The January/February Issue of the Electrical Insulation Magazine has been released. Use the accordion headings below to explore this issue’s content, and visit the IEEE Xplore for full magazine access.

For a list of upcoming conferences, please visit the conference page or check out the events calendar.

Featured Articles

Material Progress Toward Recyclable Insulation of Power Cables Part 2: Polypropylene-Based Thermoplastic Materials

Xingyi Huang, Jun Zhang, Pingkai Jiang, and Toshikatsu Tanaka — Xplore Link

Modeling for Life Estimation of HVDC Cable Insulation Based on Small-Size Specimens

Z. Zuo, L. A. Dissado, C. Yao, N. M. Chalashkanov, S. J. Dodd, and Y. Gao — Xplore Link

Demonstration Tests of a 320-kV-Class DC Superconducting Cable for Transmission of High Powers

A. Marian, S. Holé, N. Lallouet, E. Marzahn, and C. E. Bruzek — Xplore Link

Dr. Marc Jeroense

MJ MarCable
Consulting AB

[email protected]

In the editorial in the September/October 2019 issue of the Magazine, Harry Orton wrote inspiringly on some aspects of the history of power cables. Moving onwards to today’s status, he indicated the growing importance and use of submarine cables particularly related to offshore wind applications. In his writing he made it also abundantly clear that power cables potentially can be a solution to reduce the risk of power outages in case of natural disasters like wildfires, windstorms, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, ice storms, floods and landslides. These are examples of applications of power cables as a reaction to the global needs.

It is of interest to look forward and try to envisage in which technical direction the power cable industry is heading. In order to do so, we must first analyse the market trends on which the industry can react with technical advances and solutions.

The market trends relevant for the power cable industry can for sure be organized in numerous ways. One way of grouping the trends is by describing the following trends Remote vs Local Generation, New Generation Types, More Interconnectivity, Fast Introduction of New Technologies, Longer Use of Existing Assets, and Increased Environmental Awareness. Without claiming completeness, I will describe these trends briefly as the basis for a description of possible future development of power cables.

Remote vs Local and New Generation Types

Electricity is increasingly often generated at locations more remote to the closest connection points of the electricity networks. The distance to the centre of gravity of consumption also has increased. In order to keep the losses to an acceptable level, one should increase the voltage and, thereby, decrease the current necessary for transmitting a certain amount of power. The further we look for energy harvesting the harsher the environment can be. Large water depths, strong winds, waves and sea currents and more extreme temperatures, both high and low, will be faced. Searching for stronger winds and larger energy density, the offshore wind parks are trending with locations further away from the coast. Far away, the water depths tend to increase, and platforms and pylons must be designed as floating, because building these structures as standing on the sea floor will be far too expensive. In addition, the pylons and cables are subject to recurrent movements from the wind and the waves. Whereas this trend of generation is becoming more remote and therefore often large, the local generation is best described by smaller powers, lower voltages and smaller distances. Imagine people investing privately in solar panels on the roof of houses and maybe a smaller group of villagers together investing in a few windmills. This will ask for new ways of integration, regulation and operation. Such micro- and mini-grids may be driven by local AC or DC technology. This would pave the way for MVDC or even LVDC development. The electronics required for conversion are becoming lower in cost.

More Interconnectivity

The grid consists of many components such as converter systems, overvoltage protections, Flexible AC Transmission systems and the like that are all evolving. When we integrate cable systems into the grid on a local and global scale, the complexity will increase. Cable systems will experience, and must withstand, more overvoltages and harmonics in current and voltage. The grids of the future will probably have more layers than we have today. The highest level that we call the overlay grid, might be operated at ultra-high DC voltages. But DC voltages may also be used all the way down to the MV and LV grids. In fact, all these layers will be more and more integrated and will interact with each other. We must learn more about the interactions of these systems and the possible impact on cable system designs.

Fast Introduction of New Technologies

The cable industry is already responding to the market trends; and is doing so with new system technologies introducing these at a higher pace than ever. The market and general acceptance of the new technologies depends highly on the success of these performing satisfactorily and with an acceptable availability. Because these cable systems transmit vast and increasing amounts of power, the consequences of outages are becoming huge. As a result, the cable industry will face an enhanced level of testing regimes and an increased level of required quality assurance.

Longer Use of Existing Assets

Along with the increasing introduction of new technologies, the level of investments in power cable systems and their pace is increasing. From a financial point of view, it will be a challenge to replace the existing cable assets that will reach their economic end-of-life all at once. Measuring off-line or on-line parameters can reveal facts about the status or even result in remaining life estimates of the cables systems. The idea is that with such knowledge, it then will be possible to judge whether a particular asset is still able to fulfil its function or that one possibly has to decide to de-rate or replace the asset.

Increased Environmental Awareness

We are all aware of the environmental challenges humankind and planet Earth are facing. People in poor regions of the world deserve a better and still sustainable lifestyle. One of the best means to reach a higher standard of life is by increasing availability of electricity, at least for those that have no or little access to electricity. The power cable industry has, therefore, a responsibility to develop, manufacture and implement cable system solutions in a sustainable manner. Raw materials, transport, manufacturing, installation, in service utilization and recycling should be done in a responsible and environmentally optimal manner.

