Establishing Technical Standards for Hydro Generators

Establishing Technical Standards
Meeting #2Yichang, China

The room was obviously buzzing with that energy. Jet-lagged; this being the active topic of discussion. It was setting in fast. With the urge to sleep gradually fading, everyone started to settle in. The discussion started with personal anecdotes and slowly migrated to the real discussion at hand.

The usual suspects were disagreeing with the rest of the group. Things did not appear to be going well, at least, so it seemed.

It felt like it was going to be a long day. Getting the participants to agree is a challenge. Participants are conservative and difficult to convince. These standards generally take several years to complete as a result. The workgroup agreed upon a timeline of 3 years to finalize this standard (publishing due in October of 2019).  The first meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland. This was the second meeting in a scheduled series of 6. 

Establishing Technical Standards - IEC members around the conference table

Establishing Technical Standards discussion, Yichang, China – IEC TC2/WG33 members
Discussing the topics at hand.

Photo credit: unknown


Technical Standards defined in IEC 60034-33 TC2/WG33

With the room filled with the attendees around the conference table, member after member started raising their points of interest. Soon it was Mr. André Tétreault’s moment to speak. As professionals and pioneers in the industry, VibroSystM believes in active participation in setting technical standards.  As such, VibroSystM’s Test & Diagnostics Director Mr. André Tétreault is part of the workgroup committee working with the IEC for standard IEC 60034-33 ED1 – Rotating electrical machines – Part 33: Specific technical requirements for hydro generators.

Mr. Tétreault mentioned concerns regarding tolerances rotor and stator dynamic parameters, for absolute and relative vibration levels, amongst others. 
The topics of discussion varied but consisted of expected results or behavior for hydro-generators.

A few topics discussed at this meeting:

  • Stator winding temperatures
  • Insulation performance
  • Absolute and relative vibration levels
  • Rotor and stator dynamic parameters
  • Factory and site tests


Establishing Technical Standards - Mr. Andé Tétreault discussing tolerances

Technical Standards discussion, Yichang, China – IEC member Mr. André Tétreault
Explaining tolerance levels for Hydrogenerators.

Photo credit: unknown

The Purpose of the IEC

“The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) members come from all around the world. While each member is different, they do have one thing in common: all of them represent the entire range of electrotechnical interests in their country, companies and businesses, industry associations, educational bodies, governmental and regulatory bodies, for example. All stakeholders are brought together through the country’s member National Committee.”

How this Affects the Industry

All stakeholders that are involved in the active development of this international standard range from people/companies within the industry, consumers, academia, test laboratories, governments, and regulators. The stakeholders will need to submit comments and votes for the development of any standard.

“International Standards reflect agreements on the technical description of the characteristics to be fulfilled by the product, system, service or object in question. They are widely adopted at the regional or national level and are applied by manufacturers, trade organizations, purchasers, consumers, testing laboratories, governments, regulators and other interested parties.” 1

The changes that will come from the standards set in place by IEC 60034-33 ED1 TC2/WG33 will impact the Hydro Power Generation industry for the better. 

The Outcome

At this point in time, progress was made during this meeting but the discussion is ongoing. Standards discussions can be slow and take a considerable amount of time to develop. Nothing has been set in stone as of yet. As such, we will release more information as it becomes available! Stay tuned!

About VibroSystM

VibroSystM came into existence in 1986 with a capacitive technology as a reliable solution for the air gap monitoring of hydroelectric machines. The requests that followed, expressing the need to adapt VibroSystM systems to other types of large rotating machines, reflect that customers are more than satisfied with their experience resulting from VibroSystM’s expertise. The ability to expand monitoring diagnostic technology and services to a variety of equipment helped position VibroSystM at the forefront of the industry.

VibroSystM is pioneering the way that condition monitoring is being done with the ZOOMWatch platform. ZOOMWatch is an online 24/7 asset management tool for condition monitoring. For more information about ZOOMWatch, contact our Sales department by email at

Follow @VibroSystM on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates from VibroSystM.


  1. About the IEC
  2. Technical Standards
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