IEEE
You are not logged in, please sign in to edit > Log in / create account  

Oral-History:Jacques Clade

From GHN

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Text replace - "[[Category:Power, energy & industry applications" to "[[Category:Energy")
(21 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
== About Jacques Clade  ==
 
== About Jacques Clade  ==
  
Jacques Cladé was educated at Spenkthenderer and the École Polytechnique before joining Électricité de France in 1956. His early work focused on the practical problems of rapidly expanding the capacity of France's electrical transmission system in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He also worked on the project of linking French and British power systems via a cross channel cable. He was appointed technical director for transmission equipment in 1970 and assistant director of EDF international in 1983. In these positions his was responsible for procurement management and the development of systems to meet projected demand. Within EDF international he was also involved in technical consulting with the utilities of developing nations, including former French colonies. He also spent five years teaching at the École Centrale.  
+
<p>Jacques Cladé was educated at Spenkthenderer and the École Polytechnique before joining Électricité de France in 1956. His early work focused on the practical problems of rapidly expanding the capacity of France's electrical transmission system in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He also worked on the project of linking French and British power systems via a cross channel cable. He was appointed technical director for transmission equipment in 1970 and assistant director of EDF international in 1983. In these positions his was responsible for procurement management and the development of systems to meet projected demand. Within EDF international he was also involved in technical consulting with the utilities of developing nations, including former French colonies. He also spent five years teaching at the École Centrale. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Highlights of the interview include a discussion of the difficulties involved in the DC link with England, and description of the development of Sulfur Hexaflouride technology for substation breakers, and work on the problem of [[Radio|radio]] interferences from high voltage transmission lines. He also discusses early applications of computers to model corona losses. He briefly mentions the technological stagnation of the American power industry after 1970. </p>
  
Highlights of the interview include a discussion of the difficulties involved in the DC link with England, and description of the development of Sulfur Hexaflouride technology for substation breakers, and work on the problem of radio interferences from high voltage transmission lines. He also discusses early applications of computers to model corona losses. He briefly mentions the technological stagnation of the American power industry after 1970.<br>  
+
<p>For further discussion of Électricité de France, see Alain Bertran, [[Archives:Competitiveness and Electricity|"Competitiveness and Electricity: Électricité de France Since 1946."]] </p>
  
== About the Interview<br> ==
+
== About the Interview  ==
  
JACQUES CLADÉ: An Interview Conducted by Janet Abbate, Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, 30 July 1996  
+
<p>JACQUES CLADÉ: An Interview Conducted by Janet Abbate, Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, 30 July 1996 </p>
  
<br>Interview #297 for the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey<br>  
+
<p>Interview #297 for the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. </p>
  
== Copyright Statement<br> ==
+
== Copyright Statement  ==
  
This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.  
+
<p>This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center. </p>
  
<br>Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.  
+
<p>Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, IEEE History Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. </p>
  
<br>It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:<br>Jacques Cladé, an oral history conducted in 1996 by Janet Abbate, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.<br>  
+
<p>It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows: </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Jacques Cladé, an oral history conducted in 1996 by Janet Abbate, IEEE History Center, Hoboken, NJ, USA. </p>
  
== Interview<br> ==
+
== Interview  ==
  
INTERVIEW: Jacques Claude<br>INTERVIEWED BY: Janet Abbate <br>DATE: July 30, 1996<br><br>  
+
<p>INTERVIEW: Jacques Claude </p>
  
=== Education, military service, and EDF employment  ===
+
<p>INTERVIEWED BY: Janet Abbate </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''<br>Tell me about your early life and how you got interested in electrical engineering.<br>  
+
<p>DATE: July 30, 1996 </p>
  
<br>
+
=== Education, military service, and EDF employment  ===
 
+
<br>'''Cladé:'''<br>After the baccalaureat, I spent two years preparing for the École Polytechnique, which is a high-level scientific school. I spent two years there, and then at age 22, I had to make a decision about my future. For a while, my idea was to study economics or finance. But I got a very negative impression of this kind of work during a few weeks spent at a bank, and I came back to my first idea to become an engineer. For many reasons I decided to try to get a position with Électricité de France. They accepted me. It was during the Algerian war, so I had to spend more time in the Army than was forecast. After my military service, EDF sent me to the École Supérieure d'Électricité for additional education in power engineering. Afterwards, I became a full EDF electrical engineer, and it was the beginning of my professional life and my career at EDF.<br>
+
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Tell me about your early life and how you got interested in electrical engineering. </p>
  
Why had you wanted to be at EDF?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>After the baccalaureat, I spent two years preparing for the École Polytechnique, which is a high-level scientific school. I spent two years there, and then at age 22, I had to make a decision about my future. For a while, my idea was to study economics or finance. But I got a very negative impression of this kind of work during a few weeks spent at a bank, and I came back to my first idea to become an engineer. For many reasons I decided to try to get a position with Électricité de France. They accepted me. It was during the Algerian war, so I had to spend more time in the Army than was forecast. After my military service, EDF sent me to the École Supérieure d'Électricité for additional education in power engineering. Afterwards, I became a full EDF electrical engineer, and it was the beginning of my professional life and my career at EDF. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Well, the main reason is that EDF provided a good balance between the stability of the professional life, but also very dynamic way of thinking and working. It was quite possible, it is still quite possible, to have a very interesting and very diverse job in EDF.<br>  
+
<p>Why had you wanted to be at EDF? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Well, the main reason is that EDF provided a good balance between the stability of the professional life, but also very dynamic way of thinking and working. It was quite possible, it is still quite possible, to have a very interesting and very diverse job in EDF. </p>
  
Did it have a reputation as an exciting place to work?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Did it have a reputation as an exciting place to work? </p>
  
'''Cladé:'''<br>At that time forty years ago, in 1956, it had a good reputation, but not so good that many young people wanted to be employed by EDF. I can tell you that now, many young people want to be employed by EDF but they don't succeed. This is due to the general problem of employment in France.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>At that time forty years ago, in 1956, it had a good reputation, but not so good that many young people wanted to be employed by EDF. I can tell you that now, many young people want to be employed by EDF but they don't succeed. This is due to the general problem of employment in France. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
But at the time you could see that they were developing new technologies and that it would be an interesting place to work.<br>  
+
<p>But at the time you could see that they were developing new technologies and that it would be an interesting place to work. </p>
  
 
=== EDF career  ===
 
=== EDF career  ===
Line 67: Line 65:
 
==== Study and Research Division; electrical transmission system research  ====
 
==== Study and Research Division; electrical transmission system research  ====
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Yes. I began my job in the Study and Research Division. I would now call it "Research and Development" or "Testing and Development Division" <br>  
+
<p>Yes. I began my job in the Study and Research Division. I would now call it "Research and Development" or "Testing and Development Division" </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>What was the first thing you worked on? </p>
  
What was the first thing you worked on?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
<p>The first was on the electrical transmission system, making studies on how new lines and new substations should be arranged to address the very rapid growth in demand for electricity at that time. We called these studies "études de réseau." </p>
  
The first was on the electrical transmission system, making studies on how new lines and new substations should be arranged to address the very rapid growth in demand for electricity at that time. We called these studies "études de réseau."<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>"Réseau" being network? </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
"Réseau" being network?<br>  
+
<p>Réseau being system or network. We have the same word for the system and the network. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p>So it was not just the distribution part, it was the whole thing. </p>
  
Réseau being system or network. We have the same word for the system and the network.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>It was not mainly distribution for me at that time, it was the transmission, or subtransmission system. I spent about a year in this job. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
==== Electrical equipment department; DC link with England, radio interference  ====
  
So it was not just the distribution part, it was the whole thing.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Afterwards, my idea was to work not on system but on the network, and I had the opportunity to join the department working on electrical equipment, thanks to Maurice Magnien. Then I had two areas of interest, two points of work in the electrical equipment department. The first one was a dc link with England. The first DC Link was commissioned in '62, and from '60 I had to learn enough to understand and control what ASEA was providing us. The person at EDF who was in charge of testing the converter station changed to another job, and I had to replace him. I was very young and it was very exciting to work on something quite new. My job was to control the station, to commission it, and to make special studies, along with some good friends of mine, including a study of the harmonics of the system that were injected by the converters, and on [[Radio|radio]] interference generated by such installations at that time. No one knew how to control this interference or to reduce it to an acceptable level. We did the job with Claude Gary. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
It was not mainly distribution for me at that time, it was the transmission, or subtransmission system. I spent about a year in this job.
+
<p>Can you spell that name? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
==== Electrical equipment department; DC Link with England, radio interference ====
+
<p>Claude Gary is the man who introduced me to the [[IEEE History|IEEE]]. The second part of my job with Claude Gary was with radio interference generated by overhead lines. We made many studies on extra-high voltage lines and the generation of radio interference. This was the beginning of my career in EDF. First I did studies on system planning, and then I worked on these two main areas: DC Links and radio interference. </p>
  
'''Cladé:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Afterwards, my idea was to work not on system but on the network, and I had the opportunity to join the department working on electrical equipment, thanks to Maurice Magnien. Then I had two areas of interest, two points of work in the electrical equipment department. The first one was a dc link with England. The first DC Link was commissioned in '62, and from '60 I had to learn enough to understand and control what ASEA was providing us. The person at EDF who was in charge of testing the converter station changed to another job, and I had to replace him. I was very young and it was very exciting to work on something quite new. My job was to control the station, to commission it, and to make special studies, along with some good friends of mine, including a study of the harmonics of the system that were injected by the converters, and on radio interference generated by such installations at that time. No one knew how to control this interference or to reduce it to an acceptable level. We did the job with Claude Gary.<br>  
+
<p>What was it like when you were building the link to England? You had to connect up with their system, right? You were connecting the English power system to the French one, across the channel. Were there a lot of differences between the two power systems that you had to resolve? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Between France and England? There were two AC/DC substations, and the two converter stations were different. I don't know exactly why, especially considering the filtering of harmonics. But they were designed and built by the same manufacturer, so they were more or less similar. And considering the systems, of course they were different. The voltages were different, we had slightly different ways to control the substations, the technical communications were different, and the control points were not exactly the same, but basically there was not much difference between the two systems. Providing you have a DC link between them. But it was just about impossible to connect them by an AC link. There were two reasons for this. First, we controlled the frequency much better in mainland Europe than the English did at that time. And the second reason was that if you just put an AC link between two big systems, you get unstable operation. </p>
 
