In Dutch, there is the saying “to measure is to know”, but all over the world power system engineers know the importance of current measurements. With some of the obvious applications being the acquisition of data and power flow analysis, current measurements are also used for protecting the system against different kinds of faults.
Even though not all power system engineers know Dutch, they all do know the Dutch company ELEQ, for the very same reason as mentioned above. ELEQ designs and builds current transformers, devices that can transform a large current in one conductor to a small, measurable current in the second conductor (See header image for an example).
On October 3rd, the SSD was invited to visit the engineering office and first factory of ELEQ in Steenwijk, Overijssel. As a pleasant surprise, our group of 21 did not only consist of students but also two alumni, of which one is an ex-board member of the SSD and son of ELEQ’s general manager! Thank you Reinout for sharing your experiences of the path from an EPE student up to graduation, and what the world of engineering has to offer.
The excursion to ELEQ consisted of a full programme of activities. A relatively short talk about the company’s business allowed us to continue quickly to the technical parts; a very interesting lecture about the principles of current transformers which would be just a little too specific to be taught at the university, and therefore a great addition. This was followed by a factory tour where the fabrication of current transformers, from small ones to very large ones used in high voltage switchgear, takes place. We ended at the testing area where the latest innovation of ELEQ was explained and, naturally, an experiment was carried out that produced a lot of sparks.
The whole day led to the most exciting part of the excursion: designing, building and testing our own current transformers! With some basic requirements and the equations from the lecture in the morning session, the number of turns, transformer core, and wire thickness could be determined. One of the most experienced factory workers then wound the wire around the core, and finally, we passed by two testing stations to ensure that the current transformer worked as required.
Thank you ELEQ for this unique day, the smooth organization and the beautiful souvenir of a current transformer!