Thursday, October 28, 2010

System Control & Supervision - and Peopleware

The Washington Post reported on October 23, 2010, that the lack of training could cause very severe situations in the energy transmission and distribution systems. The recent event of the San Bruno gas pipeline burst (that killed several people) has "speed up adoption of a rule to ensure that workers doing similar jobs at companies across the country are well-trained ...".

"If somebody is not trained, it could be very dangerous. If they don't properly respond to an alarm situation, it can cause an explosion. It can
cause leaks. The damage could be very large."

"Although pipeline companies boast an impressive array of technology, he said, at many such firms, "there is a lack of recognition that people
have to operate that equipment

My experience after training of more than 2.000 people form more than 500 companies and more than 50 countries with regard to advanced communication and information systems using IEC 61850 is this: There is a very huge lack of recognition that people have to design, engineer, commission, operate, diagnose, and maintain these comprehensive and complex systems in substations and many other applications. More often I see the following: Utilities purchase turnkey systems - without having their own technical people (from the field with many years experience in the power system) consulted or trained to work with the new technology. One year later when the warranty is finished, they have to take over the full responsibility for the whole system! Good luck!

Impact of IEC 61850 on System Engineering, Tools, Peopleware and the Role of the System Integrator: more on that issue in a [paper] and on [slides]

Click HERE for the full report in the Washington Post.

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