Following on from my successful selection, I have decided to publish my application for the Keysight DAQ970A. There are a number of reasons for doing this;
1) First of all, and primarily, it lets everyone know how I intend to test out the device - any comments or concerns over this test methodology are more than welcome.
2) I am not the first to publish my application. Others have already done this, and I have enjoyed reading those and learnt myself from them.
3) It may be useful to those who are struggling with writing applications and give them some ideas on content and layout.
4) It gives others the opportunity to comment on my application technique and provide me with direct feedback.
5) It should alleviate concerns that I won't produce a RoadTest review, as I will look an even bigger @££$%^ now if I don't produce.
I do not claim to be particularly successful at winning RoadTests and I do not have a high number of applications. The vast majority of items for RoadTest are beyond my technical knowledge and also not in my main sphere of interest.
Overall, I have submitted five applications and two have been successful, the DAQ970A and the Megger MIT420 back in November 2017. I have written a few other applications, but have either not submitted those in the first place, or un-submitted them before the application time ended for one reason or another. A lot of those have been for items I am interested in, but have no knowledge, so would be applying from a learner point of view, and that is an application I am not comfortable with yet. I would say, if I had submitted these other applications, my success rate would be a lot lower.
Previously, my applications have been quite wordy with a few photos thrown in of the types of apparatus I was planning to utilise the RoadTest item on. They have also been quite extensive with many aspects being looked at through various test options. In this application, I consciously reduced the breadth of the tests down to two, but increased the level of detail within those tests. This is also the first time I have purposely created block diagrams of the proposed tests.
(b) Describe your overall technical background.
I am a test engineer working in the electricity generation sector in an operation and maintenance environment, covering multiple aspects of electrical apparatus such as transformers, switchgear, generators and protection systems.
I was trained as a craft apprentice in a production facility that manufactured high speed web offset printing presses and paper folding apparatus, working on the electrical wiring and testing of these machines. Following on from my apprenticeship I moved into an electrical fitters roll covering maintenance of plant in the construction industry and then power stations.
Working in the power industry I developed on from an electrical fitter carrying out maintenance activities at one site, into a technical support engineer covering multiple power stations across the UK providing testing services on HV switchgear, generators and protection systems. This work will frequently cover the monitoring of electrical apparatus using specialist data acquisition systems to measure their performance and functional operation.
This background allows me to offer an alternative roadtest, using real world applications to review the performance of the DAQ970A.
(c) Have you used a Data Acquisition System Before? If yes, please provide the manufacturer and model number And then describe how you used and your testing set up.
I have used both Hioki 8808 HiCorder as a standalone data recorder and an Omicron CMC356 in conjunction with Enerlyzer software to record the energisation of transformers and the operation of automatic voltage regulators and synchronisers on turbogenerators. I also utilise Iris TGA-B and RFA-II data collection units to monitor and analysis the condition of generator stator and rotor windings.
Predominantly these data recorders are connected onto the electrical systems on the secondary side of current and voltage transformers and then reconfigured to display the primary values they are recording. In the majority of instances, the data recording is initiated manually, based upon the activity within the plant. Below is a typical connection scheme for the Omicron CMC356 to monitor the energisation of a transformer.
This is what the connections look like in practice. On this occasion current clamps were used instead of current shunts.
The initial results are saved in the bespoke Enerlyzer software and can be analysed in basic format as seen below. Further analysis is carried out by exporting the files in a Comtrade format for analysis in specialist protection software such as ABB Win or more generalised software such as Matlab.
To record the data, the Enerlyzer would be setup and initiated manually, just prior to the main breaker being closed.
(d) Why did you apply for this particular roadtest?
I applied for this roadtest as I have a particular interest in utilising the DAQ970A to show how it can be utilised as an alternative to the more bespoke test apparatus such as the Omicron CMC356.
The majority of my experiences with data acquisition is in the use of systems designed to carry out specific monitoring functions, such as transient and harmonic analysis, partial discharge data collection and analysis of high voltage apparatus.
By utilising the DAQ970A, I hope to show that monitoring of electrical systems can be carried out successfully using more generalised test apparatus, that would offer a more affordable approach in comparison to the bespoke test apparatus.
(e) What is your testing-plan procedure (Be as specific as you can and use diagrams, schematics and any other media to describe.)
I would like to offer two electrical test projects for use with the DAQ970A as an alternative to the more obvious use of data acquisition on process control and monitoring.
In the first test project, I will aim to utilise the DAQ970A to test the electrical and mechanical aspects of industrial contactors. This will allow me to ascertain the condition of the main contacts based on injecting a high current through the contacts that will be measured along with the voltage drop across each set of contacts. I will then use the math functionality of the BenchVue software to calculate the resistance of each set of contacts.
