ABB Power Services

Our aim is to increase systems reliability and extend the life of their equipment with concomitant gains for our customers’ competitiveness. We support our customers with high-quality services in preventive and corrective maintenance to improve risk mitigation and improved safety. ABB's service portfolio allows utilities and industrials to maximizing the return on all assets by ensuring a high reliability, reducing life cycle costs and ensuring optimized performance while lowering environmental impact.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Improve high voltage reliability and lower your total cost of ownership with preventive maintenance

High voltage circuit breakers are a critical power grid asset for system switching and protection, particularly EHV (extra high voltage) assets.  These critical assets are a significant investment for grid owners.  Keeping these assets reliable and making them last longer will lower the total cost of ownership.  Preventive maintenance is the key to achieving these two goals.  There are five preventive maintenance steps we recommend you implement into your yearly maintenance plan (if you are not already exercising) for high voltage circuit breakers.

First and foremost, check the moving components of your circuit breaker – the interrupter (contacts) and mechanism. These two components are subject to the most wear and possible changes in performance over time.  The contacts which are responsible for carrying current when the breaker is closed are checked by timing the breaker and verifying it is operating within the parameters set in the manufacturer’s instruction book.  Changes in breaker timing from the last inspection or deviations from the instruction book parameters indicates a need for maintenance. Mechanisms are the other critical moving component. Moving parts need to be greased regularly, oil levels should be checked (if applicable), and springs should be checked (if applicable).  Changes in operation could indicate a loss of energy, “sticking” components, or other problem.  A properly operating mechanism is necessary for a breaker to meet proper operating velocity when performing switching operations.

Second, and just as important, check the SF6 gas integrity yearly.  An analysis of SF6 gas is an excellent indicator of breaker health. Is the gas pure, does it have low or no moisture, and does it not contain decomposition particles?  SF6 gas with a high moisture level, for instance could be an indicator of a leak in the breaker.  According to John Dalton’s partial pressure law, the breaker will equalize itself with the ambient air.  This means, as SF6 gas leaks out, ambient air enters the breaker, inducing moisture to the breaker as well.  This moisture will cause corrosion inside the breaker.  Have high levels of SO2 or other contaminants been found during SF6 analysis?  These other contaminants carry their own risks which reduce reliability and must be addressed through proper maintenance.

Third, check all heaters. Tank heaters keep SF6 from liquefying at cold temperatures. It’s necessary that SF6 stay in a gaseous state to maintain its integrity and dielectric strength to safely extinguish the interrupting arc.  Mechanism and control cabinet heaters keep the temperature inside the cabinet ten degrees warmer than the ambient temperature.  They also prevent condensation in high humidity areas.  This inhibits corrosion from building up on control cabinet components or mechanism components.  Once corroded they will not operate.

Fourth, perform a site condition assessment by subject matter experts – this will either be inhouse experts that know your equipment thoroughly or OEM experts with both a depth and breadth of knowledge. A site condition assessment is more than a walk through of your substation to confirm what equipment is rusted and what is still new and shiny.  Subject matter experts know where to look, how to look for leading indicators, such as equipment operations, bushing indications, et cetera.

Fifth, download and review monitoring device data, if applicable. Often data from monitoring devices is not used or is under used.  Data may be indicating trends that are not realizable with inspections done at a specific slice of time.  OEM’s are very good at deciphering what the data means. What is good data, what is bad data, and what is my equipment telling me?  Sometimes data will be aggregated and compared to benchmarks to get a holistic picture of asset health.  Other times, pieces of data are enough to indicate asset health.  Every asset and its application is unique, making the evaluation unique as well.

Preventive maintenance plays a key role in maintaining equipment reliability and lowering the total cost of ownership. A small investment in yearly diagnostic maintenance will help you verify healthy assets and determine asserts that have or are developing issues which must be addressed through more traditional maintenance methods to maintain overall system reliability.

If you would like to learn about more about a high voltage topic, you may be interested in the HV Education Series. Click here to register. On Sept 14, aging infrastructure and reliability will be covered in our Customer Education Webinar Click here to register.. On Sep 23 and Nov 17 circuit breaker and mechanism maintenance will be covered in our HV products training webinars Click here to register.