From these trends I will describe some of the technological answers that are foreseen.

HVAC submarine cables are being developed for higher voltages. HVAC underground cable systems at 400 and 500 kV level have been available for a long time. Due to higher financial and technical risks and challenges involved, the use of these higher voltages has not progressed as fast in the case of submarine solutions. The most cost-effective solution of realizing HVAC submarine connections is the use of cable designs combining three cores assembled in one armouring package, simply because installation can be done in fewer expensive laying campaigns. The challenge of such high voltage 3-core cables is the sheer size, surpassing 100 kg/m and diameters in the range of 200-300 mm. Mixing polymeric and metal armour wires can be used as more cost-effective solutions. Oil filled submarine cables have been used for the highest voltages already for a considerable time, whereas XLPE submarine cables for the highest voltages like 400 kV have been used only lately. In certain parts of the world 220 kV cables now become a more common solution for offshore solutions, whereas 275, 300 kV or higher still are the exception to the rule. Such HVAC submarine technologies will be used more in the foreseeable future.

Transmitting large amounts of power, crossing large distances of say more than 100 km at low losses, will be continued with HVDC technology. For many years MI cables were the only available technology. Nowadays, extruded technologies are no exception and more is to come. Extruded technologies are typically divided into three categories, DC-XLPE, HPTE (High Performance Thermoplastic Elastomers) and nano-filled insulations. The MI technology is now accompanied by another lapped technology, where polymers (Polypropylene) are combined with Kraft paper. They are called DC PPLP cables. The maximum voltages have arrived at 500 to 600 kV, and laboratory experiments are conducted at cable voltages of 700 to 800 kV. Crucial to the development of these technologies is a deep understanding of the physical phenomena that take place inside the dielectric. The different disciplines like chemistry, knowledge of dielectrics, fluid dynamics, mechanics, manufacturing and measurement technology all come together. In general, advanced measurement and analysis methods, like PEA (Pulsed ElectroAcoustic method), TSM (Thermal Step Method), Dielectric Spectroscopy and many others, are instrumental for the development of future cable systems.

Higher voltages, DC or AC is one means; but the other fundamental way of transmitting more power is by increasing the current. Conductor sizes will increase to well above 3000 mm2. GIL (Gas Insulated Lines) is a technology that in niche applications will add to the traditional cable technology for extremely high currents as are High Temperature Superconducting cables in this respect.

Fibre optic cables have already been laid in extremely deep waters for many decades. The reason that power cables have not been laid at larger depths than a few tens of meters until only lately is the weight of the power cables. They are a factor 100 or so larger than the light weighted telegraphic cables. Laying cables at larger depths is possible by following two principle roads. One way is that of lowering the specific weight of the cable, and the other way is by increasing its structural strength. We will see more non-metal structural bearing elements replacing the traditional steel wire armouring. Repair at such depths is challenging and joints must be designed for such depths. Deep water cables are just as much about advanced installation technology where expensive assets like installation vessels are key.

When cables are connected to floating structures, such as offshore wind parks or Oil and Gas floating assets, the cable will be hanging in the water and will experience movements induced by vessel motions and sea currents. Metal water barriers, other than lead, will be used, for instance, copper corrugated sheaths. This and other solutions are better suited to such an environment and less prone to mechanical aging. Even cables without a metal water barrier will be developed and used for lower voltages. Nowadays, 66 kV wet designs are already being used, mostly as inter-array cables. The AC voltage of wet design cables might increase in the future.

Cable systems will be more often monitored to detect early aging, avoid early damage, or as an early means of fault location. Fibres integrated in cables can continuously, in time and space, monitor temperature and strain in the fibre. The sensitivity to strain gives way to acoustical detection of impending mechanical 3rd party damage. Today’s distributed sensing technologies are based on different scattering principles: Rayleigh scattering, Brillouin and Raman scattering. The main development needed for the future is the increase in length of cable systems than can be monitored.  Today’s maximum lengths that are reasonably possible to monitor are within the 50-100 km range; sometimes lengths above these limits are mentioned. PD measurements, off-line or on-line, are a technology that give the possibility for warning for degradation. The low signal-to-noise ratio is a serious drawback, or at least challenge, to overcome in practical commercial systems. Especially for higher voltages, this situation becomes worse; not at least due to the fact that the time between first detection and breakdown decreases with increasing voltage. DCPD will be the utmost challenge because the repetition rate of detectable pulses is very low as compared to AC applications. Research is needed to overcome these challenges.

In case of a cable fault due to an external or internal damage, the asset owner wants to repair the fault as quickly as possible to keep down his loss of income and possible related liquidated damages. Future reliable and fast fault pre-location technologies that have an accuracy of at least 1% or better will be needed.