+
Can you spell that name?<br>  
+
 
+
<br> '''Cladé:'''<br>Claude Gary is the man who introduced me to the IEEE. The second part of my job with Claude Gary was with radio interference generated by overhead lines. We made many studies on extra-high voltage lines and the generation of radio interference. This was the beginning of my career in EDF. First I did studies on system planning, and then I worked on these two main areas: DC Links and radio interference.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
What was it like when you were building the link to England? You had to connect up with their system, right? You were connecting the English power system to the French one, across the channel. Were there a lot of differences between the two power systems that you had to resolve?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Between France and England? There were two AC/DC substations, and the two converter stations were different. I don't know exactly why, especially considering the filtering of harmonics. But they were designed and built by the same manufacturer, so they were more or less similar. And considering the systems, of course they were different. The voltages were different, we had slightly different ways to control the substations, the technical communications were different, and the control points were not exactly the same, but basically there was not much difference between the two systems. Providing you have a DC link between them. But it was just about impossible to connect them by an AC link. There were two reasons for this. First, we controlled the frequency much better in mainland Europe than the English did at that time. And the second reason was that if you just put an AC link between two big systems, you get unstable operation.<br>
+
 
+
<br>  
+
  
 
==== Electricity coverage expansion; technological problems  ====
 
==== Electricity coverage expansion; technological problems  ====
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
So this is in the early '60s? So the main challenge facing EDF at that time was expanding the system?<br>  
+
<p>So this is in the early '60s? So the main challenge facing EDF at that time was expanding the system? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p>It was the main challenge, yes. </p>
  
It was the main challenge, yes.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Was the electricity coverage expanding very rapidly at that point? </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Was the electricity coverage expanding very rapidly at that point?<br>  
+
<p>The coverage was about complete at that time with some exceptions in the western part of France. What increased rapidly was the use of electricity by people. In the early '70s, the demand for electricity in some parts of France increased 14 per cent per year. For the whole country the increase was seven per cent. I don't know exactly how much it is now, but it's around two per cent. At that time EDF faced a challenge for generation as well as a challenge for developing the network. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p>Which was? </p>
  
The coverage was about complete at that time with some exceptions in the western part of France. What increased rapidly was the use of electricity by people. In the early '70s, the demand for electricity in some parts of France increased 14 per cent per year. For the whole country the increase was seven per cent. I don't know exactly how much it is now, but it's around two per cent. At that time EDF faced a challenge for generation as well as a challenge for developing the network.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>How to develop the network. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Which was?<br>  
+
<p>Simply to increase the capacity, or develop it in some other way? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p>To increase the capacity and erect new lines at a higher voltage. Our first 400 kV line was commissioned around '56. We had to develop the network either at 400 kV or 765 kV. One of the reasons for the study on radio interference was that we were afraid of radio interference generated by this 400 kV line (or a higher voltage), and we had to control it. We achieved the job of course. I don't remember the dates, but in '56 there was one line from the Massif Central to the Paris region at 400 kV. And now we have quite a large grid at that voltage and a big interconnector to all of Europe. So it was exciting to participate in that development. Of course at the same time we had to improve the capacity of our distribution system. There were two ways of creating it. First, for low voltage distribution we went from 110 up or 120 volts to 225 or 230 volts. The other part, the medium voltage, was mainly 15 kV, and we went up to 20 kV using the same substations and often the same overhead lines or cables. </p>
  
How to develop the network.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>What kind of problems did you encounter doing that? </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Simply to increase the capacity, or develop it in some other way?<br>  
+
<p>Well, we had many problems with insulation, coordination and also controlling short-circuit currents on distribution. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p>How was that? </p>
  
To increase the capacity and erect new lines at a higher voltage. Our first 400 kV line was commissioned around '56. We had to develop the network either at 400 kV or 765 kV. One of the reasons for the study on radio interference was that we were afraid of radio interference generated by this 400 kV line (or a higher voltage), and we had to control it. We achieved the job of course. I don't remember the dates, but in '56 there was one line from the Massif Central to the Paris region at 400 kV. And now we have quite a large grid at that voltage and a big interconnector to all of Europe. So it was exciting to participate in that development. Of course at the same time we had to improve the capacity of our distribution system. There were two ways of creating it. First, for low voltage distribution we went from 110 up or 120 volts to 225 or 230 volts. The other part, the medium voltage, was mainly 15 kV, and we went up to 20 kV using the same substations and often the same overhead lines or cables. <br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>I speak now only of medium voltage distribution. That's from 5kV to 36 kV. You can have very large short-circuit currents at these voltages, 20 kiloamps and more. And you must design all the equipment to deal with this current. But it's very expensive. It's better to limit the short-circuit currents by using special devices and especially by using devices incorporated in the neutral connection to earth. But if you do this, the over-voltages during the fault are too high. Every country has its own way for obtaining a good balance between the short-circuit currents and the over-voltages. France has its own way, Germany has another way to control it. In Europe, the two main ways are the German one and the French one. I don't know exactly how you do it in the States, but you have quite a different system for distribution, though this was one of the questions to be solved. But at that time, and even today, there were many other problems in distribution, such as how to protect domestic installations and how to avoid excessive over-currents. There was also the problem of preventing electric shock. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
What kind of problems did you encounter doing that?<br>  
+
<p>Yes. And you were working on all of these problems? </p>
 
+
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Well, we had many problems with insulation, coordination and also controlling short-circuit currents on distribution.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
How was that?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
I speak now only of medium voltage distribution. That's from 5kV to 36 kV. You can have very large short-circuit currents at these voltages, 20 kiloamps and more. And you must design all the equipment to deal with this current. But it's very expensive. It's better to limit the short-circuit currents by using special devices and especially by using devices incorporated in the neutral connection to earth. But if you do this, the over-voltages during the fault are too high. Every country has its own way for obtaining a good balance between the short-circuit currents and the over-voltages. France has its own way, Germany has another way to control it. In Europe, the two main ways are the German one and the French one. I don't know exactly how you do it in the States, but you have quite a different system for distribution, though this was one of the questions to be solved. But at that time, and even today, there were many other problems in distribution, such as how to protect domestic installations and how to avoid excessive over-currents. There was also the problem of preventing electric shock.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Yes. And you were working on all of these problems?<br>
+
 
+
<br>  
+
  
 
==== Generation equipment testing and reliability  ====
 
==== Generation equipment testing and reliability  ====
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
I was working on all of this, of course. Another thing I did had to do with generating stations, where there are a lot of little devices used to control the station. For instance, there are many "fins de course," that is devices operated by a moving piece. At a predetermined point it opens an interrupter, a circuit breaker, and sends a signal.<br>  
+
<p>I was working on all of this, of course. Another thing I did had to do with generating stations, where there are a lot of little devices used to control the station. For instance, there are many "fins de course," that is devices operated by a moving piece. At a predetermined point it opens an interrupter, a circuit breaker, and sends a signal. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Is that a relay? </p>
  
Is that a relay?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>A sort of relay, yes. You have a lot of relays or devices measuring temperature, position and so on. And all these relays must be very reliable, because if they are not reliable you have either to stop generation or to you face some danger. My boss decided in '63 or '4 that we had to improve the reliability of all these devices. So I was given the job of developing special laboratories for improving and controlling all these devices. It was a quite different job, and also interesting. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
A sort of relay, yes. You have a lot of relays or devices measuring temperature, position and so on. And all these relays must be very reliable, because if they are not reliable you have either to stop generation or to you face some danger. My boss decided in '63 or '4 that we had to improve the reliability of all these devices. So I was given the job of developing special laboratories for improving and controlling all these devices. It was a quite different job, and also interesting.<br>  
+
<p>What ideas did you have for improving them? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Testing them. Testing them in a way which was not very common at the time. Testing them under severe environmental conditions. </p>
  
What ideas did you have for improving them?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
<p>Like lightning? </p>
  
Testing them. Testing them in a way which was not very common at the time. Testing them under severe environmental conditions.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Not so much lightning. Under humidity, temperature, a mixture of both, under rapid changes in the temperature, in humid conditions when there is condensation on the equipment. And by the way, the worst thing for equipment is pure water, and that is exactly what we used. We also had to test them under salt pollution, and under a lot of different tests which are now more or less accepted by everybody, but which at that time were not accepted and not known by electrical engineers. We called these climatic tests. Afterwards, we began to test small equipment under these conditions, and now we test big equipment under these conditions in very big rooms able to simulate very severe conditions. Another type of testing we had to develop in the '70s was what is called now electromagnetic compatibility. We began in the late '60s to develop a test under electromagnetic constraints. This is an example of what was done at that time. It now seems common of course , but it was not common 30 years ago. </p>
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Like lightning?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Not so much lightning. Under humidity, temperature, a mixture of both, under rapid changes in the temperature, in humid conditions when there is condensation on the equipment. And by the way, the worst thing for equipment is pure water, and that is exactly what we used. We also had to test them under salt pollution, and under a lot of different tests which are now more or less accepted by everybody, but which at that time were not accepted and not known by electrical engineers. We called these climatic tests. Afterwards, we began to test small equipment under these conditions, and now we test big equipment under these conditions in very big rooms able to simulate very severe conditions. Another type of testing we had to develop in the '70s was what is called now electromagnetic compatibility. We began in the late '60s to develop a test under electromagnetic constraints. This is an example of what was done at that time. It now seems common of course , but it was not common 30 years ago.  
+
 
