Elec Reliability TF 6th meeting Nov 6

Electric System Reliability Task Force 6th Meeting
Notice of Open Meeting — Advance Notice

The sixth meeting of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force on Electric System Reliability will be held on Thursday, November 6, from 8:30 AM until 4:00 PM at the ANA Hotel, 2401 M Street, NW, Washington DC 20007. The draft agenda is available on line http://vm1.hqadmin.doe.gov:80/seab/esr6ann.html

The meeting will build on the task force’s Interim Report and will include discussions of the following items:

Draft Position Paper on a Self-Regulating Reliability Organization
Draft Paper on Technology Issues Affecting Reliability
A Panel Discussion on the Role of ISOs in Maintaining Reliability


I just received this note from DOE, with the draft papers as attachments. If you want copies of these documents, let me know, and I’ll forward them to you individually (the full set of both versions is over 600K). Tell me if you want the WP or Word versions…


Attached are three documents for discussion at the November 6 meeting of the Task Force on Electric System Reliability. These documents are:

* Draft Position Paper on Maintaining Bulk Power Reliability through Use of a Self-Regulating Organization;

* Discussion Paper on Maintaining Reliability in a Restructured Electric Power Industry: The Role of Transmission System Operators; and

* Draft Outline for a Position Paper on Technical Issues in Transmission System Reliability.

Each document is provided in both WordPerfect and Word formats. The documents are best viewed in WordPerfect format. Since the documents were prepared in WordPerfect, the Word files may not contain all graphics.

Followup re UK internet on Powerline

Here are two comments on the Nortel Norweb press release of Oct. 8. The first is from Wired Magazine’s website, and points out some of the reasons why this technology may not take the world by storm right away. The second from Reuters gives a bit more technical and business detail.

No response as yet to my inquiries to the company.

The Boy Who Cried ‘Net Access!’
by Chris Oakes WIRED

4:45am 10.Oct.97.PDT Some sizable questions surround Wednesday’s announcement by Canada’s Northern Telecom and Britain’s Norweb Communications of a technology Nortel has developed that enables high-speed Net access through existing electric lines – giving utilities an apparent easy-in to becoming communication providers via their own power-line infrastructures.

To convert power grids to data networks, says Nortel vice president of market development Graham Strange, the company’s design “modulates the data signal onto the power line and creates what is essentially a LAN environment.”

Having created a transmission protocol sufficiently robust to make its way through the heavy-duty noise of an electrical line at up to 1 Mbps, the company says, any power line can do the job. Yet there are some not-so-small technical and economic issues that may keep the local power company from rolling out the tech without some careful analysis. Especially those in North America.

The Nortel layout leverages a power grid’s tree-and-branch structure of substation-to-transformer-to-customer. A data signal can comfortably travel over existing lines from a customer’s house to the local transformer, but a problem arises then. Data won’t survive a trip through the extra-heavy noise of electrical current at the transformer, necessitating the construction of an alternate route to shuttle the data signal further up the network. And unless the power company already has separate communications lines running to that transformer node, new lines will have to be installed to finish the data circuit.

“You do have to split it out, because you can’t get it through the transformer,” Strange said. But that cost can be justified, he said, when each transformer is serving 100 to 300 customers. This is usually the case in the UK, but when each transformer only serves a handful of people – commonly 10 to 12 people in North America – the network’s tree-and-branch structure is too small for the job. And for those utilities that might choose to invest in new communications lines to their transformers, the prospect starts to lose its payoff.

Acknowledging that this could represent a significant investment for some, Strange points out that many power companies already have usable communication lines running into their transformers – and in many cases they are fiber-optic lines, which are ideal for carrying the data signal. “But other utilities will have to invest in infrastructure at the sites,” Strange said. “The economics of this becomes a challenge for some utilities – it’s a tougher business case when you try to fit it into that environment.”

A potential solution is to somehow bypass the transformer with the data signal, requiring it to make a jump between low- and high-voltage lines. Strange says there are a series of issues in making that work, and that Nortel will be trying to come up with a solution in concert with UK electric utility Norweb. “There are issues. They will take time.”

Meanwhile, Strange reports that calls by interested British and North American utilities have been pouring in.

Another variable is the system’s supported data speeds. Nortel says symmetric data rates of 500 Kbps to 1 Mbps have been achieved. But Strange says the consistency of these rates will depend on the noisiness of local lines. “With a lot of noise on the lines, the protocols will slow down. It dynamically deals with that.” To boot, as with cable-modem access, available bandwidth at the transmitter will have to be shared, presenting the possibility that during heavy traffic periods, each user’s speed will be affected. Still, under even bad conditions, a minimum speed of 500 Kbps can reasonably be expected, Strange says.

Norweb, Nortel To Plug Clients Into Internet

By Kirstin Ridley, Reuters

LONDON – Canada’s Northern Telecom (Nortel) and Britain’s Norweb Communications today unveiled new technology allowing reliable, low-cost, high-speed access to the Internet computer network through the domestic electricity supply.

In a move heralding the first competition between electricity companies and telecommunications carriers, the two groups said their patented technology would allow power firms to convert their infrastructures into information access networks.

Having “fixed the fuzz” of electrical interference on power lines, the companies said they could shunt data — and possibly voice — over power lines into the home at up to one megabit per second.

This is up to ten times faster than ISDN, the fastest currently available speed for domestic users.

Although it is slower than rival ADSL technology being developed by British Telecommunications , which upgrades copper wires, Norweb and Nortel’s technology is much cheaper for operators to install.

All consumers need is the equipment developed by Nortel and Norweb — an extra card for personal computers, some software to handle subscription, security and authentication services and a small box which is installed next to the electricity meter.

This will send and receive data and is in turn linked to a personal computer through an ordinary coaxial cable.