For questions or more information, or if you need assistance with any of the preventive maintenance steps covered above, contact highvoltageservice@us.abb.com.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Announcing the 2016 HV Education Series



ABB High Voltage Service is proud to introduce the HV Education Series for 2016. This series of Customer Education Webinars and HV product training will focus on the challenges we see and hear our customers facing and the best practices and other practical solutions used throughout the high voltage industry. The one hour webinars will be hosted by high voltage industry experts. Webinars will include a mixture of customer examples, solutions, case studies, and expert advice. The HV product training is an online course to bolster your basic maintenance and troubleshooting skills. We invite you to join us, give us your feedback, or make a suggestion for a future webinar topic. A registration link for each webinar is provided in the below list. For questions contact highvoltageservice@us.abb.com

Customer Education Webinars

High Voltage Industry Challenges and Best Practices to Reduce O&M Costs
Today utilities are faced with many challenges, this webinar will look at high voltage hurdles and best practices employed to effectively reduce O&M (operation & maintenance) costs. Several success stories will be illustrated demonstrating these best practices. Attend this practical webinar to learn how to address high voltage challenges while reducing O&M costs and still achieving operational excellence goals.

High Voltage Expert: Robert Stoner      
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST
Cost: Free Registration


Aging HV Infrastructure & Managing Reliability
A myriad of options are available for managing the growing number of aging power grid assets – maintain, repair, retrofit and upgrade, or replace? Each option has trade-offs for risk and reliability. Managing that “universe of risk” is something that must be carefully planned, managed, and executed to maintain and improve system reliability.  Attend this webinar to learn how to effectively find, assess, and mitigate high voltage risk in your fleet, and ultimately improve system reliability.

High Voltage Expert: Todd Padezanin
Date: Wed, September 14, 2016 at 2:00 to 3 pm EST
Cost: Free Registration


Grid Upgrades – A Tale of Two Substations
Managing substation projects with ease sounds like an oxy-moron. Whether it’s an upgrade of an existing (brownfield) switchyard or the birth of a (greenfield) substation, decision, equipment, resources, and asset management challenges do not need to be doomed for the decision-making “death spiral” when proper planning and project management is taken into account. Attend this webinar to learn how to avoid the headaches, mishaps, and heartburn associated with grid upgrade projects as two types of substation success stories are studied.

High Voltage Expert:
Date: Wed, October 19, 2016 at 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST
Cost: Free Registration


Roadmap to Implementing Condition-Based Maintenance
Most organization want to do it, but few know where or how to start – implementing condition-based maintenance (CBM). How do you get started? When do you start? Who should be involved? It’s the chicken and egg all over – do I start with a few critical assets or jump in with both feet and phase all in assets in as we buy them?  Attend this webinar for a roadmap you can use as a set of guidelines to successfully implement a CBM program and benefit from its many advantages.

High Voltage Expert: Jeff Barker

Date: Tues, November 8, 2016 at 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST
Cost: Free Registration


DTB 101 Maintenance 101
This one hour webinar will cover basic maintenance and troubleshooting tips for ABB SF6 dead tank circuit breakers (DTB), PM style. Utility and industrial customers will learn how to keep their circuit breakers operating reliably for years from ABB’s technical expert.
Date:  Friday, Sept 23, 2016

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Cost: $250 per person

FSA-2 Mechanism Maintenance
This one hour webinar will cover basic maintenance and troubleshooting tips for ABB FSA-2 mechanisms used on SF6 dead tank circuit breakers (DTB), PM style.  Utility and industrial customers will learn how to keep their circuit breakers operating reliably for years from ABB’s technical expert.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

Time: 11 AM – 12 Noon EST
Cost: $250 per person

HMB Mechanism Maintenance
This one hour webinar will cover basic maintenance and troubleshooting tips for ABB HMB mechanisms used on SF6 dead tank circuit breakers (DTB), PM style.  Utility and industrial customers will learn how to keep their circuit breakers operating reliably for years from ABB’s technical expert.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Cost: $250 per person



Past Webinars

High Voltage Industry Challenges and Best Practices to Reduce O&M Costs

Today utilities are faced with many challenges, this webinar will look at high voltage hurdles and best practices employed to effectively reduce O&M (operation & maintenance) costs. Several success stories will be illustrated demonstrating these best practices. Attend this practical webinar to learn how to address high voltage challenges while reducing O&M costs and still achieving operational excellence goals.