+
<br>  
+
  
 
==== Testing and development of breakers and overhead lines  ====
 
==== Testing and development of breakers and overhead lines  ====
  
'''Cladé''':  
+
<p>'''Cladé''': </p>
  
Then in '67 I was put in charge of the testing and development of breakers and overhead lines. The problem of overhead lines was quite new for me, because on overhead lines you have not only electrical problems but also mechanical ones. For instance, radio interference or heating of the conductors by the current were familiar to me, but the main problems are mechanical problems. Since we were at that time developing our high-voltage system very quickly and since it cost a lot of money, we thought it was worthwhile to decrease the size of the towers. We did it in two ways. First, we developed computer programs for designing the towers. It was not very easy at that time because a tower is something very complicated. It was not very easy to develop this program but we did it.<br>  
+
<p>Then in '67 I was put in charge of the testing and development of breakers and overhead lines. The problem of overhead lines was quite new for me, because on overhead lines you have not only electrical problems but also mechanical ones. For instance, radio interference or heating of the conductors by the current were familiar to me, but the main problems are mechanical problems. Since we were at that time developing our high-voltage system very quickly and since it cost a lot of money, we thought it was worthwhile to decrease the size of the towers. We did it in two ways. First, we developed computer programs for designing the towers. It was not very easy at that time because a tower is something very complicated. It was not very easy to develop this program but we did it. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Was that unusual to be using computers at that time? </p>
  
Was that unusual to be using computers at that time?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>At that time? Not at all. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
At that time? Not at all.<br>  
+
<p>This is the late '60s? </p>
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
This is the late '60s?<br>
+
 
+
<br>  
+
  
 
==== Mechanical testing laboratory  ====
 
==== Mechanical testing laboratory  ====
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
 
+
The late '60s, yes. At the same time I had to build a mechanical testing laboratory to test the towers. The right way to size the towers more precisely was to combine the computing and the testing, because in computing we had to inject some parameters which were found by testing. My last job in this first part of my career was to erect, with my friend Yves Porcheron, the tower testing station at Sens, which is controlled by computers. I remember quite well that in '69 or '70 it was quite new to control an industrial system by computer. But we succeeded in doing it.<br>  
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''  
+
 
+
Did other people think it wouldn't work?<br>  
+
  
<br>  
+
<p>The late '60s, yes. At the same time I had to build a mechanical testing laboratory to test the towers. The right way to size the towers more precisely was to combine the computing and the testing, because in computing we had to inject some parameters which were found by testing. My last job in this first part of my career was to erect, with my friend Yves Porcheron, the tower testing station at Sens, which is controlled by computers. I remember quite well that in '69 or '70 it was quite new to control an industrial system by computer. But we succeeded in doing it. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
I think that many people thought it wouldn't work. But it worked. So this was the first part of my career in the Study and Research Division at EDF.
+
<p>Did other people think it wouldn't work? </p>
  
 +
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
 +
<p>I think that many people thought it wouldn't work. But it worked. So this was the first part of my career in the Study and Research Division at EDF. </p>
  
 
==== Technical directorship, CERT division  ====
 
==== Technical directorship, CERT division  ====
  
'''Cladé:'''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
I left it in '70 to take the job of technical director of what is called le CERT (Centre d'Équipement du Réseau de Transport). CERT is the EDF division in charge of the engineering for the transmission network. The job there was to manage the staff in charge of the design and construction of overhead lines, substations, control of substations, and so on. <br>  
+
<p>I left it in '70 to take the job of technical director of what is called le CERT (Centre d'Équipement du Réseau de Transport). CERT is the EDF division in charge of the engineering for the transmission network. The job there was to manage the staff in charge of the design and construction of overhead lines, substations, control of substations, and so on. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Was this more management than research? </p>
  
Was this more management than research?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Yes. Technical management. Really, my career in the Study and Research Division was at an end. It was technical management. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Yes. Technical management. Really, my career in the Study and Research Division was at an end. It was technical management.<br>  
+
<p>Did you want to move into management? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Yes. I wanted it. It was proposed to me and you never know exactly if it was your wish or the wish of your boss. You have to navigate through all these questions. </p>
  
Did you want to move into management?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>What kind of things did you have to do to manage these technical teams? </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Yes. I wanted it . It was proposed to me and you never know exactly if it was your wish or the wish of your boss. You have to navigate through all these questions.<br>  
+
<p>To organize the work. To control what was done. To give ideas to the young people or sometimes the not-so-young people who did the everyday design work. Also, I can tell you something about the organization of EDF and transmission at EDF at that time. Of course the Study and Research Department and Electrical Equipment Department was in charge of preparing for the future and for controlling the equipment we bought and which was manufactured for us. And the Transmission Service, which was called the Service du Transport, was divided into six or seven units in charge of different parts of France. It also included the national unit in charge of erecting the high voltage 400 kV and 225 kV network for the whole of France. But there were liaisons between all of these units, and a part of the job was to make everyone aware of what was desired, both at the national level and at the level of the company, and to make what they did coherent. It was part of the job. Another part was to control the technical developments, the cost, and to prepare what was needed for low voltage control in substations, the protective devices, in connection with other people in the transmission system. </p>
  
<br>
+
==== Substation equipment; sulfur hexafluoride technology  ====
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
What kind of things did you have to do to manage these technical teams?<br>  
+
<p>Can you give me an example of some of the major developments at that time that you were overseeing? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>This is one example. In the substation there is what you see, and there is what you don't see. What you see is the high voltage equipment, the transformers, the breakers, the busbar, and so on. What you do not see is the control equipment, the protective devices and so on. This part of the substation is very complicated, and the technology evolves very quickly. An important part of the job was to control the evolution and to try to be up-to-date, but not too up-to-date too early, because it is dangerous for industrial equipment to be too up-to-date too early. You risk a lot. Another example is the change of technology in the breakers. But this was a job I did before, in the Study and Research Division. In the beginning of the '60s the very high voltage and very powerful breakers used oil or air breaker technology. It was decided in the middle of the '60s to go to the technology of SF6, sulfur hexafluoride. It had many advantages for the breakers and for the whole substation. The former technology was either oil or compressed air. We had to push the manufacturers develop this new technology, to say exactly what we wanted, and to control what they did. This is another example of what happened in the early '70s on the sides. You also see the job was prepared in the '60s and was put in operation in the '70s. About ten years between the beginnings of the studies and the real use of the system in the network. </p>
  
To organize the work. To control what was done. To give ideas to the young people or sometimes the not-so-young people who did the everyday design work. Also, I can tell you something about the organization of EDF and transmission at EDF at that time. Of course the Study and Research Department and Electrical Equipment Department was in charge of preparing for the future and for controlling the equipment we bought and which was manufactured for us. And the Transmission Service, which was called the Service du Transport, was divided into six or seven units in charge of different parts of France. It also included the national unit in charge of erecting the high voltage 400 kV and 225 kV network for the whole of France. But there were liaisons between all of these units, and a part of the job was to make everyone aware of what was desired, both at the national level and at the level of the company, and to make what they did coherent. It was part of the job. Another part was to control the technical developments, the cost, and to prepare what was needed for low voltage control in substations, the protective devices, in connection with other people in the transmission system.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Why was the sulfur hexaflouride technology so important? </p>
  
==== Substation equipment; sulfur hexafluoride technology ====
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Oil technology for breakers was dangerous, it exploded. </p>
  
Can you give me an example of some of the major developments at that time that you were overseeing?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
<p>So it was more for safety? </p>
  
This is one example. In the substation there is what you see, and there is what you don't see. What you see is the high voltage equipment, the transformers, the breakers, the busbar, and so on. What you do not see is the control equipment, the protective devices and so on. This part of the substation is very complicated, and the technology evolves very quickly. An important part of the job was to control the evolution and to try to be up-to-date, but not too up-to-date too early, because it is dangerous for industrial equipment to be too up-to-date too early. You risk a lot. Another example is the change of technology in the breakers. But this was a job I did before, in the Study and Research Division. In the beginning of the '60s the very high voltage and very powerful breakers used oil or air breaker technology. It was decided in the middle of the '60s to go to the technology of SF6, sulfur hexafluoride. It had many advantages for the breakers and for the whole substation. The former technology was either oil or compressed air. We had to push the manufacturers develop this new technology, to say exactly what we wanted, and to control what they did. This is another example of what happened in the early '70s on the sides. You also see the job was prepared in the '60s and was put in operation in the '70s. About ten years between the beginnings of the studies and the real use of the system in the network.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>It's for safety, for cost, and for ability of breaking very high currents. Oil is limited in the ability to cut a high current. Instead of oil for very high currents we used compressed air. But compressed air means a compressor, which was expensive, and also means a lot of tubing to conduct the air in the substation. All this was expensive and not very reliable because it was too complicated. So SF6 had all four advantages. Now it is the standard technology used all over the world for high voltages. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Why was the sulfur hexaflouride technology so important?<br>  
+
<p>Was France one of the first countries to use it, the SF6? </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Oil technology for breakers was dangerous, it exploded.<br>  
+
<p>I think so. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>So you had to figure out the problems. </p>
  
So it was more for safety?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>It drastically changed the architecture of the breakers. And it is still occurring; there is still progress in the use of SF6 for high voltages. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
It's for safety, for cost, and for ability of breaking very high currents. Oil is limited in the ability to cut a high current. Instead of oil for very high currents we used compressed air. But compressed air means a compressor, which was expensive, and also means a lot of tubing to conduct the air in the substation. All this was expensive and not very reliable because it was too complicated. So SF6 had all four advantages. Now it is the standard technology used all over the world for high voltages.<br>  
+
<p>What other kinds of changes did you have to make in the breakers, once you were using SF6? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>You must ask a manufacturer for this. But I can tell you that for instance, when you separate the contacts there is an arc between the contacts, and you must blow out this arc. Now you may do it either by blowing SF6 from another container, or to design the pieces so that there is movement which induces a flow through the breakers. </p>
  
Was France one of the first countries to use it, the SF6?<br>  
+
<p>[End of tape one, side one] </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé:'''
+
<p>So for air you have no choice, but for oil you would have a choice? </p>
  
I think so. <br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>I don't remember how it was done in oil. It was an older technology, and in America it remained the standard technology for a long time. There are a lot of other problems with the breakers, for instance how to move the contacts. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
==== Collaboration with manufacturers  ====
  
So you had to figure out the problems.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>You had to work closely with the manufacturers. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
It drastically changed the architecture of the breakers. And it is still occurring; there is still progress in the use of SF6 for high voltages.<br>  
+
<p>Yes. This is a very important point. Our philosophy in EDF at that time and still today is that for developing new devices you need cooperation between the manufacturer, which knows the technology, and the utility, which knows the needs. First, the utility is better able to design the whole substation, taking into account the advantages and drawbacks of all things, and who also has the operational experience. From operation you have experience and you can instruct the manufacturer what should be improved. But to have this cooperation the utility needs laboratories. That is the only way to gain enough knowledge of the devices to be able to speak with the engineers who design them. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Did you have many competing manufacturers? </p>
  