Peter Dudley, vice president of Nortel, said the groups had had an “absolutely spectacular” amount of interest from electricity companies in Britain and abroad who are keen to offer the service to consumers.

“The race is on to be first,” he told Reuters.

Prices will be set by electricity companies who offer the service. But consumers currently spend an average of 20 to 30 pounds ($48.6) per month for Internet access — and the new service offers permanent access without telephone costs.

“Assuming they continue to spend at that rate, it is not unreasonable to assume that is the kind of tariffing that may be submitted,” Dudley said.

The Canadian telecoms equipment maker and Norweb, part of England’s multi-utility United Utilities, said their technology was fast enough for most future domestic or small office applications and was cost effective enough to allow operators returns on investments.

“As one of the first practical, low cost answers to the problem of high speed access to the Internet, this technology will unleash the next wave of net growth,” Dudley said.

The two companies have developed a “specialized signaling scheme” which allows them to carry data traffic between local power substations and homes, effectively turning the electricity supply into a communications network.

Each substation is then linked by fiber-optic circuits to a central switch — and from there into the world-wide computer network.

After 18 months of refining and upgrading a prototype and promising “oodles of bandwidth”, the companies said they planned to market the technology in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

“We are ready to ship in volume,” said Ian Vance, vice president and chief scientist at Nortel Europe.

Banking on high growth and good economic returns, Norweb hopes to attract around 200 customers in a marketing pilot in north western England in the second quarter of 1998 before rolling out the service.

Magnetic Refrigeration

Ames Lab and Astronautics Corporation of America, are making considerable progress towards a commercially viable refrigeration technology based on the magnetocaloric effect present in certain rare earth materials .

Magnetic refrigeration has been around for a long time, and was used principally to reach ultra low temperatures in cryogenics research. Developments on two fronts are mutually moving the technology towards room temperature and commercial application. One is the refrigeration cycle itself–new approaches have been developed, which are reaching performance at room temperature that is very competitive with vapor compression. A laboratory scale magnetic refrigerator built by Astronautics produces 600 watts of cooling power, achieves temperature span of 28 degrees K near room temperature with the lowest temperature being just above the freezing point of water, efficiencies up to 60% of Carnot, and a COPs of five to eight. It has been in continuous operation since December ’96. This work used traditional gadolinium spheres as the magnetic refrigerant.

The other key ingredient is the magnetic material. Ames Lab, a leader in the field of rare earth metals research, announced a breakthrough this summer of a giant magnetocaloric effect in new alloys of gadolinium, silicon and germanium. Magnetocaloric effect in these materials is 2 to 7 times larger than in other prototype refrigerant materials. Also, the operating temperature (the Curie point) can be tuned from -400 degrees F to 65 degrees F, by adjusting the ratio of silicon to germanium.

Magnetic refrigeration operates by magnetizing and demagnetizing the material, analogous to compression and expansion in a vapor cycle. However, magnetizing and demagnetizing losses are much less compared to friction losses during compression and expansion. Two ÒbedsÓ filled with magnetic material are pushed in and out of a magnetic field. As a bed enters high magnetic field space, it heats up (magnetocaloric effect) and the heat is picked up by a flow of heat transfer fluid (which is water in this laboratory scale magnetic refrigerator) and is dissipated into the surroundings. When a bed is pulled out of magnetic field, it cools down due to the reverse magnetocaloric effect, cooling the water.

The use of solid refrigerant material (gadolinium) and water as a heat transfer fluid offer another advantage compared to conventional vapor cycle refrigerators: it is the absence of harmful chemicals as liquid refrigerants that present serious environmental hazard .

Strong magnetic fields are needed, currently produced by superconducting magnets. However, the team is finding ways to lower the field required, while new developments in permanent magnets (materials, fabrication, and expiration of key patents) offer the possibility of simpler and less expensive systems. Also, high temperature superconductors are coming into their own, which likewise could change things dramatically.

The need for a strong field puts the economics in favor of larger systems, however smaller scale devices are also anticipated. The key differentiating features are:

1. Higher efficiency (which can be highly significant when power is limited–e.g. in an electric vehicle).
2. None of the environmental issues associated with
conventional liquid refrigerants.
3. Ability to cool continuously over a range of temperatures (e.g. in chilling a fluid stream) which is thermodynamically
more efficient.
4. Ability to scale down without significant losses of cooling efficiency, which is to the contrary of conventional vapor cycle refrigeration.

Initial applications will probably be in industrial and commercial (e.g. supermarkets) refrigeration, cooling and air conditioning. Other possibilities of interest to utilities are cooling of inlet air for combustion turbines, and district cooling.

The technology is at least five years from a practical commercial reality, however Ames and Astronautics are already fielding numerous inquiries from interested parties and potential partners. The developers are opened to the possibility of teaming with other companies who may do the manufacturing and marketing of actual products.

A number of technical and popular articles and other information are available from Ames.

Carl Zimm, Astronautics (principal investigator) Madison WI,
608-221-9001, zimm@astronautics.keafott.com
Karl Gschneidner, Ames Lab (principal investigator)
515-294-7931, cagey@ameslab.gov
Vitalij Pecharsky, Ames Lab (principal investigator)
515-294-8220 , vitkp@ameslab.gov
Alan Paau, Iowa State Univ. (intellectual property)
Todd Zdorkowski, Ames Lab (tech transfer)
515-294-5640, zdorkowski@ameslab.gov

Ceramicrete Phosphate Ceramic

Ceramicrete Phosphate Ceramic (…particularly applicable to fly-ash)

Argonne has developed this low-cost, ceramic binder which can be used in a wide variety of commercial applications, ranging from hazardous waste disposal to low-cost insulation. Since it won the R&D 100 award in 1996, Argonne has had more than 100 serious licensing inquiries, so they are setting strict conditions that applicants have a specific application and a well developed business plan. They’re open to collaboration for development and testing to see what specifications can be met with the particular materials in question.

