OEB-IAS Chapter Meeting - Lessons Learned From Power System Failures - Electrical Failure Investigations


Oakland East Bay IAS invites you to attend a Technical Meeting on May 21, 2015

Please plan to attend this technical meeting of the Oakland East Bay Industry Applications Society.

The Speaker will be Mr. Ashley Harkness Jr., Technical Services Manager, Emerson Electrical Reliability Services.


The design, maintenance or operation of electrical equipment associated with the power systems present some challenging technical and system reliability issues. The best efforts of the design engineers, electricians or operators to prevent unexpected equipment failure and to improve the reliability of the power systems for these critical facilities are sometimes inadequate.


This presentation consists of a review of several investigations involving electrical power system failures.  Each case study includes photos of the failed equipment and a discussion of the cause.  Photos show failures involving transformers, fuses, breakers, switchgear, meters, busduct and other power system equipment.  Lessons learned from these failures have been condensed into a handy checklist to improve system reliability.  This checklist is a valuable tool for facility managers and others responsible for design, maintenance or operation of critical facilities.


  Date and Time




  • 611 Gregory Lane
  • Pleasant Hill, California
  • United States
  • Building: Zio Fraedos

Staticmap?size=250x200&sensor=false&zoom=14&markers=37.948493%2c 122
  • Please make reservations by May 18 by contacting Michael Nakamura via email: michael@mkireps.com  or telephone: (925) 330-6595

    The cost of dinner is $25 for IEEE members, $15 for student and retired members;

    $30 for non-members.

    Upcoming Meetings - Mark your Calendars:

    6/18/15 --- TBD


Ashley Harkness, Jr.


Lessons Learned From Power System Failures - Electrical Failure Investigations

Electrical equipment can be safe, reliable and in operation for many years. But, there comes a time when failures happen. There are many reasons and causes. But there are also many certainties about electrical failures: They will cause damage, loss, and even death. In this presentation, Mr. Harkness will recount several electrical equipment failure projects, their most probable cause, and related safety concerns. The attendee will gain an appreciation for how design, application, and maintenance all play significant roles in maintaining electrical equipment reliability.


Ashley Harkness comes to us from Emerson Electrical Reliability Services (ERS), the largest independent testing company in the United States servicing the commercial and industrial electrical market. 

Mr. Harkness joined the company (then known as Electro-Test, Inc.) in 1982. His duties have included a wide range of specialized electrical measurement and testing projects. In addition, Mr. Harkness has been involved with numerous electrical equipment forensic investigations and electrical product safety testing. Mr. Harkness is a technical resource with company-wide field testing and training responsibilities.


No-host social at 5:30 pm; Presentation at 6:15pm; Dinner at 7:15 pm;

Presentation continues at 8:00 pm; Adjourn by 9:00 pm.