What other kinds of changes did you have to make in the breakers, once you were using SF6?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>At the beginning we had perhaps four or five working on such devices, but now only two. In the early '60s we also had connections with GE and Westinghouse, a little less with Allis-Chalmers, but mainly with GE and Westinghouse. We lost the connection with these manufacturers at the end of the '60s or the beginning of the '70s because they didn't change their technology. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
You must ask a manufacturer for this. But I can tell you that for instance, when you separate the contacts there is an arc between the contacts, and you must blow out this arc. Now you may do it either by blowing SF6 from another container, or to design the pieces so that there is movement which induces a flow through the breakers.
+
<p>What do you mean? </p>
  
[End of tape one, side one]
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>I mean that in 1960 for French engineers working on the network, having connection with American manufacturers was very interesting and useful. I knew at that time people including [[Oral-History:Lionel Barthold|Lionel Barthold]], Starr, and Hileman. Ten years later these manufacturers had not changed their technology, they kept using the older technology. We had no reason to speak with them, and I lost almost all my friends. They went into other parts of the industry. The American electrical industry was practically destroyed, concerning the systems, the network, in the '70s. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Interesting. They were too conservative? </p>
  
So for air you have no choice, but for oil you would have a choice?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
<p>Conservative is the right term. Not the engineers themselves, but the higher level wouldn't spend money. One of the reasons was that your utilities were too small. And then they tried then to change this situation with the formation of EPRI, but... </p>
  
I don't remember how it was done in oil. It was an older technology, and in America it remained the standard technology for a long time. There are a lot of other problems with the breakers, for instance how to move the contacts.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>That's a different story. </p>
  
==== Collaboration with manufacturers ====
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>That's a different story. </p>
  
You had to work closely with the manufacturers.<br>
+
==== Radio interference and corona losses  ====
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Yes. This is a very important point. Our philosophy in EDF at that time and still today is that for developing new devices you need cooperation between the manufacturer, which knows the technology, and the utility, which knows the needs. First, the utility is better able to design the whole substation, taking into account the advantages and drawbacks of all things, and who also has the operational experience. From operation you have experience and you can instruct the manufacturer what should be improved. But to have this cooperation the utility needs laboratories. That is the only way to gain enough knowledge of the devices to be able to speak with the engineers who design them.<br>  
+
<p>But the management at EDF was very much committed to advancing technology. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Yes. </p>
  
Did you have many competing manufacturers?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>So you were lucky to be working for them. </p>
  
'''Cladé:'''
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
At the beginning we had perhaps four or five working on such devices, but now only two. In the early '60s we also had connections with GE and Westinghouse, a little less with Allis-Chalmers, but mainly with GE and Westinghouse. We lost the connection with these manufacturers at the end of the '60s or the beginning of the '70s because they didn't change their technology.<br>  
+
<p>Exactly. Though my first diagnosis was good. [laugh] That was to try to work with EDF. I am not so sure I told you all about the story at that time. Do you know Adams? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Adams? </p>
  
What do you mean?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Adams was an American man who developed the first scientific theory on radio interference generated by overhead lines. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
I mean that in 1960 for French engineers working on the network, having connection with American manufacturers was very interesting and useful. I knew at that time people including Lionel Barthold, Starr, and Hileman. Ten years later these manufacturers had not changed their technology, they kept using the older technology. We had no reason to speak with them, and I lost almost all my friends. They went into other parts of the industry. The American electrical industry was practically destroyed, concerning the systems, the network, in the '70s.<br>  
+
<p>No, I don't know him. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>We took the ideas of Adams, the first idea of Adams, with Claude Gary, and we developed, it may be interesting for the story, we took it from the publication of [[AIEE History 1884-1963|AIEE]] at that time, what is now [[IEEE History|IEEE]]. My boss Maurice Magnien told me to take the theory of Adams and try to start from it. We did it with Gary. It was very, very, effective. So the first idea came from America, but the development of the idea was in France, which is not always the case. I spoke of [[Radio|radio]] interference, but I could also speak of corona losses. </p>
  
Interesting. They were too conservative?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Corona, that's when you have current that leaks through the insulation? </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Conservative is the right term. Not the engineers themselves, but the higher level wouldn't spend money. One of the reasons was that your utilities were too small. And then they tried then to change this situation with the formation of EPRI, but... <br>  
+
<p>When you have conductor under voltage, there is a gradient of voltage on the surface. When the gradient is too high you have a little spark, which generates losses and interference. Both have to be taken into account when designing a line. For instance, a man of my staff calculated the losses and movement of the ions so we were able to predict the losses under different climate conditions, under rain and fog and so on. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>I notice you have a number of papers on coronas. Are there some particularly interesting results from that that you remember? </p>
  
That's a different story.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>The most interesting result was that in '80 the laboratories were put out of service because we considered that we knew all that we needed about the corona, and we were able to compute in any situation the loss and radio interference. This is the main interesting thing. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
That's a different story.<br>  
+
<p>So you know everything? </p>
  
 +
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
 +
<p>Not everything, but many things. </p>
  
==== Radio interference and corona losses ====
+
=== International collaborations and organizations; CIGRE  ===
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
But the management at EDF was very much committed to advancing technology. <br>  
+
<p>Were you making an effort to follow what was being done in other countries in terms of these various problems. Were you trying to keep up with what was going on in other countries to see if they had some new solution that might be interesting to use? To see if the Germans had some good new technology, or the Swedes, or the Americans. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
<p><flashmp3>297 - clade - clip 1.mp3</flashmp3></p>
  
Yes.<br>  
+
<p>Of course. You know that the electrical industry is very cooperative. In CIGRE and in other organizations we as electrical engineers have a lot of connections with our colleagues from other countries, all over the world. CIGRE is organized in committees and working groups and you have the committees on all the electrical subjects, and on high voltage. I was active in a committee on DC links and other committees. In this way, we knew at the time and still know many, many colleagues in many other countries. It was through CIGRE that I knew men from Westinghouse and General Electric. And, of course, from Germany, England, Italy, and others. I don't know how it is now for young people but I think they still have good connections, good friends, in our field. But at that time it was a very interesting part of the job to have such links with other people. For instance I remember my first trip to the United States. I spent about three weeks with a man who worked in the United States before the war, M. Pierre Gabriel Laurent, and we went from one point to another, meeting lot of people. And my boss knew a lot of people, and a lot about the States, because he spent a few years there before the war, 20 years before. It is a "bon souvenir." I went all around the world for CIGRE, for the IEC and on. On standardization, on technical questions, working group meetings, committee meetings. In '65, maybe in '69, I became secretary of the committee on system planning and operation of CIGRE. The chairman of this committee was [[Charles Concordia|Charlie Concordia]]. Do you have this name? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>No. </p>
  
So you were lucky to be working for them.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>He's still alive. I wrote to him last year and I received an answer. He is now an old man. But he played a major role in the system planning and operation committee. He probably is now not known in the United States. It's a pity. Barthold was chairman of Power Engineering Society. But of course I knew a lot of European people, Australian, but not so many Germans. Germany is close to France, but Germany was closed... </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Exactly. Though my first diagnosis was good. [laugh] That was to try to work with EDF. I am not so sure I told you all about the story at that time. Do you know Adams?<br>  
+
<p>In on itself? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Yes. Although now they try to go out. </p>
  
Adams?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>They didn't want to hear anyone else's ideas at the time? </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Adams was an American man who developed the first scientific theory on radio interference generated by overhead lines.<br>  
+
<p>No, they didn't want. </p>
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
No, I don't know him.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé:'''
+
 
+
We took the ideas of Adams, the first idea of Adams, with Claude Gary, and we developed, it may be interesting for the story, we took it from the publication of AIEE at that time, what is now IEEE. My boss Maurice Magnien told me to take the theory of Adams and try to start from it. We did it with Gary. It was very, very, effective. So the first idea came from America, but the development of the idea was in France, which is not always the case. I spoke of radio interference, but I could also speak of corona losses.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Corona, that's when you have current that leaks through the insulation?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
When you have conductor under voltage, there is a gradient of voltage on the surface. When the gradient is too high you have a little spark, which generates losses and interference. Both have to be taken into account when designing a line. For instance, a man of my staff calculated the losses and movement of the ions so we were able to predict the losses under different climate conditions, under rain and fog and so on.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
I notice you have a number of papers on coronas. Are there some particularly interesting results from that that you remember?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
The most interesting result was that in '80 the laboratories were put out of service because we considered that we knew all that we needed about the corona, and we were able to compute in any situation the loss and radio interference. This is the main interesting thing.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
So you know everything?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Not everything, but many things.<br>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
=== International collaborations and organizations; CIGRE ===
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Were you making an effort to follow what was being done in other countries in terms of these various problems. Were you trying to keep up with what was going on in other countries to see if they had some new solution that might be interesting to use? To see if the Germans had some good new technology, or the Swedes, or the Americans.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Of course. You know that the electrical industry is very cooperative. In CIGRE and in other organizations we as electrical engineers have a lot of connections with our colleagues from other countries, all over the world. CIGRE is organized in committees and working groups and you have the committees on all the electrical subjects, and on high voltage. I was active in a committee on DC links and other committees. In this way, we knew at the time and still know many, many colleagues in many other countries. It was through CIGRE that I knew men from Westinghouse and General Electric. And, of course, from Germany, England, Italy, and others. I don't know how it is now for young people but I think they still have good connections, good friends, in our field. But at that time it was a very interesting part of the job to have such links with other people. For instance I remember my first trip to the United States. I spent about three weeks with a man who worked in the United States before the war, M. Pierre Gabriel Laurent, and we went from one point to another, meeting lot of people. And my boss knew a lot of people, and a lot about the States, because he spent a few years there before the war, 20 years before. It is a "bon souvenir." I went all around the world for CIGRE, for the IEC and on. On standardization, on technical questions, working group meetings, committee meetings. In '65, maybe in '69, I became secretary of the committee on system planning and operation of CIGRE. The chairman of this committee was Charlie Concordia. Do you have this name?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
No.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
He's still alive. I wrote to him last year and I received an answer. He is now an old man. But he played a major role in the system planning and operation committee. He probably is now not known in the United States. It's a pity. Barthold was chairman of Power Engineering Society. But of course I knew a lot of European people, Australian, but not so many Germans. Germany is close to France, but Germany was closed...<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
In on itself?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Yes. Although now they try to go out.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
They didn't want to hear anyone else's ideas at the time?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
No, they didn't want.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
=== Directorship of EDF International ===
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Were you ever asked to give assistance to other countries with their power systems, like maybe French colonies?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Well, French colonies is another question. But this is another part of my career. In '83 I became Deputy Director, and Technical director, of EDF International. The job of EDF International was to organize the work of EDF consultants who helped other utilities around the world. As consultants we gave advice to other countries, in Africa, French colonies, but it was only 30 to 40-percent of our activity. We also consulted with Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, and a little bit with Eastern Europe. <br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
What exactly was the mission of the international?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Consultancy. The job was to be consultants.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
But why?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
This is a good question. There are many ideas behind this., The situation is quite different now, but at that time the first point was to give our engineers occasion to see other things than our own experience. It takes a lot to open the mind. Another reason was to make French technology known all around the world.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Did you export those technologies?<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
No. It was not our job.<br>
+
 