Called CERAMICRETE, the binder — developed to stabilize and solidify radioactive and hazardous wastes — can also join ceramics together and convert nonhazardous wastes into useful construction products and nonflammable structural materials. It is formed by mixing magnesium oxide powder and soluble phosphate powder (common low cost materials) with water.

It is particularly applicable to fly-ash, because it is completely insensitive to the pH level, and it immobilizes virtually any type of contaminant, including mercury and other heavy metals. It forms a nonporous leach-resistant, hard, and dense ceramic which lab tests indicate meet or pass the EPA TCLP leaching standards.

CERAMICRETE can be manufactured at a low cost compared to other ceramic binders because it is made at room temperature and does not need high-temperature treatment. The setting times are short. Equipment needed is conventional (much like for cement) and hence is readily available, and training required for operations is simple.

The final material can be cast in any shape, and is very dense and strong. It can be used as a structural material in buildings, roads or other structures, or as brick, blocks, or tiles. It has compressive strength ranging from 2000 psi with binder to 6-8000 psi and even more with binder plus additives. In fact, the materials properties can be tailored, with strength increased by compaction during formation.

Besides solidifying wastes, the process can be used to convert lumber wastes into non-flammable particle board or to recycle waste plastic into blowable insulation that is fire- and moisture-proof. CERAMICRETE has already been used to make insulation products with thermal resistance (R values) of 4.5 per inch.

Argonne is using the CERAMICRETE process to stabilize low-level radioactive waste, such as soil, sludge, and lead bricks in a 55-gallon drum mixer. Contaminated wastes that contain radioactive contaminants and hazardous volatiles, such as mercury, lead, and cadmium are solidified in the binding process at room temperature to form a ceramic, noncorrosive, and final waste form. The process is unique because contaminants are converted and stabilized chemically into their natural minerals in a single step. Once encapsulated, the chemicals do not dissolve in groundwater and are isolated from the environment. Performance tests show that the waste forms far exceed the regulatory performance criteria set by DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Contact: Don Johnson, Director, Center for Industrial Technology Systems 630-252-3392


>From the 18th U.S. Department of Energy Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, on May 20-22, 1997.


A. S. Wagh, D. Singh, S. Y. Jeong, and R. V. Strain
Energy Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory


During the last three years, Ceramicrete (chemically bonded phosphate ceramics) has been investigated at Argonne-East for low-temperature stabilization and solidification of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE’s) mixed wastes, for which conventional high-temperature treatments cannot be used because of volatiles and pyrophorics present in these wastes. This paper summarizes the development of Ceramicrete and provides the current technology status. We discuss our early investigations with surrogates that are typical of DOE mixed wastes, subsequent testing with actual waste streams, and scale-up of the process to an operational level. Current efforts include testing the process at an operational level for an ash waste stream from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and obtaining sufficient information to prepare a technology performance report.

Complete paper available at:

Residential Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDAC)

This summary was prepared by Roof Science, which also developed the radiative cooling system for commercial buildings (UFTO Note July 11, 1997)

UFTO Note -Residential Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDAC)

Natural Cooling for the Home
Davis Energy Group has developed an indirect-direct evaporative cooling system for residential use that can meet 100% of a home’s cooling requirements in dry climates, while consuming only 15% to 40% of the energy consumed by conventional systems. Unlike other indirect-direct evaporative cooling systems, IDAC (Indirect/Direct Air Conditioning) operates with only one variable speed motor and fan, making it more efficient. Other benefits include:

+ Measured EER of 26 to 56
+ Low installed cost
+ No CFCs
+ Low maintenance costs
+ Lower outside noise levels
+ Uses all fresh air
+ Low water consumption

IDAC can be installed without ducts. Room distribution can be provided by venting air through ceiling-mounted dampers into the attic. This approach keeps the attic cool. The system produces healthy household humidity in the 50% to 70% range. Refrigerated air conditioners dry air down to as low as 22% relative humidity, contributing to health problems. Standard evaporative coolers have the opposite problem, producing an uncomfortably high humidity.

Currently, there are approximately 30 IDAC units in operation. Partially funded by the California Energy Commission, the development of IDAC has been substantially completed, patents have issued, and the technology is ready for large scale application. IDAC is being manufactured by Cooltech Industries, Inc. of Sacramento.

The Market
An independent survey commissioned by the California Energy Commission indicates that there are approximately four million residential space coolers in California, with another seven million homes having no form of cooling at all. The market for IDAC includes existing homes not now conditioned, new construction, and the retrofit market. In addition, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas have climates hospitable to IDAC. In particular, “Green” communities, multi-family housing and government housing facilities are preferred markets for IDAC. Due to its low power use, IDAC is also suitable for off-grid applications. Unit sales of 10,000 are projected for the year 2000, well under 2% of the residential space cooing market.

Only one company is known to have a similar product, Adobe Air, Inc. The Adobe “Master Cool” includes two fans and motors and therefore consumes considerably more energy. Other IDAC benefits versus Master Cool include full variable speed operation, intelligent control of water use, and a small 22”x23” footprint as opposed to Master Cool’s 42”x47” footprint. The Opportunity The company is projecting profitability within two to three years, and is seeking investment and business partners.

Mark Berman or Richard Bourne
Davis Energy Group, Davis CA
916-753-1100 mjberm@davisenergy.com

Next Meeting, Reliability TF

We just received this advance notice of the next meeting.

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board –
Electric System Reliability Task Force

Thursday, November 6, 1997, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.
ANA Hotel, Ballroom I, 2401 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard C. Burrow, Secretary of Energy
Advisory Board (AB-1), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue,
SW, Washington, D.C. 20585, (202) 586-1709 or (202) 586-6279 (fax).

