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The Importance of Physical Testing and Certification

Are you doing enough to prevent power outages?

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Tom Stefanski Tomasz Stefanski
Director, KEMA Laboratories Chalfont
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High & medium voltage component testing

You don’t need us to tell you about the damage a major power outage can do to your company’s reputation or to people’s wellbeing and livelihoods. So what can we do to help you prevent power outages? The Eaton Blackout Tracker regularly reports that equipment failure is one of the leading causes of power outages. And a report from the Electric Power Research Institute concludes that “for several utilities, equipment failures are the number one or number two contributor to SAIFI and SAIDI.” Equipment certification based on physical testing in an independent lab and according to international standards provides the best guarantee of the correct, long-term performance of grid components. In short, it is your first line of defence to reduce the frequency and duration of blackouts. 

Lab-based testing supports grid reliability

Utilities and industry bodies around the world have carried out research on the effectiveness of lab-based testing. For example:

  • EDF (France) reports that short-circuit testing has had a significant and positive impact for many decades on reducing the rate of winding faults in France
  • CIGRE WG12.19 reports that a third of the failed power transformers in service had passed a design review but non had passed a short-circuit test

As a result, utilities in Asia, Europe and Canada have made lab-based testing an essential and successful tool for quality improvement. For more evidence of the value of lab-based testing for grid reliability, download our paper Secure Certification of High-Voltage Equipment needs Laboratory Testing. 

The benefits of lab-based testing

  • Verification of how components perform under real-world conditions
    • Reduce equipment failures in the field
    • Increase confidence that grid will recover quickly after faults
  • Independent evidence for the quality, reliability and safety of grid equipment
    • Streamlined procurement processes for utilities and grid builders
    • More sales opportunities for manufacturers
  • Documents your efforts to improve grid reliability
    • Support in discussions with regulators
    • Evidence against liability if problems do arise

Your trusted partner 

KEMA Laboratories is the leading name in lab-based testing of transmission and distribution (T&D) grid components. Our services help ensure equipment operates to the highest international standards. At our lab in Chalfont, Pensylvannia, we combine highly skilled and experienced test engineers with the most advanced test facilities in the world. So you can have complete confidence in the quality of the grid components we test, and be sure of the most efficient testing procedures.