+
<br>
+
 
+
'''Abbate:'''
+
 
+
Not EDF.<br>
+
 
+
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
 
+
Oh, French manufacturers, of course. Yes. But the connection was not close between manufacturers and EDF on this point, so the aim of EDF was mainly to open itself to other problems and secondly to promote French techniques in the world. We also had connections with other laboratories. For instance, the first high voltage laboratory of Hydro Quebec was designed with the help of EDF. We had also a very important educational role in the formation of the Maitrise et Execution. In France we have three kinds of staff in industry, one is les cadres, and graduate engineers are called cadres. Maitrise is what the Army calls "sous-officier" And in industry the "homme de troupe" are called l'Execution. Execution, maitrise, cadre are the traditional ways of splitting the staff of a company. We always had a great deal of activity in educating the Execution and maitrise. I don't know why.<br>  
+
  
 +
=== EDF career  ===
  
 +
==== Directorship of EDF International  ====
  
=== Teaching; EDF educational activities ===
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Were you ever asked to give assistance to other countries with their power systems, like maybe French colonies? </p>
  
I notice you did some teaching at the École Centrale. Was that part of this mission to educate, or was that separate?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Well, French colonies is another question. But this is another part of my career. In '83 I became Deputy Director, and Technical director, of EDF International. The job of EDF International was to organize the work of EDF consultants who helped other utilities around the world. As consultants we gave advice to other countries, in Africa, French colonies, but it was only 30 to 40-percent of our activity. We also consulted with Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, and a little bit with Eastern Europe. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
It's separate. In EDF we try to we have an activity in education, in teaching. We participate in the teaching effort of our scientific and technical schools. Young engineers are asked, for instance to assist professors for a few days or half-days during the year, teaching young people, doing some of the work of the professor. After awhile some of them become teachers. I was teacher of electricity, électrotechnique, in École Centrale for three years.<br>  
+
<p>What exactly was the mission of the international? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Consultancy. The job was to be consultants. </p>
  
While you were still at EDF?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''
+
<p>But why? </p>
  
Yes. Of course.<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>This is a good question. There are many ideas behind this., The situation is quite different now, but at that time the first point was to give our engineers occasion to see other things than our own experience. It takes a lot to open the mind. Another reason was to make French technology known all around the world. </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Was that quite common for people to also be teaching?<br>  
+
<p>Did you export those technologies? </p>
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
It's not easy to do both things, but yes, it's common for some people to teach. The man who took the job after me was Michel Poloujadoff. But he is a professional teacher. This is a way to make young people aware of industrial problems. A man who is in charge of industrial problems as I was, and a man who is in charge of teaching do not have the same approach. Many of the big schools try to mix both kinds of professors. I spent about half of my vacations trying to write a textbook, and when I began teaching I had no time at all during weekends, I always had to prepare. It's awful, but I'm glad to have done it for three or four years.<br>  
+
<p>No. It was not our job. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Not EDF. </p>
  
Was it your idea to do it, or did EDF ask you to do the teaching?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Oh, French manufacturers, of course. Yes. But the connection was not close between manufacturers and EDF on this point, so the aim of EDF was mainly to open itself to other problems and secondly to promote French techniques in the world. We also had connections with other laboratories. For instance, the first high voltage laboratory of Hydro Quebec was designed with the help of EDF. We had also a very important educational role in the formation of the Maitrise et Execution. In France we have three kinds of staff in industry, one is les cadres, and graduate engineers are called cadres. Maitrise is what the Army calls "sous-officier" And in industry the "homme de troupe" are called l'Execution. Execution, maitrise, cadre are the traditional ways of splitting the staff of a company. We always had a great deal of activity in educating the Execution and maitrise. I don't know why. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''
+
==== Teaching; EDF educational activities  ====
  
Maurice Magnien told me once, "Cladé, l'École Centrale asks for a professor in électrotechnique. Do you have any idea of who could do it?" After sometime, my answer was, "why not me?" "Ooh, it's a very good idea." [laughter] At that time it was the third part of my career. After my time in CERT I came back to the Study and Research Division, in charge of all the systems studies first, and all of the electrical equipment afterwards. When you do this job you have with you more than a hundred electrical, mechanical engineers, computing engineers, and so on. You must drive these young people, and you must not only manage the system; you must also follow them. Of course, you are not the only one doing it, but we must animate, and give spirit, to all the system. It's very interesting. At the same time, teaching young people, some of whom will maybe later become young engineers in EDF, is useful, because you learn how they feel, and you begin to know what is useful. It is a stimulating job. That is the reason I volunteered to do the job.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>I notice you did some teaching at the École Centrale. Was that part of this mission to educate, or was that separate? </p>
  
=== Conseiller technique position; globalization of manufacturing ===
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>It's separate. In EDF we try to we have an activity in education, in teaching. We participate in the teaching effort of our scientific and technical schools. Young engineers are asked, for instance to assist professors for a few days or half-days during the year, teaching young people, doing some of the work of the professor. After awhile some of them become teachers. I was teacher of electricity, électrotechnique, in École Centrale for three years. </p>
  
You told me about your work in the international division. How is it different now? You said the international work was different in the 1980s when you were there.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>While you were still at EDF? </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
No. I don't know if it is different. As far as I feel, things are not very different as far as consultancy is concerned. But now we also take responsibility in operation. <br>  
+
<p>Yes. Of course. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Was that quite common for people to also be teaching? </p>
  
After that you were conseiller technique. What does that mean?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>It's not easy to do both things, but yes, it's common for some people to teach. The man who took the job after me was [[Oral-History:Michel Poloujadoff|Michel Poloujadoff]]. But he is a professional teacher. This is a way to make young people aware of industrial problems. A man who is in charge of industrial problems as I was, and a man who is in charge of teaching do not have the same approach. Many of the big schools try to mix both kinds of professors. I spent about half of my vacations trying to write a textbook, and when I began teaching I had no time at all during weekends, I always had to prepare. It's awful, but I'm glad to have done it for three or four years. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
It's very special. I had a break in my career of about two or three years. After being deputy director of EDF international. I went back to our general management. I was in charge of some general studies as an inside consultant. One of the studies was how to improve the quality of all the studies we do. How to improve our technical management. Facing the new technologies and facing change in the environment of EDF. Roughly speaking, until the late '80s we worked mainly with French manufacturers, and mainly on power. And now we have to work with manufacturers all around Europe and the world, for a simple reason. I told you that there were about five main manufacturers at the beginning of my professional life, and it was enough to have competition between them. Now, with two, competition is weak. We must enlarge our dialogue with manufacturers outside of France. Obviously we must adapt our self to this new challenge, but keeping firmly to what we are, and to what we consider as being EDF's strength; that is technical capability.<br>  
+
<p>Was it your idea to do it, or did EDF ask you to do the teaching? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Maurice Magnien told me once, "Cladé, l'École Centrale asks for a professor in électrotechnique. Do you have any idea of who could do it?" After sometime, my answer was, "why not me?" "Ooh, it's a very good idea." [laughter] At that time it was the third part of my career. After my time in CERT I came back to the Study and Research Division, in charge of all the systems studies first, and all of the electrical equipment afterwards. When you do this job you have with you more than a hundred electrical, mechanical engineers, computing engineers, and so on. You must drive these young people, and you must not only manage the system; you must also follow them. Of course, you are not the only one doing it, but we must animate, and give spirit, to all the system. It's very interesting. At the same time, teaching young people, some of whom will maybe later become young engineers in EDF, is useful, because you learn how they feel, and you begin to know what is useful. It is a stimulating job. That is the reason I volunteered to do the job. </p>
  
What recommendations did you have?<br>
+
==== Conseiller technique position; globalization of manufacturing  ====
  
<br> '''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
I don't remember! There were a lot of things. Creating the laboratories, changing the old ways, and changing slightly the connection between the Study and Research Division and the Operations people.<br>  
+
<p>You told me about your work in the international division. How is it different now? You said the international work was different in the 1980s when you were there. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>No. I don't know if it is different. As far as I feel, things are not very different as far as consultancy is concerned. But now we also take responsibility in operation. </p>
  
Did you have to help decide which manufacturers to buy equipment from?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>After that you were conseiller technique. What does that mean? </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Yes. Not only whom to buy equipment from. My job now is about this. Buying equipment is the final part of a long process. The equipment must be adapted to what you need, and to what the technology can offer you. My experience is that manufacturers are not able to do this preparation correctly by themselves. Part of my experience comes from what I knew was happening badly when I was young in America. You must have dialogue with them, all of them. What will the technology be in ten years? Can it be adapted to the needs of utilities in general, and our need in particular? Looking back to my young time, this was the core of my job. <br>  
+
<p>It's very special. I had a break in my career of about two or three years. After being deputy director of EDF international. I went back to our general management. I was in charge of some general studies as an inside consultant. One of the studies was how to improve the quality of all the studies we do. How to improve our technical management. Facing the new technologies and facing change in the environment of EDF. Roughly speaking, until the late '80s we worked mainly with French manufacturers, and mainly on power. And now we have to work with manufacturers all around Europe and the world, for a simple reason. I told you that there were about five main manufacturers at the beginning of my professional life, and it was enough to have competition between them. Now, with two, competition is weak. We must enlarge our dialogue with manufacturers outside of France. Obviously we must adapt our self to this new challenge, but keeping firmly to what we are, and to what we consider as being EDF's strength; that is technical capability. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>What recommendations did you have? </p>
  
