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Be dedicated, experience will come with time.

Paris, France-2000: Sachdev, Ziegler and Sidhu

CIGRE Paris 2002: Gerhard Ziegler with Graeme Topham

"Have you ever considered leaving protection?" No, never.


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z geie rg h a el rd r
the guru
CIGRE Honorary Member

System protection offers interesting challenges and career possibilities.

I think that experienced old hands and young ambitious engineers can build a strong team.

Biography
Gerhard Ziegler was born in 1939, and has been working in the area of power system protection with Siemens AG in Erlangen/Nuremberg, Germany for a period of 35 years. He was active on a world-wide basis in the areas of product support, application and project planning, marketing and sales. He retired in 2002, but continues to work as a consultant. G. Ziegler has published numerous national and international contributions in the area of power system protection. He served for many years in International organizations. From 1993 to 2001 he was the German delegate to the IEC TC95 (measuring relays and protection equipment). He is past chairman of the Study Committee 34 (protection and local control) and Honorary Member of CIGRE. .
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I like reading. I still read a lot,

PAC World: Can you tell us something about where you were born including technical and where you grew-up? G.Z: I was born 1939 in Berlin. books. But during the war our house was bombed and we went back to the rural Franconia near Nuremberg where both my parents are from. So I am not a real Berliner. I grew up in the after war time in a then small village where the roads were not paved and water had to be fetched at a fountain in the yard. These were simple circumstances which we however shared with many other people at the time. I had a lucky nature-liking childhood which I wouldnt want to replace. PAC World: Is there something special in your childhood that affected your future career? G.Z: There is no crucial experience, as far as I can remember. I am not very talented at arts like music or painting and I was always more interested in technical things. My grandfathers had a carpenter and a blacksmith business. It was great fun passing the time in their workshops. Later in school, I got the best marks for the scientific subjects. The choice of an engineering carrier was therefore obvious.

PAC World: Do you have any engineers in your family that made you think about following in their footsteps? G.Z: My father was an engineer and served as a demolition expert in the army. He died after the war in an accident when a dud aerial bomb exploded during the defusing work. He is the only engineer in our family as far as I know. PAC World: Did you have any special interests while in school? G.Z: My main interest, besides school, was dedicated to sports, in particular soccer. The wide array of free time activities offered nowadays did not exist at the time. PAC World: How did you decide to study electrical engineering? G.Z: The technical direction was predetermined by my single sided talents and interests in this field. In high school, I was occupied with space technology and Wernher von Braun was an example for me. (One of the fathers of space technology, Herman Obert, lived in a neighboring village). The more humble goal to become a traditional electrical engineer is probably based on the fact that SIEMENS, at the time, had its main seat, a large research center and a number

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of factories in the region (Erlangen/Nuremberg). SIEMENS, an active world-wide company, offered a variety of attractive jobs with a life time secure income and pension. PAC World: Where did you study? Did you study protection while in the university? G.Z: I studied at the technical University in Munich with emphasis on power engineering, at the time called Heavy Current Technique. The relaying subject was not really treated. We got only some information about the basic protection principles, and a demonstration panel with some black box relays existed. PAC World: Did you have any other interests while studying in the university? G.Z: I think, besides sports, there is no other activity worth mentioning. My aim was to pass the university time as fast as possible and to get a job because my mother as a widow could not give me much financial support. I had to concentrate on the studies to pass tests to get the state grant for needy students. PAC World: Where and how did you start your career? G.Z: Right after the university, I joined SIEMENS in a trainee program which allowed me to work three years in three different areas. I began with the calculation of electrical machines, worked then in the test field for large generators and finished the trainee program with the development of thyristor based motor control. This time was very interesting because I could work at innovative projects: computer based motor design and simulation, water cooling of generators and the application of thyristors - all new at the time. PAC World: What made you change your focus on power system protection? G.Z: This was not intentional. At the end of my trainee program I wanted to go back to the SIEMENS motor factory in Nuremberg, because it was located not far from my home and I wanted to work in the field of electrical machines. There was no suitable position for me at this time, so the head of the trainee department recommended that I work in the protection department. This department had a machine protection group and I could occupy myself there with my favorite subject until a suitable position would be found. This was my first contact with protective relaying and the start of a 35 year career in this field. I declined a later offer from the motor factory which I never regretted. PAC World: You spent your whole career with a single company? What was your role during the different stages of your career? G.Z: Spending the whole work life in one company was quite normal in Germany for people of my generation. The positions were normally filled by people from within the company and you could make a career without job hopping. I started as project engineer in the machine protection group. I think, about three years later I changed to the network protection group. I was then responsible for sales support and project management in part of Germany and Central/South America. In 1978, I became the leader of a newly organized technical protection department. Our tasks included product

