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CURENT Seminar- Dr. Harold Kirkham

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Date(s) - 07/23/2018
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Min Kao room 124 and WebEx


Title: Reactive Power: the shocking truth revealed!

Abstract: Power engineers are taught about reactive power early in their studies. If they want to know how to measure it, they might turn to IEEE Standard 1459. But there are several problems with what they learn, and the IEEE Standard actually enshrines a serious error. This talk reviews the history of reactive power, and examines the topic of reactive power from the viewpoint of measurement theory. The biggest problem stems from the fact that the measurement is of a kind (operationalist) that most engineers—even many metrologists—are not aware of. The result of a reactive power measurement may not even be close to having the meaning that is imagined.

Bio: Harold Kirkham obtained his BSc and MSc in the UK, and his PhD at Drexel University in Philadelphia. His interests are broad, and have always included both power systems and measurements.

Dr. Kirkham has worked at American Electric Power and at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At JPL he worked mainly on power projects, but he also played a (minor) role in the success of the Mars Rover now known as Curiosity. He ended his time at JPL as a Principal in the Reliability Engineering Office. In 2009 he moved to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he works mainly on phasor measurement units and is investigating measurement fundamentals. 

He is a Fellow of IEEE, an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, a member of the Power and Energy Society, the Instrumentation and Measurement Society, and several others. He was chair of the PES Instrumentation and Measurement Committee for several years, and has served on various other committees, as well as the Technical Council.


This seminar will also be available on WebEx.  WebEx information:

Topic: Dr. Harold Kirkham
Date: July 23, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Meeting Number: 627 620 658
Meeting Password: fM23jRxT
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Access code:  627 620 658
Meeting Password: fM23jRxT

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