SESSIONS

Speaker

   Alonzo, Adrian  (Co-Presenter: Chris Rundberg)

Implementation and Application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in a Diverse Public Utility Environment

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) will discuss how they implemented their internal Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program. This will include an outline of the original business case, gaining authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate, and choosing/training pilots. LCRA will then discuss the different types of drones, and how these apply to a particular scope. Specific work products will be explained, along with how these were chosen as the deliverable for a particular site, such as a substation, transmission line Right-of-Way, etc. Specific examples of the current and future uses of drones for substation and transmission lines will be discussed.

   Beene, Randy 

Capturing Tribal Knowledge

Most Electrical Utilities are facing the same challenge. A significant percentage of operational experience gained over decades is retiring out of the workplace. This loss of experience is particularly impactful in the ranks of those who patrol and maintain our Transmission lines. Do you just accept this loss as being part of your changing demographics or do you find ways to be proactive? Oncor is leveraging its Transmission Geographic Information System (GIS) to capture much of that Tribal Knowledge. This presentation will detail how a commercial off the shelf (COTS) product was used to meet this business need.

   Bernstorf, Allen 

Mechanical Testing and Evaluation of Braced Line Post Assemblies Composed of Non-Ceramic Insulators

Braced line post insulator assemblies composed of Non-Ceramic Insulators (NCI) represent an economical alternative to minimize right of way requirements while avoiding the need for designs requiring a stronger (larger diameter) line post on a transmission line. However, as line voltages increase and the insulators become correspondingly longer, the buckling characteristics of the line post component of the braced line post become an important consideration. While it is widely accepted that the elastic buckling characteristics of the line post are governed by Euler’s equations, the critical values calculated by this equation are dependent upon an accurate assessment of the degrees of freedom of the end connections of that line post. This paper will explore the hypothetical and real effects of degrees of freedom of the line post ends on the mecha

   Best, Dustin  (Co-Presenter: Hannah Webb)

Dissolved Gas Analysis - Oncor's Past, Present and Future

Oncor Electric Delivery will present its past, present and future processes with transformer dissolved gas analysis (DGA). With DGAs being Oncor’s main test in determining the condition of a transformer and LTC, it is crucial that each DGA is analyzed and not overlooked. Therefore, this presentation will discuss the history of DGAs, the current best practices used at Oncor as well as the development and refinement of the automatic DGA notification triggers used to analyze the results. The number of saves, due to the DGA notification triggers, for both main tanks and LTCs since 2016 will also be discussed. Currently, there are plans being made to refine the DGA triggers even farther and to develop an online dashboard to trend the DGAs for a better visualization that the individual work centers can utilize.

   Bolar, Sanket 

NERC Compliance And Battery Health Assessment Through Analysis of Impedance Measurements

This paper will cover the best practices a test operator should employ to ensure that accurate and reliable results are obtained. Additionally the paper will also cover the data trending and analysis. That is, what is to be done with the data once the test has been carried out? The paper will look at the real life battery impedance test results to show different ways of trending and comparison that can be carried for data analysis part.

   Cardenas, Andres, M.S.C.  (Co-Presenter: Edgar Poveda)

BIM and It's Application In The Design of High and Extra-High Voltage Electrical Substations

HMV Engineers has been exploring into the use of BIM (Building Information Modeling) concept since mid-90´s, becoming a pioneer in the development of inhouse design and modelling applications, such as HMV Tools® and DISAC® (Computer-Aided Substation Design) on AutoCAD® graphic engine. The general challenge of incorporating BIM and IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) to the electrical industry market, is achieving a full integration in process and technology, as well as on early stage actors to minimize construction costs and reprocesses due to what traditionally have been known as disconnected aspects. This article deals in detail with concepts around BIM, implications at implementation level and contrasted management with traditional project management methods. Finally, three examples will be shown to illustrate BIM evolution, used technologies, applications, and practical advantages in projects such as high and extra-high voltage GIS (Gas Insulated Substation).

   Chhajer, Dinesh, P.E., M.S.E.E. 

Alternative Testing Technologies for Field Testing of Protection Class Current Transformers

Current Transformers (CTs) are an integral part of all protection and control systems. Proper CT operation is critical to the reliability of protection schemes implemented in the system. Test recommendations by IEEE C57.13.1 guide on multi-tap relaying CTs are time intensive, need instrument precision for accuracy, repeatability and require high voltage/current that is intrinsically dangerous. This paper proposes two unique testing techniques that provide a safer working environment and improve the testing efficiency without compromising the accuracy of CT testing in the field. A unique method based upon IEC 60044-6 recommendation is proposed utilizing DC voltage and conducting reoccurring DC cycles for excitation test. The DC excitation technique allows low voltage operation that promotes safer operating conditions and provides the ability to test transient performance CTs and generator CTs having very high knee point voltages up to 20 kV. This paper will also provide a detailed comparative analysis of different relaying CT excitation results utilizing AC and DC secondary voltage injection techniques to verify the validity and accuracy of the proposed method. Using the ampere-turns concept of CTs, a concurrent testing technique is recommended that execute the IEEE recommended tests on multiple taps simultaneously. A comparative study to analyze the results from conventional testing of multi-tap CTs to the concurrent mode of testing is shown to highlight the increased efficiency and productivity in field-testing of relaying CTs.