To work with the manufacturers?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>I don't remember! There were a lot of things. Creating the laboratories, changing the old ways, and changing slightly the connection between the Study and Research Division and the Operations people. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Of course. With some exceptions. For instance, with radio interference we did the job by ourselves. No manufacturer was involved in this job. But for other jobs the task was to discuss with them, to do part of the job while they did another part of the job, and to try to have this technical connection which is absolutely necessary for the general progress of the electrical industry.<br>  
+
<p>Did you have to help decide which manufacturers to buy equipment from? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Yes. Not only whom to buy equipment from. My job now is about this. Buying equipment is the final part of a long process. The equipment must be adapted to what you need, and to what the technology can offer you. My experience is that manufacturers are not able to do this preparation correctly by themselves. Part of my experience comes from what I knew was happening badly when I was young in America. You must have dialogue with them, all of them. What will the technology be in ten years? Can it be adapted to the needs of utilities in general, and our need in particular? Looking back to my young time, this was the core of my job. </p>
  
Now you have to work with manufacturers outside of France as well?<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>To work with the manufacturers? </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
Yes.<br>  
+
<p>Of course. With some exceptions. For instance, with radio interference we did the job by ourselves. No manufacturer was involved in this job. But for other jobs the task was to discuss with them, to do part of the job while they did another part of the job, and to try to have this technical connection which is absolutely necessary for the general progress of the electrical industry. </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Now you have to work with manufacturers outside of France as well? </p>
  
Has that expanded your work a lot? Do you need to look at many more manufacturers than before?<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Yes. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
Not many more than before.<br>  
+
<p>Has that expanded your work a lot? Do you need to look at many more manufacturers than before? </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
'''Abbate:'''
+
<p>Not many more than before. </p>
  
Just different ones.<br>  
+
<p>'''Abbate:''' </p>
  
<br>  
+
<p>Just different ones. </p>
  
'''Cladé: '''  
+
<p>'''Cladé:''' </p>
  
This is a part of my job now. I don't have a technical job any more. My job is to control the procurement of EDF. But I think that control of what we buy just now, and from whom, is important. But the most important for utilities and the profession, including manufacturers, is to prepare the future. And preparing the future needs cooperation between the future users, operators, and the manufacturers. It's not a simple problem but it's a very important one. If I had to make a testament, it would be my testament. The electrical industry must organize itself for making this balanced cooperation between utilities and manufacturers. It's not easy because every partner wants to take things to itself. <br><br>  
+
<p>This is a part of my job now. I don't have a technical job any more. My job is to control the procurement of EDF. But I think that control of what we buy just now, and from whom, is important. But the most important for utilities and the profession, including manufacturers, is to prepare the future. And preparing the future needs cooperation between the future users, operators, and the manufacturers. It's not a simple problem but it's a very important one. If I had to make a testament, it would be my testament. The electrical industry must organize itself for making this balanced cooperation between utilities and manufacturers. It's not easy because every partner wants to take things to itself. </p>
  
<br>
+
[[Category:People and organizations|Clade]] [[Category:Engineers|Clade]] [[Category:Corporations|Clade]] [[Category:Research and development labs|Clade]] [[Category:Communications|Clade]] [[Category:Telephony|Clade]] [[Category:Communication networks|Clade]] [[Category:Radio communication|Clade]] [[Category:Energy|Clade]] [[Category:Power generation|Clade]] [[Category:Generators|Clade]] [[Category:Engineering and society|Clade]] [[Category:Education|Clade]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Clade]] [[Category:International affairs & development|Clade]] [[Category:News|Clade]]

Revision as of 17:10, 22 July 2014

Contents

About Jacques Clade

Jacques Cladé was educated at Spenkthenderer and the École Polytechnique before joining Électricité de France in 1956. His early work focused on the practical problems of rapidly expanding the capacity of France's electrical transmission system in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He also worked on the project of linking French and British power systems via a cross channel cable. He was appointed technical director for transmission equipment in 1970 and assistant director of EDF international in 1983. In these positions his was responsible for procurement management and the development of systems to meet projected demand. Within EDF international he was also involved in technical consulting with the utilities of developing nations, including former French colonies. He also spent five years teaching at the École Centrale.

Highlights of the interview include a discussion of the difficulties involved in the DC link with England, and description of the development of Sulfur Hexaflouride technology for substation breakers, and work on the problem of radio interferences from high voltage transmission lines. He also discusses early applications of computers to model corona losses. He briefly mentions the technological stagnation of the American power industry after 1970.

For further discussion of Électricité de France, see Alain Bertran, "Competitiveness and Electricity: Électricité de France Since 1946."

About the Interview

JACQUES CLADÉ: An Interview Conducted by Janet Abbate, Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, 30 July 1996

Interview #297 for the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, IEEE History Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Jacques Cladé, an oral history conducted in 1996 by Janet Abbate, IEEE History Center, Hoboken, NJ, USA.

Interview

INTERVIEW: Jacques Claude

INTERVIEWED BY: Janet Abbate

DATE: July 30, 1996

Education, military service, and EDF employment

Abbate:

Tell me about your early life and how you got interested in electrical engineering.

Cladé:

After the baccalaureat, I spent two years preparing for the École Polytechnique, which is a high-level scientific school. I spent two years there, and then at age 22, I had to make a decision about my future. For a while, my idea was to study economics or finance. But I got a very negative impression of this kind of work during a few weeks spent at a bank, and I came back to my first idea to become an engineer. For many reasons I decided to try to get a position with Électricité de France. They accepted me. It was during the Algerian war, so I had to spend more time in the Army than was forecast. After my military service, EDF sent me to the École Supérieure d'Électricité for additional education in power engineering. Afterwards, I became a full EDF electrical engineer, and it was the beginning of my professional life and my career at EDF.

Abbate:

Why had you wanted to be at EDF?

Cladé:

Well, the main reason is that EDF provided a good balance between the stability of the professional life, but also very dynamic way of thinking and working. It was quite possible, it is still quite possible, to have a very interesting and very diverse job in EDF.

Abbate:

Did it have a reputation as an exciting place to work?

Cladé:

At that time forty years ago, in 1956, it had a good reputation, but not so good that many young people wanted to be employed by EDF. I can tell you that now, many young people want to be employed by EDF but they don't succeed. This is due to the general problem of employment in France.

Abbate:

But at the time you could see that they were developing new technologies and that it would be an interesting place to work.

EDF career

Study and Research Division; electrical transmission system research

Cladé:

Yes. I began my job in the Study and Research Division. I would now call it "Research and Development" or "Testing and Development Division"

Abbate:

What was the first thing you worked on?

Cladé:

The first was on the electrical transmission system, making studies on how new lines and new substations should be arranged to address the very rapid growth in demand for electricity at that time. We called these studies "études de réseau."

Abbate:

"Réseau" being network?

Cladé:

Réseau being system or network. We have the same word for the system and the network.

Abbate:

So it was not just the distribution part, it was the whole thing.

Cladé:

It was not mainly distribution for me at that time, it was the transmission, or subtransmission system. I spent about a year in this job.

Electrical equipment department; DC link with England, radio interference

Cladé:

Afterwards, my idea was to work not on system but on the network, and I had the opportunity to join the department working on electrical equipment, thanks to Maurice Magnien. Then I had two areas of interest, two points of work in the electrical equipment department. The first one was a dc link with England. The first DC Link was commissioned in '62, and from '60 I had to learn enough to understand and control what ASEA was providing us. The person at EDF who was in charge of testing the converter station changed to another job, and I had to replace him. I was very young and it was very exciting to work on something quite new. My job was to control the station, to commission it, and to make special studies, along with some good friends of mine, including a study of the harmonics of the system that were injected by the converters, and on radio interference generated by such installations at that time. No one knew how to control this interference or to reduce it to an acceptable level. We did the job with Claude Gary.

Abbate:

Can you spell that name?

Cladé:

Claude Gary is the man who introduced me to the IEEE. The second part of my job with Claude Gary was with radio interference generated by overhead lines. We made many studies on extra-high voltage lines and the generation of radio interference. This was the beginning of my career in EDF. First I did studies on system planning, and then I worked on these two main areas: DC Links and radio interference.

Abbate:

What was it like when you were building the link to England? You had to connect up with their system, right? You were connecting the English power system to the French one, across the channel. Were there a lot of differences between the two power systems that you had to resolve?

Cladé:

Between France and England? There were two AC/DC substations, and the two converter stations were different. I don't know exactly why, especially considering the filtering of harmonics. But they were designed and built by the same manufacturer, so they were more or less similar. And considering the systems, of course they were different. The voltages were different, we had slightly different ways to control the substations, the technical communications were different, and the control points were not exactly the same, but basically there was not much difference between the two systems. Providing you have a DC link between them. But it was just about impossible to connect them by an AC link. There were two reasons for this. First, we controlled the frequency much better in mainland Europe than the English did at that time. And the second reason was that if you just put an AC link between two big systems, you get unstable operation.

Electricity coverage expansion; technological problems

Abbate:

So this is in the early '60s? So the main challenge facing EDF at that time was expanding the system?

Cladé:

It was the main challenge, yes.

Abbate:

Was the electricity coverage expanding very rapidly at that point?

Cladé:

The coverage was about complete at that time with some exceptions in the western part of France. What increased rapidly was the use of electricity by people. In the early '70s, the demand for electricity in some parts of France increased 14 per cent per year. For the whole country the increase was seven per cent. I don't know exactly how much it is now, but it's around two per cent. At that time EDF faced a challenge for generation as well as a challenge for developing the network.

Abbate:

Which was?

Cladé:

How to develop the network.

Abbate:

Simply to increase the capacity, or develop it in some other way?