The electric power industry is in the midst of a complex transition to competition, which will induce many far-reaching changes in the structure of the industry and the institutions which regulate it. This transition raises many reliability issues, as new entities emerge in the power markets and as generation becomes less integrated with transmission.

Purpose of the Task Force The purpose of the Electric System Reliability Task Force is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board regarding the critical institutional, technical, and policy issues that need to be addressed in order to maintain the reliability of the nation’s bulk electric system in the context of a more competitive industry.

Tentative Agenda
Thursday, November 6, 1997
8:30 – 8:45 AM Opening Remarks & Objectives —
Philip Sharp, ESR Task Force Chairman
8:45 – 9:45 AM Briefing: Reliability Council Progress in
Addressing Key Issues —
David Nevius, Vice President, NERC
9:45 – 10:00 AM Break
10:00 – 11:30 AM Working Session: Discussion of a Draft Position
Paper on a Self-Regulating Reliability Organization
11:30 – 12:00 PM Public Comment Period
12:00 – 1:15 PM Lunch
1:15 – 2:30 PM Working Session: Discussion of Draft Outline
of Technology Issues Affecting Reliability
2:30 – 3:45 PM Panel Discussion: The Role of ISOs in
Maintaining Reliability
3:45 – 4:00 PM Public Comment Period
4:00 PM Adjourn
This tentative agenda is subject to change. The final agenda will be
available at the meeting.

Public Participation: The Chairman of the Task Force is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will, in the Chairman’s judgment, facilitate the orderly conduct of business. During its meeting in Washington, D.C., the Task Force welcomes public comment. Members of the public will be heard in the order in which they sign up at the beginning of the meeting. The Task Force will make every effort to hear the views of all interested parties. Written comments may be submitted to Skila Harris, Executive Director, Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, AB-1, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20585.

Minutes and a transcript of the meeting will be available for public review and copying approximately 30 days following the meeting at the Freedom of Information Public Reading Room, 1E-190 Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. Information on the Electric System Reliability Task Force and the Task Force’s interim report may be found at the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s web site, located at http://www.hr.doe.gov/seab.

Technology Transfer Opportunities – Ontario Hydro Technologies



Final Report

Technology Transfer Opportunities in the Federal Laboratories

Ontario Hydro Technologies (OHT)

October 1997

Prepared for:

Utility Federal Technology Opportunities (UFTO)


Edward Beardsworth


This report is part of a series examining technology opportunities at National Laboratories of possible interest to electric utilities

Overview & Organization
Technologies & Programs

This report is proprietary and confidential. It is for internal use by personnel of companies that are subscribers in the UFTO multi-client program. It is not to be otherwise copied or distributed except as authorized in writing.


This report details findings about technology and technology transfer opportunities at the Ontario Hydro that might be of strategic interest to electric utilities. It is based on a visit to the lab in September 1996 and subsequent contacts, as part of the UFTO multiclient project.


Noting the tremendous scope of research underway in the research facilities of the U.S. government, and a very strong impetus on the government’s part to foster commercial partnering with industry and applications of the technology it has developed, the UFTO program has been established as a multi-client study of the opportunities thus afforded energy utilities and their many subsidiaries.


Since 1912, Ontario Hydro Technologies (OHT) has been the research and technology services arm of Ontario Hydro, one of North America’s largest utilities. OHT is one of Canada’s largest industrial research organizations, with a staff at one time of over 500 people, now at 350, and comprehensive facilities located in Toronto, Ontario. OHT has done pioneering work in the past on 500 kV transmission systems, scrubber systems for fossil generation, and zirconium metallurgy in support of the CANDU nuclear reactors. More recently, OHT has made key developments in fuel cell technology, power system stabilization, fibre optics, and customer interactions.

In the context of potential changes in Ontario’s electricity industry (and the commitment of Ontario Hydro’s owners, the Ontario Government, to opening the Ontario electricity market to competition), Ontario Hydro began to position itself more and more as a commercial player, and OHT as a competitive provider of technology products and services.

In 1993, OHT was set up as a separate subsidiary, and began adding to its portfolio by making significant investments in alternate energy including biomass, wind and solar developments. Also, OHT embarked on a developing a set of products based on its system stabilizer technology. OHT has also developed a number of other products and services that have the potential to dramatically improve utility performance. Some of these are introduced below.

In 1997, both concern about the emerging competitive environment and strong local criticism about its nuclear power program forced Ontario Hydro to re-focus its energies on the core business of generation. As a result, the scope of OHT’s programs was cut back, limiting product development efforts to those which directly serve the electricity industry, or those which could have a significant financial benefit for Ontario Hydro and similar utilities. OHT expects to continue to earn a substantial portion of its budget from outside clients, by providing expertise, consulting and services to the energy and process industries, on a fee-for-service basis.

More changes at OHT are occurring on almost a daily basis, as speculation continues about the parent utility’s future structure. (The very latest rumors suggest it will split into two crown corporations, one for generation and one for transmission.)


Currently OHT is under the leadership of Dr. Jim Brown, Vice- President Technology Services and New Product Development for Ontario Hydro. OHT is organized into two major divisions: New Product Development (NPD) headed up by Dr. Frank Chu, and Technology Services (TS) led by Mr. Dave Dodd. NPD has in it a number of product development projects, while TS has departments dealing with Power System Technologies, High Voltage and High Current Testing, Mechanical Systems Performance, Process Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Civil & Geotechnologies, Materials Technologies, Component Integrity, and Zirconium Metallurgy.

The general contact at the labs is:

Mr. Alfred Mo of the Marketing Department

416 207-6024, moa@oht.hydro.on.ca

All queries should be directed to either Alfred or to the individual noted for the specific item of interest.