   Cleveland, Grant, P.E., M.A.S.C.E.  (Co-Presenter: Mark Fairbairn, P.E., M.A.S.C.E. & Guy Faries, P.E., M.A.S.C.E.)

Baseplate Design – A Neglected Priority

The connection of a tubular structure to its foundation should be treated as the fundamental connection in a structure. Unfortunately, the design of the baseplate connection is often treated as an afterthought. This presentation will attempt to elevate this connection to its appropriate level and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the connection. The performance of the baseplate connection is a balance between the baseplate, anchor bolts, pole, and the weld that connects the pole and baseplate. History has shown that the failures usually will occur either at the weld or in the pole wall, with the stiffness of the baseplate instrumental in the overall load carrying capacity. Discussion will include design approaches including bend-line theory, ASCE 48-11, and other options such as socketed, plastic design or gusseted. Suggestions regarding the development of reasonable limits recognizing the need to exercise responsible Engineering judgement will be considered and offered

   Coffey, Joseph 

High Temperature Conductor Rating Considerations

Transmission utilities are deploying an increasing amount of high temperature conductors such as ACSS, ACCR, and ACCC® to meet an ever growing list of commercial and design constraints and to provide for future growth. While these high temperature conductors are well suited for use in many scenarios, care should be taken to ensure that line ratings assumptions that are suitable for low temperature lines do not introduce unexpected thermal risk at high temperatures. Presentation will provide an overview of the variables outlined in IEEE 738 and include common assumptions used by ERCOT transmission service providers. Areas will be highlighted where attention should be taken when designing and rating lines at high temperatures. Presentation will include test data from Oak Ridge National Laboratories demonstrating thermal risk and test results from EPRI on aged conductor samples from across Texas.

   Davidow, Steve, P.E., S.E., P.Eng. 

OVER THE MOUNTAIN AND THROUGH THE SWAMP Foundation Alternatives for Extreme Access Conditions

As electric power demands continue to grow, infrastructure development faces new challenges. Transporting power from generation facilities to urban areas increasingly requires construction through environmentally sensitive areas, rugged terrain, and challenging geotechnical conditions. This presentation will provide specific project examples in which micropile foundations, combined with innovative steel and concrete pile caps, have provided unique solutions to these growing challenges. The first will detail concrete cap micropile construction through a protected New Jersey wetland to support 500 kV double-circuit tubular steel poles. The second will summarize the helicopter-supported installation of steel cap micropile foundations for 100 kV H-Frame structures located in rugged, high elevation terrain in Montana. Both will provide an in-depth look at the foundation selection process, finite element simulation and design, cap analysis procedures, and detailed construction methodologies.

   de Monye, Matthew 

High Voltage Pad-mount Transformer

When Manitoba Hydro installed their first High Voltage Padmount Transformer (HVPT) substation in 2001, the utility with over 700,000 customers realized they truly had an innovative alternative to the expensive, unsightly and dangerous conventional substations. The HVPT substation with its patented fully enclosed design is now the preferred substation method in the province of Manitoba and has saved the utility millions of dollars in capital and operational costs. With installations ranging from 66 kV to 138 kV, up to 20 MVA, Manitoba Hydro has seen the HVPT Substation provide improvements to maintenance, reliability and planning flexibility.

   Dewbre, Holly  (Co-Presenter: Randy Beene)

Capturing Tribal Knowledge

Most Electrical Utilities are facing the same challenge. A significant percentage of operational experience gained over decades is retiring out of the workplace. This loss of experience is particularly impactful in the ranks of those who patrol and maintain our Transmission lines. Do you just accept this loss as being part of your changing demographics or do you find ways to be proactive? Oncor is leveraging its Transmission Geographic Information System (GIS) to capture much of that Tribal Knowledge. This presentation will detail how a commercial off the shelf (COTS) product was used to meet this business need.

   Donahue, Kevin 

Adaptive and Robust Harmonic Estimation

Power distribution systems are subject to high signal fluctuations due to weather, power outages, load switching, equipment failure, and large inductive loads. These factors are impossible to predict and take into account for as they lead to system imbalances and harmonic distortion. Power suppliers and cooperatives lose money every year due to inaccurate metering and power outages caused by harmonic distortions. Therefore, implementation of harmonic compensation is needed to reduce harmonic distortions and the problems they can cause. Using adaptive and robust estimation methods it is possible to identify the harmonic components of a given voltage signal without any prior information. Once the estimation methods have identified the harmonic components, the power supplier can then compensate for these harmonic distortions and increase power quality of the system. The estimation algorithms were simulated using test signals and real output data from a voltage source inverter.

