Electricity continues to be an essential part of the Australian energy mix. The introduction of new technologies, such as renewable electricity sources, distributed generation, energy efficient appliances and lighting lead to new measurement requirements. The accuracy, range and versatility of electrical measuring instruments continue to increase, and as a result, electrical calibration and testing laboratories in Australia face new challenges. In response, the National Measurement Institute (NMI) offers new services for NATA stakeholders in the Electro technology Sector:

  1. New-generation quantum voltage standards, developed in collaboration with national metrology institutes of Japan and the USA, have brought quantum accuracy to the “shop floor”.  NMI now offers fully automated calibrations of voltage references, nanovoltmeters, voltmeters and calibrators with relative uncertainties as low as 1x10-6 over the range of voltages from 1 nV to 1100 V. NMI now also provides traceability to voltage dividers up to 1100 V.
  2. NMI is proud to introduce its new state-of-the-art primary standard of electrical power. The new facility offers even lower uncertainties, wider functionality and complete automation, reducing calibration costs for large jobs. Mains-frequency power and energy meter calibrations with uncertainties below 0.001% are now routinely available at voltages up to 1000 V and currents up to 150 A. Phase measurements with uncertainties of 0.001 degrees can also be made throughout these voltage and current ranges, which is essential for the traceability of new-generation power calibrators to the International System of Units (SI).
  3. New technologies, such as solid-state light-emitting diode (LED) lights, devices with a standby mode, etc., require power measurements over a wide range of frequencies in order to determine their efficiency. NMI was the first metrology institute worldwide to introduce a power standard up to 200 kHz. This standard is now applied to calibrate wideband wattmeters designed for these applications. The facility was demonstrated at a workshop on solid-state lighting measurement held at NMI on 4 May 2016. The workshop brought together testing and calibration specialists, regulators, engineers, scientists, accreditation professionals and users of LED lighting. This forum was held to initiate a discussion about the opportunities and challenges presented by LED lighting and the measurement aspects relating to this new technology. 
  4. NMI has developed a calibration system for Phasor Measurement Units. These devices are used for monitoring, protection and control of smart grids. The new measurement system is synchronised to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) using timing signals that are derived from Global Navigation Satellite Systems.
  5. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), with active participation from NMI, has recently significantly revised a number of key standards (IEC 60060) that determine how dielectric testing of high-voltage apparatus such as transformers, switchgear and insulators is conducted. To address industry demand for high-voltage testing and calibration according to the new standards, NMI has developed a number of new systems for impulse voltage tests up to 2800 kV and AC voltage tests up to 600 kV:
    • An impulse voltage digitising system with software that complies with the new definitions of impulse parameters.
    • A new AC voltage reference measurement system that allows the AC voltage parameters to be calculated from a digitised waveform.
    • A new system to provide real-time determination of the atmospheric correction factor during a dielectric test.

NMI continues to work with NATA’s Electrotechnology Sector and to develop new fit-for-purpose measurements to underpin the sector’s operations. The projects in the pipeline include extended on-site high-voltage and high-current capabilities, development of a new calculable standard of capacitance of unprecedented accuracy, high-value capacitance measurements for calibrators and LCR meters, improved traceability of the resistance scale and a new high-value resistance measurement facility. These will be introduced to “NATA News” readers as they become available.

Upcoming NMI Training Courses:

The following NMI courses are offered during August -October 2016

 Chemical Metrology Training City Date Price
Estimating Measurement Uncertainty for Biologists Brisbane 13 October 2016 $1,191.85
Analytical Method Validation Brisbane 20-21 September 2016 $2,171.95
Estimating Measurement Uncertainty for Chemists Brisbane 22-23 September 2016 $2,171.95
Physical Metrology Training City Date Price
Introduction to Estimating Measurement Uncertainty Sydney
7 September 2016
29 September 2016
6 October 2016
Time and Frequency Measurement Sydney 19 October 2016 $2,171.95
Calibration of Liquid Hydrocarbon Flow Meters Sydney 25-26 October 2016 $1974.50
Testing Temperature-Controlled Enclosures Sydney 28 October 2016 $1083.50

For further information please visit the training page on our website.

Alternatively, please call us on +61 2 8467 3796 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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