While operating current and future technologies we must be aware of all steps in a cable system’s life with respect to the effect on the environment. This means that an analysis must be made from the cradle to the grave. The largest negative impact of cable systems is due to its losses during the lifetime. If the current and power originate from, for instance coal powered plants, the impact is far larger than if it were generated by renewable energy sources. At the end of the lifetime of a cable system, it should be judged whether removing the system and separating and recycling all materials has a net positive impact or not.

New technologies must be thoroughly tested and qualified in the laboratory and proven to be capable of performing the function it was designed for on an industrial scale. Considering the increase in power and voltage and the harsher environment future cable systems will experience, proper quality assurance should be developed together with these new technologies. Testing regimes and quality control strategies are intimately connected to new technologies.

Indeed, we are living in interesting and challenging times, also with respect to the need for research and development leading to commercially viable new technologies. The current pace of introducing new cable technologies is historically high with no reason to believe that this will decrease. Academia and industry will have to work together even more than today. Deep understanding of phenomena embracing aging, conduction, monitoring, manufacturing and inventive methods of quality assurance are essential to answer market trends. History has proven repeatedly that power cable stakeholders are able to do so. And so we will.

From the Editors’ Desk January February 2020

At the October 2019 AdCom meeting, new members were elected to the Executive Committee.  We congratulate and welcome Paul Gaberson as President of DEIS; Brian Stewart as Vice President Administrative; and Davide Fabiani as Vice President Technical.

In the September/October issue of the magazine, we published a Call for Nominations for the 2020 Thomas W Dakin Distinguished Technical Contributions Award.  In the list of past recipients of this award, we inadvertently misspelled the name of the 2016 award winner, Abderrahmane Beroual.  Our apologies to Mr. Beroual.

At the October 2019 CEIDP, Dr. Erling Ildstad presented his Whitehead Memorial Lecture on the topic of “Challenging Defects of High Voltage Insulation Systems”.  The Editors believe that this paper would be of interest to a broader audience of DEIS members and are pleased to present an author-modified reprint in this issue of the magazine.

The present issue of the Magazine is again dedicated to insulation of high voltage cables. We start with an editorial written by Marc Jeroense of MJ MarCable Consulting who analyzes trends and driving forces on the power cable market.

The first feature article in this issue is on “Material Progress towards Recyclable Insulation of Power Cables Part 2: Polypropylene Based Thermoplastic Materials”, jointly authored by Xingyi Huang, Jun Zhang and Pingkai Jiang of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China together with Toshikatsu Tanaka of Waseda University in Japan. This is the second of the authors’ two articles focusing on materials for recyclable power cable insulation. The first article reviewed the progress in the development of polyethylene (PE) based thermoplastic materials, use of which suffers from deficient thermomechanical property. Polypropylene (PP) based thermoplastic insulation has, therefore, attracted tremendous interest because of its high temperature stability and excellent recyclability. This article provides a comprehensive review on the recent development of PP based thermoplastic insulation. It first discusses the relationship between supramolecular structure and electrical properties of PP. Then the authors review the progress on the material development, including syndiotactic PP, copolymerization, chemical modification, multi-phase blending, and addition of additives and nanoparticles. For each of the approaches the resulting structure-property relationship is discussed. The authors argue that improving the flexibility and low temperature resistance while preserving the excellent electrical and thermomechanical properties of PP based thermoplastics is an important task for future development. Although significant progress has already been made, the authors emphasize that many issues, including for example resistance to water treeing and creepage at high temperatures of PP based thermoplastic insulation, have not yet been fully understood.

The second article, entitled “Modelling for Life Estimation of HVDC Cable Insulation Based on Small-size Specimens”, is authored by a team of researchers representing academic and industrial institutions from China and the UK. These are Zhou Zuo and Chenguo Yao of Chongqing University in China, Len Dissado and Stephen Dodd of University of Leicester and Nikola Chalashkanov of University of Lincoln in the UK, as well as Yanfeng Gao of State Grid Jibei Electric Power Co. Ltd. Research Institute in China. The article proposes a novel concept of numerical modeling for life estimation of large-size samples of cable insulation. The material inhomogeneity is allowed for by orthogonally discretizing the material into elemental bonds, which are regarded as possessing local values of generic parameters that control electrical ageing. The elemental-bond input parameter values are determined from experiments of small-size specimens, whose sample-to-sample variation is taken to reflect the morphological and chemical variability existing throughout large scale materials. By repeating simulations of the model with different selections of local parameters, the lifetime distribution of 15 mm thick samples of XLPE has been calculated. The incorporation of various defects into the ageing simulations has also been carried out and their influence upon ageing determined. It was found that the various distributions of local morphological features affect the insulation life, which is also influenced by the sizes of protrusions and concentrations of impurities. The associated failure statistics have been fitted to the Weibull distribution and showed systematic changes in the shape factor with decreasing electric field, the variability of local morphology and, the presence of defects, consistent with experiment. The adaption of the model for estimation of the lifetime distribution of full-size cable at service conditions has been outlined. This method is expected to be able to predict the lifetime of insulation systems under a range of conditions and thus has the potential to become an ancillary tool for design, evaluation, and diagnosis of full-size insulating systems and their manufacturing quality.

