Video: The Physics of Failure

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

Alan Ross caught up with Robert Hebner, Director of the Center for Electromechanics (CEM) at The University of Texas at Austin, to discuss how the addition of new equipment affects an entire electrical system. The CEM will host the Electric Power Reliability Summit (EPRS) in September 2019. Dr. Hebner will speak at the event.

Find out more about the Electric Power Reliability Summit:

Learn more about the Center for Electromechanics:

Read up on Dr. Hebner:

“We have to recognize that the new equipment we buy provides a different environment for the old equipment, and it has different materials in it, so we’re going to have a different physics of failure. As we start putting in new equipment we may not be able to depend on the history of 50 years of a device that looked just like it, because we’ve made changes and improved it."

"But the improvement doesn’t necessarily guarantee it a 50-year life. It may give us a better short-term performance, but we need to understand what the life is and what the failure is too. So, I think we’ll always have to learn what the physics of failure is of our new technologies, as well as looking at looking as the risk of a system failure on the business practice.”

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