View Recording: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/3636568015199217412


For additional questions or additional information, contact highvoltageservice@us.abb.com

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Taking the first steps toward condition-based maintenance




  
Utility maintenance managers are increasingly coming to realize that it‘s wasteful to perform maintenance on a fixed schedule. Many of them are making the transition to a condition-based maintenance strategy. This white paper summarizes a four-step process for successfully making that transition.  Click here to learn more and download this white paper.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Maximizing transformer reliability on a budget


Many companies are seeing significant reductions in maintenance budgets and expert resources, as well as new, tougher regulatory requirements and higher expectations from shareholders. This new reality requires a fresh approach to transformer management – instead of maintaining the status quo, different methodologies must be implemented. The answer is the much more efficient approach of condition-based maintenance. With this method, the units that need maintenance are prioritized based on risk and importance, and money is spent where it is needed most. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ABB Announces the 2015 Power Grid Education Series

POWERful insight for the evolving grid – addressing today’s biggest power industry challenges along with solutions to overcome them

ABB is proud to provide our valued customers with a free educational Webinar series.  Industry experts will share their knowledge during each of the four Webinars.  Each Webinar lasts one hour. We encourage you to sign up early and share this this post with your friends and co-workers.


Storm preparedness and recovery to improve grid reliability and resiliency
July 24, 2015 at 1-2 pm Eastern

Severe weather is the number one cause of power outages in the United States and costs the economy billions of dollars a year in lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production, inconvenience and damage to grid infrastructure. In addition to physical storms such as hurricanes, utilities must also worry about solar storms and the effects of geomagnetic disturbances on equipment.

This webinar will focus on how utilities can anticipate, mitigate and recover from major storm events faster. From grid hardening, to mobile and outage management solutions, learn how technology, automation, and strategic rapid repair and recovery strategies can lead to more reliable systems and improved customer satisfaction.

Leveraging technology to improve safety and reliability
September 22, 2015 at 1-2 pm Eastern

Five to ten arc explosions occur in electric equipment every day in the United States, consequently, more than 2000 people are treated in burn centers with severe arc-flash injuries each year. In an effort to curb these risks, OSHA recently published its Final Rule for Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standards (29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V), with major updates to fall protection, arc flash hazard analysis, minimum approach distance requirements, and arc flash protection requirements.

While we may never be able to prevent all injuries, new technologies exist to mitigate the risk and offer a safer environment for employees, while also ensuring reliable power to your industrial facility. Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.

Physical security (Part I) - three strategic elements to protect your assets
October 16, 2015 at 2-3 pm Eastern

About once every four days, part of the nation's power grid is struck by a cyber or physical attack. While everyone agrees that the most effective way to protect our nation's critical infrastructure is a combination of deterring, detecting, and delaying would-be attackers, with over 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and thousands of exposed substations and large electric power transformers, this can seem like a monumental task.

Join us for this informative webinar where we will explore how to approach today's physical security threats; the steps involved to assess and harden your critical equipment; and the new technologies, such as monitoring, to make these tasks easier.

Physical security (Part II) - resiliency and recovery
October 28, 2015 at 1-2 pm Eastern

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, between 2011 and 2014 electric utilities reported 348 physical attacks that caused outages or other power disturbances, and these attacks continue to increase in frequency and complexity. While there are many security options available today to protect your critical infrastructure, it is impossible to be 100% secure with over 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and thousands of exposed substations and large electric power transformers. That is why a rapid repair and recovery strategy plays a vital role in any physical security plan. 

Attend this educational webinar to review rapid repair and replacement strategies that will help mitigate your risk, reduce outage duration and improve your grid resiliency.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Five Reasons to Train High Voltage Technicians

High Voltage Training is a worthwhile investment, particularly as the knowledge base changes within organizations.



1. Increased employee effectiveness

Properly trained technicians are faster with several essential job functions, including: troubleshooting, general diagnostics, and overall maintenance procedures (from gas testing to major maintenance).  This saves precious time (and money) during a planned or emergency outage.

