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Kurt Blowes

6.30 AM

Woken up by alarm to a brisk morning in Tamworth. A little far from home but there is a buffet breakfast waiting downstairs with my name on it.

I am in Tamworth after travelling up yesterday for a fault investigation on a failed Capacitor bank can. Bulging on one capacitor can be identified during a visual inspection as a result of the Protection tripping the Capacitor bank. The fault was decided to be investigated further after testing of the Capacitor bank showed no problem, however, an issue was identified following an analysis of the Protection fault records. Simulations were run and the results were found to be similar to the protection fault records supporting the theory that there were repeated spark overs across one row of capacitor elements in one of the capacitor cans.

Capacitor cans

7.10 AM

Time for the long 5 minute drive to the Tamworth Depot.

7.15 AM

Introduced to some local staff. It is always good to meet staff face to face having talked to them over emails and phone calls many times.

8.00 AM

Meet with team for risk assessment and discussion on hazards, controls and how the day’s work will proceed.

8.15 AM

Carried out inspection and analysis of the dismantled Capacitor Can. Closer inspection showed evidence of low energy discharges to the tank at the ends of the top 3 or 4 capacitor element. This further supported both the simulation and protection fault record findings.

Burnt capacitor cans

Each Capacitor element is a long, flat sheet consisting of Dielectric and foil layers. This is then rolled up to form each element. The two foil layers are offset to avoid shorting once the ends of all the elements have been soldered together.

I had previously never seen inside a capacitor can, however I now have a good understanding of the internal construction as well as fault finding of capacitors.

11.40 AM

Finished gathering evidence for Investigation. Brief discussion with team on findings.

11.50 AM

Time to get on the road back to Newcastle.

12.30 PM

Taking care of lunch and fatigue management with a stop in at Wallabadah on the way back to Newcastle. The burgers are worth stopping in for.

Burger for lunch

1.00 PM

On the road again. Travelling back with Senior Support Engineer allowed time to be able to reflect on the findings and discuss any technical questions. Lots of time to pick out as much knowledge as I can from him.

4.00 PM

Arrived back at Newcastle Depot. Finalised the car pool booking and returned the keys just in time to call it a day. 7.47 hours done, got to love a working a 9 day fortnight.

6.30 PM

Whip up some dinner.

8.00 PM

Fit in a gym session now that it should be a little less busy.

9.00 PM

Finish the day off with a shower and bed, ready to piece together all of the Information gathered from the investigation the following morning.