4 April, 2019
Over 180 delegates attended the recent TechCon® Aus-NZ conference hosted by WTC and TJ | H2b at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Sydney on 4 – 5 April 2019. The two-day program featured an inspirational keynote address, practical presentations, case studies and panel sessions - all focussing on asset management strategies for new and ageing electrical grid infrastructure.
For most of the attendees, the event kicked off on Wednesday, 3 April with a Cigre transformer workshop. This year’s workshop had a special focus on tap changers, covering topics on corrosive sulphides, reverse power flow, maintenance and innovations.
The TechCon® Aus-NZ conference started the following day on 4 April with the welcome address by Ed Wilson, Managing Director of Wilson Transformer Company. He opened his presentation with a brief history of TechCon®, which was founded some 23 years ago in North America. A few years later, TechCon® Asia-Pacific (currently known as TechCon®Aus-NZ) was born, and it is now celebrating its 20th anniversary in this region. Ed continued his address by highlighting some of the key trends in the energy industry. “The Energy Sector continues to transition to a more sustainable system — there has been a considerable amount of renewable generation added to the grid, new technologies are being rolled out, including EV’s, battery storage systems, and developing microgrids.” He also touched on the challenges this transition brings, such as learning the asset management requirements of these new technologies and ensuring we retain the knowledge of maintaining existing equipment and systems.
The main theme of the conference “Life Management of High Voltage and Medium Voltage Power Equipment” provided the centrepiece idea from which the conference was built. The full program of the conference brought together twenty speakers, including eleven from overseas, to address a wide and interesting variety of subjects. The presentations ranged from practical case studies, such as “Experimental evaluation of the status of the 400 kV shunt reactor bushings in the Swedish national grid” delivered by Lars Jonsson from ABB and “Accidental contact with powerlines — Look up and live” from Glen Cook from Energy Queensland, to the latest research on key maintenance programs and asset management strategies for new and ageing electrical grid infrastructure. The attendees learnt about condition assessment methodology for transformers and components (presented by Brian Sparling from Dynamic Ratings and Chris Beckett from United Energy), the benefits and challenges of ester liquids (presented by Attila Gyore from Midel), a new method for non-invasive timing tests on gas insulated switchgear circuit breakers (presented by Alexander Herrera – Omicron electronics) and many other exciting topics.
An exhibition running parallel to the conference was fully integrated into the conference program. It provided the opportunity to join the leading companies that over the two days showcased their latest products and services in the industry. This year, seventeen local and international companies participated in the exhibition, providing the delegates with an excellent opportunity to create new partnerships and alliances.
The conference has received favourable reviews from attendees, who appreciated the high quality of the speakers and exhibitors.