Utility Transformer Workshop – Austin Chapter

The CTS joint chapter of PES/IAS/PELS/IES, which calls itself (PI)², hosted a very successful workshop on May 1st about designing and specifying Utility-Scale Transformers. The instructor for the workshop was Mr. Ronnie Minhaz, P. Eng, president and founder of Transformer Consulting Services, Inc. of Alberta, Canada. Mr. Minhaz is an active member of IEEE and the IEEE Power & Energy Society and has held various IEEE section-level leadership positions.

The workshop was well attended by private consultants as well as engineers from several local utilities. Two of the attendees even drove down from Oklahoma City for the workshop. Austin Energy, the local electric utility in Austin, graciously offered the use of its facilities for the workshop.


Mr. Minhaz explained that there are many different design approaches, materials and manufacturing processes that can be used to produce utility-scale transformers, and that these differences can result in varying levels of system performance, power transfer efficiency, fault tolerance, equipment life, and costs. Review comments afterwards indicated that the workshop was very well received by all participants.

(PI) 2 is well experienced at staging workshops from a variety of sources and topics. Previous workshops have included the triennial NEC updates and changes, low voltage motors and controls, NEC grounding requirements, as well as grounding practices and methods. (PI) 2 is planning a second workshop on medium voltage motors for October 2015.


(PI) 2 displayed its usual hospitality by serving breakfast tacos (a Texas staple) and pastries to the attendees for breakfast as they signed in, by catering in lunch, and by providing snacks and beverages throughout the day. The workshop had 46 attendees. Impressed by the workshop, two attendees applied for IEEE membership.