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John J. Vithayathil

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Biography

Widely recognized as a leading expert of HVdc transmission, Dr. John J. Vithayathil has also made key contributions to HVac transmission, including the invention of the Rapid Adjustment of Network Impedance (RANI) scheme.

Dr. Vithayathil has made significant contributions to the advancement of HVdc system technologies. In two decades of technical leadership at the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Oregon, he oversaw the technical aspects of three stages of expansion of the Pacific HVdc Intertie. It grew from a system rated +400KV, 1440MW to one rated +500KV, 3100MW.

His work has also included innovative simulation techniques, harmonics, transient over-voltages on bipolar overhead lines, metallic return transfer breakers, HVdc breakers, series capacitor compensated converters, and transformerless dc converters. He has been involved in numerous other HVdc projects around the world as a consultant.

What is today known as Thyristor Controlled Series Capacitor (TCSC) is one of the RANI schemes that Dr. Vithayathil worked on in the mid-1980s. A powerful tool for improving stability of ac transmission systems, TCSC is a cost-effective means of increasing transmission capacity. Currently, there are five TCSC installations in operation, with many more planned.

John J. Vithayathil was born on 17 February 1937, in Kerala, India. He earned a B.Sc. degree in Engineering from the Trivandrum Engineering College at the University of Kerala, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

Dr. Vithayathil was a lecturer at the Indian Institute of Science before joining Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in Portland, Oregon, in 1967. In his twenty years at BPA, Dr. Vithayathil held positions of Electronic Analog Specialist, Power System Analyst, Technical Advisor for HVdc, and Chief Electrical Networks Engineer. He left BPA in 1988, to work as an independent engineering consultant.

Dr. Vithayathil is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has written numerous articles related to his field and holds a number of patents inculding that for TSCS.