NYPA Receives Award From R&D Magazine for HydroTrac™
Connie M. Cullen
October 4, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO—The New York Power Authority today received one of R&D
Magazine’s 2001 R&D 100 Award for its work in developing and testing HydroTrac™, a pioneering device for detecting equipment problems in
hydrogenerators. The Power Authority received this award, along with its
partners, EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) and Iris Power
Engineering, in the collaborative effort to develop HydroTrac™. The
award was presented Thursday evening (Oct. 4) at the R&D Magazine
Annual Awards Dinner in Chicago.
"The Power Authority is at the forefront of innovative energy
technology, like HydroTrac™, because of Governor George E. Pataki’s
leadership in promoting technology development to serve the energy needs
of New Yorkers," said Joseph J. Seymour, chairman and chief executive
officer of the Power Authority. "We commend the Power Authority team
involved, for their contribution to the creation of HydroTrac™, as
advancing hydropower operations is key to our goal of providing low-cost
electricity to our customers."
HydroTrac™ is a cost-effective on-line partial discharge (PD)
monitoring system for detecting the onset of equipment failure problems in
hydrogenerators by giving critical data to plant operators for performing
more timely and effective maintenance procedures based on actual equipment
conditions which until now were difficult and costly to assess.
The Power Authority played a significant role in HydroTrac™’s
evolution from creating the concept utilizing advances in digital
technology, developing and testing the prototype to also developing the
commercial product that is now available through Iris Power. The prototype
was field tested at Power Authority facilities over the last two years.
Currently the Power Authority is implementing HydroTrac™ at its hydro
facilities, and other utilities, both nationally and internationally, are
also instituting it.
Most hydrogenerator outages are caused by stator winding insulation
failure due to age, mechanical malfunction or stress. The traditional
approach to checking hydrogenerator equipment condition is by utilizing
portable Partial Discharge Analyzer (PDA) instrumentation. PDA instruments
are connected to sensors embedded in the stator winding and data is taken
to help assess machine insulation at that instant in time. However, in
order to get accurate PD trend data, many measurements must be taken at
various times under similar operating conditions. This entire process is
labor-intensive and the cost can be significant. HydroTrac™ has
revolutionized this process by providing affordable, continuous
information on the condition of the generator to help avoid costly
in-service machine failures and allow plant personnel to plan corrective
action based on actual conditions instead of scheduled maintenance.
The Power Authority received two R&D 100 Awards in 1995 for its
role in developing MONITEQ and the Electro-Optic Voltage Transducer
System, both of which are devices that boost efficiency and productivity
at electric utility substations.
Held annually, the R&D 100 Awards Competition, now in its 39th
year, recognizes the most technologically significant new products and
processes of the year according to R&D Magazine. Antilock brakes,
automatic teller machines (ATMs), the liquid crystal display, fax machines
and high density television (HDTV) are all former R&D 100 Award