   Donohoo, Ken  (Co-Presenter: Darrell Thornley)

Microgrids, Distributed Energy Resources and Smart Grids Changing Planning, Design and Operations of the Power System

The electric industry is at a major crossroads and traditional approaches to problem solving are being replaced by new technologies including microgrids, distributed energy resources and smart grids. The steady, one-way flow of electricity that has been around for more than a century is changing today to an active, two-way stream of power, shifting back and forth between the customer and the utility. This new resource pool is changing planning, design , operations and resiliency of the Power System. Presentation will present several real world applications.

   Ehsani, Brian 

A Cost Benefit Analysis of Faster Transmission System Protection Schemes and Ground Grid Design

This paper analyzes how reducing tripping times affects the capital cost of a transmission station’s ground grid. A range of trip times are examined to demonstrate the increased cost of a slower tripping scheme and its relationship with substation ground grid design. This relationship is used to determine the potential savings when utilizing faster protection schemes on modern relays.

   Emrick, Craig  (Co-Presenter: Mark Venvell)

LiDAR Surveying and the UAS Phenomenon: Understanding How to “See the Wood for the Trees”

The goal of this paper is to introduce the transmission engineer to these different technologies, to enable them to see past the sales pitch, and to determine the right technology for their project. Starting in the mid-1980’s, airborne LiDAR has been used to varying degrees of success in surveying electric transmission lines. Since the 2010 NERC Recommendation, “Consideration of Actual Field Conditions in Determination of Facility Ratings”, the use of airborne LiDAR has matured and has proved to be indispensable in discovering discrepancies between design and actual conditions in the Bulk Electric System. However, transmission engineers potentially take this data for granted, without understanding the capabilities of LiDAR, the factors that drive accuracy, nor the limitations of the technology. In the last decade, the use of terrestrial LiDAR in the substation world is also maturing, giving utilities the ability to model in 3D for design, as-built, and retrofit purposes. This technology is more suited to small projects, such as substations or a few transmission spans. Airspace restrictions, where aircraft are not permitted to fly in specific areas, can also make this indispensable tool. Like airborne LIDAR, this technology has certain capabilities, factors that drive accuracy, and technological limitations. More recently, new technologies, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are being explored as platforms to do some of the same work currently performed using manned aircraft, also with varying degrees of success. As with the other technologies, the UAV-based survey comes with its own set of capabilities, accuracy drivers, and limitations. Among these are line-of-sight limitations and higher-than-expected costs. This paper will explore the different technologies available for surveying the electrical system, including manned airborne LIDAR, terrestrial LiDAR, and UAV-based surveys. The fundamentals of the different technologies will be presented, along with regulations, sensor platforms, data accuracies, technological limitations, cost drivers, and best-use applications. A commentary will also be presented on the impacts of the FAA’s recent decision granting Xcel approval to run inspection drones beyond line of sight.

   Fairbairn, Mark, P.E., M.A.S.C.E.  (Co-Presenter: Grant Cleveland, P.E., M.A.S.C.E. & Guy Faries, P.E., M.A.S.C.E.)

Baseplate Design – A Neglected Priority

The connection of a tubular structure to its foundation should be treated as the fundamental connection in a structure. Unfortunately, the design of the baseplate connection is often treated as an afterthought. This presentation will attempt to elevate this connection to its appropriate level and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the connection. The performance of the baseplate connection is a balance between the baseplate, anchor bolts, pole, and the weld that connects the pole and baseplate. History has shown that the failures usually will occur either at the weld or in the pole wall, with the stiffness of the baseplate instrumental in the overall load carrying capacity. Discussion will include design approaches including bend-line theory, ASCE 48-11, and other options such as socketed, plastic design or gusseted. Suggestions regarding the development of reasonable limits recognizing the need to exercise responsible Engineering judgement will be considered and offered

   Faries, Guy, P.E., M.A.S.C.E. 

Trinity Meyer Utility Structures

The connection of a tubular structure to its foundation should be treated as the fundamental connection in a structure. Unfortunately, the design of the baseplate connection is often treated as an afterthought. This presentation will attempt to elevate this connection to its appropriate level and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the connection. The performance of the baseplate connection is a balance between the baseplate, anchor bolts, pole, and the weld that connects the pole and baseplate. History has shown that the failures usually will occur either at the weld or in the pole wall, with the stiffness of the baseplate instrumental in the overall load carrying capacity. Discussion will include design approaches including bend-line theory, ASCE 48-11, and other options such as socketed, plastic design or gusseted. Suggestions regarding the development of reasonable limits recognizing the need to exercise responsible Engineering judgement will be considered and offered.