I will utilise a thermocouple on each contact to measure the temperature for comparison against the calculated resistance values. Using this methodology, I will aim to show the benefits of this over using a thermographic camera, that would struggle to see through the body of the contactor and provide an accurate thermal assessment of the contacts.
Finally, I will employ a strain gauge on a bespoke adapter to measure the closing force of the contactor together with the voltage applied to the contactor coil. With this I will be able to see how lower coil voltage affects the performance for the contactor and the subsequent increase in voltage drop across the contacts and increase in temperature.
This concept can be applied to many different types and sizes of contactors and I will have a variety of new and used contactors and air circuit breakers available to me, from which I will be able to collect the test data and compare.
The second test application will be to utilise the DAQ970A in conjunction with my Keysight 53220A counter timer to monitor the performance of generator synchronisers. The DAQ970A will be used to monitor the two synchronising voltages and the control pulses from the synchroniser to the turbine governor and generator AVR. The 53220A will be utilised to monitor the phase angle between the two synchronising voltages and record how well matched they were when the synchroniser issues the breaker closure command.
I will look at the BenchVue software to see how the data recording can be utilised to include the results in reports written after completing the tests. To avoid affecting the integrity of plant, the synchroniser will be tested on a bench, with a third party voltage generator used to provide the two synchronising voltages.
With this project I will aim to show how the DAQ970A can be utilised in a more sophisticated test environment by linking together with the 53220A to collect data that the DAQ970A cannot.
(f) Have you participated in the element14 community? If so, provides some links to what you've done. If you are a new member, answer "New Member."
I have been a active member of element14 since September 2017. Since that time I have created 37 blogs, 7 discussions and posted 40 videos.
I have completed one previous roadtest on the Megger MIT420/2 insulation tester;
This had led to a series reviewing five other insulation testers, the latest of which was on an RS Pro unit;
I have entered two project14 competitions and volunteered to judge others that I have not entered. I regularly review other members blogs and projects and frequently comment to provide encouragement and support.
In previous applications, I have also added in more generalised aspects, such as doing a teardown, carrying out performance / calibration tests and discussing competitors offerings. In this application, I have also omitted these and just concentrated on the two main tests.
This is not to say that I will not include these as part of the review. I do have a Fluke 8846A, which is a well established 6.5 digit multimeter and I think it would be interesting to carry out some comparison readings between the two. I also enjoy carrying out performance tests on instruments, as this is where I learn how to use them better and learn about their quirks and limitations.
I have been interested in obtaining a data acquisition unit for some time and have looked at the purchase of Rigol M300 system. I may choose to take another look at that unit again and see how it compares to this Keysight offering and which would be better for my tasks. There is the option to compare the DAQ970A to the acquisition units that I have available to me, the Hioki 8808 is actually quite old now, so I did not feel it is a good comparison. On the other hand, the CMC356 is bespoke apparatus aimed at quite a niche market, but comes at a bit of a cost in comparison to the DAQ970A, so again, probably not a good comparison.
I will have a lot of other uses for this instrument, monitoring of the current amplifier I am playing around with is one that immediately springs to mind. I was also looking at a DAQ unit when carrying out winding tests on generators that I could use to record the current and voltages at the same time instead of hand writing down the results. A similar set-up can be utilised for testing voltage / current transducers. These were again omitted, in favour of shortening the application and giving more detail on just the two tests.
There is also the opportunity for me to develop the use of the DAQ970A with the two projects I submitted. Larger air circuit breakers are often timed and the current profile, mechanism movement and vibration monitored. The synchroniser test currently used does not have a dynamic mains signal. By utilising the DAQ970A to carry out the recording element, I may be able to utilise the synchroniser tester in a different way to produce a dynamic mains signal. These were also omitted from the application, in case it was felt that I was offering too much that could not be achieved within the time scale. I will look at these over time and blog them, but they are unlikely to be part of the RoadTest.
So there is my application. As to which aspects of my application made me successful over the other applicants, I do not specifically know. Since I have made multiple changes to my application method, I do not know which ones went against me in the past and which ones worked for me on this occasion. There is also the unknown aspect of the other offerings. This wasn't a widely contested RoadTest, and that may also have gone in my favour.
One last caveat. This is my own choice to publication my application, it is something I thought I would do quite a while ago if I was successful with another RoadTest application in the future. I did um and ahh over whether or not it was a good idea to write this blog. It is certainly not my intention to put any pressure on anyone else to publish their applications, they are free to do what ever they want to.