Cladé:

To increase the capacity and erect new lines at a higher voltage. Our first 400 kV line was commissioned around '56. We had to develop the network either at 400 kV or 765 kV. One of the reasons for the study on radio interference was that we were afraid of radio interference generated by this 400 kV line (or a higher voltage), and we had to control it. We achieved the job of course. I don't remember the dates, but in '56 there was one line from the Massif Central to the Paris region at 400 kV. And now we have quite a large grid at that voltage and a big interconnector to all of Europe. So it was exciting to participate in that development. Of course at the same time we had to improve the capacity of our distribution system. There were two ways of creating it. First, for low voltage distribution we went from 110 up or 120 volts to 225 or 230 volts. The other part, the medium voltage, was mainly 15 kV, and we went up to 20 kV using the same substations and often the same overhead lines or cables.

Abbate:

What kind of problems did you encounter doing that?

Cladé:

Well, we had many problems with insulation, coordination and also controlling short-circuit currents on distribution.

Abbate:

How was that?

Cladé:

I speak now only of medium voltage distribution. That's from 5kV to 36 kV. You can have very large short-circuit currents at these voltages, 20 kiloamps and more. And you must design all the equipment to deal with this current. But it's very expensive. It's better to limit the short-circuit currents by using special devices and especially by using devices incorporated in the neutral connection to earth. But if you do this, the over-voltages during the fault are too high. Every country has its own way for obtaining a good balance between the short-circuit currents and the over-voltages. France has its own way, Germany has another way to control it. In Europe, the two main ways are the German one and the French one. I don't know exactly how you do it in the States, but you have quite a different system for distribution, though this was one of the questions to be solved. But at that time, and even today, there were many other problems in distribution, such as how to protect domestic installations and how to avoid excessive over-currents. There was also the problem of preventing electric shock.

Abbate:

Yes. And you were working on all of these problems?

Generation equipment testing and reliability

Cladé:

I was working on all of this, of course. Another thing I did had to do with generating stations, where there are a lot of little devices used to control the station. For instance, there are many "fins de course," that is devices operated by a moving piece. At a predetermined point it opens an interrupter, a circuit breaker, and sends a signal.

Abbate:

Is that a relay?

Cladé:

A sort of relay, yes. You have a lot of relays or devices measuring temperature, position and so on. And all these relays must be very reliable, because if they are not reliable you have either to stop generation or to you face some danger. My boss decided in '63 or '4 that we had to improve the reliability of all these devices. So I was given the job of developing special laboratories for improving and controlling all these devices. It was a quite different job, and also interesting.

Abbate:

What ideas did you have for improving them?

Cladé:

Testing them. Testing them in a way which was not very common at the time. Testing them under severe environmental conditions.

Abbate:

Like lightning?

Cladé:

Not so much lightning. Under humidity, temperature, a mixture of both, under rapid changes in the temperature, in humid conditions when there is condensation on the equipment. And by the way, the worst thing for equipment is pure water, and that is exactly what we used. We also had to test them under salt pollution, and under a lot of different tests which are now more or less accepted by everybody, but which at that time were not accepted and not known by electrical engineers. We called these climatic tests. Afterwards, we began to test small equipment under these conditions, and now we test big equipment under these conditions in very big rooms able to simulate very severe conditions. Another type of testing we had to develop in the '70s was what is called now electromagnetic compatibility. We began in the late '60s to develop a test under electromagnetic constraints. This is an example of what was done at that time. It now seems common of course , but it was not common 30 years ago.

Testing and development of breakers and overhead lines

Cladé:

Then in '67 I was put in charge of the testing and development of breakers and overhead lines. The problem of overhead lines was quite new for me, because on overhead lines you have not only electrical problems but also mechanical ones. For instance, radio interference or heating of the conductors by the current were familiar to me, but the main problems are mechanical problems. Since we were at that time developing our high-voltage system very quickly and since it cost a lot of money, we thought it was worthwhile to decrease the size of the towers. We did it in two ways. First, we developed computer programs for designing the towers. It was not very easy at that time because a tower is something very complicated. It was not very easy to develop this program but we did it.

Abbate:

Was that unusual to be using computers at that time?

Cladé:

At that time? Not at all.

Abbate:

This is the late '60s?

Mechanical testing laboratory

Cladé:

The late '60s, yes. At the same time I had to build a mechanical testing laboratory to test the towers. The right way to size the towers more precisely was to combine the computing and the testing, because in computing we had to inject some parameters which were found by testing. My last job in this first part of my career was to erect, with my friend Yves Porcheron, the tower testing station at Sens, which is controlled by computers. I remember quite well that in '69 or '70 it was quite new to control an industrial system by computer. But we succeeded in doing it.

Abbate:

Did other people think it wouldn't work?

Cladé:

I think that many people thought it wouldn't work. But it worked. So this was the first part of my career in the Study and Research Division at EDF.

Technical directorship, CERT division

Cladé:

I left it in '70 to take the job of technical director of what is called le CERT (Centre d'Équipement du Réseau de Transport). CERT is the EDF division in charge of the engineering for the transmission network. The job there was to manage the staff in charge of the design and construction of overhead lines, substations, control of substations, and so on.

Abbate:

Was this more management than research?

Cladé:

Yes. Technical management. Really, my career in the Study and Research Division was at an end. It was technical management.

Abbate:

Did you want to move into management?

Cladé:

Yes. I wanted it. It was proposed to me and you never know exactly if it was your wish or the wish of your boss. You have to navigate through all these questions.

Abbate:

What kind of things did you have to do to manage these technical teams?

Cladé:

To organize the work. To control what was done. To give ideas to the young people or sometimes the not-so-young people who did the everyday design work. Also, I can tell you something about the organization of EDF and transmission at EDF at that time. Of course the Study and Research Department and Electrical Equipment Department was in charge of preparing for the future and for controlling the equipment we bought and which was manufactured for us. And the Transmission Service, which was called the Service du Transport, was divided into six or seven units in charge of different parts of France. It also included the national unit in charge of erecting the high voltage 400 kV and 225 kV network for the whole of France. But there were liaisons between all of these units, and a part of the job was to make everyone aware of what was desired, both at the national level and at the level of the company, and to make what they did coherent. It was part of the job. Another part was to control the technical developments, the cost, and to prepare what was needed for low voltage control in substations, the protective devices, in connection with other people in the transmission system.

Substation equipment; sulfur hexafluoride technology

Abbate:

Can you give me an example of some of the major developments at that time that you were overseeing?

Cladé:

This is one example. In the substation there is what you see, and there is what you don't see. What you see is the high voltage equipment, the transformers, the breakers, the busbar, and so on. What you do not see is the control equipment, the protective devices and so on. This part of the substation is very complicated, and the technology evolves very quickly. An important part of the job was to control the evolution and to try to be up-to-date, but not too up-to-date too early, because it is dangerous for industrial equipment to be too up-to-date too early. You risk a lot. Another example is the change of technology in the breakers. But this was a job I did before, in the Study and Research Division. In the beginning of the '60s the very high voltage and very powerful breakers used oil or air breaker technology. It was decided in the middle of the '60s to go to the technology of SF6, sulfur hexafluoride. It had many advantages for the breakers and for the whole substation. The former technology was either oil or compressed air. We had to push the manufacturers develop this new technology, to say exactly what we wanted, and to control what they did. This is another example of what happened in the early '70s on the sides. You also see the job was prepared in the '60s and was put in operation in the '70s. About ten years between the beginnings of the studies and the real use of the system in the network.

Abbate:

Why was the sulfur hexaflouride technology so important?

Cladé:

Oil technology for breakers was dangerous, it exploded.

Abbate:

So it was more for safety?

Cladé:

It's for safety, for cost, and for ability of breaking very high currents. Oil is limited in the ability to cut a high current. Instead of oil for very high currents we used compressed air. But compressed air means a compressor, which was expensive, and also means a lot of tubing to conduct the air in the substation. All this was expensive and not very reliable because it was too complicated. So SF6 had all four advantages. Now it is the standard technology used all over the world for high voltages.

Abbate:

Was France one of the first countries to use it, the SF6?

Cladé:

I think so.

Abbate:

So you had to figure out the problems.

Cladé:

It drastically changed the architecture of the breakers. And it is still occurring; there is still progress in the use of SF6 for high voltages.

Abbate:

What other kinds of changes did you have to make in the breakers, once you were using SF6?

Cladé:

You must ask a manufacturer for this. But I can tell you that for instance, when you separate the contacts there is an arc between the contacts, and you must blow out this arc. Now you may do it either by blowing SF6 from another container, or to design the pieces so that there is movement which induces a flow through the breakers.

[End of tape one, side one]

Abbate:

So for air you have no choice, but for oil you would have a choice?

Cladé:

I don't remember how it was done in oil. It was an older technology, and in America it remained the standard technology for a long time. There are a lot of other problems with the breakers, for instance how to move the contacts.

Collaboration with manufacturers

Abbate:

You had to work closely with the manufacturers.

Cladé:

Yes. This is a very important point. Our philosophy in EDF at that time and still today is that for developing new devices you need cooperation between the manufacturer, which knows the technology, and the utility, which knows the needs. First, the utility is better able to design the whole substation, taking into account the advantages and drawbacks of all things, and who also has the operational experience. From operation you have experience and you can instruct the manufacturer what should be improved. But to have this cooperation the utility needs laboratories. That is the only way to gain enough knowledge of the devices to be able to speak with the engineers who design them.

Abbate:

Did you have many competing manufacturers?

Cladé:

At the beginning we had perhaps four or five working on such devices, but now only two. In the early '60s we also had connections with GE and Westinghouse, a little less with Allis-Chalmers, but mainly with GE and Westinghouse. We lost the connection with these manufacturers at the end of the '60s or the beginning of the '70s because they didn't change their technology.

Abbate:

What do you mean?

Cladé:

I mean that in 1960 for French engineers working on the network, having connection with American manufacturers was very interesting and useful. I knew at that time people including Lionel Barthold, Starr, and Hileman. Ten years later these manufacturers had not changed their technology, they kept using the older technology. We had no reason to speak with them, and I lost almost all my friends. They went into other parts of the industry. The American electrical industry was practically destroyed, concerning the systems, the network, in the '70s.

Abbate:

Interesting. They were too conservative?

Cladé:

Conservative is the right term. Not the engineers themselves, but the higher level wouldn't spend money. One of the reasons was that your utilities were too small. And then they tried then to change this situation with the formation of EPRI, but...

