IEEE Northern Canada PES/IAS Jt. Chapter

July 9th, 2017

Northern Canada Section IAS-PES Chapter

Distribution and Power Transformers up to 30 MVA

Including facility tour at ABB Power Services (formerly PowerTran)

Lecturer: Mr. Guillermo Rodriguez, PES Distinguished Lecturer

This 3 day course (Sept 27-29) will provide a comprehensive overview of distribution and power transformers up to 30 MVA. The course will cover standards, theoretical, and practical aspects of transformers for several applications. The first day will also include a tour at ABB Power Services transformer shop.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction – basic transformers theory
  2. Transformer Standards
  3. Pole mounted Transformers
  4. Underground Distribution
  5. Pad mounted Transformers
  6. Submersible Transformers
  7. Distribution Transformer Accessories
  8. Transformer Tests
  9. Dry Transformers
  10. Small Power transformers (up to 30 MVA)
  11. Transformer Loss evaluation
  12. Transformer Maintenance
  13. Why transformers fail?

Thank you for the thoughtful and positive feedback from our “graduates”.

Archived eNotice for a detailed course agenda.


May 24th, 2017

The 2018 IEEE IAS Electrical Safety, Technical, Maintenance and Projects (ESTMP) Workshop takes place in Calgary, March 12-14, 2018.

The ESTMP Workshop provides a forum for exchanging and advancing industry knowledge in the areas of electrical safety, engineering, project optimization, maintenance and reliability of electrical systems. The Workshop is designed to share new and innovative concepts, best practices, successes and lessons learned that deliver value and stimulate innovation.

In addition to presentations, two panel discussions are planned, as well as half-day tutorials.  Potential topics include:
– Power system maintenance
– Project execution
– Safety
– Green Power
– Reliability in Design
Suggestions for other topics are welcome.

Printable Call for Presentations:

For more information, please visit:

Important Dates:
– Notice of intent to present – July 30, 2017
– Abstract of presentation due – September 30, 2017
– Notification of acceptance – October 15, 2017
– Draft Presentation due – December 15, 2017
– Final Presentation due – February 1, 2018

April 8th, 2017

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017, 6:00 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

IEEE Recommended Practice for Motor Protection in Industrial and Commercial Power Systems: Overview and What’s New!


Presented By: Lorraine K. Padden, PE and John A. Kay, C.E.T. 

Technical Seminar Abstract:

IEEE Std. 3004.8 covers the protection of motors used in industrial and commercial power systems. It is likely to be of greatest value to the power-oriented engineer with limited experience in the area of protection and control. It can also be an aid to all engineers responsible for the electrical design of industrial and commercial power systems. This recommended practice is an update to IEEE Std 242-2001 (Buff Book) chapter 10. A general update was made to the material from chapter 10 of the Buff Book. Material added or expanded includes details for reduced-voltage motor starting, recommended protection functions using multifunction motor protection relays for contactor controlled fused starters and breaker controlled starters along with single-line and three-line diagrams, adjustable speed drive applications, DC motor protection, motor bus transfer, partial discharge monitoring, and a detailed example of motor protection using a multifunction motor protection relay.

• A general overview will be presented highlighting the practical use of the recommended practice for selecting typical motor protection for low voltage and medium voltage motors.

• The use of multifunction motor protection relays is common place and the key setting differences will be highlighted for MV motors with contactor controlled fused starters vs. breaker controlled starters. Misapplication of protective settings can be detrimental to equipment and personnel.

• Protecting motors powered by Adjustable Speed Drives can be challenging. These challenges and recommended protection functions will be presented.

• Thought leaders in motor protection are identifying methods to detect motor problems prior to motor failure. These methods include vibration, winding temperature, on-line partial discharge, and others covered in the recommended practice.

• Information on reduced-voltage starting, motor bus transfer, applications in hazardous (classified) locations, and arc flash hazards for motors will be discussed.

Mak Hakim receiving the 2016 PES Outstanding Engineer Award from NCS Section chair Dr. Alex

U of A student branch co-chair receiving IEEE scholarship from Dr. Alex

Kelly presenting a token of appreciation to both Lorraine and John

Click here to download the presentation.

Click here to see the archived e-notice.

April 7th, 2017

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017, 6:00 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

API 541 5th Edition – Understanding the Changes and Updates to
the Petroleum Industry’s Premier AC Induction Motor Specification

Presented By: Bart Saur 

Concurrently, Tuesday, May 9th, 2017, 5:00 to 6:00pm

Guided tour of the University of Alberta’s District Energy System


Technical Seminar Abstract:

In December of 2014, the American Petroleum Institute (API) released its 5th Edition of the API Standard 541, Form-wound Squirrel Cage Induction Motors – 375 kW (500 Horsepower) and Larger specification. Since its first release as a recommended practice in 1972, API 541 has been commonly viewed as the premier specification for AC induction motors in the petroleum market.
This presentation will provide an overview of the API 541 specification starting with the content of the 4th Edition (which remains widely used in the industry), and then progressing to design, accessory and testing changes associated with the 5th Edition, before closing with a detailed look at the motor data sheet transformation. Questions will be welcomed throughout the seminar.


