A fully fledged modern high voltage laboratory was a long felt need for the university education and the electrical engineering industry of Sri Lanka.  The laboratory has been named after Prof Rohan Lucas as a gratitude for the dedicated long service over 45 years for High Voltage Engineering Education of the university and the country. The laboratory consist of a High voltage Impulse Generator, High Voltage AC Test System, High Voltage DC Test System, Artificial Rain Making Equipment and associated control equipment and auxiliary devices. The laboratory is capable of High Voltage Impulse Tests, High Voltage AC and DC tests up to 500kV and 300kV respectively at different environmental conditions. Sri Lanka’s first fully fledged modern high voltage lab was declared open at the University of Moratuwa today.The modern High Voltage Laboratory and Testing Facility was ceremonially opened under the patronage of the Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, Prof. K K Y W Perera as the Chief Guest, Chief Executive Officer of LTL Holdings (Pvt) Limited, Eng U D Jayawardana as the Guest of Honour, Vice Chancellor and Prof. Ananda Jayawardna, Dean of the Engineering Faculty. LTL Holdings (Pvt) Limited has joined hands with the university as the industrial sponsor in construction of the laboratory. This is as another CSR project by LTL to up held the university education in Sri Lanka. Cost of laboratory was Rs 35 million appx out of which laboratory renovation and civil construction works around Rs 5 million was sponsored by LTL Holdings (Pvt) Limited.The lab facility will be of immense support to Undergraduate and Post Graduate Engineering students for their laboratory experiments, design and research projects and for the High Voltage Research Group of the University lead by Prof Rojan Lucas and Dr Rasara Samarasinghe. Further the testing facility is capable of carrying out HV Transformer Testing, HV Cable Testing, Meter Testing, HV Insulator and Bushing Testing, HV Switchgear Testing, HV CT/PT/ and CVT Testing which has been a long standing vacuum in the industry.This is the only test facility in Sri Lanka of this caliber with equipment including an impulse generator test set, HVAC test set and HVDC test set that are capable of carrying out most of the testing required by the power industry in the country. (Colombo Gazette)

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BERLIN — A closely watched survey shows that business confidence in Germany has fallen for the sixth consecutive month as worries mount about the outlook for Europe’s biggest economy.The Ifo institute said Friday that its monthly index declined to 98.5 points from 99.3 in January, sinking to its lowest level since December 2014. That was a slightly worse showing than the 98.9 points economists had forecast.Managers’ assessment of both their current situation and their outlook for the next six months darkened.Germany’s economy shrank in the third quarter and stalled in the fourth. The Ifo said that its survey and other indicators at least point to a return to quarterly growth of 0.2 per cent in the current quarter.The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The Latest on Tesla’s plans for fully-autonomous vehicles (all times local):___1:50 p.m.Tesla says it will introduce a ride-hailing service with no humans driving the vehicles.CEO Elon Musk and others detailed the company’s plans to have self-driving vehicles operational by next year at an event for investors Monday.Musk says Tesla’s self-driving software is storing images and learning at an exponential rate. He’s confident Tesla will get regulatory approval for the service sometime next year as well.Tesla would allow owners to use their smart phones to put their cars into the ride-hailing service while they’re not being used. The company would take 25% to 30% of the fare. Musk says Tesla would provide vehicles in areas where not enough people share their cars.___1:30 p.m.Tesla expects to have full self-driving cars in which humans won’t have to touch the steering wheel around the second quarter of next year.CEO Elon Musk tells investors that the company’s system of high speed computers, software and neural network object detection and depth recognition will allow human drivers to check out. He expects to get regulatory approval for the system toward the end of 2020.Currently, approval would be required only in California, experts say.Musk also says Tesla’s neural network is learning how to deal with close lane changes on crowded freeways such as those in Los Angeles. Eventually drivers will be able to choose more aggressive behaviour that could run a slight risk of a fender-bender, he says.Musk’s comments came Monday during an event that Tesla is hosting in Silicon Valley to show off its plans for fully autonomous vehicles.____12:45 p.m.Tesla CEO Elon Musk says laser imaging sensors used by nearly all other autonomous vehicle developers are not needed.The sensors called Lidar send out light beams that detect objects in the dark and other poor conditions. Many experts consider them essential, including those at Google spinoff Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise Automation.“Lidar is a fool’s errand,” Musk. “They’re expensive sensors that are unnecessary. It’s like having a whole bunch of appendixes.”He also says Tesla has a huge advantage over autonomous vehicle competitors because it gathers a massive amount of data in the real world. He says this quarter Tesla will have 500,000 vehicles on the road, each equipped with eight cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar gathering data to help build the company’s neural network.The network allows vehicles to recognize images, determine what objects are and figure out how to deal with them.___12:30 p.m.Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told investors that the company’s computer to enable its electric cars to become self–driving vehicles is powered by the best processing chip in the world.Musk made the bold declaration Monday during an event that Tesla is hosting in Silicon Valley to show off its plans to give the owners of its cars the option to turn all the driving over to a robot.Tesla had never made its own computer chip before it hired an ex-Apple engineer three years ago to design it. Now, Musk boasts the chip is better than any other on the market “by a huge margin.”Many self-driving car experts believe Tesla’s cars still aren’t close to become fully autonomous.Tesla is holding the event two days before it is scheduled to report a first-quarter loss after production and sales of its cars fell below expectations.___11:30 a.m.A webcast showing Tesla’s presentation to investors on “full self-driving” vehicles has yet to begin more than 30 minutes after its scheduled start.More than 40,000 viewers instead are watching a continuous loop of Teslas driving on bridges, highways and snow covered roads. There also are some factory scenes and horses galloping in the snow.CEO Elon Musk was scheduled to detail his self-driving vehicle plans at the event for investors Monday. Reporters were not allowed to attend.Some experts are skeptical that Musk has the technology to deliver fully self-driving vehicles safely.___6 a.m.Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears ready to transform the company’s electric cars into driverless vehicles in a risky bid to realize a bold vision he has been floating for years.The technology required to make that leap is scheduled to be shown to Tesla investors Monday at the company’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters.Musk is so certain that Tesla will win the race toward full autonomy that he indicated in an interview that his company’s cars should be able to navigate congested highways and city streets without a human behind the wheel by no later than next year.But experts say they’re skeptical whether Tesla’s technology has advanced to where its cars can be driven solely by a robot, without a human to take control if something goes awry.The Associated Press

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