The last feature article in this issue is entitled “Qualification of a 320-kV-class DC superconducting cable for transmission of high powers” and authored by Adela Marian of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany, Stéphane Holé of Sorbonne University in Paris, France, Nicolas Lallouet and Christian-eric Bruzek of Nexans France and Erik Marzahn of Nexans Germany. This article reports on HVDC demonstration tests of a 3-gigawatt-class superconducting cable system operating at 320 kV. This system is based on MgB2 superconductor and includes a novel high-voltage lapped insulation maintained at liquid nitrogen temperature (-200°C). Both polypropylene lapped paper (PPLP) and Kraft paper were tested as insulation materials under hydrostatic pressure up to 5 bar, with no space charges found in the bulk of the insulation up to a stress level of 30 kV/mm. In both cases, charge injection was detected in the isolated conductive particles of the carbon loaded paper used to smooth the electric field at the insulation interfaces. Hence, carbon paper with a compact structure is recommended to be employed in future experiments. Moreover, Kraft paper insulation was shown to withstand electric fields as high as 60 kV/mm without evidence of charge injection even in the presence of small imperfections. In addition to these advances in high-voltage insulation system, the article presents the innovative design of the electrical cable terminations along with the HVDC testing protocol and results of demonstration tests. The testing program was inspired by recommendations and standards for HVDC cables and accessories and was successfully passed for both the 200 kV and 320 kV voltage levels. Finally, some considerations are made on feasibility of long-length superconducting cable systems and challenges regarding their implementation. As a first demonstration of a complete cable system operating at 320 kV, the results presented in the article constitute an important step toward establishing a new standard for testing superconducting HVDC cables before their installation in the grid.


Y. Ohki

News from Japan for the January/February 2020 Issue

Japan’s Electrical Insulation Conference Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

In October 2019, the IEEE DEIS sponsored its important academic meeting, “Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP)”. Since the precursor of CEIDP, which was called “Conference on Electrical Insulation” (CEI) up to 1965 and sponsored by US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and National Research Council (NRC) up to 1980, started in 1920[1], the DEIS celebrated the 2020 meeting as its centennial.

In Japan, an academic meeting similar to CEIDP was inaugurated in 1968. That is, in 1960s, at least three Japanese professors attended CEI or CEIDP meetings. The three professors are Yoshio Inuishi (born on February 2, 1921 – deceased on October 26, 1994) of Osaka University, Masayuki Ieda (October 8, 1925 – March 3, 1999) of Nagoya University, and Kichinosuke Yahagi (August 15, 1926 – August 31, 1985) of Waseda University. They were all around 40 years old at that time. They all got a strong impression and desire that Japan should also have a similar meeting. To fulfill this common desire, they tried to persuade influential persons inside the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan (IEEJ). After their pioneering endeavors, the first Japanese academic meeting that focused its target on electrical insulation, “Symposium on Electrical Insulating Materials” (SEIM), was held in 1968.

With the above-mentioned history, the Symposium had its 50th meeting in 2019, although the conference name was changed to “Symposium on Electrical and Electronic Insulating Materials and Applications in Systems” (SEEIMAS) in 1999, because of the expansion of related research and technology areas. In a special anniversary “Historical Session”, senior researchers such as former symposium chair persons presented their reminiscences.

The reason for holding the 50th meeting in 2019, which is the 52nd year counted from 1968, is that the symposium was not held in two years because two meetings of the IEEE DEIS sponsored “International Conference on Properties and Applications of Dielectric Materials (ICPADM)” were held in Tokyo and Nagoya, respectively, in 1991 and 2003.

Figure 1 Prof. Toshikatsu Tanaka during his special lecture in the “Historical Session”.

In the “Historical Session”, first, Prof. Toshikatsu Tanaka (Figure 1) gave a talk on the history of activities conducted by himself and by the Technical Committee on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation (TCDEI), IEEJ including its equivalent former committees. These committees have been a Japanese counterpart of DEI Society of IEEE. The title of his talk was “The 50th Anniversary of Electrical Insulation Symposium of Japan – Historical Retrospect over Past Stride and Future Prospect”. Dr. Tanaka worked very actively and earnestly as an assistant secretary, then secretary, and finally chair of the committee from its very beginning. In this sense, the history of himself is almost equivalent to the history of TCDEI and the histories of the two symposia on electrical insulating materials (SEIM and SEEIMAS). His retrospect went back to the initiation of several activities jointly conducted with IEEE DEIS. One such activity is the start of a regular series of short articles on “Electrical Insulation News from Japan”. Figure 2 shows an announcement written by Dr. Alan H. Cookson of Westinghouse that reported the start of this series. As you may already be aware, this series is still continuing as the column you are reading. That is, Dr. Tanaka contributed articles from 1972 to 1987 and Y. Ohki (the present author) took over his role in 1988, although Dr. S. Yasufuku also contributed articles from 1977 to 2005.

Figure 2 Announcement written by Dr. Alan H. Cookson of Westinghouse in 1972 that reported the start of News from Japan Column and a photo of Dr. T. Tanaka (circa 1972).

