The University of Southampton

Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory’s involvement with the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE)

Published: 25 October 2012

The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) has been growing consistently throughout the past decade. Currently there are 19 staff members and 27PhD students. The quality of work and expertise within the TDHVL means that TDHVL has gained prestige amongst the international research community, which led the TDHVL to be present at the heart of many decision and policy making groups in the area of High Voltage engineering. CIGRÉ comprises more than 2 500 experts on Large Electric Systems from all around the world. Their main objectives are to design and deploy the Power System for the future, optimize existing equipment and power systems, respect the environment and facilitate access to information. Much of the ground breaking work produced by CIGRE is adopted by international and British standards. TDHVL understands the importance of being involved with this and other international councils, which is why many of our staff members and PhD students are directly involved with CIGRE Working Groups (WG). Professor George Chen has considerable expertise in High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) insulating materials, an emerging field in transmission networks. He is the UK representative for the CIGRE WG A2/D1.41 (HVDC Transformer Insulation-Oil Conductivity), and a member of CIGRE WG D1.23 (Diagnostics and Accelerated Life Endurance Testing of Polymeric Materials for HVDC Application). Professor Chen also works with other groups such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as an expert member representing the UK in the Technical Committee 112-WG.8 (Evaluation and qualification of electrical insulating materials and systems-Various Material Properties) and a member of the IEEE nano-dielectrics technical committee. Professor Paul Lewin is member of CIGRE Study Committee B1 (Insulated Cables) UK advisory Group, was an invited expert on CIGRE WG D1.33 (High Voltage Testing and Measurement Techniques) and is a UK representative on CIGRE WG D1.48 (Properties of Insulating Materials under very low frequency voltages). The work with CIGRE WG D1.33 has been used to revise the International Standard for high-voltage measurement techniques, IEC 60060-1 and -21.Professor Lewin is also a member of the British Standards Institute PEL42 High Voltage Testing Techniques Committee and the IEEE Condition Monitoring Technical Committee. Professor Steve Swingler is a member of Strategic Advisory Group Meeting for Study Committee (SC) B1 (Insulated Cables) which sets SC policy and considers proposals for new work and Joint Working Group (JWG) (C3/B1/B2) on Environmental Issues of High Voltage Transmission Lines for Rural and Urban Areas. This JWG is addressing issues relating to the processes, procedures and environmental impact assessment needed to obtain permits for transmission lines. In 2006 he was awarded ‘Distinguished Member of CIGRE’ for services to HV cables. Professor Alun Vaughan is also involved with the CIGRE, as a committee secretary for the WG D1.40 (Functional Nanomaterials for the Electrical Power Industry). The aim of this working group is to devise strategies to produce dielectric systems, which enhance current material properties, such as higher breakdown strength for a more efficient energy transfer. Dr. James Pilgrim is the joint UK representative for the CIGRE WG B1.35 (Guide for Rating Calculations), a role shared with Francis Waite of National Grid. The aim of the working group is to create a guide to current rating calculations for the benefit of the high voltage cable community, drawing together different practices from around the world and highlighting the best approach to each problem. TDHVL research staff and postgraduate students are also encouraged to get involved. Alex Holt and Pedro Santo Amaro, working as an RA and a PhD student respectively, on copper sulphide deposition on insulation paper and passivation of insulation paper, are also involved with CIGRE WG A2-40 (Copper sulphide long–term mitigation and risk assessment). Their work is funded by National Grid plc.

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