Monthly Archives: October 2020

Lightning Phenomena

NGN Webinar: Lightning Phenomena & Transmission Network Transients

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Lightning Phenomena & Transmission Network Transients.

A joint technical Webinar organised by the NGN sections of the United Kingdom and Austria

The Next Generation Network (NGN) seeks to facilitate a successful transition into the power systems industry for early-career professionals and students by providing technical resources and networking opportunities for personal and technical development.  Two subject matter experts will present current research activities in the fields of lightning research and voltage transients in transmission networks.

Date and Time: 12th November 2020 | 14:00 – 15:30 (BST) | 15:00 – 16:30 (CEST), Platform: Zoom



14:00 – 14:05 (BST) Opening
14:05 – 14:25 Introduction of CIGRE NGN AT & UK 14:25 – 14:55 Speech I by Lukas Schwalt
14:55 – 15:25 Speech II by Diptargha Chakravorty 15:25 – 15:30 Closing

To register click the button below

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Lightning Phenomena in the Alpine Region of Austria – Lukas Schwalt

In the first part of this presentation, an introduction about thunderstorm formation and lightning physics will be given and secondly the key findings of Dr. Schwalt’s PhD thesis “Lightning Phenomena in the Alpine Region of Austria” will be presented. The motivation for the PhD thesis was to gather lightning ground truth data for Austria out of on-site measurements, because this area shows high lightning activity. For this purpose, real processes of cloud-to-ground flashes were recorded with a high-speed video camera and an electric field measurement system. Analyses of this exclusive data set provide insights about lightning characteristics in general and for the alpine region in particular.


Effect of Network Parameters on the Transient Over-Voltage Phenomenon During System Restoration – Diptargha Chakravorty

System restoration is currently a transmission-led approach of starting large conventional generators with self-start capability and energising a skeleton network. Increasingly, transmission connected fossil-fuelled generators are decommissioned around the world to meet the emissions targets. This makes it imperative to explore the possibility of using distribution connected DERs to support the whole system restoration.  However, energisation of network elements such as circuits and transformers pose significant challenges such as switching transients, Temporary Over Voltage (TOV) etc which can reduce the available options to restore a network and lead to a higher number of circuit breaker switching to avoid damaging equipment. This presentation will discuss the impact of different network parameters such as the strength of the system, saturation characteristic of transformers etc on the TOV and ways to manage it during restoration.



Lukas Schwalt is a CIGRE NGN AT member and he is a Post-Doc researcher at Graz University of Technology, Institute of High Voltage Engineering and Systems Performance. After completing his master in Electrical Engineering at Vienna University of Technology, he successfully defended his PhD thesis “Lightning Phenomena in the Alpine Region of Austria” at Graz University of Technology in 2019. His main areas of research include cloud-to-ground lightning, measurements of lightning discharges, performance of lightning detection systems, lightning protection concepts and transient voltages on power lines. He is also involved in the Austrian Association for Electrical Engineering in the field of lightning protection, CIGRE B2 and C4 and served as the technical secretary for „CIGRE International Colloquium on Lightning and Power Systems ICLPS 2019” in Delft, Netherlands. He was awarded the “Young Scientist Award” at the International Conference of Lightning Protection ICLP in 2018.

Dr Diptargha Chakravorty is a Senior Consultant with TNEI Services. He is an electrical engineer with over 8 years of experience in the power industry, including a 4-year PhD on the impact of demand response on system stability from Imperial College London. He specialises in modelling and analysis of transmission and distribution networks and automation of system studies. His core expertise includes stability analysis, grid integration of renewable energy and power electronics converter control. He is currently the vice-chair of the Cigre UK NGN steering committee.


Membership survey

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Your feedback is important to us as our association tries to respond in these uncertain times and as we look to the future were our lives will inevitably be different.  In return for your time, if you agree to provide your contact details, your name will be placed in a draw for an iPad mini.  

A draw will take place and the winner announced at the CIGRE UK AGM on the 11th November 2020. This survey will close at noon on Friday 30th October.  

We are looking forward to your input to help us shape CIGRE UK for the future.  It should only take 10 minutes or less to complete.  We appreciate your participation!

Click the button below to go to the survey.

