Corné Dames is the Managing Director of Independent Transformer Consultants (ITC). She has previously worked as a laboratory manager performing transformer oil analysis and diagnostics. Corné is actively working with customers to get a practical solution on reliability maintenance programs. She has a strong chemical background and majorly work on transformer chemistry, reliability, maintenance, and lifecycle management of electrical assets. Corné has been writing technical articles for Transformer Technology Magazine for three years and was appointed as Associate Editor and Chief of the magazine at the end of 2020. She has been an active member of the Technical Committee at Transformer Technology  Magazine for two years. She has also been a member of the EPRA (Electrical Power Reliability Alliance) forum for three years. Her passion is transformer reliability and infrastructure sustainability.

Let’s start the interview!

Q. Tell us about yourself

Q. What inspired you to join this sector?

Q. Can you elaborate why?

Corné: Definitely. It is very costly for a company to install these online applications. The SA companies can’t always make use of the latest technology because of the cost to company.

Corné: Maintenance and reliability are two different aspects of transformers. Maintenance is when you implement actual steps to ensure the reliability of the system. If you look at the health index as well, it can only indicate about the reliability of your transformer at that specific time. If you look at a transformer with low health index and a lot of moisture, if you remove that moisture from the transformer then the health index will go up again. So, it will reflect better on your system and the lifetime of your system will improve.

Doing analysis on poorly collected samples is meaningless. This is the first link in the maintenance chain. It’s important to begin with a good quality sample. If you have online condition monitoring you don’t have to worry about it. Simply put, you need to have good analytics from either laboratory results or online monitoring to effectively decided the maintenance plan and ensure the reliability of your transformer until the next maintenance cycle can be applied.     

Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a junior professional to succeed in your sector?

Q. What is something nobody tells you, but you wish you knew earlier?

Corné: Never give up. And there is no use of accumulating a vast amount of knowledge and not sharing it. Knowledge only means something where when you can share it with people in the same industry.

Q. Can you recommend any books or media?

Corné: I periodically contribute to Transformer Technology magazine and there are a lot of courses they are hosting as well. Then, IEEE, IEC, and ELECTRA contributions to have a hands-on knowledge about the maintenance and condition monitoring topics. I am also a part of EPRA (electric power and reliability alliance), which is based in US but operates globally and I highly recommend following them.

If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody will catch the passion in you – like a fever.

Sam Walton


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