– Medium and high voltage testing said to be vital in ensuring performance and reliability
(Nov. 11, 2023- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): This week, representatives from Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) and Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) have received medium and high voltage testing training in Nairobi, Kenya.
The training organized by Amotech Africa, a leading test and measurement solutions provider in the region, in partnership with Megger, a leading global premium manufacturer of measurement and testing technology, was meant for electric utility service professionals from five African countries – Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and Ethiopia.
Upon completion of the training, Engineering and Quality Director of the Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) Eng. Tefera, Derbe Jiru, said that the training has been instrumental in enhancing his knowledge and awareness in the assessment of both medium and high voltage cables.
“So we have already received the knowledge and understanding of the voltage testing solutions for cables placed underground. We hope and plan to acquire the testing equipment and carry on implementing it in Ethiopia,” Tefera said.
According to him, Amotech Africa has already identified the needs and gaps of Ethiopian Electric Utility sector in relation to voltage testing, and now the issue of acquiring the equipment and further engagement with EEU is already under discussion.
“I hope this will be smooth and we can easily get the equipment for our operation purposes,” Mr. Tefera added.
He has also highlighted that most of Ethiopia’s electric transmission lines are very old, adding that, as rehabilitation works are underway, the voltage testing solution would play a critical role especially in improving the country’s power networks and avoiding power grid overload.
Speaking during the seminar, Machacha Muchiri, Managing Director of Amotech Africa also pointed out: “the push really is to get to improve on the quality of power and bring down the final cost on the consumer whether it is from government strategies in terms of policies or operational maintenance.”
One of the challenges facing the transmission and distribution sector is the need to deliver electricity that is reliable and cost-effective. Regular testing of assets can guarantee the quality of components installed in the network and contribute to power system reliability, representing a fundamental step in reducing probability of disturbances and outages.
With the main focus of the seminar being medium and high voltage testing such power protection, transformer testing, cable testing, fault location, partial discharge, and grid analytics, the main objective of the training stress on the importance of cable condition assessment in ensuring optimal performance by protecting cables from failure.
The seminar culminated in a hands-on presentation of the HV DAC 300 test which is designed to identify, evaluate and locate partial discharge (PD) faults in the cable insulation and accessories of all types of high voltage power cables.
PD activity is an indication of incipient faults in the insulation and is therefore widely regarded as one of the best ‘early warning’ indicators of the deterioration of medium and high voltage insulation.
Partial discharges are regarded as the main breakdown cause for HV cables. Performing offline PD measurements on HV cables using a DAC voltage helps support the asset management process so that reliable decisions can be made for maintenance or replacement activities.
Amotech Africa is working closely with other key players in the energy sector across the region such as Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO), Kenya Power & Lightning Company (KPLC), Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), Rwanda Energy Group, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL), and Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) .
This will provide premium test and measurement solutions for their day-to-day maintenance activities which involve maintaining reliable assets in a safe test environment.