   Herron, Jason 

Design of Grillage and Helical Pile Foundation for Limited Access Tranmission Line


   Jennings, Benjamin  (Co-Presenter: Jason Herron)

Design of Grillage and Helical Pile Foundation for Limited Access Tranmission Line

In the summer of 2016 Xcel Energy experienced a storm event that resulted in the collapse of approximately 10 miles of a 345 KV transmission line near Rogers, Minnesota. In design of the new transmission line, Xcel Energy determined that ten tower locations would be replaced with steel H-frame structures supported by helical piles instead of wood H-frame structures supported by driven wooden piles. A steel foundation was proposed for the towers due to time constraints and swamp site conditions unfavorable to large pile driving equipment. Xcel Energy contacted Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. (HPS) for aid in the design of a complete steel foundation for the structure legs. The design of the moment resistant grillage, clamping system, and foundation construction in poor site conditions provided an expedient and efficient foundation system to be discussed in this paper.

   Josephson, Brock 

Methodologies for Adopting New Security Technologies

With emerging security threats and increasing security standards, electrical utilities are investing heavily in security technologies. With countless security technologies on the market, it can be an arduous task to select the right technologies and implement them in an effective manner. Investing in technologies that do not meet performance requirements, do not integrate into the existing security system, or exhibit high failure rates; can result in wasted capital and O&M expenditures, frustrated security officers and managers, as well as increased security vulnerabilities and resultant liability to the owner or operator. Developing an effective technology strategy prior to the deployment of security technology is crucial to the success of the overall effectiveness of the physical security program. This presentation provides a methodology to develop a security strategy. Also discussed are some of the pitfalls to avoid when adopting new technologies.

   Khan, Rakesh, P.E., C.W.I 

The Value of Nondestructive Testing for New Transmission & Substation Foundations

Within the vast, aging transmission infrastructure across the country, numerous towers exist with under-built or unknown foundations and there is a need to validate what cannot be seen underground. Duke Energy was constructing a critical substation and transmission line where karst geology resulted in challenges in design and installation techniques for the caisson foundations. Available data was inconclusive on the condition of the newly installed foundations, and a solution was needed. Duke Energy contracted FDH to perform nondestructive testing (NDT) to verify the condition of foundations. The scope included a proprietary dispersive wave test analyzed by a dedicated team to determine the overall depth and location of discontinuities. For any discontinuities identified, select concrete cores were performed to verify the extent of the issues. Soil intrusion and shorter than designed foundations were identified. Foundation capacity calculations and foundation repairs were performed.

   Kimball, Barrett 

Considerations for HTLS Conductors

Now that High Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) conductors have become common place in our industry and the price is (slowly) coming down, more utilities and developers (renewable suppliers) are considering these type of conductors for new lines. In the U.S., ACSS is by far the most common HTLS conductor in use – both in rebuilds and in new construction. Along with this type, everyone is fairly familiar with ACCC and ACCR conductors. In Europe and Asia, HTLS conductors such as GZTACSR, ZTACIR, ACPR, and TACSR are being deployed for projects amenable to HTLS conductors. These projects are no longer the original paradigm of HTLS conductors: more ampacity is required on an existing section of line wherein structure heights or clearances are controlling parameters. Life Cycle Costs and Load Factors are being considered; in addition to smaller structures and foundations, HTLS conductors provide more flexibility to System Operators and work well in congested Rights of Ways. This presentation will examine the aforementioned HTLS conductors based on an extended study performed in Germany. This study was part of a European consortium called ‘Best Paths’ to evaluate the pros and cons of various HTLS conductors. This study is one small facet of the consortium’s goal to facilitate the integration of renewable energies in the European market. Further, the presentation examines the difference in the manufacturing process of ACSS conductors. There are significant differences in the stress-strain behavior of the wire depending on the annealing process.

   Kinney, Lance, P.E., Ph.D. 

Texas Board of Professional Engineers – Professional Practice Update / Ethics: Updates on Board rule changes within the last year, general updates on initiatives the Board is working on, information on enforcement statistics, and the engineering Code of C


   Maersch, Todd 

Solo Driver An innovation of American Transmission Co.

Frustrated by the time and cost of installing transmission pole foundations, American Transmission Co. developed an innovative new method for installing steel utility poles when a concrete base is not needed. The technology uses half the crew and equipment, minimizes environmental impacts and takes a fraction of the time compared to traditional installation methods. The method, called Solo-Driver, can result in labor and equipment savings of up to 55 percent, depending on construction access and soil types. In this session, attendees will hear a case study describing how the method was developed and refined to its current state. They will learn how the method provides benefits in transmission construction, and also learn about potential additional applications. Watch a short video demonstration of the Solo-Driver method.

