The Reliability of Power Connectors

Course Highlights | About the Instructor | Related Reports

Power connections can be the weak links in electrical transmission and distribution systems. Overheating of connections in both overhead and underground systems, often due to poor installation practices, are probably the most frequent sources of detriment to the overall performance of a power system. Accurate knowledge of the sources affecting the performance of power connections and means of reducing or eliminating these, can lead to substantial improvement in the network reliability within the allowable operating limits. To achieve these objectives engineers and technical personnel must understand the basic principles of power connections, and practical insights into degradation and failure mechanisms.

This workshop will address those critical areas which will enable the participants to learn how to specify connector requirements for selected applications. The workshop will also address the precautionary measures that must be taken to mitigate connector deterioration and ensure satisfactory electrical-joint performance in a wide range of environments. Course participants will benefit from the knowledge of engineers with extensive experience in design, testing and use of power connections. The instructors' background includes field investigation, power connection inspection/maintenance, assessment, nondestructive testing/evaluation techniques, reliability management of power connections, and innovative structural analysis and reliability methods. The workshop will provide guidelines on installation and maintenance practices to ensure the reliability of the entire power system.

Course Highlights

  • Basic Features of Electrical Contacts
    • Surface topography
    • True contact area in an electrical connector
    • Current transfer/contact resistance
    • Influence of applied mechanical
    • Load on contact resistance
    • Effect of surface roughness
  • Connector Design
    • Mechanical connectors
    • Compression connectors
    • Insulation piercing connectors
    • Wedge connectors
    • Bolted connectors
    • Welded connectors
  • Connection Degradation
    • Oxidation
    • Corrosion
    • Stress relaxation/creep
    • Fretting
    • Differential thermal expansion
    • Formation of intermetallics
    • Impact of connector degradation
  • Mitigating Measures
    • Surface preparation
    • Connection design
    • Contact area/pressure
    • Mechanical contact aids
    • Contact-aid compounds
    • Coating/plating
  • Field Experience
    • Overhead connections
    • Underground connections
    • Sub-Station connections
    • Comparative evaluation of connectors
    • Connector field performance
    • Problem sources and palliative measures
  • Installation Practices
    • Aluminium connectors
    • Copper connectors
    • Plated connectors
  • Testing Procedures & Standards
    • Relevance
    • Types of procedures
    • Performance criteria
  • Monitoring and Diagnostic Techniques
    • Thermal measurements
    • Resistance measurements
    • Torque/Load measurements
    • Ultrasonic measurements
  • New Trends in Design
    • Shape-memory alloys
    • Coating/plating
    • Welding
    • Mechanical contact aid devices

About the Instructor

Dr. Milenko Braunovic received his Dipl. Ing Degree in Technical Physics from the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1962 and his M.Met. and Ph.D. degrees in Physical Metallurgy from the University of Sheffield, England in 1967 and 1969 respectively.

During the last 30 years, he has been responsible for the development and management of a broad range of research projects for Hydro-Québec and CEA Technologies Inc. (CEATI) in the areas of electrical power contacts, connector design and evaluation, tribology and accelerated test methodologies. He also initiated and supervised the R&D activities in the field of shape-memory alloy applications in power systems. He presently acts as a Technology Advisor to CEATI.

Dr. Braunovic is the author of more than 100 papers and technical reports, including a number of contributions to encyclopaedias and books in his areas of scientific interests. He frequently lectures at seminars worldwide and has presented a large number of papers at international conferences.

Dr. Braunovic has been the recipient of the Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award, the Ralph Armington Recognition Award, and the IEEE CPMT Best Paper Award. He successfully chaired the 15th International Conference on Electrical Contacts held in Montreal in 1990, and was a Technical Program Chairman of the 18th International Conference on Electrical Contacts held in Chicago 1996. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, American Society for Metals (ASM), Materials Research Society (MRS), Planetary Society and American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM).

More Information

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