specification, control of development and application support. This was the most stressful part of my career. We had extended our business to overseas markets considerably and had to handle a large number of big projects. The new numerical relay range which was launched in 1985 was a great success, but needed a lot of technical support in the start-up phase until sufficient experience had been gained with this new technology. In this phase, I was also heavily engaged in information and training of users about the new numerical relay technology. In 1990, I took over the task of marketing, consulting and strategic planning with a smaller group of experts. I travelled a lot world-wide during this time, wrote many papers and was present at numerous conferences. Further, I was active in the IEC and CIGRE. In 2002, I retired after a very interesting career in protective relaying which lasted for 35 years and covered the three stages of electro-mechanical, solid-state and numerical technology. PAC World: How do you compare the transition from electromechanical to solid-state relays with the transition to microprocessor based relays? G.Z: The transition from electromechanical to solid-state relays took a longer time. Some utilities even did not accept this technology and went directly to digital relays. The reason is probably that there was no price advantage and the technical progress was not so obvious, in particular for simple relays in the distribution range. Solid state relays also had some drawbacks - the aging of components (capacitors) causes a drift of the operating characteristics which makes

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Gerhard Ziegler

the guru

The biggest challenge I faced was the

recalibration necessary. The digital technology convinced the users from transition to the beginning as there are obvious economical and technical advantages. international Think of the many integrated functions, like fault recording in the standards multi-function relays. One feeder, one relay is now the standard in distribution. Further, maintenance is considerably reduced due to self-monitoring and the possible remote communication. PAC World: Did you see any major differences in the protection philosophy of utilities around the world? G.Z: SIEMENS has a world-wide relaying business and I had contacts with utilities in most countries. You can indeed observe different philosophies. Basically you have the Central European (IEC) and the English (IEE) or US (ANSI/IEEE) influenced regions. Think of the themes low/ high impedance differential protection, definite/inverse time relays, Quadrilateral/Mho characteristics, switched/ non-switched distance relays or blocking/permissive teleprotection schemes. Other differences are based on the grid conditions and the types of switchgear. You have countries with long lines where the system stability is critical and redundant teleprotection, power swing blocking and local back-up protection is crucial. In industrialized countries with heavily meshed networks, stability is normally not a problem and second zone tripping of line end faults may be acceptable. Thus a single teleprotection scheme with a distance back-up protection may be acceptable. Auto-reclosing practice has of course also

had some influence on the relaying practice. PAC World: What do you think about the use of two identical relays as Main 1 and Main 2 protection on an important transmission line? G.Z: There are some utilities who accept this policy. There is however some risk of common mode failures. Most utilities also do not rely on only one vendor. I think, the policy of using different relay types or dissimilar protection principles (distance and differential) will be maintained also with digital relays. The now available relays with differential and distance protection in one unit may then be an acceptable solution when the total system is to be supplied by one vendor. PAC World: We have seen significant improvements in the functionality of distance protection relays. Do you think that there is something more that can be done? G.Z: I think the measuring technique has matured to a reliable state. Newer relay generations may go to higher sampling rates, calculation speed and storage capacity, but I do not expect a significant improvement in the protection performance. The function integration may however proceed. There are now line relays on the market which have full scheme differential and distance protection integrated in one relay. It is further possible to use the distance relay as bay unit for busbar differential protection. However, I think it is more important that the operation and setting of relays is further improved to make the setting of the many parameters more user friendly and to avoid hidden setting failures. PAC World: Most of the relays today are based on sequence components that work properly for

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PAC World: How did you share your knowledge and experience? Did you write papers or books, or did you directly teach your younger colleagues? G.Z: I wrote many papers and delivered contributions to conferences world-wide. I have also published two books: Numerical Distance protection and Numerical Differential Protection. I am further active as a lecturer at the Siemens Power Academy in Nuremberg. I have always been in contact with young people in our company or at universities. I like it. They have learned from my relaying and power system experience and I have benefitted from their better knowledge about modern digital processing and communication. I think that experienced old hands and young ambitious engineers can build a strong team. PAC World: Do you still participate in conferences? Do you still present papers? G.Z: I participated in conferences worldwide. I was less engaged in the IEEE work as this was always handled by local SIEMENS people. During my CIGRE SC34 chairmanship I was several times invited as key note speaker. I still contribute as coauthor to papers, but I no longer visit conferences or write papers myself. I think its time to leave that stage to the young people. PAC World: What do you think about the changes in technology that we use for protection today and when you started? G.Z: When I joined the relaying department of SIEMENS in 1968, electromechanical relays were still the current practice. The solid-state technology was at its beginnings. The new solid-state relays were designed as open racks for cubicle mounting with draw-out modules, which was causing a lot of work. The wiring and testing in the workshops was time consuming, and the interference and high voltage testing were always critical. The setting of the electromechanical and solid-state relays was comparably simple as only a few plugs and bridges had to be positioned. The commissioning however was time consuming as many meters had to be connected and the finding of wiring errors was difficult. The situation has now completely changed with the digital technology. The drawing and wiring work has been widely replaced by system configuration and parameterization at the PC. Relay setting is done menu-guide with a relay operating program at the laptop. The commissioning is simplified because all voltage and currents are measured and indicated by the relay itself. The connection of external meters is no more necessary. Fault analysis is now also much easier by evaluation of the fault record with powerful programs. PAC World: What do you think of the impact of IEC 61850 on the future of protection? G.Z: So far the impact on protection only concerned the communication interfaces. A more dramatic impact would mean the introduction of the process bus as the measurement functions would be directly concerned and the transmission of sampled measuring data on the bus is very complex. I am no longer involved in detail in this theme so that I cannot give any reliable comment.