   Meracado, David, P.E. 

CenterPoint Energy Super Bowl LI Coordination and Hurricane Harvey Operational Efforts

Houston, Texas was the host site for the 2017 SuperBowl. As the TDSP for the greater Houston area, CenterPoint Energy coordinated various preparation efforts from an operational perspective to ensure reliable power during the Super Bowl and associated events. This presentation will highlight some of the unique approaches taken by CenterPoint Energy to bolster reliability during this event. Additionally, CenterPoint Energy experienced the impacts of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The second half of this presentation will highlight operational decisions that took place during this historic flood event.

   Monahan, Michael 

Cost-Effective Strategies for Securing Transmission & Distribution Industrial Control Systems

Our world is growing more digital, as new technologies transform the connections between people, information, and critical industrial control systems. This innovation offers improved efficiency and quality of service & operations. But with these gains also comes heightened security risks. In this technological climate, balancing the cost of security measures consistent with industry standards requires new consideration to ensure that security-related decisions are still relevant – from the control system operator to the customer – and reflect the relevant threats in today’s operating environment. This presentation discusses the key aspects of building a cost-effective and sustainable security plan, adapting national best practices to each organization’s unique constraints, requirements and culture. Participants will take away strategies for developing and measuring a healthy, risk-based program that includes regular reviews, scheduled updates and maintenance.

   Morales, Emilio 

A New Approach for Transformer Bushing Monitoring

Transformer bushings are one of the most critical components of a transformer. Up to 20% of major failures on high voltage transformers today can be related to bushings. Almost half of these failures result in catastrophic failures like explosions, fire or oil spillage. The cost of these damages and the lost opportunity to deliver energy could be several hundred times higher than the price of a bushing. Even a failing bushing which will not lead to a catastrophic failure can harm people due to burst porcelain insulators, catapulted through the air by the force of the arc of the breakdown. Today, the experience is that a transformer during his lifetime will have two sets of bushings. As transformer today expected to last for 50 years, bushings expected to have a lifetime of 25 years. The past experience showed, that there are two major periods where bushings are going to fail compared to other bushing ages. The production/ quality related failures are happening once the bushings are

   Oliphant, Wesley  (Co-Presenter: Zachary Oliphant)

Evaluating Strength Loss of Tubular Steel Poles Due to Corrosion

Among the many serious challenges facing engineers responsible for the reliable operations of our electrical grid is the continuous evaluation of degraded structural capacity of poles and towers due to the deteriorating effects of aging and exposure. One of those deteriorating effects is corrosion. Corrosion of steel is a naturally occurring electrochemical conversion of a refined metal (steel) to its original, more chemically-stable form of various oxides, hydroxides, or sulfides. The chemical and/or electrochemical reaction the steel will have with the environment into which it is installed, is typically a gradual degradation. But, when steel begins to degrade due to corrosion, it loses strength. There are few guidelines available to help Utility Engineers evaluate this strength loss on installed tubular steel poles. This paper discusses and provides a methodology that can be used to evaluate strength loss when the effects of corrosion begin to degrade a tubular steel pole below

   Oliphant, Wesley  (Co-Presenter: Zachary Oliphant)

Post Galvanizing Toe Cracks in Welds: Can We Continue to Rely On a First Aid Approach to This Problem?

Galvanized, tubular steel pole projects have long been known to have a susceptibility for the discovery of post galvanizing weld toe cracking in the fracture critical flange/base plate to pole shaft welds. Dating back to the early 1970’s, numerous technical papers have been written and presented on this critical structural reliability issue. So why haven’t we been able to “cure” or eradicate this critical weld cracking issue? Or can we, but the collective will power is not in place to enforce the welding “health regimens” that are known to ensure this type cracking doesn’t occur in the first place? This paper/presentation will first review and summarize the several factors that have been shown to cumulatively contribute to the occurrence of post galvanizing “toe cracking” in these type welded joints as well as discuss the diligent quality programs and robust manufacturing procedures needed to prevent them in the first place.

   Oliphant, Zachary 

Post Galvanizing Toe Cracks in Welds: Can We Continue to Rely On a First Aid Approach to This Problem?

Galvanized, tubular steel pole projects have long been known to have a susceptibility for the discovery of post galvanizing weld toe cracking in the fracture critical flange/base plate to pole shaft welds. Dating back to the early 1970’s, numerous technical papers have been written and presented on this critical structural reliability issue. So why haven’t we been able to “cure” or eradicate this critical weld cracking issue? Or can we, but the collective will power is not in place to enforce the welding “health regimens” that are known to ensure this type cracking doesn’t occur in the first place? This paper/presentation will first review and summarize the several factors that have been shown to cumulatively contribute to the occurrence of post galvanizing “toe cracking” in these type welded joints as well as discuss the diligent quality programs and robust manufacturing procedures needed to prevent them in the first place.

