utilisation of low-frequency heating for transformer winding moisture removal

Transformer winding insulation is typically made up of solid cellulosic material immersed in oil collectively referred to as paper. This paper provides electrical insulation and helps to support the winding structure. The liquid oil permeates the paper and provides electrical insulation as well as cooling.  High temperatures or high-water content will degrade the mechanical strength of the paper insulation and the dielectric strength of the oil, resulting in a shortened life and ultimately could lead to an insulation flashover whilst in service or a winding collapse when an external fault occurs.

This paper examines the requirement for and effectiveness of an alternative method of winding dry-out utilising the Low-Frequency Heating process on an in-situ transformer as part of its mid-life refurbishment.