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Webinar image

CIGRE UK November Technical Webinar

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WPD Primary Network Power Analysis (PNPQA) Project Interim Findings

An Online Technical Webinar

Wednesday 4th November 2020 | 12.30 to 13:30


 Western Power Distribution’s (WPD’s) Primary Networks Power Quality Analysis (PNPQA) project aims to reduce uncertainties around the power quality (PQ) within primary distribution networks and facilitate increased integration levels of low carbon technologies (LCTs). The project is funded via Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) and is achieving its aims through implementing a monitoring and analysis system for assessing the PQ and harmonic content of waveforms in distribution network, verifying the accuracy of the network equipment used for PQ monitoring, and using modelling to predict the future PQ impacts of increased integration of LCTs.

This webinar will provide you an insight into the project and some of the findings gathered so far, including:

• Temporal and spatial variations of power quality across a distribution network.

• In-situ power quality characteristics of LCTs including solar PV, energy storage, wind, and electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

• Power quality changes seen through the COVID-19 response.

• Results of laboratory testing of the harmonic response of voltage transformers used for power quality monitoring.

• Development and use of a vendor-agnostic common platform for combining power quality data from multiple monitors.

To Register for this event

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Speaker Profile’s


Screenshot 2020-10-21 at 13.58.45Dr James King joined Nortech Management Ltd. in 2017 as a Network Innovation Engineer, having previously worked as a Power Systems Engineer at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. At Nortech he is focused on applying innovation to electricity distribution networks, including development of new monitoring and control systems and the delivery of innovation projects for network operators.

James has held several positions in CIGRE UK’s Next Generation Network (NGN) including leading the NGN as Chair from 2013 to 2015. He has a PhD in power system control and machine learning from Newcastle University, an MEng degree from Durham University, and is the author and co-author of several technical papers on power system topics.

This Webinar series is kindly sponsored by Burns & McDonnell


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Annual General Meetings & Technical Presentations

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Join us online on the 11th November 2020 for the Next Generation Network Annual General Meeting and the Wider CIGRE UK Annual General Meeting which will be followed by a series of technical presentations from our regular members



09:00 – 10:00 Next Generation Network Annual General Meeting – Members of the NGN / Student section are welcome to join

13:00 – 14:30 CIGRE UK Annual General Meeting – All members of CIGRE are welcome to join.

14:30 – 14:45 Comfort Break

14:45 – 15:05 E-CIGRE C6 Session Highlights and Virtual Power Plants-Samuel Jupe

15:05 – 15:25 B4 Power Electronics and their Applications on the Electricity Network – James Yu; Liang Jun

15:25 – 15:45 Achieving Net Zero – Challenges Facing Substations and HV Installations – Mark Osborne

15:45 – 16:00 Q&A

16:00 – 16:20 B5 E-CIGRE Session Paris Update– John Wright

16:20 – 16:40 Young Members Technical Participation in E-CIGRE– Giulio Richard; Gen Li

16:40 – 16:55 Q&A

16:55 – 17:00 Closing Remarks




Cisco Webex Events – upon registering to attend you will receive and Eventbrite confirmation which will contain the necessary Webex login details.



Please note separate registration for the NGN AGM and the wider CIGRE AGM is essential to obtain the relevant Webex login details


To register to the NGN AGM

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To Register for the wider CIGRE UK AGM & technical presentations

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Webinar image

CIGRE UK Webinar Series – October 2020

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Optimising Power Transmission & Distribution from the Sky to the Sea

An Online Technical Webinar

Wednesday 14th October 2020 | 12.30 to 13:30

To celebrate the contributions of UK young members to CIGRE e-session and achievements with online sessions successfully delivered since the COVID-19, CIGRE UK has invited four speakers from CIGRE UK Next Generation Network (NGN) to showcase Young Members’ Technical Excellence. The webinar will cover a variety of topics from the Optimising Overhead Line Capacity, Active Protection Scheme for Islanded Microgrids, Investigation for hybrid direct current circuit breakers and the development of a long-term ageing test of Subsea Power Cables.


Opportunities for Increasing the Power Transfer Capacity of OHLs by Considering the Thermal and Mechanical Aspects of Conductor Design | Mohammed Al Aqil

It is observed globally that energy sectors have been obliged to a massive energy revolution since renewable energy sources were introduced. This has entailed the development of Renewable Energy Strategies and penetrating high-shares of Clean Energy Sources into the bulk electrical network. Consequently, utilities try to reinforce the electrical transmission networks by building new overhead lines (OHLs). However, this traditional solution is expensive and requires permissions from relevant local regulatory agencies to be granted the proper right-of-way (ROWs). In fact, it involves gaining social acceptance of the OHLs infrastructure to ensure visual amenity. To avoid such lengthy procedural route, utilities try to find more flexible, economic, and faster-to-implement reinforcement methods. Such strategic implementations can be achieved by re-conductoring with bigger size conductors or employing conductors with new technology that enables operation at higher temperatures such as High-Temperature Low-Sag (HTLS). In this presentation, the impact and challenges associated with connecting high-shares of renewables into the network are reviewed and the possible potential solutions to optimise the performance of the existing overhead line system are summarised, particularly advancements in overhead line conductor technologies. More specifically, capturing the thermal and mechanical aspects in the assessment of the variuos conductors’ complex designs to optimise the performance of entire OHL system and increase its power transfer capacity ultimately.