After Tanaka’s talk, Profs. Tatsuki Okamoto, Naohiro Hozumi, Yasuhiro Tanaka, and Tatsuo Takada gave their talks, mainly on their own histories of activities on research and education in their respective institutes, universities, IEEJ, and IEEE DEIS. Among them, Prof. Tatsuo Takada (Figure 3) mainly talked about his memories of instructions he received from Prof. Masayuki Ieda and of those he gave to young students and researchers in Japan and in foreign countries such as China, especially. Figure 4 shows a scene when he received Prof. Ieda’s instruction (in 1981) when Prof. Takada was in Prof. Markus Zahn’s laboratory in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a research scientist. Prof. Ieda advised Prof. Takada to visit as many eminent professors and their laboratories as possible while he was in MIT.

Figure 3 Prof. Tatsuo Takada during his special lecture in the “Historical Session”.

Figure 4 Prof. T. Takada (Right in the inset) received instruction from Prof. M. Ieda (Left) in 1981 when he was in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A similar historical or retrospective session continued on the third day of the symposium. In that session, Prof. Teruyoshi Mizutani (Figure 5) looked back on his research activities conducted in Nagoya University, on polymer morphology and behavior as electrical insulating materials.

Figure 5 Prof. Teruyoshi Mizutani during his special lecture in the “Historical Session”.

The TCDEI-IEEJ set up awards to commemorate the aforementioned three pioneering professors. Both the Inuishi and the Ieda Awards go to people who have made outstanding academic achievements. The former Inuishi Award was presented at the “International Symposium on Electrical Insulating Materials”, which is an international conference sponsored by TCDEI-IEEJ and technically co-sponsored by IEEE DEIS. On the other hand, the latter Ieda Award was to be presented at this domestic symposium, namely, SEEIMAS. In contrast, the Yahagi Award goes to people in industry who have achieved industrially important invention and/or development.

In 2019, Dr. Shoshi Katakai of Sumitomo Electric received the Yahagi Award. He graduated from Waseda University and obtained his Master of Engineering degree in 1983 under the supervision of Prof. K. Yanagi. He was awarded because of his significant contributions toward Sumitomo’s world-first development of polymer insulated DC high voltage power transmission cables [2-4]. Figure 6 is a picture of Dr. Katakai who was receiving the award from the Chair of TCDEI-IEEJ, Prof. Naoki Hayakawa of Nagoya University. At the same award meeting, Prof. Mitsumasa Iwamoto (Figure 7) of Tokyo Institute of Technology received the Ieda Award for his pioneering work on the development of an evaluation method of carrier transport and polarization in organic thin films by measuring the Maxwell displacement current and electric-field induced optical second-harmonic generation.

Figure 6 Dr. Shoshi Katakai (Right), receiving the Yahagi Award from Prof. Naoki Hayakawa (Left) of Nagoya University, the Chair of TCDEI-IEEJ.

Figure 7 Prof. Mitsumasa Iwamoto (Right) of Tokyo Institute of Technology received the Ieda Award from Prof. Naoki Hayakawa (Left).

As a tradition, this symposium also awards youth attendants who conducted good presentations at poster sessions. This year, Ms. Yu Miyazaki (Figure 8), a first-year master student of Waseda University, was awarded a “Good Presentation Award”. She is studying the aging mechanism of polymer-insulated safety-related cables in nuclear power plants under the supervision of the author of this column and is the only female awardee this year.

Figure 8 Ms. Yu Miyazaki, receiving a “Good Presentation Award” with a smiling face.


[1] R. Gerhard, “Editorial – Dielectric Phenomena and Electrical Insulation: At the Turn from the First to the Second Century”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., Vol.35, No.4, pp.3-6, 2019.

[2] Y. Ohki, “News from Japan – Development of XLPE-Insulated Cable for High-Voltage dc Submarine Transmission Line (1)”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., Vol.29, No.4, pp.65-67, 2013.

[3] Y. Ohki, “News from Japan – Development of XLPE-Insulated Cable for High-Voltage DC Submarine Transmission Line (2)”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., Vol.29, No.5, pp.85-87, 2013.

[4] Y. Ohki, “News from Japan – A New 250-kV HVDC XLPE Cable System in Japan”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., Vol.35, No.6, pp.43-45, 2019.

Power System Protection in Smart Grid Environment

R. Bansal

CRC Press
Taylor & Francis Group
6000 Broken Sound Parkway – NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742
ISBN 978-1-138-03241-5
636p. $159.95 (Hardcover), 2019

Protection of power transmission and distribution systems is a critical necessity for maintaining a safe, reliable, and efficient power system.  Power systems are undergoing a rapid change in topologies with the emergence of renewable energy sources predominantly including solar and wind being connected to the power grid creating a new energy landscape in which the consumer can not only be a consumer of power but also a producer i.e. a prosumer.  Distributed sources and two-way power flow can pose challenges to power system designers in that the sources are intermittent and not necessarily controlled by the utility.  Also, battery storage can act both as a source or a load requiring bidirectional power flow.  Microgrids are becoming popular for various critical applications and remote locations. These systems can also provide bidirectional power flow, depending on the load requirements and source availability.  Many of the sources and converter-based systems do not have the same fault properties as a conventional power system.  The available fault current can be lower for a wind or solar source but can be significant for a battery source thus requiring different types of protective devices.  Also, many of these loads and sources are inherently DC, thus requiring protective equipment capable of interrupting DC.

