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Con Edison Employee From Montgomery Wins Industry Award for Research

A Con Edison engineer from Montgomery, N.Y. has won prestigious recognition for research findings that improve the company’s maintenance of important equipment.

Jozsef Szabo, who has worked for Con Edison since October 1999, received the Technology Transfer Award from the Electric Power Research Institute, an organization that is dedicated to keeping electricity delivery safe, affordable and clean.

Szabo, a senior engineer who works in Equipment & Field Engineering, led the company’s adoption of a lubrication kit for substation equipment, including circuit breakers.

Substation circuit breakers must open in a fraction of a second when relay systems detect a fault. The breakers isolate defective equipment and remove it from service, preventing damage and potential customer outages and protecting worker safety.

It is important to keep the breakers clean and lubricated. But lubricating all the critical points can require disassembling equipment.

Working with EPRI, Szabo developed a process that uses the kit to clean breakers without disassembly. The lubricant works its way into hard-to-reach parts of the breaker mechanism.

Szabo also put together a video to help Con Edison personnel learn to use the kit. The company has used the kit in its maintenance of hundreds of substation circuit breakers.

“Safe, reliable energy is imperative in New York, home to millions, host to visitors from all over the world, and where top health-care, technology and educational institutions do their important work,” said Tim Cawley, president of Con Edison. “The work of our researchers will help us continue to provide the excellent service that is essential in this vibrant region.”

Four of Szabo’s Con Edison colleagues earned Technology Transfer Awards for working with EPRI on a separate project. Josephine Aromando, Stanley Lewis, Colleen Murach, and Mark Riddle were recognized for research into manhole safety.

The research included simulating manhole events at EPRI’s Lenox, Mass. laboratory to determine the most effective latch designs for protecting the public.

Con Edison has installed more than 750 latched covers on its manholes. The latch keeps the cover in place if heat and gases build up in the manhole.

One type of latch Con Edison uses lets the cover lift slightly on all sides in response to pressure and then settle back into place. The second latch design that the research found to be effective lets the cover lift slightly on one side while remaining hinged on the opposite side.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $54 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam to 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. For financial, operations and customer service information, visit