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How is electrical testing beneficial?
Testing, in the final analysis, is to make sure that the equipment will withstand the rigours of the field under normal or even harsh operating conditions.
It is better to do testing in the plant at the time of manufacturing and ensure that the equipment can withstand the voltage or current levels rather than have a failure three days after installation.
It’s better to have a failure at the manufacturing site where it can be repaired or replaced than in the field where it can be extremely costly to do so, apart from setting back the project by months.
What are the biggest areas of business for you?
Haefely, Tettex in Switzerland and Hipotronics in the US as a team provide end-to-end electrical testing solutions for cable and transformer factories.
The product range includes AC resonant systems for cable testing, impulse generators for testing cable and transformers and instrumentation to measure partial discharges and transformer load losses, and also various field test equipment suitable for utilities.
For cables and transformers, electrical tests either routine or type are mandatory as laid down by for manufacturers to qualify their products according to these standards, and it’s important to us that we are in line with the latest standards.
What challenges are affecting the industry?
Transiting from National Standards to Internationally accepted ones is a little slow in emerging economies, and also the national standards have still not evolved to be in line with the latest in technology and hence these testing markets are still underdeveloped.
This is especially true for field testing where minimum requirements and limitations are the governing factors rather than the applicable standards. We should rather see these as opportunities for future business than as challenges.
How is technology changing?
Hugely growing power demand is placing enormous strain on existing grids, making it necessary to go to the next higher voltage level. Renewable energy sources are being built in remote areas, and the new grids which will be necessary will have to be intelligent grids. The smarter the grid the more efficient and reliable the components of the grid will have to be.
To ensure reliability and efficiency of main grid components like transformers, transmission lines and cables, testing becomes that much more important. Lower loss transformers, higher dielectric strength cables and others will need higher quality testing to optimise asset utilisation.
What would improve the industry?
There is no substitute for quality. Quality can only be achieved through continuous practice of good, proven procedures and analysis of failures.