Bart accepting a token of appreciation from Blaine

Click to download the API 541 – IEEE-Edmonton presentation.

Click here for the archived e-notice.

March 17th, 2017

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017, 6:00 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

Effects of Modern Variable Speed Drives on Motor Winding Insulation


Presented By: Blake Lloyd, P.Eng., F.IEEE, Past-president IAS 

IAS Distinguished Lecturer Technical Seminar Abstract:

For over 70 years, researchers have understood that fast rise-time voltage surges from a circuit breaker closing can lead to an electrical breakdown of the turn insulation in motor stator windings.  Rapid advances in power electronic components in the past decade have lead to a new source of voltage surges.  Inverter-fed drivers (IFDs) of the pulse width modulated (PWM) type that use insulated-gate bipolar junction transistors (IGBTs) can create tens of thousands of fast rise-time voltage surges per second.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the large number of voltage surges from IFDs can lead to gradual deteriorations and eventual failure of the turn insulation—both in low voltage (less than 1,000V) and medium voltage (2.3 to 4.16kV) motors .  This presentation describes the characteristics of voltage source PWM drives Impact on random wound (LV) motor stators  as well as the impact on form wound (MV) stators.  It will also describe the relevant standards to qualify insulation systems for converter fed motors

Young Professional Opening Talk: Alberta`s Safety Code and Quality Management Plan

A high level view of how public safety is protected and the interfaces between engineering professionals and Alberta government Acts, Regulations, and processes.

Presented By: Carl Lam, P.Eng., M.IEEE, PES & IAS Chapter Chair 


Carl presents Blake with a token of appreciation


To download the presentation slides, please click here 

To view the archived event notice, please click here


February 14th, 2017

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, 6:00 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

Wednesday Back-to-Back Technical Seminars

First Hour: “Variable Voltage Transformers for MV Heater Control”

Presented By: Timothy Bichler

Technical Seminar Abstract:

Power electronic devices are the standard solution for low voltage heater control, however, cost and harmonic issues are amplified for medium voltage heater applications. To provide a medium voltage alternative at significantly less cost, this paper details modifications and testing that evolved part range, load tap changing, voltage regulators into full range variable voltage transformers for medium voltage heater control. From the initial minor modifications that converted autotransformers into 16 tap isolation transformers, the development moves on to inclusion of secondary base windings that bring 32 taps into play for refined control. Three-phase solutions and addition of medium voltage interrupters from the utility industry round out an economical solution for stand-alone, medium voltage heater operation that avoids the harmonic issues of other heater control technologies.

Second Hour: “Power and Instrument Transformer Failures – Root Causes and Modern Methods Used to Mitigate Risk”

Presented By: Dr. Tamer Mellik and Scott Basinger

Technical Seminar Abstract:

This presentation will examine recent power and instrument transformer failures involving primary circuit switching. Risk factors including circuit breaker current chop /re-strike, system configurations, transformer characteristics as well as transient and ferroresonance effects that contributed to these equipment failures will be explained. This presentation will share experiences gained from fifty world-wide distribution system studies using EMTP and PSCAD transient analysis software. The presenter will describe actual equipment failure case studies (power transformers and voltage transformers) to illustrate root causes, simulations, field measurements, and recommended solutions that have proven successful in mitigating breaker switching transients. This seminar is directed to those EE professionals involved in the design, specification, implementation and protection of critical industrial power systems with inherent characteristics associated with switching transient events.

From left to right: Piero Aquino-Meza (IAS/PES volunteer), Tamer Mellik, Scott Basinger, Tim Bichler

To download the presentation slides, please click here

To view the archived event notice, please click here

January 11th, 2017

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, 6:00 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

“Considerations in the Design, Construction, and Interconnection of Cogeneration Facilities”

Presented By: Mark Heigold, P.Eng., Rasheek Rifaat P.Eng., F.IEEE, Fred Ritter P.Eng., S.M.IEEE, Brian Wagner P.Eng., M.IEEE

Opening Talk: “Management Tools for the success of projects and teams” Presented By: Shagufta Tasneem

Technical Seminar Abstract:
With the gradual retirement of coal fired generation in Alberta, gas fired generation and renewables are growing.  In 2016 and for the first time in the history of power generation in Alberta, gas fired generating units installed capacity exceeded coal fire generating units’ capacity.  A significant part of the existing and planned gas fire generation in Alberta is configured as cogeneration with high efficiency and with dual forms of energy outputs (in many cases electricity and steam).
This presentation will discuss topics associated with cogeneration such as main configurations, Pros and Cons of available configurations, connections to the Alberta Interconnected System and experience and lesson learned.


