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This book arose out of the conviction that both designers and users of large motors and generators would appreciate a single reference work about the electrical insulation systems used in rotating machines. We also wanted to document how and why the insulation systems in current use came to be. Since rotating machine insulation is not the most glamorous field of study in the engineering world, it is sometimes treated as an afterthought. The result has been a gradual loss of knowledge as innovators in the field have retired, with few new people specializing in it.

We hope that the archiving of the information in this book will slow this gradual loss of knowledge and be a useful starting point for future innovations. This book is unique in that two of the authors (Alan Boulter and Ian Culbert) have a machine design background, whereas the other two have experience as primarily users of machines. With luck, both users and manufacturers of machines can find their interests represented here.

Collectively, three of us (Greg Stone, Ian Culbert, and Hussein Dhirani) want to thank Ontario Hydro (now Ontario Power Generation) for enabling us to become specialists in this field.It seems that the current business climate enables few engineers to become as specialized as we were allowed to be. We would also like to thank John Lyles, Joe Kapler, and Mo Kurtz, all former employees of Ontario Hydro, who taught us much of what we know.

EPRI, and Jan Stein in particular, are acknowledged for allowing the three of us to have a “dry run” at this book when they sponsored the writing of a handbook in the 1980s. We thank Resi Lloyd, who worked valiantly to put a consistent style on the various chapters, created many of the figures, and brought the book together. Hussein Dhirani thanks his family for allowing him to sneak away to the office on some weekends to work on the book on the dubious pretext of better productivity.

Hussein is grateful for the generosity of the many who shared their knowledge, from tradesmen working on generators, to designers poring over drawings, to staff in sister utilities discussing common problems, to supplier organizations explaining the intricacies of their insulation systems design. The understanding and support of Derek Sawyer and Bill Wallace at Ontario Power Generation is particularly appreciated. Ian Culbert thanks Ontario Power Generation for allowing him to participate in a number of internal and EPRI projects from which he gained much of the information he contributed to this book.

He also appreciates the opportunities his former employers Reliance Electric and Parsons Peebles gave him to learn how to design, test, and troubleshoot motors. Finally, Greg Stone wants to thank his original partners at Iris Power Engineering—Blake Lloyd, Steve Campbell, and Resi Lloyd—for allowing his attention to wander from day-to-day business matters to something as esoteric as contributing to a book. Of course, Greg’s wife, Judy Allan, is thanked because she never did question the premise that most folks use vacations for writing books and papers.