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To: IEEE History Committee Member Kind Atten: Mr. Gilmore Cooke

Dear Mr. Cooke,

This refers your below message posted on 17:40, 16 July 2013. We would like to send our reply in order of your comments:

Quote 1: 1. Pic (13) Please identify the name of the utility shown with the 500 kv MOS. There is no 'Canadian electric company'. Unquote:

Answer 1: Regarding Picture #13, the said 500 kV MOS is for Manitoba Hydro, Canada. For Manitoba Hydro, please refer to below info. Manitoba Hydro is the electric power and natural gas utility in the province of Manitoba, Canada. Founded in 1961, it is a provincial Crown Corporation, governed by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board and the Manitoba Hydro Act. Today the company operates 15 interconnected generating stations. It has more than 527,000 electric power customers and more than 263,000 natural gas customers. Since most of the electrical energy is provided by hydroelectric power, the utility has low electricity rates. Stations in Northern Manitoba are connected by a HVDC system, the Nelson River Bipole, to customers in the south. The internal staff are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 998 while the outside workers are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2034. Manitoba Hydro headquarters in the downtown Winnipeg Manitoba Hydro Place officially opened in 2009.

Quote 2: 2. Transmission and distribution systems have always been safe and reliable. Please don't imply that world utilities were waiting for Meidensha's MOSA for safe and reliable power system operations. Guard wires, the double lines, redundant towers, the best available LA, safety codes, have been successfully applied by electrical engineers for over a century. There are real advantages to MOSA but without failure statistics, I cannot say at this moment. Perhaps MOSA for gas insulated apparatus can be separated from overhead transmission lines? Unquote:

Answer 2:

As you pointed out, MOSA started its application as the surge protection devices for power apparatus at the substation. As such in the surge protection for substation field, MOSA drew the high attention from the world power utility industry as a promising device for surge protection.

For substation surge protection field, it is a fact that the there was a complete migration from gapped type SiC surge arrester to MOSA. MOSA currently serves as a basic device for the insulation co-ordination. MOSA demonstrated the overall excellence in terms of the protection reliability, cost effectiveness, etc.

For the surge protection of for overhead transmission and distribution lines, , the excellence of MOSA was recently recognized in securing the stable power supply. The WG report initially based on Japanese proposal of MOSA called "external gapped line arrester (EGLA)" for overhead transmission and distribution lines later became the IEC Standard: IEC60099-8-2011. This is a standard of MOSA with external series gap for overhead transmission and distribution lines.

EGLA means a line surge arrester designed with an external spark gap in series with a SVU ( Series Varistor Unit ) part to protect the insulator assembly from lightning caused fast front overvoltages only; this is accomplished by raising the spark over level of the external series gap to a level that isolates the arrester from power frequency overvoltages and from the worst case slow front overvoltages due to switching and fault events expected on the line to which it is applied.

Lightning stroke to overhead transmission lines is a major factor of line faults, which would cause voltage dips or supply outages. This problem can be solved by applying transmission line arresters.

In Japan, EGLAs are mainly used for transmission towers, because of ideal protection for overhead lines, i.e. less maintenance, compact size, light weight, no deterioration due to continuous energizing and successful re-closing operation with external series air gap in case of arrester failure, etc

With IEC 60099-8-2011 in place, we expect the MOSA for overhead transmission and distribution lines application will be widely accepted around the world.

As discussed above, MOSA is contributing to the stable power supply of power network system and has the high potential for growth even for overhead transmission and distribution lines application.

Quote 3: 3. Panasonic did license their zinc oxide varistors with leading world manufactures, eg. General Electric, ASEA and others. These enterprises were also involved with establishing international standards and raising performance levels. Unquote:

Answer 3:

3-1 On the Licensing from Panasonic:

The inventor of the first power system type metal-oxide surge arrester was our company. In July 1975, world-first power system type 66kV surge arrester started operation at Kyushu Electric Power Company Hayato Substation.

Panasonic invented metal oxide varistor (MOV) for low-voltage electronics application in 1967. Panasonic licensed General Electric for MOV for only low-voltage electronics application (1000V or less) in 1970. In 1970, we started a joint research project with Panasonic for power system type application. In 1973, together with Panasonic, we published the paper on power system type Metal Oxide Surge Arrester (MOSA) for National Convention of Institute of Electrical Engineers(IEE), Japan.In December 1972, Panasonic licensed to our company: MOV for power system type application (20KV or more rating).

After 1976, Panasonic licensed MOV for power system type application (1000V and more rating) to Japanese and international surge arrester suppliers like GE, ASEA, etc.

3-2 On Our Contribution to the International Standardization of MOSA:

As shown in above Section 3-1, in 1975, we installed the world-first power system type 66kV metal-oxide surge arrester (MOSA) at the actual substation in Japan (see below item a.) Based on the success (stable good operation) of the 1st project, together with Mitsubishi Electric (Mitsubishi) representing IEE of Japan, we requested that IEC standardize MOSA at IEC/TC37 (surge arrester) Warsaw Meeting in Poland. IEC promptly decided to organize working group (WG) 37.04 (Metal Oxide Surge Arrester).

 Meanwhile, in drafting final report of IEC WG, world major suppliers of surge arrester such as ASEA  and  Brown, Boveri (Current ‘ABB’ since 1988), Siemens, Hubbell, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, etc. joined. Also participated were the potential users (world major power utility firms, etc.)  With the further track records (see below Items b and c) on 500 kV power network systems, we joined WG37.04 and at the same time, during 1977 through 1981, we joined CIGRE SC33(Insulation Coordination), WG33.06(Insulation Coordination for AC System), CIGRE SC33 (Colloquium),Paris Session, etc. Through the active participation of such meetings,we promoted the establishment of the first IEC MOSA standard.
  a. 66KV MOSA for Kyushu Electric Power Company Hayato Substation (1975).
  b. 550KV MOSA for AC-DC Converter Station 0f Manitoba Hydoro(1979).
  c. 550KV MOSA for GIS of Kyushu Electric Power Company(1979).

We thank you for your kind attention and understanding.

Best regards,

Toshihisa Funabashi, Ph. D.

(a Senior Member of IEEE) Meidensha Corporation Tokyo

To: IEEE History Committee Member Kind Atten: Mr. David Burger (, Sydney, Australia

Dear Mr. Burger,

This refers your below message posted on 10:53, 29 July 2013. We are pleased to receive your update. We would like to send our reply in order of your comments:

Quote: Hello Toshihisa Funabashi; Meidensha Corporation.

Thank you for providing the additional supporting documentation suggested by Ted, and could I kindly ask if you can update the reference to the 'Canadian Power Company' to reflect the corrected entity. Not being familiar with North America utilities, it was not something I checked in my initial review.

The other comments are duly noted, and I think with the Canadian reference update, there should be no impediments to have this ready for the Committee review.


David Burger (

Sydney, Australia.



Please refer to our reply to Mr. Cooke on 'Canadian Power Company'.

We look forward to hearing the clearance at Committee Review. We appreciate your special supports.

Best regards,

Toshihisa Funabashi, Ph. D.

(a Senior Member of IEEE) Meidensha Corporation Tokyo

Funabashi-toshi01:16, 31 July 2013