This book provides details on designing fault protection for power systems.  While there are excellent details in showing the reader how to design and calculate fault currents for a variety of circuit topographies, it has very little information on how a new “Smart Grid” might look and how these new components will affect protection schemes.  The calculations and circuits look like today’s existing grid rather than a future grid.

Topics are broken down into 4 sections.  Section 1 covers the fault analysis and protection devices.  This covers fault analysis methods, fuses and circuit breakers, instrument transformers, protective relaying systems.  Section 2 details transmission line protection including MV overcurrent feeder protection, busbar protection, relays protection schemes, and protecting reactor and FACTS system devices.  Section 3 covers equipment protection for transformers, motors, and generators. This section also describes overvoltage and lightning protection methods. Section 4 describes power quality issues, advances in wide area monitoring protection and control, and protection of renewable distributed generation system.

While there are very good details provided to calculate requirements for traditional protective equipment (i.e. circuit breakers, fuse, relays) as applied to existing power systems. Even the circuit breaker descriptions do not cover the latest in communication and waveform capture and lifetime health monitoring of devices. There is little information on how potentially new/emerging power system components (i.e. solid-state circuit breakers, solid-state transformers, DG sources, microgrids, DC power distribution) might be used to provide the required protection for the new energy landscape.

If you are looking for a book to help understand fault protection calculations for traditional power systems, then this book can provide a quick way to understand the details.  There is some reference to the protection of systems in the new energy landscape, but not many details are given as to how these can be integrated into the existing power system or what is needed for a new power system of the future.

Encapsulation Technologies for Electronic Applications, 2nd Edition

H. Ardebili, J. Zhang, M.G. Pecht

Willian Andrew
An Imprint of Elsevier
50 Hampshire Street
5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
ISBN 978-0-12-811978-5
508p. $235 (Softcover), 2019

Packaging is a critical part of the manufacturing process for producing reliable microelectronic devices. This book provides a comprehensive review of encapsulants for electronic applications.  Much of the book covers the encapsulation of microelectronics; however, the encapsulation of connectors and transformers is also addressed.

The book begins by comparing hermetically sealed packages to plastic encapsulated packages to show the cost benefits of plastics, especially for military use. It also provides an overview of commonly used materials for different processes such as potting casting, glob-top, printing, and environmentally friendly materials.

The remainder of the book covers encapsulation technology methods primarily for microelectronics.  These cover injection molding, compression molding, methods used to characterize the moldings, and various failure analysis and quality control methods.  Characterization consists of hygro-thermomechanical, electrical, and chemical properties.  Measurement methods, fundamental equations, and typical examples of resulting data are shown.  Defect and failure analysis cover commonly used processes and the various methods and equipment used including optical microscopy, scanning acoustic microscopy, x-ray and electron microscopy, and atomic force and infrared microscopy.  There is a section on trends and challenges and emerging technologies highlighting the challenges for extreme high and low temperatures.

Microelectronics packaging engineers will find this book to be a useful reference for various materials for various applications including data for material properties.  Those wanting to learn about electronics packaging could use this book to learn about packaging fundamentals and the state-of-the art in encapsulation for microelectronics.

Short-Circuits in AC and DC Systems – ANSI, IEEE, and IEC Standards

J.C. Das

CRC Press
Taylor & Francis Group
6000 Broken Sound Parkway – NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742
ISBN 978-1-4987-4541-3
744p. $145 (Hardcover), 2018

Short-circuit calculations are often one of the first studies performed on power systems to insure adequate protection and coordination of all protective devices in the system.  This book provides both theoretical and practical insight into short-circuit studies for power transmission and distribution systems and compares standards used for determining short-circuit values.

The book begins by presenting background on the planning and design of electrical power systems in general and the methods used to approximate parts of the system to allow for calculations and computer simulations.  An example of calculations performed are short-circuit calculations, load flow calculations, and harmonic analysis. Other introductory background topics include a brief description of US utility companies, North American power system interconnections, deregulation, and use of renewable energy sources including wind, PV, hydroelectric, pumped storage, geothermal, fuel cells, and biofuels. Both transmission and distribution systems are analyzed.  Interconnection of renewable energy sources with utilities are described, covering key elements and concerns when interconnecting these types of energy sources to the grid.

The remainder, and majority of the book, deals with calculating short-circuits for many different circuit topologies, energy sources.  A review of symmetrical components shows how to use this method for calculating short-circuit currents. Unsymmetrical fault currents including line-to-ground faults, line-to-line, and double line-to-ground faults for solidly grounded and resistively grounded systems are also described.  Matrix methods are used to show how to model very large and complex power systems using computer modeling to determine system short-circuit values.