Technologies & Programs

Covered in this report:

• Powernetics Products
Digital Power System Stabilizer (DPSS):
Programmable Synchrocheck Relay (PSR)
Microprocessor Digital Frequency Recorder (MDFR)
Power System Disturbance Recorder (PSDR)

• Maintenance Planning Advisor
• Optical Ground Wire Test facility
• Fuel Cell Testing and Development
• Real-Time Digital Simulator Services
• Gas Insulated Substation Diagnostics
• Non-destructive Evaluation
• Fall Protection Engineering
• High Current and High Voltage Facilities
• Concrete Technology

Durability Studies
Inspection of Concrete Structures, Life Cycle Management
Concrete Repair Projects (Leakage, Surface, Structural)
Development of Specialised Concrete for Specific Applications
Concrete Inspection, QA/QC System Design & Audit
Concrete Repair Materials Formulation & Testing

• Geotechnology
Specialised Drilling for Rock, Concrete or Soil
Drain, Pipe and Tunnel Inspection & Cleaning
Geological & Soils Monitoring & Assessment
Instrumentation of Rock, Concrete & Wood Structures
Risk Assessment
Geographic Information Systems

• Powernetics Products

Over thirty years of experience with Ontario Hydro’s complex power system has led to the development of the Powernetics line of products designed to increase reliability, stability, protection and control of power systems. These products have undergone extensive field testing, and are backed by training, consulting, and technical services. General contact: Mr. Mike Bell 416-207-6721, belljm@oht.hydro.on.ca

– Digital Power System Stabilizer (DPSS): Ontario Hydro’s power system is characterized by a few large generation sources and several large sinks of power, leading to the potential of system instabilities. (About 40% of Ontario Hydro’s energy is produced by its 12 CANDU reactors located at three sites in southern Ontario.) To reduce the possibility of large system oscillations, OHT developed a digital system stabilizer that has been installed on most major Ontario Hydro generators. With this stabilizer technology, system stability has been maintained even under major system disturbances, including the sudden loss of over 10% of generation (2700MW) during a recent event.

– Programmable Synchrocheck Relay (PSR): The PSR facilitates the automatic closing of breakers at remotely controlled transformer stations. The PSR is fully programmable to match transformer station characteristics, including the presence of old and new equipment. Generally the PSR can be installed with little or no programming and minimal wiring changes.

– Microprocessor Digital Frequency Recorder (MDFR): Reliable high-resolution recordings of frequency disturbances provide a basis for better analysis and understanding of power system performance and integrity. With greater system interconnection, frequency change data is becoming more and more important. The MDFR is a micro-processor controlled desktop device which records powerline frequency swings. It can be automatically set to record frequency changes which deviate by a set amount from 60Hz. The MDFR will find application in the assessment of control and protection schemes. The data can be accessed, and the MDFR can be reprogrammed remotely.

– Power System Disturbance Recorder (PSDR): This device allows utilities to analyze system performance under major disturbance conditions, such as transmission line faults. When installed at major generating, transformer and switching stations, the collected data will provide valuable information on the performance of protection and control schemes. The PDSR will also allow the collection of data to verify operating security limits.


• Maintenance Planning Advisor

Effective management of assets provides a competitive edge, achieved by operating existing equipment to full capacity and by optimizing maintenance plans. Through rigorous analysis of specific equipment performance data, optimum maintenance schemes can be identified. Maintenance Planning Advisor is an advanced probabilistic model which takes operational information on equipment and converts that data into remaining life and life- cycle cost. It was originally developed for Ontario Hydro’s rotating equipment, but has now been extended to substation components and circuit breakers. In one application for a US client, the MPA predicted a saving of 33% if more inspections and fewer maintenance activities were carried out. This program is also supported by expert consulting services. Contact: Mr. Mark Vainberg 416-207-6451, vainberg@rd.hydro.on.ca


• Optical Ground Wire Test facility

A special facility at OHT is a long span room, which has been developed into a fibre optic cable and hardware testing facility. The facility and its services are being used both by manufacturers and utilities wanting to install fibre optic loaded cables. The facility is capable of testing a comprehensive range of mechanical, electrical and optical parameters to meet both ANSI and IEC standards. The facility includes an optical power sensor with 0.001 dB resolution and a 1550 nm laser source with high long-term and short-term stability. The comprehensive range of tests includes: aeolian vibrations, galloping, creep, fibre strain, stress-strain, strain margin, temperature cycling etc. Contact: Mr. Craig Pon 416-207-6741, ponc@rd.hydro.on.ca.


• Fuel Cell Testing and Development

Fuel cell development has been an area of expertise at OHT for many years. Most recently OHT has been involved with Westinghouse in testing their solid oxide fuel cell elements under high- pressure conditions. This fuel cell set a record at OHT for the power produced from a single oxide fuel cell. The power output was 277 watts at 10 atmospheres was about 30% greater than that achieved by Westinghouse at atmospheric pressure. OHT has considerable experience with Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC), having operated a 40KW grid connected cell for several years, and having supervised the operation of a 200 KW system at one of Ontario Hydro’s regional offices. OHT’s experts are available to help you with your fuel cell development needs. Contact: Mr. Chris Cheh 416-207-6159, chehc@rd.hydro.on.ca.


• Real-Time Digital Simulator Services

OHT has the experience, facilities and expertise to provide a wide range of services using the Real-Time-Digital Simulator (RTDS). This highly sophisticated modular computing system models any user defined electrical system with complex electrical components (transmission lines generators, transformers) based on an electromagnetic transient pulse type of simulation.

