e-News for power industry leaders

Issue 26 - June 2021

Dear Reader,

The end of another financial  year and unfortunately COVID is still causing issues and disruption to meetings and planned events globally.

This edition of ITL summarises the work of three CIGRE working groups in which Australians have been involved and who have recently published their final Technical Brochure.

  • TB 835 considers "Rural Electrification".  This brochure provides a useful framework and relevant examples of innovative solutions for edge of grid and stand alone power supplies.  

  • TB 765 provides a comprehensive and valuable reference document on “Understanding and mitigating corrosion”.  Inappropriate management of this issue can lead to very significant cost impacts on the industry.

  • TB 819 gives a timely review of “IEC 61850 based substation automation systems – Users’ expectations and stakeholders’ interactions”.  As the global standard, it is useful to understand how various parts of the world are progressing in terms of adoption.

It is unfortunate that in our 100th year, CIGRE has again been required to restructure the 2021 biennial Paris Session to an online virtual event.  This year there are some changes with multiple streams being run  from 'TV Studios' set up within the Palais du Congres which is aimed at providing a better viewing and participation experience for delegates.

In regard to our own events, we too have been impacted with travel and gathering restrictions and this year offered our annual transformer workshop as a virtual online event which was well attended.  We have had some requests to make the presentations from this available to non delegates, so we are working on an online system which will allow for the purchase and viewing of these and other CIGRE offerings from the comfort of your office or lounge chair. We are aiming to be be able to offer this service soon, so keep an eye on our latest news on the web or subscribe to our twitter/linked in to keep updated.

We do have our CIDER (Conference on the Integration of Distributed Energy Resources) planned as a physical event (subject to any further Travel or COVID event restriction issues) in Adelaide Nov 2 and 3rd.  Information on this event will be updated on our event website.

Our popular annual presentations on the work of our technical panels will be held toward the end of November, preferrably as an in-person event, whilst our AGM this year will be held toward the end of September as an online event, similar to that of last year.  Dates and information  for both these events will be available over the next month or so.

This month we are launching a new CIGRE Australia initiative -  the NGN CIGRE Ambassador program. 
This program is aimed at supporting some of our NGN members who are moving out of the NGN (due to the NGN age limit)  to be able to continue their involvement in CIGRE activities and aid in the promotion of CIGRE within their own organisations.  Participants will undertake some basic training in social media marketing, project management and presentation and will be supported and provided with CIGRE information and resources.

This is an exciting initiative with four CIGRE Australia members participating and helping to develop the pilot program.  Matthew Zillmann (Energy Qld, Brisbane), Robert Li (Transgrid) Sydney, Tian Ting (AusNet Services) Melbourne and Bing Lin (Jacobs) Adelaide.    

So, whilst the COVID restrictions and lockdowns have meant that we have not been able to offer the physical events and meetings that we would normally offer, there is still plenty happening and CIGRE both regionally and internationally continues to promote the sharing of technical solutions.

Thanks again for reading and your support and we look forward to seeing you and your colleagues participating in one of our events soon.

Best Regards

Terry Killen 
Chief Executive
CIGRE Australia.

Technical Editor - Phil Southwell


WG C6.38 – “Rural Electrification”

The expansion of rural electrification initiatives around the globe will play a crucial role in accelerating the provision of electricity to rural communities and businesses, and will help to connect the 900 million people worldwide that currently do not have access.  Over the past 5-10 years, many of these communities have undergone transformations to increase the percentage of power supplied by solar, wind and batteries.  In May 2021, Working Group C6.38 – “Rural Electrification”, published TB 835.  Led by Kurt Dedekind (South Africa) and Secretary Jacqui Mills (Australia), this brochure provides a useful framework and relevant examples for consideration.  Other Australian members are Shervin Fani, Glen Summers and Sam Steinberg.


WG D1.71 – “Understanding and mitigating corrosion”.

Corrosion is a natural process that is continuously active and impacts much of what we produce and use in the electrotechnical community. Due to the distributed nature of equipment and its criticality, the impact of corrosion can be costly and threaten the reliability of power delivery. In recognition of the importance of this impact, WG D1.71 has produced Technical Brochure 765 “Understanding and mitigating corrosion” led by Joe Tusek, who was a recent convenor of Australian Panel D1.  The brochure provides a comprehensive overview of the basics of corrosion and is a valuable reference document.


WG B5.50 – IEC 61850 based Substation Automation Systems

Virtually every utility and electro intensive consumer in Australia has the intention to move to IEC 61850 for their Substation Automation Systems. IEC 61850 is the global standard for communication networks and systems for power utility automation. It standardises and contextualises data, providing a critical link to expert systems of the future. The benefits of reduced costs and increased performance are clear but like any change the transition can be difficult. As a consequence, global achievements against the long-term goals are quite varied, with some concerned that the standard is not ready.  WG B5.50 has recently published TB 819 “IEC 61850 based substation automation systems – Users’ expectations and stakeholders’ interactions”.  The Australian member on the WG was Ian Young who produced this article.