Making a wish turning the ring of the 'Beautiful fountain'

Making a wish: The Beautiful fountain" is located in the main marketplace of Nuremberg, where people can make a wish to come true. Gerhard Ziegler turned the ring three times, 360 degrees, wishing success for all people in protection.

transposed lines. Do you think it is time to use relays working in the phase domain on untransposed lines? G.Z: This was considered in the past, in particular for the fault locator function. The many more parameters would however make the relay setting and testing much more complicated. Considering that the error caused by the non-transposition is only in the range of 5 to 7 %, the phase domain solution seems not to be justified. The correction of the fault locator result could be made off-line. PAC World: When and how did you get involved in CIGRE activities? G.Z: I started as a working group member in the 1970's. The first group I took part in was on Coordination of solid-state relays and conventional instrument transformers. The convener was Michel Chamia, the later chairman of CIGRE. I learned a lot about the transient behavior of CTs and CVTs from the experts Korponay (BBC) and Gertsch (Micafil). I remember well the final discussion of the WG report at the CIGRE, SC34 Colloquium in Melbourne, 1979, where the US delegates had to defend their 5A CT standard against the 1A practice of the rest of the world. PAC World: What do you think is the importance of being involved in CIGRE working groups? G.Z: The advantages are manifold. You learn about the practice in other countries and you can share the knowledge with experts for utilities and manufacturers. The personal contacts with experts are helpful beyond the WG activity and also are valid for the concerned companies. For young engineers it is a chance to improve their language and communication skills.

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Gerhard Ziegler

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Gerhard Ziegler with his wife Hermine at their house in Schwarzenbruck, Germany

PAC World: What was the biggest challenge that you faced as a protection engineer? G.Z: I think the biggest challenge I faced was the transfer of the SIEMENS relay range from the originally German based standard to a world-wide accepted international standard. I engaged myself in the product specification, testing, application and marketing. Of course many other people in the development, manufacturing and sales side cooperated. The relays were originally designed in close cooperation with the German utilities. I think we were quite successful and the full turn around to a global player was achieved with the digital relay generations. PAC World: What is your definition of retirement? G.Z: A new life section with more time for my family, hobbies, and traveling. PAC World: What do you like to do when you are not working? G.Z: I have a large garden and two grandsons who keep me busy. Reading and traveling to foreign countries is planned. PAC World: What books do you like to read? G.Z: Historical books, travel reports and still technical literature. PAC World: Do you have a favorite food? G.Z: I have to watch my weight. Therefore I prefer fish. Unfortunately I have a sweet tooth which I often cannot withstand. PAC World: You have travelled a lot. Do you have a favorite place to visit? G.Z: The favorite place for me and my wife is Paris. Due to my CIGRE activities we were there every 2 years. PAC World: What music do you usually listen to? G.Z: I like to listen to classical music, but I am also a fan of traditional country music.

Skiing is one of the things that I really enjoy doing

PAC World: What do you think we need to do as an industry to attract more young people to our field? G.Z: One good opportunity is the cooperation with universities to inform about protection and engage the students early on in their studies in basic development projects. The companies must assist universities and provide facilities (sample relays, test set, study orders, etc.) so that system protection can be included in the curriculum. PAC World: What do you think about the young engineers in electric power systems protection? G.Z: Many of the young engineers I know are very ambitious and dedicated to the subject, and have very good theoretical basis. Experience will come in time. So I have no doubts that we will have good successors. PAC World: Do you have a motto? G.Z: Dont take yourself too seriously! PAC World: Is there something that you like to tell the students that you teach? G.Z: System protection offers interesting challenges and career possibilities for young engineers. The protection engineer is faced on one hand with the power system and its dynamic/transient behavior and on the other hand with the modern digital processing and communication technology of modern relaying schemes. PAC World: Is there anything that we missed? G.Z: Yes: Have you ever considered leaving protection? No, never.

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