This allows the testing of your relay or control equipment to be tested in a closed-loop mode acting on the simulated system as it would in the actual installation. The some of the elements modeled by the RTDS include: current and power transformers with user defined saturation characteristics, circuit breakers, fault switches, synchronous machines with exciters, turbine/governor, and stabilizer models, static VAR compensators, HVDC power and control components. The RTDS system is located at OHT, but its outputs can be applied anywhere on a power system. Contact: Mr. John Kuffel 416-207-6539, kuffelj@rd.hydro.on.ca.


• Gas Insulated Substation Diagnostics

OHT has over two decades of R&D and development experience with GIS technology and is an acknowledged expert in the area of partial discharge (PD) analysis. In particular OHT has developed a diagnostic system that acts as an early warning system for developing problems within a GIS. This system works through the installation of specifically designed partial discharge couplers in access ports within the GIS. The high frequency PD signals are converted to slower pulses and analysed by computer to assess the state of the system.

In addition to this system OHT offers research and consulting services to assist utilities with emerging GIS problems. These services include: S2F10 gas and moisture analysis, GIS failure analysis, very fast transient analysis, on -site testing services, high sensitivity XIPD testing for GIS spacers. OHT’s services can be of value both once problems have developed and also to forestall problems. OHT’s experts are available to visit clients and do some on site investigations. The most sophisticated tools such as the x-ray induced partial discharge analyzer are however are located at OHT. Contact: Mr. John Kuffel 416-207-6539, kuffelj@rd.hydro.on.ca.


• Non-destructive Evaluation

OHT is an acknowledged world leader in non-destructive evaluation, having produced a number of sophisticated products for the analysis of components in the nuclear, aerospace and petroleum industries. Products include TRUSTIE (Tiny Rotating Ultrasonic Tube Inspection System), OPIT (Optical Profilometry Inspection Tool), FRILS (Flaw Replication Inspection Laser Scanner), and Winspect a sophisticated software tool for the control, interpretation and display of output from the other systems. OHT’s experts will carry out site visits with a limited set of NDE systems. In many cases NDE tools may need to be modified to meet specific client’s system requirements. Contact: Mr. Kash Mahil 416-207-6816, mahilks@oht.hydro.on.ca.

– TRUSTIE: is an ultrasonic based tool to inspect steam generator and heat exchanger tubes for corrosion, cracking and deformation. TRUSTIE: is capable of inspecting tubes as small as IDs down to 0.31″ and of lengths up to 50 feet. The inspection frequencies range from 5 to 25 MHz and probe rotation speeds range up to 1000 RPM. TRUSTIE can be used to look at wall thickness and ID profilometry, as well as well as circumferencial crack and ID profilometry. – OPIT and FRILS: are optical systems designed to provide fast and precise three-dimensional information from a surface. Originally designed to support Ontario Hydro’s nuclear program, these systems have now been applied to non-nuclear systems such as steam turbine blades and cable insulation.

– Winspect: is an advanced data acquisition software package for ultrasonic testing, built on Windows. It can control the scanning rig, collect the data, and simultaneously control auxiliary instrumentation. Data and images can be transferred directly to other software packages for analysis and reporting. It can be used with existing hardware–software support is available for a broad range of acquisition and control equipment. It also has signal processing routines, such as data averaging, digital filtering, and fast fourier transforms. It is available from

UTEX Scientific Instruments, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

1-800-828-0360 www.utex.com


• Fall Protection Engineering

OHT’s work in fall protection has saved at least 20 lives at Ontario Hydro over the past twelve years. Ontario Hydro experts are leaders in setting standards for fall protection, as well as in the development of fall protection equipment. The comprehensive fall protection centre at OHT offers advanced testing in compliance with the following standards: ANSI Z359.1- 1993, CSA Z259, as well as others from ANSI, CSA, ASTM, CGSB, UL, and UIAA. OHT’s fall protection experts offer a broad variety of testing services, fall protection training, fall protection consulting, and fall protection audits. Contact: Mr. Andrew Sulowski 416-207-6298, sulowski@rd.hydro.on.ca


• High Current and High Voltage Facilities

OHT’s high current facility is used to test the full range of components from transmission class disconnect switches to small connectors. This includes short circuit power arc or temperature rise testing. This laboratory has been operating for over 25 years and assisting Ontario Hydro and the electrical industry in Canada and the US. OHT’s 200 MVA high current facility is directly supplied by Ontario Hydro’s grid, allowing for stable long-duration tests. Of course, clients are welcome to observe tests, and multi-channel, video and high speed photography recording of all tests are available. For example, the facility has been used by safety clothing manufacturers to test the performance of clothing for use in arc-prone environments. Contact: Dr. John Kuffel, 416-207-6539


• Civil & Geotechnology Services

As a result of many years of providing expert opinion and applying leading edge technology to Ontario Hydro’s 7000 MW hydroelectric generation system, comprised of 69 generating stations and over 200 dams, as well as its fossil and nuclear facilities, OHT has developed expertise in the following areas:

• Concrete Technology
Durability Studies
Inspection of Concrete Structures, Life Cycle Management
Concrete Repair Projects (Leakage, Surface, Structural)
Development of Specialised Concrete for Specific Applications
Concrete Inspection, QA/QC System Design & Audit
Concrete Repair Materials Formulation & Testing

• Geotechnology
Specialised Drilling for Rock, Concrete or Soil
Drain, Pipe and Tunnel Inspection & Cleaning
Geological & Soils Monitoring & Assessment
Instrumentation of Rock, Concrete & Wood Structures
Risk Assessment
Geographic Information Systems

General Contact:

Mr. C W Dawson, Tel 416-207-6307, Fax 416-234-1511

Mr L E Milton, Tel 416-207-5405, Fax 416-234-1511

– Concrete Durability Studies.

An exposure facility is located at the Kipling Site in Toronto, and provides climatic conditions typical for Southern Ontario. An extensive database, going back over 30 years is available from this facility. Laboratory facilities are also available for testing concretes under a variety of temperature and humidity conditions, as well as providing standard testing services.

