Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and Doble Engineering Company have an innovative long-term partnership to develop condition monitoring products and services to detect faults and predict power failures for the electric supply industry.

GCU’s research expertise in high voltage condition monitoring has had international impact. Using its high voltage labs, GCU researchers work with companies including Doble Engineering, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, Wuhan Electrical Power Company and Drax to improve the asset management of high voltage equipment such as cables, motors and generators, to reduce maintenance and repair costs by millions of pounds and ensure reliable power generation and distribution.

Operating in more than 110 countries worldwide, Doble Engineering Company is a leader in asset risk management, diagnostic test instruments, expert consulting and knowledge services for the electric power industry throughout the world as well as within the UK.

Working closely with GCU on a number of research and development projects in recent years, Doble brought new investment to Scotland’s engineering sector through the launch of the Doble Innovation Centre at GCU in 2013.

Since then, the collaboration has developed with a number of new projects. Doble Engineering is fully funding two current PhD studentships to apply innovative machine learning techniques to the classification of fault conditions with the purpose of practical implementation to real-time condition assessment of rotating machines operated on-line.

In addition, a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project between GCU and Doble aims to further develop the capability for diagnostic condition assessment of motors and generators, using instrumentation to build up effective new methods of capturing, storing and interpreting complex data using electromagnetic interference (EMI) techniques.

Developments to date include the PDS100 partial discharge surveyor, which is successfully used in many power industry sites worldwide. Further developments in integrated condition monitoring tools will help the electric supply industry around the world as it moves towards on-line monitoring systems and predictive maintenance services.

GCU’s Alan Nesbitt said: “Our relationship with Doble previously focused on the design and development of advanced condition monitoring instrumentation. Our shared values and innovative thinking has led to the building up of a research portfolio around this work. Our continuing partnership is helping Doble diversify into new markets and responds to the complex needs of its customers who face increased budget pressures and stronger government regulation.”

Doble’s Dr Richard Heywood added:

“We will be able to provide value-added services to complement products that are already highly regarded in the industry.”