  • Introduction, definitions and overall review
  • Critical aspects of the “process” of cogeneration
  • Critical aspects of the “Electrical” systems in cogeneration plants
  • Interconnection with the Alberta Interconnected Electrical System
  • Experience with installation, commissioning and operation of cogeneration facilities
  • Wrap up and conclusions


From left to right: Rasheek Rifaat,  Fred Ritter, Mark Heigold, Brian Wagner, Carl Lam (NCS IAS/PES chair)

Carl Lam presenting a token of appreciation to WIE speaker, Shagufta Tasneen


To download the presentation slides, please click here

To view the archived event notice, please click here

November 18th, 2016

All IEEE PES and IAS members are welcome to join us at the 2016 Northern Canada Section PES/IAS chapter annual general meeting on December 13th starting at 5:30-7:00PM.


  1. Call to Order
  2. Introductions
  3. Review order of business
  4. Chair’s/Vice-chair report:
    1. 2016 activities summary
    2. Financial status and reporting
  5. November event close out
    1. Review attendance
    2. Review feedback from survey
    3. Discuss successes and improvements
  6. Finance
    1. Financial standing review
    2. 2017 budget
  7. 2017 Plan
    1. Activity assignments for Calgary-organized seminars
    2. Planning additional Edmonton area specific technical seminars to meet high performing chapter criteria
      1. Local subject matter experts
      2. Distinguished lecturers
    3. Stretch goals for chapter volunteers
    4. Succession planning for officer roles
  8. Other business
  9. Adjourn

Location and map can be found on the registration link. Dinner will be provided. There is no charge for attendance but please register so that we can get enough food for everybody:


Thank you, hope to see you there.

October 26th, 2016


“Protective Relays: Principles of Applications”

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016, 6 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

The Facility Tour will start at 5pm and will precede this presentation


Technical Seminar:

“Protective Relays: Principles of Applications” by Rasheek Rifaat


Since the inception of industrial and power distribution electrical systems, coordination tasks were performed to ensure that protection systems would operate with the necessary reliability, security and speed.  Meanwhile, protective devices have also gone through significant advancements from the electromechanical devices to the multifunctional, numerical devices of present day. As the protected components of the electrical systems have changed in size, configuration and their critical roles in the power system supply, some protection aspects need to be revisited (i.e the use of protection systems to reduce arc flash energy in distribution systems).

This presentation reviews the established principles and the advanced aspects of the selection and application of protective relays in the overall protection system, multifunctional numerical devices application for power distribution and industrial systems, and addresses some key concerns in selecting, coordinating, setting and testing of smart relays and systems.


Young Professional (YP) Presentation

The Rosetta Mission”


An overview of The Rosetta Mission, its difficulties and successes encountered along the way.


Facilities Tour

Guided tour of the University of Alberta’s District Energy System”


The University of Alberta has one of Canada’s largest district energy systems.  Come and hear about how utilities services are centralized and how this leads to cost savings and reduced environmental impact.  Tour the Heating Plant which generates steam for heating the campus and has two steam turbine generators.  Tour the Cooling Plant, where medium voltage chillers produce chilled water for the campus.  Tour the underground corridors and see the mini- motorbikes trades staff use. See the 13.8kV switchgear, switches, cables, protective relaying and metering.  Learn how the U of A’s 13.8 kV power distribution system topology provides a high degree of flexibility and reliability.



Dr Yunwei (Ryan) Li being presented the Outstanding Engineer Award by Alexandre Nassif


Peter Rothwell being presented the Outstanding Volunteer Award by Alexandre Nassif


The IAS/PES chapter volunteers with the keynote presenter (centre).  From left to right: Peter Rothwell, Alexandre Nassif, Rasheek Rifaat, Carl Lam, Shagufta Tasneem


To download the presentation slides, please click here

To view the archived event notice, please click here

For event assistance, please contact Alex Nassif or Peter Rothwell.

August 29th, 2016

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016, 6:15 to 8:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

“Getting on Top of High Voltage Grounding

Presented by: Carl Moller

Opening Talk: Celestial Batteries

Technical Seminar Abstract:

Grounding in the context of high voltage facilities is one of the primary systems integral to the safe operation of the electrical system. Designing effective and economical ground grids requires a sound understanding of engineering principles, electrical circuits, field theory, ground testing, and good judgment. Grounding systems are everywhere and their interaction with each other is often overlooked or underestimated. This seminar will introduce some of the fundamental concepts of grounding in a high voltage context, and provide some practical approaches to solving grounding problems.


Carl Moller accepting a token of appreciation from Colin Madsen for his presentation.


Left to right: Carl Moller, main presenter; William York, YP presenter; Colin Madsen, chapter representative


The archived E-notice can be found below: