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Developments in Electrical Engineering

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The CIBSE SA chapter meeting on Wednesday 18 April 2019 was held at NHP offices In Keswick.



Ross De Rango, NHP Product Development Manager provided a presentation on the impacts of the current transition from the internal combustion engines to electric power (EVs) in road transport.

Ross pointed out that per kilometre electricity is up to 85% cheaper and as purchase price reduces the total cost of ownership is also reducing. Some EVs are already the cheaper option.

  • In Aust. 50% of new vehicles sold in 2030 will be EVs.
  • VW have announced securing battery supply worth $60B and that they will have 16 factories producing EVs by 2022 (three years!).

Charging will generally be overnight at home and probably off-peak rates will be activated to encourage (J-Tariff isn’t dead!) but could also be provided at work or shopping centres as incentive.
Commonly this would be via

  • A/C – up to 7kW – 10-30A single phase
    • GPO = 2.4kw = 10 - 12km per hr of charge
    • 7kW charger = 30 - 40km per hr of charge
  • DC – 50kW or higher (from 3 phase)
    • 25kW charger = 100 -150km per hr of charge
    • 50kW charger = 200 -300km per hr of charge
  • Or multi-bank charges requiring extensive infrastructure and prior planning.

It was interesting to note that Ross drives a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV which boasted EV and petrol (for Australia’s long distances) which was one of seven EV or hybrid vehicles in Aust. However, in Europe there are 300 to choose from!

Wes Gladigau, NHP Technology Specialist in Power Distribution discussed the case for maintaining Critical Switchgear and addressing safety and reliability risks. He showed many photos where things had gone wrong.

He pointed out that at the top of the reticulation system is –

  • The ACB (Air Circuit Breaker)
  • ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch)
  • MCCB (Moulded Case Circuit Breaker)


Poor maintenance can cause explosion, down-time, cessation of production, loss of revenue, and injury or loss of life and can have further flow-on effects.

He advised to use basic indicators of sight, sound, smell, touch taste etc and noted that heat is the key indicator.

Start off with –

  • Conversation with switchgear manufacturers
  • Documented O&Ms.
  • Identify single points of failure.
  • Have a mitigation strategy.
  • Have a Site Check List to minimise risk.

Both presentations can be viewed below:

Electric vehicles and related technologies
Ross De Rango, Product Development Manager - NHP

Maintaining Critical Switchgear - Keeping the power always ON & SAFE
Wes Gladigau, Technology Specialist in Power Distribution - NHP

We finished with a question time followed by networking, food and drinks provided by NHP.



David H Brown
Chair – South Australian Chapter
Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers CIBSE ANZ

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