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Old 09-18-2019, 02:36 PM   #1
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Hello everyone,

I need to increase my posts so I can post pictures, I also have a few things to say. Please indulge if you are able, I appreciate it.

How many of you are industrial electricians or high voltage electricians?

I work in a large utilities plant, I’m in a small high voltage shop. It seems like our type of electrician is less common. We deal with switchgear, relays, motors, PLCs and many more industrial applications. The highest voltage we work is 13.8KV, which I know is considered “medium voltage”. I know there is other plants out there and facilities that conduct similar work, but I rarely ever meet anyone who does what we do. Please let me know if you work in a similar capacity. I have been in the industrial side for about five years. The training has mainly consisted of on the job training. My favorite part is probably working with digital relays for motor and feeder protection.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:00 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat.......done a ton of MV terminations, usually 12.5 - 35KV though some 4160 as well.

I design, install and troubleshoot a lot of controls, some of it protective relaying for MV switchgear, motors and generators.

I've connected a number of SF6 breakers, most of these were 120KV of higher. Both line voltage and controls.

Most of the MV breakers I work with are the draw-out type with vacuum bottles.

Most of my 12.5KV and higher terminations are in metal-clad switchgear and generators but some are motors as well.

The largest motor I've hooked up was 15,000 HP but it was connected to a steam turbine and used as a generator. 13.2KV. It started with reactors and once up to speed and across-the-lines, they'd pour the steam to it and it'd backfeed the grid.

These days, I mostly design and install process controls and instrumentation and build control cabinets. The plant I'm working at now has a control cabinet that's 7' tall, 20" deep and 14' long. It's presently about 2/3 full of PLCs, relays and terminal blocks.

I really enjoy this type of work!
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:47 PM   #3
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I work at an Airport and have similar experiences. From WiFi to 34.5KV. From lifting with the 150ft Manitex crane to locating using the Radiodection locator and making "low" & "medium" volt splices to using the "Triple Nickle" and changing light bulbs in the Buildings to light fixtures out on the Taxiways/Runways. However, no formal training, (And no credit) just OJT. So what you bring as experience gets added to the shop. Here lately, more and more is contracted out. At times I've been more a Consultant than Electrician (Mainly due to lack of As-Built). The new guys are not getting the experience they need, although I try. The future for this shop will be contracted out. And, we know who it is that goes down to the Mayor's office, to lobby for more of our work. FPN; my Airport has been pieced together in a haphazard way for 85 years now. An all new Airport laid out in a logical manner, wouldn't need as much effort.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
I'm in the same boat.......done a ton of MV terminations, usually 12.5 - 35KV though some 4160 as well.

I design, install and troubleshoot a lot of controls, some of it protective relaying for MV switchgear, motors and generators.

I've connected a number of SF6 breakers, most of these were 120KV of higher. Both line voltage and controls.

Most of the MV breakers I work with are the draw-out type with vacuum bottles.

Most of my 12.5KV and higher terminations are in metal-clad switchgear and generators but some are motors as well.

The largest motor I've hooked up was 15,000 HP but it was connected to a steam turbine and used as a generator. 13.2KV. It started with reactors and once up to speed and across-the-lines, they'd pour the steam to it and it'd backfeed the grid.

These days, I mostly design and install process controls and instrumentation and build control cabinets. The plant I'm working at now has a control cabinet that's 7' tall, 20" deep and 14' long. It's presently about 2/3 full of PLCs, relays and terminal blocks.

I really enjoy this type of work!

Very cool, can I ask what brand of switchgear you primarily work with? We have alot of GE powervac and we use GE for our relay protection and metering. The plant I’m at is in the progress of changing over to newer and more sufficient PLCs.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffneck View Post
I work at an Airport and have similar experiences. From WiFi to 34.5KV. From lifting with the 150ft Manitex crane to locating using the Radiodection locator and making "low" & "medium" volt splices to using the "Triple Nickle" and changing light bulbs in the Buildings to light fixtures out on the Taxiways/Runways. However, no formal training, (And no credit) just OJT. So what you bring as experience gets added to the shop. Here lately, more and more is contracted out. At times I've been more a Consultant than Electrician (Mainly due to lack of As-Built). The new guys are not getting the experience they need, although I try. The future for this shop will be contracted out. And, we know who it is that goes down to the Mayor's office, to lobby for more of our work. FPN; my Airport has been pieced together in a haphazard way for 85 years now. An all new Airport laid out in a logical manner, wouldn't need as much effort.
Interesting, this sounds similar to how we operate. We also do anything from lights to medium voltage terminating. I have been fortunate to have some old school guys teach me alot on the job. I hope in the future to pass the torch.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kevhuff26 View Post
Very cool, can I ask what brand of switchgear you primarily work with? We have alot of GE powervac and we use GE for our relay protection and metering. The plant I’m at is in the progress of changing over to newer and more sufficient PLCs.
Some GE but mostly Cutler Hammer.

Most of the relaying is Schweitzer, nearly every power plant will have a 387 (differential current protection) and a 351 (basic overcorrect protection) from the switchgear to the grid and another 387 from the generator breaker to the far side of the gen windings.