An Active Protection Scheme for Islanded Microgrids | Asif Khan

This work presents a novel and effective protection strategy that coordinates the protection actions with the control strategy of inverter interfaced distributed generators (IIDGs) to address the protection challenges that have negative impacts on the operation of islanded microgrids. The proposed method intentionally refines the controllers’ actions of the IIDGs during faults to inject specific harmonics to the system, which can be analysed by the protection relays for reliable and accurate detection and isolation of faults. The advantages of the proposed protection scheme are: (1) the algorithm is relatively simple to implement; (2) fault identification in the network does not depend on fault current magnitude; (3) the scheme is not affected by the network’s bidirectional power flow; and (4) the scheme does not require any communication to operate properly and therefore, is relatively more reliable and cheaper than communications-based schemes.

Investigation of key components for hybrid direct current circuit breakers | Xiaoze Pei

Medium voltage direct current grids have attract significant interest because of rapid development of distributed renewable generation (such as PV) and DC loads (such as electric vehicle and date centre). Performing DC current breaking is much more challenging than in AC systems because there is no natural zero-crossing of the current to aid fault isolation. DC circuit breakers are key enabling components for meshed DC grids. The key design targets for them are operating speed and efficiency. This talk will present the study of key components for hybrid DC circuit breakers, including development of solid-state main breaker and fast operating actuator for the mechanical switch.

A Walk-through of a long-term ageing test of Subsea Power Cables | Jingyi Wan

The growth in the market for offshore wind farms, has resulted in wet, or semi-wet, cable designs now being widely deployed in submarine power array networks. Such applications are today typically at 66 kV, using higher electrical stress levels than traditional Medium Voltage applications, reducing conservatism. Additionally, the operating medium is saline rather than tap water. Wet age testing protocols undertaken by most cable suppliers, and as specified in relevant standards have primarily been carried out on scaled 20 kV or 15 kV rated cable samples and in tap water, to suit the historically dominant market for underground applications. The CIGRE Technical Brochure 722 (April 2018) ‘Recommendations for Additional Testing for Submarine Cables from 6 kV to 60 kV (Um = 72.5 kV)’, recognises these constraints, and recommends wet-age testing in saline conditions. Furthermore, it calls for the ‘cable community to publish findings in the above areas’, towards re-evaluating what the industry requirements should be. Previous experience with test infrastructure and a comprehensive programme of long-duration testing will be shared. The test methodology summarises the results of the full-scale testing in saline conditions, and compares these results with results of conventional, scaled testing. Conclusions are then drawn, including implications for recommendations for future wet-age testing specifications for submarine cable systems will be presented.


To Register for this event

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Speaker Profile’s


Mohammed A AlAqilMohammed A. AlAqil received his MSc degree (Hons.) in Electrical Power System Engineering from The University of Manchester, UK in 2015 and currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree. He is a former Electrical Engineer at Nationalgrid of Saudi Arabia. He has been appointed recently as a Visiting Lecturer with the University of Chester and holds a position as a Lecturer with the College of Engineering, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. He is a Corresponding Member of CIGRE WG B2.79 and has been engaging with his supervisor (Dr Kostas Kopsidas) in several industrial projects related to Electro-mechanical aspects of overhead lines design and optimisation (uprating/upgrading) in collaboration with CEATI (Canada), National Grid Electricity Transmission (UK), and Energy Supply Board International (Ireland).


Md Asif Uddin KhanMd Asif Uddin Khan is currently perusing his PhD degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. His research area is associated with fault analysis, control, and protection of microgrid. He is also involved in several industrial projects with National Grid and Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong. Before he started his PhD in December 2018, he was also associated with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh as a Lecturer from September 2015. He taught the courses relating to analogue electronics and devices, and power systems to undergraduate level students. In 2017, he completed his MSc degree with Distinction in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde. For his MSc program, he was awarded with prestigious Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. He has several Scopus indexed publications and presented his research works in different international conferences.