   Poveda, Edgar  (Co-Presenter: Andres Cardenas, M.S.C.)

BIM and It's Application In The Design of High and Extra-High Voltage Electrical Substations

HMV Engineers has been exploring into the use of BIM (Building Information Modeling) concept since mid-90´s, becoming a pioneer in the development of in-house design and modelling applications, such as HMV Tools® and DISAC® (Computer-Aided Substation Design) on AutoCAD® graphic engine. The general challenge of incorporating BIM and IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) to the electrical industry market, is achieving a full integration in process and technology, as well as on early stage actors to minimize construction costs and reprocesses due to what traditionally have been known as disconnected aspects. This article deals in detail with concepts around BIM, implications at implementation level and contrasted management with traditional project management methods. Finally, three examples will be shown to illustrate BIM evolution, used technologies, applications, and practical advantages in projects such as high and extra-high voltage GIS (Gas Insulated Substation).

   Rench, Brandon, C.P. 

Aerial Thermal and Visual Inspection of Electric Lines with an Unmanned Aerial System

Surveying and Mapping, LLC (SAM) performed an aerial inspection of 5 miles of three-phase electric distribution lines utilizing an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The goal of the project was to identify and report thermal anomalies on the electric equipment, conductors, and poles, as well as to visually locate assets in need of repair. This project used new technology to increase the efficiency and safety of traditional inspection methods. SAM installed and equipped the UAS with a coupled thermal and visible camera payload capable of 30x optical zoom. The inspection proved to be a success by locating multiple anomalies and equipment in need of repair and reduced the amount of time needed, as compared to traditional methods, by a substantial amount, creating a cost savings to the client and the community.

   Ruggeri, Erik  (Co-Presenter: Barrett Kimball)

Considerations for HTLS Conductors

Now that High Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) conductors have become common place in our industry and the price is (slowly) coming down, more utilities and developers (renewable suppliers) are considering these type of conductors for new lines. In the U.S., ACSS is by far the most common HTLS conductor in use – both in rebuilds and in new construction. Along with this type, everyone is fairly familiar with ACCC and ACCR conductors. In Europe and Asia, HTLS conductors such as GZTACSR, ZTACIR, ACPR, and TACSR are being deployed for projects amenable to HTLS conductors. These projects are no longer the original paradigm of HTLS conductors: more ampacity is required on an existing section of line wherein structure heights or clearances are controlling parameters. Life Cycle Costs and Load Factors are being considered; in addition to smaller structures and foundations, HTLS conductors provide more flexibility to System Operators and work well in congested Rights of Ways. This presentation will examine the aforementioned HTLS conductors based on an extended study performed in Germany. This study was part of a European consortium called ‘Best Paths’ to evaluate the pros and cons of various HTLS conductors. This study is one small facet of the consortium’s goal to facilitate the integration of renewable energies in the European market. Further, the presentation examines the difference in the manufacturing process of ACSS conductors. There are significant differences in the stress-strain behavior of the wire depending on the annealing process.

   Rundberg, Chris  (Co-Presenter: Adrian Alonzo)

Implementation and Application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in a Diverse Public Utility Environment

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) will discuss how they implemented their internal Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program. This will include an outline of the original business case, gaining authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate, and choosing/training pilots. LCRA will then discuss the different types of drones, and how these apply to a particular scope. Specific work products will be explained, along with how these were chosen as the deliverable for a particular site, such as a substation, transmission line Right-of-Way, etc. Specific examples of the current and future uses of drones for substation and transmission lines will be discussed. The subject of housing and distributing the data will also be discussed, as well as the integration of the resulting data in a GIS system. The product derived from the UAS is photography, which can then be converted to a 3D point cloud. These files can be very large, and you must have a plan of how you will effectively manage this.

   Seider, Gary  (Co-Presenter: Jason Herron & Benjamin Jennings)

Design of Grillage and Helical Pile Foundation for Limited Access Tranmission Line

In the summer of 2016 Xcel Energy experienced a storm event that resulted in the collapse of approximately 10 miles of a 345 KV transmission line near Rogers, Minnesota. In design of the new transmission line, Xcel Energy determined that ten tower locations would be replaced with steel H-frame structures supported by helical piles instead of wood H-frame structures supported by driven wooden piles. A steel foundation was proposed for the towers due to time constraints and swamp site conditions unfavorable to large pile driving equipment. Xcel Energy contacted Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. (HPS) for aid in the design of a complete steel foundation for the structure legs. The design of the moment resistant grillage, clamping system, and foundation construction in poor site conditions provided an expedient and efficient foundation system to be discussed in this paper.

   Sharpless, Kenneth 

Puerto Rico Pole Performance

Puerto Rico Pole Performance Suppliers and crews faced significant headwinds to restore power in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. This included material delivery logistics much more difficult than most emergency response conditions in the continental United States. It also included very public and very critical news coverage. This attention raised questions about how well overhead line structures performed in extreme conditions. But was the overhead line grid rebuilt for the long haul, or primarily re-hung to get the lights back on? Rebuilding for the long haul would require implementing any lessons learned from the disaster at hand. However, the assessment process requires time and resources that were obviously focused on the priority of restoring power as quickly as possible with available materials, methods and man-power. This paper describes one supplier’s role in the emergency response following Hurricane Maria. It also offers field observations of the damage that emphasizes the importance of realistic design assumptions. TAPP is a long-time supply partner of tubular steel poles for PREPA. Once it became evident that the island was going to be directly hit by a category 5 hurricane, management directed manufacturing and material preparations to support the anticipated pole needs for the effort to restore power. Delivery methods included air transportation by flying flatbed trailer loads of poles to San Juan on military aircraft from the mainland. TAPP’s VP of Engineering and current ASCE 48 Chair toured the damage and observed first-hand the types of failure modes the existing system experienced. One take-a-way relates to the application and use of standard structure types. Standards are helpful. For overhead line structures, standard poles are pre-engineered according to specific load and configuration assumptions. While they may be applied in a range of anticipated conditions, they should not be placed in situations where those assumptions will be exceeded.

   Shvedov, Alexander 

Predictive Reliability Intelligent System Monitor

Asset management and equipment health monitoring is not only about collecting the right data at the right time, but also about organizing that data and storing it in an accessible location. Currently, LCRA utilizes dissolved gas analysis (DGA) software and labs, Doble and Maximo databases, SQL tables, and various Excel templates for asset health assessments. With the above mentioned tools there is no shortage of data, however, better data management practices will improve reliability and save thousands. It is LCRA Reliability Engineering group’s priority to centralize all data into one location to apply data analytics across the entire system. With this in mind Predictive Reliability Intelligent System Monitor or PRISM was born, a Tableau based data analytics tool. PRISM has the capability to integrate all asset monitoring, testing, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data into one location to enable full system health monitoring with a geographical interface. Benefits of this app

   Smith, Russell  (Co-Presenter: Hannah Webb)

Dissolved Gas Analysis - Oncor's Past, Present and Future

Oncor Electric Delivery will present its past, present and future processes with transformer dissolved gas analysis (DGA). With DGAs being Oncor’s main test in determining the condition of a transformer and LTC, it is crucial that each DGA is analyzed and not overlooked. Therefore, this presentation will discuss the history of DGAs, the current best practices used at Oncor as well as the development and refinement of the automatic DGA notification triggers used to analyze the results. The number of saves, due to the DGA notification triggers, for both main tanks and LTCs since 2016 will also be discussed. Currently, there are plans being made to refine the DGA triggers even farther and to develop an online dashboard to trend the DGAs for a better visualization that the individual work centers can utilize.

   Sweetser, Charles 

Understanding the Value of Electrical Testing for Power Transformers

The electric power industry is always looking for the best approach to better determine and continually track the condition of power transformers. It is important to understand the need for and value of comprehensive testing of power transformers. Through careful selection, hierarchal value, and appropriate times of use, today transformer diagnostics generally consists of a comprehensive suite of basic or standard electrical field tests including: • Power Factor • Exciting Current • Turns/Voltage Ratio • Leakage Reactance • DC Winding Resistance These specific diagnostic tests have been selected as the primary focus for this presentation and discussion. This presentation focuses on how diagnostic techniques can be applied to power transformers as part of the standard condition assessment protocol. The audience will be provided with an understanding, application, and analysis of these tests, supported by specially selected case studies validating the value that these diagnostic tests bring to testing, and finally assessing, power transformers.

   Thompson, Cliff 

Ground System Testing 101 and Case Studies

Abstract The term ground grid or mat is used to identify a sub-surface checker board arrangement of bare copper conductors (ground system) that are mechanically bonded together at all x and y crossing coordinates. The installation of the copper checker board grid and electrodes are to ensure the ground system has a consistent low resistance bond to earth. The purpose of the sub-surface ground system is to provide a low fault circuit path impedance protection for workers and equipment during surge, switching and lightning events. Due to this being a sub-surface ground system, a method of testing the integrity and performance of the copper connections is required to confirm a safe step and touch potential is maintained for workers performing activities. The 2 test methods that I will cover are the High Current Injection and the application of the SGM (Smart Ground Multi-meter), which performs multiple types of ground integrity tests.