2. Increased ability to integrate new technologies

Training from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is the best way to learn about new products features, as well as updates and upgrades to existing products and their features.  Keeping up with new technology is difficult.  Another advantage of training is learning about new technology while brushing up on maintenance skills at the same time.

3. Improved Safety

Working with the same equipment every day can lead to complacency in some cases.  Training re-instills the care that must be taken with high voltage equipment to decrease and hopefully remove the risk of injury.   Specific care must be taken with the handling of SF6 gas, SF6 by-products found inside a breaker tank, mechanisms and their stored energy, pressurized porcelain bushings, stored/static electricity in overhead lines, line to ground capacitors, grading capacitors, control circuits, and following of isolation and grounding procedures of high voltage equipment.  There is personnel, equipment, and environmental risk involved when performing any type of maintenance or related activity.

4. Investing in employees pays dividends

Respected, well-trained employees boost morale, and improved morale boots retention.  Hiring and on-boarding is a laborious and expensive task.  A happy workforce is a productive workforce.  In short, training pays for itself in cost savings.

5. Organizations are losing tribal knowledge – quickly

Perhaps the most important and urgent reason to train today is the changing employee demographic pool – approximately 36% of employees (from lineworkers to engineers) are eligible to retire in the next three to five years.  See the Table 1 below for a more detailed view of what the industry is facing over the next five years.

Table 1
Potential Replacements
2015-2020

Job Category
Potential Retirement
Estimated Number of Replacements
Line Workers
15%
10,300
Technicians
19%
13,500
Plant Operators
17%
5,800
Engineers
15%
4,100
Total*
16%
33,700
*Totals Exclude Nuclear
Table 1: Source: CEWD (Center for Energy Workforce Development)


Most retirements and attritions have a 1:1 replacement ratio.  Each employee most be replaced with one new employee. 

What options are available?

OEM’s often provide training on the equipment used by utilities.  For example, ABB High Voltage Service holds two training courses per month, on average, for high voltage circuit breakers.  According to Art Schultz, ABB training coordinator, “At a time when utilities are aiming to get the most value from their O&M budgets, training is viewed as a highly effective resource.”  ABB’s courses are a combination of classroom and hands on learning held either at the ABB factory or the customer site.

With on-site instruction, you can avoid the costly travel expenses associated with sending a large group of people and maximize the number of participants. Training tools, such as interrupter models and operating mechanisms, can be shipped to site for hands on demonstration.

Factory training at ABB features a fully equipped classroom and training lab, complete with several fully-functional training circuit breakers, interrupter models, and operating mechanisms.

Another option is to combine a maintenance cycle with training.  Maintenance budgets are optimized when training is included with scheduled field maintenance.  Maintenance will take slightly longer as each step is explained, however, it is more efficient than one week of training, and one week of maintenance, for instance.

For entities with a large fleet, it may be well worth it to invest in an on-site training center.  For example, one Mid-Atlantic utility has a training center for technicians where high voltage equipment is brought in the week prior, a maintenance procedure is practiced/trained on, then it is done in the field the following week.  Training tools such as the training breaker pictured below may be easily developed to aid in learning.



Finally, some utilities are partnering with community colleges to develop talent and fill the looming gap they see coming soon with retirements.

High voltage training is a worthwhile investment, particularly as the knowledge base changes within organizations.  Click here for more information on highvoltage training.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Automation & Power World 2015 kicks off in Houston

 APW


You are invited, Join us! 

More than 7,000 attendees are expected at the four-day conference, and this year brings new firsts including a robust distributor program, daily keynotes from CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, Alan Mulally and captain: Sully Sullenberger, and innovation lab, 345 education and training sessions, and a 150,000 sq. ft. Technology & Solution Center.



Take advantage of the free full conference registration - for the first time ever!

What is included with free customer registration?
Customer registration includes access to all Automation & Power World 2015 content. Registration is free regardless of the number of days attended – one day or the entire event.
  • Daily keynote presentations
  • Industry Forum sessions
  • Business Forum sessions
  • Best Practices & Applications curriculum sessions
  • Product updates and hands-on training courses
  • Technology & Solution Center
  • Daily grab & go breakfast; daily lunch
  • Monday and Tuesday afternoon receptions in the Technology & Solution Center
  • Wednesday customer appreciation event


Register here today and get the most out of APW!!