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IEEE Honors Michel Duval for Engineering Work Done to Prevent Power Failures

Michel Duval, an internationally known engineer whose pioneering contributions to condition monitoring of high-voltage transformers help diagnose and prevent equipment faults that can cause power failures, is being honored by IEEE with the 2012 IEEE Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award.

The award, sponsored by the Robert and Ruth Halperin Foundation in memory of Herman and Edna Halperin, and the IEEE Power & Energy Society, recognizes Duval for development and leadership in the condition monitoring of high-voltage power transformers and related equipment. The award will be presented on 13 March 2012 at the IEEE/ Power & Energy Society Transformer Committee Meeting in Nashville, TN.

Duval is internationally renowned as a leader in the field of dissolved gas analysis (DGA) for condition monitoring of oil-filled power equipment such as high-voltage transformers. DGA, which is the analysis of dissolved gasses in transformer oil, is one of the most reliable techniques for recognizing abnormal behavior in transformers while the equipment is in use. Condition monitoring helps prevent service failures and aids power companies in asset management of critical equipment. The “Duval Triangle” method has become an indispensable tool for DGA and is used by hundreds of power utilities, service laboratories and manufacturers of on-line gas monitors worldwide. Duval is the originator of gas-in-oil standards for evaluating DGA accuracy and has pushed for their commercial adoption.

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DGA’s use as a standard method for evaluating the condition of operating equipment is largely due to the efforts of Duval. He was a co-developer of the Hydran hydrogen-in-oil on-line monitor for transformers. Approximately 30,000 of these monitors have been sold worldwide. Duval also established the typical levels of gas formation observed in various types of electrical equipment in service and the probability of equipment failure as a function of in-service gas formation. This information is now used as a reference by industry. His gas-in-oil standards have been commercialized since 1999 and are used worldwide.

Duval’s “triangle method” was first presented in 1974. This state-of-the art method for interpreting dissolved gasses in oil is applied when an increased level of a combustible gas or other suspicious symptom is detected within an operating transformer. When gas concentration data are plotted on the triangular coordinate system, the fault zone within which the data point is located indicates the likely fault type that is causing the combination of gas concentrations. Duval’s method has been specified in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 60599 (1999) for DGA interpretation and will be included in the revised version of IEEE Guide C57.104 (Draft Guide for Interpretation of Gasses in Oil-Immersed Transformers).

An IEEE Life Fellow and Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, Duval’s honors include the IEC’s 1906 Award (2005), the International Council on Large Electric Systems’ (CIGRE) Technical Committee Award (2004) and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal (2000). Duval received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Toulouse, France and his doctorate in polymer science from the University of Paris, France. Duval has served as the leader of many IEC and CIGRE Working Groups on standards pertaining to DGA and as a member of IEEE Transformer Committee Working Groups concerning revisions to IEEE guides on DGA. Duval is currently a senior research scientist with Hydro Quebec Institute of Research, Quebec, Canada.


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