Company Profile
HVTEST Share Holders from Left to Right: Delyse Goodwin; Ronald Goodwin; Sean Goodwin; Haley Breda and Roderick Campbell
Supplying high quality medium and high voltage test equipment to a variety of customers, HV TEST (Pty) Ltd has become a leader in high voltage test equipment.
Established in 1985, and located in Randburg , Gauteng , HV Test has grown considerably over the years. “That growth has made us a major player in high voltage test equipment,” says Managing Director, Sean Goodwin, who went on to explain that HV Test today operates in all aspects of the MV and HV Electrical Engineering field. “There are four divisions in the company including Product Sales, After Sales Services, the Training School and the Commissioning and Maintenance Services division,” Goodwin continues. ”We are known for our expertise in cable fault and overhead power lines fault locations, but are active in growing the transformer and motor testing aspect of the company.” He adds: “We operate in a wide range of industries. We supply high quality medium and high voltage test equipment and independent services to utility companies, municipalities, mines and petrochemical companies, ferro alloys, the paper industry, and sugar refineries, amongst others.”
Remarkable Growth
HV Test’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable and has been driven, in the main, by the firm’s high level of technical expertise. “We have prompt ex-stock deliveries and reliable after sales service,” stresses Goodwin. “And we strive to meet the market requirements by understanding what the customer wants.” As a result, the company has gained a portfolio of high profile clients, which include Eskom, Sasol, Transnet, Siemens and ABB.
HV Test’s skills in Project Engineering has been in the Mines and Utilities. Its latest adventure has been to build one of the largest and most advanced Transformer test bays in the world at Rotek Engineering at Rosherville, Johannesburg . Only the latest technology has been used, with a very innovative building design and a heat run facility for testing Transformers up to 800MVA and overvoltage testing up to 800 kV.
Travelling Wave System
HV Test does a lot of work with utilities and has recently concluded a five-year national contract with one local utility for the provision of traveling wave fault location equipment. This contract is expected to double the utility’s existing installed base of fault locators, providing a vastly improved reaction time for the location of faults on its critical transmission network. “It is a major project for us,” says Goodwin. Traveling wave systems are designed to pinpoint the location of faults and are important because the ability to detect fault quickly means you can react faster, which in turn, means supply – and therefore revenue generation – can be restored swiftly. It also means preventative maintenance can be carried out on clearly identified portions of the network, thereby preventing future supply disruptions. “Accurate fault location is vital,” says Goodwin.
HV Test has been instrumental in the installation of similar systems throughout Southern Africa too, with large installed bases in Namibia , Botswana , Zambia and Mozambique . “We have vast experience,” admits Goodwin. “And we have invested significantly in the staff and expertise that is necessary to support the large installed base of traveling wave fault locators throughout the region.”
It offers training on the design, installation, operation and maintenance of these systems and even provides commissioning and maintenance support services where required. All this is done through close cooperation with product manufacturers to ensure that the system is providing the utility with the required return on investment that initially motivated the purchase.
"We have prompt ex-stock deliveries and a reliable after sales service. And we strive to meet the market requirements by understanding what the customer wants" - Sean Goodwin. MD
In a trade where the words ‘high voltage’ are commonplace, you can imagine the importance of safety and the need to address safety issues, especially with an increasing number of accidents occurring in the field. “The Professional Training and Accreditation division is now offering regular courses in high voltage regulations either at the client’s site or at its HV Training Centre in Randburg,” says Goodwin. The courses are aimed at both those who work with high voltage electricity (authorized personnel), and those who are exposed to, but not working directly with, high voltage (responsible personnel). The training course for authorized personnel runs over five days and, for responsible personnel, three days. Both courses offer practical and theoretical training and the costs include certification upon completion of an exam paper at the end of the training session.
“Authorized personnel should have their qualifications updated every three years with practical switching test performed annually,” adds Goodwin. For this, HV Test can visit the customer’s site and provide an assessment on the company’s standard operating procedures, provide a training module for switching procedures and give tests for the certification of authorized personnel.
As if all this wasn’t enough, HV Test also offers a unique one day course catering for managers and directors to determine the level and necessity of training for staff members. The course is designed to give an overview of working with high voltage.
Courses in Cable Fault Location, Cable Diagnostics, On Line and Off Line Motor Testing, as well as Protection Courses, round off the schedule of courses available at HV Test.
Left to Right: Sean Goodwin, MD; Delyse Goodwin; Ronald Goodwin
Tracer Technology
An innovation which the company is focusing on heavily at the moment is a tracer technology for cable leak locations in oil-filled cables. The new technology is very quick, taking typically one hour per km when pre-tagged – a substantial improvement on industry norms to date.
It has a 2m accurate detection of faults in oil-filled cables (in good weather conditions), non-intrusive detection through concrete, turf and soil, and actually minimizes damage done to cables that normally occurs through cryogenic freezing, as well as minimizing soil contamination from leaking oil.
Aside from the specifications, the technology is safe, cost effective, competitive and proven, having found 16 faults with Eskom in the last two months – a record number. The savings in oil and the environment are of major importance to Eskom.
Other innovative products along the same line include an Online Tracer Tagging System, which provides accurate online tagging of cables with tracer, and can be achieved during the de-gasifying process. Another product is the Leak Detector System, which comprises a response vehicle with detection equipment capable of detecting 10 parts in 1015 (quadrillion) of tracer elements and has GPS tagging of samples for accurate positioning.
Key Strengths
HV Test prides itself on several principle key strengths, such as good technical ability and the ability of its staff, ex-stock capability, prompt deliveries, quick and efficient back-up services, independent testing services and consultancy, professional and honest business relationships with customers, a solid customer base, and an efficient after sales workshop service.