Abbate:

That's a different story.

Cladé:

That's a different story.

Radio interference and corona losses

Abbate:

But the management at EDF was very much committed to advancing technology.

Cladé:

Yes.

Abbate:

So you were lucky to be working for them.

Cladé:

Exactly. Though my first diagnosis was good. [laugh] That was to try to work with EDF. I am not so sure I told you all about the story at that time. Do you know Adams?

Abbate:

Adams?

Cladé:

Adams was an American man who developed the first scientific theory on radio interference generated by overhead lines.

Abbate:

No, I don't know him.

Cladé:

We took the ideas of Adams, the first idea of Adams, with Claude Gary, and we developed, it may be interesting for the story, we took it from the publication of AIEE at that time, what is now IEEE. My boss Maurice Magnien told me to take the theory of Adams and try to start from it. We did it with Gary. It was very, very, effective. So the first idea came from America, but the development of the idea was in France, which is not always the case. I spoke of radio interference, but I could also speak of corona losses.

Abbate:

Corona, that's when you have current that leaks through the insulation?

Cladé:

When you have conductor under voltage, there is a gradient of voltage on the surface. When the gradient is too high you have a little spark, which generates losses and interference. Both have to be taken into account when designing a line. For instance, a man of my staff calculated the losses and movement of the ions so we were able to predict the losses under different climate conditions, under rain and fog and so on.

Abbate:

I notice you have a number of papers on coronas. Are there some particularly interesting results from that that you remember?

Cladé:

The most interesting result was that in '80 the laboratories were put out of service because we considered that we knew all that we needed about the corona, and we were able to compute in any situation the loss and radio interference. This is the main interesting thing.

Abbate:

So you know everything?

Cladé:

Not everything, but many things.

International collaborations and organizations; CIGRE

Abbate:

Were you making an effort to follow what was being done in other countries in terms of these various problems. Were you trying to keep up with what was going on in other countries to see if they had some new solution that might be interesting to use? To see if the Germans had some good new technology, or the Swedes, or the Americans.

Cladé:

Of course. You know that the electrical industry is very cooperative. In CIGRE and in other organizations we as electrical engineers have a lot of connections with our colleagues from other countries, all over the world. CIGRE is organized in committees and working groups and you have the committees on all the electrical subjects, and on high voltage. I was active in a committee on DC links and other committees. In this way, we knew at the time and still know many, many colleagues in many other countries. It was through CIGRE that I knew men from Westinghouse and General Electric. And, of course, from Germany, England, Italy, and others. I don't know how it is now for young people but I think they still have good connections, good friends, in our field. But at that time it was a very interesting part of the job to have such links with other people. For instance I remember my first trip to the United States. I spent about three weeks with a man who worked in the United States before the war, M. Pierre Gabriel Laurent, and we went from one point to another, meeting lot of people. And my boss knew a lot of people, and a lot about the States, because he spent a few years there before the war, 20 years before. It is a "bon souvenir." I went all around the world for CIGRE, for the IEC and on. On standardization, on technical questions, working group meetings, committee meetings. In '65, maybe in '69, I became secretary of the committee on system planning and operation of CIGRE. The chairman of this committee was Charlie Concordia. Do you have this name?

Abbate:

No.

Cladé:

He's still alive. I wrote to him last year and I received an answer. He is now an old man. But he played a major role in the system planning and operation committee. He probably is now not known in the United States. It's a pity. Barthold was chairman of Power Engineering Society. But of course I knew a lot of European people, Australian, but not so many Germans. Germany is close to France, but Germany was closed...

Abbate:

In on itself?

Cladé:

Yes. Although now they try to go out.

Abbate:

They didn't want to hear anyone else's ideas at the time?

Cladé:

No, they didn't want.

EDF career

Directorship of EDF International

Abbate:

Were you ever asked to give assistance to other countries with their power systems, like maybe French colonies?

Cladé:

Well, French colonies is another question. But this is another part of my career. In '83 I became Deputy Director, and Technical director, of EDF International. The job of EDF International was to organize the work of EDF consultants who helped other utilities around the world. As consultants we gave advice to other countries, in Africa, French colonies, but it was only 30 to 40-percent of our activity. We also consulted with Saudi Arabia, China, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, and a little bit with Eastern Europe.

Abbate:

What exactly was the mission of the international?

Cladé:

Consultancy. The job was to be consultants.

Abbate:

But why?

Cladé:

This is a good question. There are many ideas behind this., The situation is quite different now, but at that time the first point was to give our engineers occasion to see other things than our own experience. It takes a lot to open the mind. Another reason was to make French technology known all around the world.

Abbate:

Did you export those technologies?

Cladé:

No. It was not our job.

Abbate:

Not EDF.

Cladé:

Oh, French manufacturers, of course. Yes. But the connection was not close between manufacturers and EDF on this point, so the aim of EDF was mainly to open itself to other problems and secondly to promote French techniques in the world. We also had connections with other laboratories. For instance, the first high voltage laboratory of Hydro Quebec was designed with the help of EDF. We had also a very important educational role in the formation of the Maitrise et Execution. In France we have three kinds of staff in industry, one is les cadres, and graduate engineers are called cadres. Maitrise is what the Army calls "sous-officier" And in industry the "homme de troupe" are called l'Execution. Execution, maitrise, cadre are the traditional ways of splitting the staff of a company. We always had a great deal of activity in educating the Execution and maitrise. I don't know why.

Teaching; EDF educational activities

Abbate:

I notice you did some teaching at the École Centrale. Was that part of this mission to educate, or was that separate?

Cladé:

It's separate. In EDF we try to we have an activity in education, in teaching. We participate in the teaching effort of our scientific and technical schools. Young engineers are asked, for instance to assist professors for a few days or half-days during the year, teaching young people, doing some of the work of the professor. After awhile some of them become teachers. I was teacher of electricity, électrotechnique, in École Centrale for three years.

Abbate:

While you were still at EDF?

Cladé:

Yes. Of course.

Abbate:

Was that quite common for people to also be teaching?

Cladé:

It's not easy to do both things, but yes, it's common for some people to teach. The man who took the job after me was Michel Poloujadoff. But he is a professional teacher. This is a way to make young people aware of industrial problems. A man who is in charge of industrial problems as I was, and a man who is in charge of teaching do not have the same approach. Many of the big schools try to mix both kinds of professors. I spent about half of my vacations trying to write a textbook, and when I began teaching I had no time at all during weekends, I always had to prepare. It's awful, but I'm glad to have done it for three or four years.

Abbate:

Was it your idea to do it, or did EDF ask you to do the teaching?

Cladé:

Maurice Magnien told me once, "Cladé, l'École Centrale asks for a professor in électrotechnique. Do you have any idea of who could do it?" After sometime, my answer was, "why not me?" "Ooh, it's a very good idea." [laughter] At that time it was the third part of my career. After my time in CERT I came back to the Study and Research Division, in charge of all the systems studies first, and all of the electrical equipment afterwards. When you do this job you have with you more than a hundred electrical, mechanical engineers, computing engineers, and so on. You must drive these young people, and you must not only manage the system; you must also follow them. Of course, you are not the only one doing it, but we must animate, and give spirit, to all the system. It's very interesting. At the same time, teaching young people, some of whom will maybe later become young engineers in EDF, is useful, because you learn how they feel, and you begin to know what is useful. It is a stimulating job. That is the reason I volunteered to do the job.

Conseiller technique position; globalization of manufacturing

Abbate:

You told me about your work in the international division. How is it different now? You said the international work was different in the 1980s when you were there.

Cladé:

No. I don't know if it is different. As far as I feel, things are not very different as far as consultancy is concerned. But now we also take responsibility in operation.

Abbate:

After that you were conseiller technique. What does that mean?

Cladé:

It's very special. I had a break in my career of about two or three years. After being deputy director of EDF international. I went back to our general management. I was in charge of some general studies as an inside consultant. One of the studies was how to improve the quality of all the studies we do. How to improve our technical management. Facing the new technologies and facing change in the environment of EDF. Roughly speaking, until the late '80s we worked mainly with French manufacturers, and mainly on power. And now we have to work with manufacturers all around Europe and the world, for a simple reason. I told you that there were about five main manufacturers at the beginning of my professional life, and it was enough to have competition between them. Now, with two, competition is weak. We must enlarge our dialogue with manufacturers outside of France. Obviously we must adapt our self to this new challenge, but keeping firmly to what we are, and to what we consider as being EDF's strength; that is technical capability.

Abbate:

What recommendations did you have?

Cladé:

I don't remember! There were a lot of things. Creating the laboratories, changing the old ways, and changing slightly the connection between the Study and Research Division and the Operations people.

Abbate:

Did you have to help decide which manufacturers to buy equipment from?

Cladé:

Yes. Not only whom to buy equipment from. My job now is about this. Buying equipment is the final part of a long process. The equipment must be adapted to what you need, and to what the technology can offer you. My experience is that manufacturers are not able to do this preparation correctly by themselves. Part of my experience comes from what I knew was happening badly when I was young in America. You must have dialogue with them, all of them. What will the technology be in ten years? Can it be adapted to the needs of utilities in general, and our need in particular? Looking back to my young time, this was the core of my job.

Abbate:

To work with the manufacturers?

Cladé:

Of course. With some exceptions. For instance, with radio interference we did the job by ourselves. No manufacturer was involved in this job. But for other jobs the task was to discuss with them, to do part of the job while they did another part of the job, and to try to have this technical connection which is absolutely necessary for the general progress of the electrical industry.

Abbate:

Now you have to work with manufacturers outside of France as well?

Cladé:

Yes.

Abbate:

Has that expanded your work a lot? Do you need to look at many more manufacturers than before?

Cladé:

Not many more than before.

Abbate:

Just different ones.

Cladé:

This is a part of my job now. I don't have a technical job any more. My job is to control the procurement of EDF. But I think that control of what we buy just now, and from whom, is important. But the most important for utilities and the profession, including manufacturers, is to prepare the future. And preparing the future needs cooperation between the future users, operators, and the manufacturers. It's not a simple problem but it's a very important one. If I had to make a testament, it would be my testament. The electrical industry must organize itself for making this balanced cooperation between utilities and manufacturers. It's not easy because every partner wants to take things to itself.