   Thornley, Darrell 

Microgrids, Distributed Energy Resources and Smart Grids Changing Planning, Design and Operations of the Power System


   Venvell, Mark 

LiDAR Surveying and the UAV Phenomena – Understanding How to “See the Wood for the Trees”

The goal of this paper is to introduce the transmission engineer to these different technologies, to enable them to see past the sales pitch, and to determine the right technology for their project. Starting in the mid-1980’s, airborne LiDAR has been used to varying degrees of success in surveying electric transmission lines. Since the 2010 NERC Recommendation, “Consideration of Actual Field Conditions in Determination of Facility Ratings”, the use of airborne LiDAR has matured and has proved to be indispensable in discovering discrepancies between design and actual conditions in the Bulk Electric System. However, transmission engineers potentially take this data for granted, without understanding the capabilities of LiDAR, the factors that drive accuracy, nor the limitations of the technology. In the last decade, the use of terrestrial LiDAR in the substation world is also maturing, giving utilities the ability to model in 3D for design, as-built, and retrofit purposes. This technology is more suited to small projects, such as substations or a few transmission spans. Airspace restrictions, where aircraft are not permitted to fly in specific areas, can also make this indispensable tool. Like airborne LIDAR, this technology has certain capabilities, factors that drive accuracy, and technological limitations. More recently, new technologies, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are being explored as platforms to do some of the same work currently performed using manned aircraft, also with varying degrees of success. As with the other technologies, the UAV-based survey comes with its own set of capabilities, accuracy drivers, and limitations. Among these are line-of-sight limitations and higher-than-expected costs. This paper will explore the different technologies available for surveying the electrical system, including manned airborne LIDAR, terrestrial LiDAR, and UAV-based surveys. The fundamentals of the different technologies will be presented, along with regulations, sensor platforms, data accuracies, technological limitations, cost drivers, and best-use applications. A commentary will also be presented on the impacts of the FAA’s recent decision granting Xcel approval to run inspection drones beyond line of sight.

   Webb, Hannah 

Dissolved Gas Analysis - Oncor's Past, Present and Future

Oncor Electric Delivery will present its past, present and future processes with transformer dissolved gas analysis (DGA). With DGAs being Oncor’s main test in determining the condition of a transformer and LTC, it is crucial that each DGA is analyzed and not overlooked. Therefore, this presentation will discuss the history of DGAs, the current best practices used at Oncor as well as the development and refinement of the automatic DGA notification triggers used to analyze the results. The number of saves, due to the DGA notification triggers, for both main tanks and LTCs since 2016 will also be discussed. Currently, there are plans being made to refine the DGA triggers even farther and to develop an online dashboard to trend the DGAs for a better visualization that the individual work centers can utilize.

   Williams, Robert, P.S.M, C.P. 

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Advancements for Electrical Inspection

Simon consists of a set of processes, procedures and software to organize, filter, and analyze large volumes of remotely sensed datasets. Anomaly reports are generated, including predictive analytics for establishing operations and maintenance priorities. The methods utilize big data, artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning as a decision support tool to improve business operations and develop strategic maintenance plans to improve reliability. Simon inspection includes the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to gather large volumes of visible and invisible remotely sensed data sets for analysis. The datasets consist of close range oblique's, thermal mid-range Infrared (IR), Corona Ultraviolet (UV) and high density LiDAR gathered in a single pass along an energy corridor. The composite and side-by-side analysis techniques, both automated and supervised, create a baseline temporal analysis of electric components year-over-year. The presentation will include recent results of an aerial and ground inspection covering over 1,100 miles for an electric transmission corridor, gathering over 700,000 images and 14 terabytes of data.

   Woodfin, Dan 

The (Continuing) Evolution of the ERCOT Grid

As the mix of resources on the electric power system continues to change, the role of the transmission and distribution systems are evolving as well. As the independent system operator for the grid that serves 23 million Texans, ERCOT is at the forefront of many of these changes. Dan will discuss recent events and changes to the ERCOT transmission system, as well as expectations for the future.

   You, Youngmin, P.E., Ph.D. 

Development of Analytical Methods for Spliced Leg Members

This paper presents the development of analytical methods to estimate the compression capacity of a spliced leg member, a typical connection as a part of a latticed steel structure. Design and analysis of the spliced leg members typically assume the spliced leg member is a continuous member with a constant section instead of considering actual dimensions of two segments. Although this approach has been accepted in the industry for a long time because it guarantees a conservative design, it has drawbacks like the overdesign of an individual member and an adverse effect to global stiffness. To address these problems, the rational analytical method is developed in this paper based on the Timoshenko’s elastic stability theory and ASCE/SEI 10 standard. Timoshenko’s theory was applied to slender members for the global buckling analysis using two theories, Euler Buckling and Energy Method. The ASCE/SEI 10 standard was applied to short members for the local buckling analysis.