– Inspection of Concrete Structures.

Extensive experience in the inspection of concrete structures is available. This would normally go through the steps of visual inspection leading to non-destructive ultrasonic inspection, core drilling of suspect locations and physical testing and evaluation of the cores. Testing would normally cover, adsorption, air content, density, alkali aggregate reactivity, compressive strength and carbonation.

– Specialized Concrete & Grout Repairs

OHT can provide a comprehensive knowledge of repair products and approaches to their application. We can provide mix designs for special applications and small to large scale testing of the mixes in our laboratories prior to application. We also provide construction and repair specifications and can provide application supervision and quality management.

– Specialized Concrete Development.

OHT has been extensively involved in the development and testing of specialty concretes. This has included standards development for fly ash concretes, flowable backfills with custom designed strength characteristics, guidelines for the use of fly ash and bottom ash as structural fills and the development of high density concrete for nuclear waste containment.

– Specialised Drilling Services.

OHT has acquired and developed experience with both computerized and directional drilling technology. This technology has been used in conjunction with wire line saw cutting for stress relief of concrete structures, and investigation of problematic geological structures through the extraction of rock cores (along the axis of a tunnel for example). The technology can also be used for post tensioning cable retrofit, instrumentation installation and piping, sewer, cable installations through rock.

– Drain Inspection & Cleaning.

Considerable experience has been developed in the inspection and cleaning of drains as a result of an ongoing program in Ontario Hydro’s own hydroelectric facilities. OHT owns two sets of high pressure waterjetting equipment and a number of sets of down hole TV camera equipment.

– Geological & Soils Monitoring & Assessments.

OHT has comprehensive capability and equipment for carrying out geotechnical monitoring and assessments, including contamination assessments. This includes a mobile soils assessment rig, as well as rock coring capability. OHT also has experience in the use of instrumentation for monitoring the movement of rock and soil formations, as well as concrete and wood structures. Instrumentation has been widely deployed throughout our hydrelectric system, but especially at our Saunders plant, where problems with AAR are being experienced. OHT also has the capability to carry out hydrogeological investigations as they relate to the suitability of a given location for a structure.

– Risk Assessment.

OHT can also provide complete risk assessment services for a structure. This would include an evaluation of the condition of the structure, an assessment of the magnitudes and probabilities of hazards that may affect and threaten the structure, a complete analysis of the risks associated with those hazards and recomendations of ways in which those risks could be managed.

– Geographic Information Systems.

Ontario Hydro and OHT have considerable experience with the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to utility problems, such as land use planning, infrastructure mapping, natural resource management, route and site selection etc. We are therefore in a position to provide other potential users with advice on the merits of various commercial systems, and optimal infrastructures and applications for GIS.

CURC Tech. Exchange Conf. Brochure

Here is the detailed brochure recently mailed out for the CURC Technology Exchange Conference, in case you didn’t receive it in the mail.

Please let me know if you’ll be there. I do plan to attend on behalf of UFTO, and will report what I see and hear.
California Utility Research Council
Technology Exchange Conference

November 3-5, 1997
Hyatt Regency La Jolla, San Diego, CA

Sponsored by: California Utility Research Council (CURC)

Co-Sponsored by
Electric Power Research Institute
Gas Research Institute
U. S. Department of Energy

— Who is CURC?
CURC (California Utility Research Council) was established by the California Legislature in 1981 to:
• Promote consistency of utility RD&D programs with
state energy policy
• Prevent unnecessary duplication of research efforts
• Encourage the free exchange of information related to
utility RD&D projects, where appropriate
• Identify opportunities for research coordination between
energy utilities and for joint funding of RD&D projects
of benefit to California ratepayers

CURC Board includes representatives from the CPUC, CEC, PG&E, SDG&E, SCE, and SoCalGas.

— Background
Restructuring of the electric and natural gas industries is having a dramatic effect on the energy RD&D landscape in California. Previously, most of this work was funded by ratepayers and managed by the four largest investor-owned California utilities: PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, and SoCalGas. Supplemental funding for California RD&D interests was provided by GRI, EPRI, and DOE.

Restructuring is providing new opportunities for collaboration of energy RD&D efforts. Recent California legislation (AB1890) has made available $62.5 million per year for public interest energy RD&D to be managed by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Utilities will continue to fund ratepayer RD&D activities, although on a lesser scale. It is also expected that there will be an increasing interest in shareholder-funded technologies by energy companies seeking a competitive advantage. Finally, restructuring will have a direct effect on programs offered by EPRI, GRI, and perhaps even DOE.

— Purpose
The 1997 CURC Technology Exchange Conference will help attendees better understand how all of the energy RD&D pieces will fit together in a restructured environment. The conference will also provide participants with an overview of technology trends and energy RD&D collaboration activities which benefit California. Attendees will get a first hand look at how the California PIER (Public Interest Energy Research) program will be implemented. Just as important, individuals will have an opportunity to network directly with peers and funding agencies.

— Who Should Attend
The conference will be of major interest to engineers, scientists, investors, inventors, RD&D policy makers, government representatives, product and business development specialists.

— General Information

The conference will be held at:
Hyatt Regency La Jolla, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive,
San Diego, CA 92122

Early registration will be available on Monday, November 3 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Registration on Tuesday, November 4 will begin at 7:30 a.m. along with a continental breakfast. The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 4 and will conclude at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5.