I've installed quite a few GE Multilin motor protection relays. These are pretty easy to program, if you're familiar with relay terminology, you don't need a book, you can get the parameters from the screen.

The last few SF6 breakers were Alstom, I can't remember the ones before those.

Also, I've never had any sort of formal training, nor have I have ever been an apprentice. Everything I know I learned by doing, reading or listening to guys who knew their stuff.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:36 PM   #7
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I work for a firm that does a wide variety of stuff, we test just about anything electrical LV and MV additionally we do grounding investigations and testing of grounding systems, service ATSs, Bolted Pressure Switches, PLCs, though not as much as we use to, repair and minor modifications to circuit breakers, maintain DC power systems.

Pretty much if the average electrical contractor does not do it, cannot do it or will not do it or F's it up because he did do it we work on it, service, test and/or repair.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:16 PM   #8
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My background is very similar to Brian John, but now I focus of refurbishment and repairs of breakers, we do a lot of Powervacs here too.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:31 PM   #9
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Some GE but mostly Cutler Hammer.

Most of the relaying is Schweitzer, nearly every power plant will have a 387 (differential current protection) and a 351 (basic overcorrect protection) from the switchgear to the grid and another 387 from the generator breaker to the far side of the gen windings.

I've installed quite a few GE Multilin motor protection relays. These are pretty easy to program, if you're familiar with relay terminology, you don't need a book, you can get the parameters from the screen.

The last few SF6 breakers were Alstom, I can't remember the ones before those.

Also, I've never had any sort of formal training, nor have I have ever been an apprentice. Everything I know I learned by doing, reading or listening to guys who knew their stuff.
Interesting, we are getting new Cutler Hammer switchgear and Schweitzer feeder protection and 87 protection as well. I downloaded both manuals and plan to study them. I’m well versed with programming the Multilins as you said they are pretty easy to work with. I have not heard the same for Schweitzer, but I heard they have excellent an warranty.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:19 PM   #10
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My experience is similar to Micromind's albiet more on the generation side of things. Hydro and diesel plants, substation work. Installed a few 115 and 250KV circuit switchers. Mostly GE Multilin relaying with a smattering of Schweitzer. Done a few electronic governor upgrades on hydro as well as controls. Actually, in two plants I've done control upgrades twice spaced about 25years apart. Half a dozen 115kv SF6 installations. Although I've built and installed many PLC panels never really got into the programming end of them.

And I also have never had any formal training. I got my start and learned mostly from a guy that was much smarter than I will ever be, and he's gone now.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:37 AM   #11
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I work on mostly industrial/chemical, sand/gravel and utility stuff, controls, instruments, power distribution.



Now I run my own outfit working for different industrial and a lot of water and waste water customers doing their controls, instrumentation stuff and PLC work and since I grew up as learning to fab and pipe weld I do a lot of custom fab work and welding along with pump, blower and compressor work too. Like on plant rehabs we'll build and program new panels and fab new pump discharge headers, guide rails, make spools to install new flow meters.



I also have a government gig with a water district as the instrument tech and since I'm qualified I got stuck with all the pipe and structure fab too.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:12 AM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your responses. It’s interesting to hear what everyone does and to see that it’s very similar to my roles and responsibilities.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:24 PM   #13
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Highest voltage I got to worry about is 480 however my primary work revolves around controls,plc, and instrumentation. I work at a water plant, and am still an apprentice busy teaching myself as much as I can. One of the reasons I really wanted to get my license was that we were having a hard time finding contractors that have the time and have the knowledge of controls. Small town in Wyoming, well not a small town for Wyoming but tiny compared to most places, so its mostly residential guys around here who just go kinda glassy eyed when you show them an MCC. Im also an operator and a mechanic so I do welding and fab, motor rebuilds, gearbox and pump rebuilds, plumbing, etc.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:26 AM   #14
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Hi All
I am also HV network electrician - we also don't have formal training in this industry. I worked for Eskom (our only power generation and distribution government utility) and thy have internal training department. worked live up to 22kv and dead up to 132kv mainly switching and maintenance

but today I got own business and do mainly construction of OH lines up to 132kv and complete substation construction from platform to commissioning
we use mainly Actom/ABB/Schneider (actom is our alstom hahaha) and SCADA we use Siemens or actom

link to google maps of my first substation
https://www.google.com/maps/@-25.701.../data=!3m1!1e3

link to google maps of the last solar plant 96mw we did the electrical assembly

JASPER PV PLANT MAPS
https://www.google.com/maps/@-28.309.../data=!3m1!1e3
Award winning site
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more in construction these days than electrical
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kevhuff26 View Post
Hello everyone,
I have been in the industrial side for about five years. The training has mainly consisted of on the job training. My favorite part is probably working with digital relays for motor and feeder protection.
Welcome to the do anything world of industrial.You say OJT which is best BUT medium voltage should have some official training if you can get it.

I did up to 4160 volt motors, but 99% of time it was control work not MV.

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Old 09-27-2019, 10:21 PM   #16
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I worked 23 years in the electrical distribution dept at the plant. Learned a lot about breakers and switchgear from 480 up to 138 KV Helped with some splicing and I was exposed to protective relays and large power transformers as well as GE generators.

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