Fundamentals are presented for AC arc interruption reviewing outdated arc interruption theory (Cassie-Mayr theory).  Most companies now use FEA computational fluid dynamic programs to model arc behavior and interruption. However, some of the other details on short-line faults, interrupting low inductive currents, and TRVs in capacitive and inductive circuits do provide useful insight into these problems.

Lastly, the book reviews standards and short-circuit calculations for synchronous and induction machines, power converters, and DC systems. Specifically, these cover the application and ratings of circuit breakers and fuses per ANSI standards, short-circuit calculations per ANSI and IEC standards.  Appendices provide information for supporting matrix calculations, transformer and reactor calculations, and detailed solutions to the problems presented in the book.

This handy reference book provides essential details, both theoretical and practical, on short-circuit calculations for power transmission and distribution systems. It would be especially useful for practicing power engineers who need a good refence book for calculating short-circuits in power systems as well as those in academia studying power system analysis.

Creep and Fatigue in Polymer Matrix Composites, 2nd Edition

R.M. Guedes, Editor

Academic Press
An imprint of Elsevier
50 Hampshire Street, 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
ISBN 978-0-12-817010-6
290p. $180 (Softcover), 2019

The rapid development of adhesive joining technology is attributed to new materials development with superior properties and the advancement of adhesion technology knowledge. This book provides a reference for the basics of adhesive joining, surface treatments of material for bonding, and other adhesive processes. Theory is supplemented with experimental data for comparing different pretreatments regarding developing adhesive joining technology.  Surface preparation is one of the key factors in determining a good joint when using adhesives. Surface pretreatment involves processes such as removal of debris (i.e. contaminants), modification of the surface geometry by increasing roughness and thus surface area for wetting, and modification of the range of saturation of intermolecular forces to increase the surface free energy.

This book first describes the fundamentals of bonding technology.  This background provides a concise background into joining technology including the bonding process, joint strength, and various bonding operations. It also contains an extensive list of references for more in-depth studies.  The remainder of the book covers various surface treatment methods. These surface treatment methods include degreasing, mechanical, chemical, electrochemical, and others. Experiments utilizing each method are described.  A final section details an assessment of the surface treatment method by using measures known for determining the quality of surface adhesion, these include wettability, contact angle, measuring surface roughness, and measuring adhesive properties and strength.

This book would be useful for material scientists, polymer engineers, and anyone interested in learning about adhesive joining technology.  The book would be a good primer for learning about adhesive joining technology and the critical factors that determine good adhesive joints.

Vacuum and Ultravacuum – Physics and Technology

I. Bello

CRC Press
Taylor & Francis Group
6000 Broken Sound Parkway – NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742
ISBN 978-1-4987-8204-3
1061p. $140 (Hardcover), 2018

Vacuum is used in many diverse applications and products ranging from semiconductor processing, metallurgy, materials science, pharmaceutical industry, power switching components, x-ray tubes, and many other areas.  Understanding the physics of vacuum is essential to being able to develop vacuum processes for applications.  This book focuses on the physics of vacuum processes, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, collision processes, plasma processes, gas flow, production methods, and instrumentation.

The book is divided into three major sections.  The first section deals with the physics of low pressures. These topics cover fundamentals of vacuum physics, molecular kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics of gases at low pressures, real gas behavior, transfer phenomena, molecular collisions, gas flow, sorption, and pumping systems.  These topics form the foundation for understanding vacuum physics, leading to insight into processes, designs and methods used in practical applications. These essential topics are thoroughly covered and well presented to give the reader a clear and concise background in vacuum physics.

Section II describes vacuum systems, primarily vacuum pumps.  It gives a practical background in the selection and operation of vacuum pumps and systems for various applications. The types of pumps cover mechanical, dry displacement pumps, mechanical kinetic pumps, kinetic propellant pumps, and capture pumps. Fundamental operation and theory behind each pump type are detailed along with descriptions of many variations of each pump type and the application and behavior.

Section III involves low pressure measurements and measurement instrumentation used in vacuum systems. Some of the major instruments described are force gauges with manometer liquids, elastic deformation elements, solid sensing elements, viscosity gauges, and thermal gauges, ionization gauges, electric discharge gauges and radioactive emitters.  Partial pressure gauges are also described including energy analyzers for electrically charged particles.  Gas flow measurements and leak detection methods are also discussed.

This comprehensive book on vacuum physics will provide the beginner, as well as the seasoned professional, with a handy reference for a wide variety of situations and background information critical to vacuum processes.  It is very well illustrated and accessible at many levels of reader experience in vacuum technology.