Dr Xiaoze PeiDr Xiaoze Pei received her PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester in 2012. She became a research associate at the University of Manchester before she joined the University of Bath as a lecturer in February 2017. Dr Pei is currently leading the applied superconductivity group. She has extensive research experience in designing and building of superconducting fault current limiters and fast operating vacuum circuit breakers. Her research interests include electrical power applications of superconductivity and hybrid DC circuit breaker. Dr Pei is a member of CIGRE Working Group B4_A3.86 and a committee member of UK magnetics society.


Jingyi WanJingyi Wan is the Chair of CIGRE UK Next Generation Network, a chartered engineer. She is currently working as a HV cable systems specialist in Mott MacDonald, with expertise in onshore and offshore Power Cable System electrical design, manufacture and project management. Before this role, she worked as a product development engineer for a subsea power cable supplier, JDR Cable Systems for four years, where she worked with the team to qualify and supply the cables the industry’s first commercial 66kV array cable project. Jingyi is a young expert member of CIGRE Working Group B1.73.

This Webinar series is kindly sponsored by Burns & McDonnell


B1 Technical Liaison Meeting 2020

CIGRE UK B1 Technical Liaison Meeting

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Study Committee B1 scope

Within its technical field of activity, Study Committee B1 addresses topics throughout the asset management life-cycle phases; from conception, through research, development, design, production, deployment, operation, and end-of life. At all stages, technical, safety, economic, environmental and social aspects are addressed as well as interactions with, and integration into, the evolving power system and the environment. All aspects of performance, specification, testing and the application of testing techniques are within scope, with a specific focus on the impact of changing interactions and demands due to evolution of the power system. Life cycle assessment techniques, risk management techniques, education and training are also important aspects.

Technological field of activity

  • AC and DC insulated power cable systems for power transmission, distribution and generation connections on land and in submarine applications.
  • Power cable systems associated with micro-grids and the integration of distributed resources.


UK liaison meeting

The purpose of the meeting is to provide a high level overview of the ongoing activities in CIGRE related to Insulated Cables. Technical Brochures published in the last year will be highlighted, along with a status update on all of the active B1 Working Groups where the UK has an interest. You will also hear about the latest new work items approved by the B1 Study Committee during the Paris e-session, and to provide feedback on possible future work items that could be proposed in the future. In addition to information about the latest work within B1, we will also be joined by the UK Regular Member for D1 who will provide a summary of activities relevant to the B1 audience.


Joining the meeting

Simply register from this page and you will be sent an email confirmation that will include the details of the CISCO WebEx login. Please keep this safe as you will need this on the day of the meeting.


To Register for this event

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10:00 – Welcome from UK Regular Member (James Pilgrim, Orsted)

10:10 – Introduction to Study Committee B1

10:20 – Overview of Technical Brochures published in 2020

10:30 – Working Group status updates

11:30 – 10 minute coffee break

11:40 – New TF/WG approved by the B1 Study Committee

12:00 – Review of status of relevant D1 Working Groups

12:20 – Proposals for future B1 activities

12:30 – Close


Speaker Profiles

JAPIL bio imageJames Pilgrim, CIGRE UK B1 Regular Member

James is currently Lead Cable Specialist for Orsted, working across both inter-array and export cable circuits for wind farm projects around the world. Prior to joining Orsted, he worked in cable system R&D for 13 years at the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory at the University of Southampton, beginning with his PhD studies in 2007. James has commenced his term as the B1 Regular Member for the UK with effect from the August 2020 Study Committee meeting. He has been active in B1 working groups for some years, contributing to B1.35, B1.50, B1.56, B1.64 and B1.72 working groups. In addition to his activities in CIGRE, he is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has served as a Guest Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery.



Sutton Simon 2019Simon Sutton, CIGRE UK D1 Regular Member

Simon has over 20 years’ experience in the electricity transmission and distribution industry predominantly in the cables sector. He has worked in the cable materials supply industry, as the cables policy manager for a transmission utility and in the research sector. He also has interests in condition monitoring, diagnostic testing, forensics and asset management.

Simon now works as Technical Director for Doble and is based in the UK. His responsibilities include business strategy, external relationships and coordination of technical activities across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Simon hold a degree in Physics and PhD in polymers both from the University of Reading. He is the UK Member of the CIGRE Study Committee on Materials and Emerging Test Techniques, and Convenor of the CIGRE Strategic Advisory Group on Solids. He is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton.