NETA’s 2023 PowerTest Conference drew more than 1,000 attendees to Orlando, Florida, March 8–12. Electrical power system experts and professionals attended over 40 training sessions covering all-new content and engaged in many relationship-building and networking opportunities.
PowerTest is recognized across the electrical power systems industry as the premier electrical maintenance and safety conference. It is the largest annual gathering of experts and professionals responsible for designing, installing, maintaining, and managing electrical power systems. NETA Accredited Companies, engineering firms, utilities, manufacturers, and commercial facility owners send their teams each year to train and grow their knowledge.
PowerTest was hosted by NETA — The InterNational Electrical Testing Association — and made spectacular by the NETA network of companies that volunteer their expert speakers, sponsor events, exhibit state-of-the-art products and services, and collectively contribute their creativity to make the event educational, fun, and engaging.
PRE-POWERTEST MEMBER AND MEMBER ALLIANCE MEETINGS
NETA Meetings Feature Peer Discussion and the Latest NETA Updates
More than 130 NETA Accredited Company representatives, Alliance Partners, and Corporate Alliance participants gathered on Tuesday, March 7, for NETA’s 2023 Annual Member and Alliance Meetings. The annual meetings are held on the day before PowerTest and are the traditional kickoff to the conference each year.
NETA Member Meeting
This gathering of representatives and technicians from NETA Accredited Companies brought reports from all sides of the association from updates on membership and strategic initiatives to a review of program plans for the coming year and recognition of volunteers and committee chairs. The meeting also included the nomination and election of officers to NETA’s Board of Directors: 1st Vice President Dan Hook, CBS Field Services; 2nd Vice President Chasen Tedder, Hampton Tedder Technical Services; Secretary Virginia Balitski, Magna IV Engineering; and Treasurer, John White, Sigma Six Solutions. Ron Widup, Shermco Industries; Jim Cialdea, Sigma C Power Services; and Bob Sheppard, Tony Demaria Electric were elected to three-year terms on the Board.
NETA Member and Alliance Meeting
NETA Corporate Alliance and Alliance Partners were invited to join NETA Accredited Companies for the second half of the Member Meeting. Among other updates, participants heard reports on industry activity from NETA technical representatives.
POWERTEST 2023 HIGHLIGHTS
This year’s conference was held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Attendees were excited to come together for five days of learning and industry advancement. Training sessions covered a broad set of topics including:
- Standard updates
- Circuit breaker testing and diagnostics
- Relay maintenance
- Life extension
- Cable health management
- Electrical reliability
- Risk mitigation
- Sales and management
For professionals looking to earn educational credits, PowerTest attendees could earn up to 4.8 Continuing Educational Credits (applicable to engineers and electrical professionals) or as many as 48 Continuing Technical Development Credits, (applicable to NETA Accredited Company Technicians).
PowerTest 2023 kicked off with keynote speaker Bob Koonce, the Founder of High Reliability Group and a U.S. Navy veteran who dedicated his military career to serving on and commanding fast attack submarines. In his presentation, “The Criticality of Leadership, Culture, Management Systems, and Operational Feedback,” Bob shared his knowledge of the importance of operational excellence and high reliability, which attendees applauded.
Wednesday’s 30 engaging 45-minute sessions covered five critical areas providing insights, best practices, and updates along with case studies and tutorials. Expert presenters came from all sectors of the industry. Specific sessions focused on navigating today’s challenges and identifying tomorrow’s industry trends.
Hospitality Meet and Greet
The first night of the conference brought everyone together during PowerTest’s traditional Hospitality Suites Meet and Greet. Thank you to this year’s hosts: A-Rent, Group CBS, ECP Solutions, EPS PowerTest, Megger, RESA Power, and Shermco! They outdid themselves, staging Around the World, a celebration with themed rooms including Canada, Cuba, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the USA.
Thursday started with a gathering for breakfast followed by early-morning panel sessions that covered transformers, relays, cables, and electrical safety. Attendees had the option to attend two, but many wished they could have attended all four. Discussion, debate, storytelling, and even a few confessions kept the participants engaged and able to take away valuable information and insights they could use in their day-to-day responsibilities.
PowerTest Trade Show
Exhibitors put on their best show during the PowerTest 2023 Trade Show. Record participation, interactive activities, games, new product demonstrations, sensational exhibits, and over 70 prize winners made for an electrifying atmosphere. Attendees mingled with customers, vendors, and colleagues, making this year’s expo an event to remember.
Following the PowerTest Trade Show, exhibitors and conference attendees joined in an evening of NASCAR excitement. Raceway-themed food and music were the backdrop for good fun. Sponsored by A-Rent, event attendees stepped up to the pit crew challenge, played the giant Jenga game, paired up for the cornhole competition, and generally had a great time catching up and meeting new folks.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards. Winners included:
Technical Track Presentation Winners
- Best Overall Presentation — Power Cable System Reliability and Longevity by Ben Lanz, IM Corp
- Best Electrical Safety Presentation — NFPA 70E: Critical Aspects and Revision Updates by Jim Dollard, IBEW Local 98
- Best Sales and Management Presentation — Successfully Market Your Electrical Testing Services Firm by Paul Seppanen, A-Rent
- Best Equipment Presentation — Field Testing of Current Transformers: Challenges and Mitigation Techniques by Dinesh Chhajer, Megger
- Best Reliability Presentation — Power Cable System Reliability and Longevity by Ben Lanz, IM Corp
- Best Transformer/Cables Presentation — Test Setup Issues Impacting SFRA Results by Mike Anderson, Doble Engineering
Hospitality Suite Winners
- Most Technical — Megger
- Most Entertaining — Group CBS
- Most Creative — RESA Power
- Most Hospitable — Shermco
- Most Appetizing — Saber Power
- Best In Show — Doble Engineering
- Most Innovative – Protec Equipment Resources
- Most Visited – AC Pro
FRIDAY – SUNDAY
Seminars and Hands-On Learning
Friday and Saturday featured four-hour, in-depth technical training sessions. Attendees could choose from 14 unique seminar topics, each designed to deepen the understanding and skill set of electrical power system professionals. Sunday, the final day of the conference, was one of the most well-attended training events. Transformer Fundamentals, hosted by Doble Engineering, was an interactive course combining theoretical background with practical field experience. The content was geared toward engineers, managers, and technicians who work in the field. The course provided fundamental knowledge on how transformers are designed and manufactured; a review of major transformer components; installation, commissioning, in-service and off-line electrical testing; and insulation oil laboratory diagnostic testing. This session received one of the highest reviews.
NETA Exam Prep
The NETA Exam Prep Seminars were also available, back by popular demand. Open to NETA Certified Technicians, this two-part interactive seminar series reviewed Detail Content Outlines (DCOs) and offered an opportunity to participate in the NETA Practice Exam. Attendees developed their knowledge and boosted their exam confidence levels.
POWERTEST 2023 – THAT’S A WRAP!
PowerTest 2023 was truly a memorable event breaking all registration and participation records. Attendees came from across the country and around the globe to learn and connect. There were representatives from nearly all of the NETA Accredited Companies, engineering design firms, power producers, distributors, contractors, manufacturers, and commercial entities, along with hundreds of organizations that provide products and services in support of the electrical power industry — all part of the NETA network of companies committed to electrical reliability and safety.
The many training sessions and special events that are always a part of PowerTest delivered opportunities for learning, advancement, networking, and laying the groundwork for future collaborations.
POWERTEST 2024, FEBRUARY 26 – MARCH 1 IN DALLAS, TEXAS
Join NETA and leading electrical power systems professionals at the next premier electrical maintenance and safety conference, February 26 – March 1, 2024, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. At next year’s conference, we’ll be celebrating 45 years of PowerTest with expanded training categories, engagement events, and an eye on the future of our industry.
Registration opens September 1, 2023. Be sure to mark your calendars and secure your place at PowerTest 2024. Save $100 on your trip to Dallas when you register before December 31, 2023.
Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available for companies looking to grow their relationships and build industry leadership. NETA’s industry partners are encouraged to reserve exhibit space and confirm sponsorships as soon as possible. Inquiries should be directed to Julie Miller at 269-488-6382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.