Design of Transient Protection Systems – Including Supercapacitor Based Design Approaches for Surge Protectors

N. Kularatna, A. S. Ross, J. Fernando, and S. James

An imprint of Elsevier
50 Hampshire Street
5th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
ISBN 978-0-12-811664-7
287p. $150 (Softcover), 2019

Transient voltage surge suppression devices are commonly used for protecting loads connected to the power grid.  These devices provide protection from transient overvoltage that can occur in a power system, for a variety of reasons, including turning on and off highly inductive loads such as air conditioners, electric power tools, and motors in general. Lightning can also create transient overvoltage in a power system as well as closing and opening of circuit breakers in the distribution system.  These transients, generally short, can produce voltages over 6kVp at the building entrance. Other undesired signals such as electrical noise and harmonics, and overvoltage surges, can also be present on power lines and be potentially damaging to electrical loads. Protecting against these types of undesired signals on the power system is very important for insuring the longevity of electrical loads.

This book provides a combination of background in circuit protection and very practical design information for engineers, especially for those who use metal oxide varistors (MOV’s) in their protection circuits. But the best part of this book is that it not only provides a great review and background of typical design practices for commonly used protection circuits utilizing MOV’s, transient voltage surge suppressors (TVSS), and LC filters, it introduces a new type of protection circuit utilizing the inherent properties of supercapacitors and how they can be used to improve the voltage clamping capabilities of a transient voltage protection circuit.

The book can be roughly divided into three sections.  The first section provides background information on transient surge protection by introducing examples of power line disturbances, surge protection standards (ANSI/IEEE C62.41 and UL 1449), descriptions of typical components used in a surge protector (X and Y rated capacitors), and the theory that shows how a supercapacitor can be used for transient surge energy absorption.  This last part shows how a 4V rated supercapacitor (chemical double-layer) can be used to clamp a 6kVp transient overvoltage.

The second section discusses the more familiar transient overvoltage protective devices in use today.  It provides practical details and examples on how surge protective components are selected for a given design. MOVs and TVSS diodes characteristics are explained, theory and experiments for characterizing surge propagation for 1.2/50 s and 8/20 s through the MOV’s and TVSS diodes, and a practical design examples are also covered.  Many design examples are presented, but they all generally focus on single phase consumer/residential based applications, including simple surge protective devices (SPD’s) based on single MOV with different clamping voltages and associated waveforms, to circuits protecting both differential and common mode conditions.

The third section describes the development of the supercapacitor assisted surge absorber (SCASA) techniques and applications.  Details are provided for calculating the circuit components for the SCASA circuit and comparisons to other commercial surge arrestors is also given and circuit examples and test results are provided for this new technique. Applications cover the differ levels of protection i.e. primary, secondary, and board level protection.  Lightning protection at the building entrance is also described. Some details are also provided for automotive and LED lighting protection. The appendix explains the test system and results used for obtaining UL 1449 standard, surge testing of the supercapacitor, and MATLAB equations used for the various simulations presented in the book.

A very interesting book for electrical engineers who design protection circuits and want to learn about a new method using supercapacitors in their circuit designs.  It would also be very useful for electrical engineering students who want to learn about circuit protection theory and get a good practical introduction to circuit protection.

Physical Metallurgy – Principles and Design

G.N. Haidemenopoulos

CRC Press
Taylor & Francis Group
6000 Broken Sound Parkway – NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742
ISBN 978-1-138-62768-0
489p. $140 (Hardcover), 2018

Physical metallurgy deals with the microstructure of metals to achieve desirable properties required for a given application. This book focuses on the processing–structure–properties triangle as it applies to metals and alloys. It introduces fundamental principles of physical metallurgy and the design methodologies for alloys and processing and provides in-depth technical details for key fundamental principles of metallurgy and process technologies.

The first part of the book discusses the structure and change of structure through phase transformations.  Fundamentals on metal structure and defects are described in-depth along with explanations of phase diagrams, alloy thermodynamics, diffusion and phase transformations. For example, a single graph shows how metal properties in general, such as density, hardness, and resistivity, all change as a function of annealing temperature.  This provides the reader with insight into understating the relationship between how these properties are affected by a commonly used process parameter – annealing temperature.

The latter part of the book deals with plastic deformation, strengthening mechanisms, and mechanical properties as they relate to structure. The book also includes a chapter on physical metallurgy of steels and concludes by discussing the computational tools, involving computational thermodynamics and kinetics, to perform alloy and process design.

While the book is intended for engineering and materials science students studying metallurgy, since it clearly explains key fundamentals of metallurgy and contains end of chapter problems and has a solution manual available, it certainly would also be a very useful guide for working professionals who use or develop metallurgical processes.

Abstract: The primary function of a high voltage insulation system is to prevent the flow of electric current between oppositely charged conductors, facilitate heat transportation and provide mechanical support throughout a long service lifetime of more than 30 years. Therefore, high voltage insulation systems typically constitute combinations of different insulators, including interfaces between gases, oils and solids. Such composite systems are difficult to describe in terms of the characteristics of each individual component, and efforts to improve manufacturing and refine the quality of insulating materials are therefore often based on an empirical approach. In this paper, a more fundamental physical approach is taken, aiming to explain how engineering properties such as electrical breakdown, conduction, dielectric loss and endurance are affected by various types of impurities and additives.

The full Whitehead Lecture is available on IEEE Xplore.

Xplore Link