Utility Industry Benefits
The DSR test bed provided a unique opportunity for TVA, as well as the utility industry, to become integrated into the product development process. Working directly with the manufacturer allowed for advancements that directly address the market's needs.
NEETRAC led the DSR testing effort to develop a set of applicable specifications that included high current fault testing (63 kA), corona testing (345 kV), impulse testing (±750 kV) and Aeolian vibration testing. Tests were performed at the NEETRAC high-voltage test lab in Forest Park, Georgia, U.S., and at the NEETRAC Nicholas J. Conrad High Power Lab in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Test results provided valuable feedback for the DSR design and development.
Regular meetings with NEETRAC SWFI members fostered an open dialog and facilitated information flow to support product development, testing and enhancements. The manufacturer supported utility input, through SWFI members, bringing multiple utility influences to bear. NEETRAC's experience has demonstrated that delivering a utility-friendly product to market is much more achievable when end users provide input early in the process and have an oversight role in product development and testing. This approach has created a win-win opportunity.
The SWFI utilities set aggressive performance targets for the DSRs, including low losses, high levels of fault withstand and quick installation times. With input and support from the SWFI member field crews, SWG designed an installation tool that enables DSRs to be installed very easily. The installations on the TVA pilot line averaged less than 15 minutes per unit, round-trip, including wire brushing of the conductor and installation of protector rods, the DSR and a vibration damper. Crews installed 99 DSRs in half the time expected.