Attendees are responsible for making their own reservations before October 12, 1997 (after this date the rates will increase or rooms may not be available). Mention the conference by name to ensure receiving the group rate:
Hyatt Regency La Jolla
Phone: (619) 552-1234 Fax: (619) 552-6066
Group Room Rate: $144 single/double occupancy
Reservation Deadline: October 12, 1997

Airline Discount
United Airlines is offering discounted fares to attendees flying into San Diego International Airport (20 minutes from the Hyatt La Jolla). For reservations and information, call 1-800-521-4041 and refer to meeting #511HD. These discounts are available only through United’s Meeting Desk and apply to travel between October 31 and November 8, 1997.

The conference fee is $350 and includes the conference preceedings, continental breakfast, coffee breaks and lunch each day, as well as a reception on Tuesday evening with poster papers.
To register, complete the registration form and mail it with your payment. Checks should be made payable to Southern California Gas Company. Unfortunately, we cannot accept credit cards or purchase orders for this conference. If registering by fax and sending a check separately, be sure to identify the attendee when sending the check.
Cancellations: No refunds will be given for cancellations received after October 28, 1997.

Poster Session
Space will be available for Poster Presenters to present during the reception on Tuesday evening and during lunch on Wednesday (with setup scheduled for Tuesday morning). The fee for poster presenters is $500 which includes one full conference registration. For further information, please contact the Conference Manager, Maureen Barbeau at (650) 855-2474 Fax: (650) 855-2166.

Spousal Attendance
No formal spousal programs are planned. However, for spouses accompanying attendees to San Diego there will be an informal continental breakfast on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings with information available about San Diego attractions. Please indicate on the registration form if your spouse will accompany you. Spouses are invited to attend the reception on Tuesday evening.

An informal golf outing will be held on Monday, November 3, 11:30 am, at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course, followed by a no-host dinner at a local restaurant. Coronado is located just a few minutes drive from the airport and downtown. Reservations for the event must be received by Friday, October 17, by mailing a check for $37.50 payable to “Coronado Municipal Golf Course” to Kurt Kammerer, c/o SDG&E, P.O. Box 1831, San Diego, CA 92124. Questions can directed by E-Mail to kkammere@sdge.com or by calling (619) 696-1891.

Technical Information
David Berokoff, The Gas Company
(213) 244-5340 Fax (213) 244-8242

Meeting and Logistical Information
(650) 855-2474 Fax (650) 855-2166



All Day – Optional Social Outing (Golf) on Coronado Island
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.Conference Registration

Tuesday, November 4
7:30-8:30 AM-Registration, Continental Breakfast
8:30-9:00 AM-Opening Remarks-Frank A. Spasaro (CURC Chair)
(PIER Program Evolution, Overview of Objectives,
Strategic Plan)
David L. Rohy, Commissioner,
California Energy Commission
California Public Utilities Commission
9:45-10:00 AM-Break
10:00-12:00 PM-California Utility RD&D Programs
(Utility RD&D Program Highlights, Technology Trends,
Collaboration Opportunities.)
Frank Spasaro, Southern California Gas
Jim Reilly, Southern California Edison
Kurt Kammerer, San Diego Gas & Electric
Bud Beebe, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

12:00-1:15 PM-Lunch, Keynote Presentation

1:15-3:00 PM-Other California Energy RD&D Programs
(Program Focus, Technology Trends, Collaboration
Jim Cole,
California Institute for Energy Efficiency
Renewable Technologies
Terry Winter,
California Independent System Operator
Representative, Southern California Air
Quality Management District
3:00-3:15 PM-Break
Maurice Gunderson, Nth Technologies
John Burns, Scripps Consulting Group
Joseph Walkush, Science Applications
International Corp. (invited)

5:00-8:00 PM-Reception, Poster Sessions

Wednesday, November 5
7:30-8:30 AM-Continental Breakfast, Poster Sessions
8:30-9:30 AM-Keynote Presentation: Future Technology Needs & Trends
9:30-10:45 AM-National Energy RD&D Funding Agencies
(RD&D Program Highlights, Technology Trends,
Richard Rudman, Elec. Power Research Institute
Bill Burnett, Gas Research Institute
Representative, U.S. Department of Energy
10:45-11:00 AM-Break
11:00-12:30 PM-The Customer Perspective
Ralph Cavanagh,
Barbara Barkovich, California Large
Energy Consumers Assoc. (invited)
Richard Brent, Solar Turbine Systems
Richard Sperberg, On-Site Energy
Carl Weinberg, Weinberg & Associates
Ron Ishii, Technology Committee Chairman, CADER

12:30-2:00 PM-Lunch, Poster Sessions

2:00-4:30 PM-PIER Program Implementation Status

4:30 PM Conference Concludes


(Please complete and return a copy with your payment)

CURC Technology Exchange Conference
November 3-5, 1997
Hyatt Regency La Jolla, San Diego, California

(Please print or attach a business card)

Name ___________________________________________________
Preferred Name for Nametag _____________________________
Title _______________________________________
Organization ________________________________
Address _____________________________________
City/State/Zip ______________________________
Telephone ___________________________________
Fax ___________________________________

Registration Fees
___ Attendee-$ 350
___ Poster Presenter-$500 (includes one conference registration)
___ Speaker-$ 0 (fee waived, one speaker per presentation)

Credit cards and purchase orders are not acceptable.
Checks should be made payable to Southern California Gas Co.

___ Check attached ___ Check being mailed separately

If registering by fax and sending check separately, BE SURE TO IDENTIFY THE ATTENDEE WHEN SENDING THE CHECK.

Refunds will be given for cancellations received on or before Oct. 28, 1997.

___ My spouse will accompany me.
___ I am interested in playing golf on Monday.
___ I have a disability and may require accommodation to fully participate. (You will be contacted by the conference manager.)
___ I have the following dietary requirements:

Please return this form or a copy with your check payable to
Southern California Gas Co. to:

Maureen Barbeau
Electric Power Research Institute
3412 Hillview Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 855-2474
Fax (650) 855-2166