Activities of Cigré’s study committee B1 (insulated cables)

July 31st, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize


Cigré study committee (SC) B1 covers all types of AC and DC insulated cable systems for both land and submarine applications, and focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on high voltage and extra high voltage systems. Within this field, the SC covers theory, design, applications, manufacture, installation, testing, operation, maintenance and diagnostic techniques of insulated cables. The stated main goals of SC B1 are as follows:

  • Contribute effectively to the progress in insulated cable systems technology.
  • Facilitate the integration of insulated cable systems in electric power networks and in the environment, covering the complete life cycle of cables.
  • Maintain its leading position in the field of power cables by providing, and actively presenting, unbiased and neutral information on all essential cable aspects.
  • Be recognised by the electric power industry (EPI) as a leading and reliable partner with competence in all engineering issues related to insulated cable systems, i.e. technical, economical, ecological and social.
  • Monitor and assess current trends in cable technology.
  • Promote advancements in cable technology.
  • Detect, at the earliest stage, signals from the EPI regarding topics that could affect the work of SC B1.

At the end of 2013, the SC had 39 members, 24 of whom were regular members, 13 observer members, a secretary and a chairman. The study committee is representative of the industry, with 15 members coming from manufacturers, 17 from utilities, three from consultants, two from institutes and two from universities.

The next study committee meeting will be held at the end of August 2015.

Much of the work of the study committee is carried out by its working groups (WGs), whose work is clearly defined by their terms of reference. Usually the terms of reference for each WG are defined by a task force (TF) set up for this specific purpose, and each TF is given one year to complete its task. Each WG is also given a specific time limit, typically three years, to complete its work. The final product of the WG will be either an Electra magazine article, a comprehensive technical brochure, a complete tutorial, or any combination thereof.

The technical brochures are available free of charge to Cigré members, and can be purchased from Cigré by anyone else. The tutorials are made available to properly qualified members who can then present them in their own countries to interest groups.

The study committee also has four advisory groups. The Strategic Advisory Group assists with defining the strategic direction that the study committee takes, the Customer Advisory Group assists with ensuring that the needs of the study committee’s targets are met, and the Tutorial and Publications Advisory Group, which oversees the final products of the working groups. The fourth advisory group, the Prospective Advisory Group, identifies changes related to the power networks of the future, which may have consequences in the domain of power cables.

South Africa has been represented by Antony Falconer, from Aberdare Cables, who has come to the end of his six-year term and handed over to Thinus du Plessis of Eskom.

Works published over the past year as both Electra articles and technical brochures are:

  • WG B1.23: impact of EMF on current ratings and cable systems.
  • WG B1.29: guidelines for maintaining the integrity of XLPE transmission cable accessories.
  • WG B1.30: cable systems electrical characteristics.
  • WG B1.31: testing of superconducting cable systems.

Publication of the following works are due to take place before the end of this year:

  • WG B1.11: upgrading and uprating of existing cable systems.
  • WG B1.28: on-site partial discharge assessment of HV and EHV cable systems.
  • JWG B1/B3.33: feasibility of a common, dry type interface for GIS and power cables of 52 kV and above.
  • WG B1.42: testing of transition joints between HVDC cables with lapped and extruded insulation up to 500 kV.

The terms of reference of the working groups are very comprehensive and can be found at:

Contact Rob Stephen, Cigré, Tel 031 563-0063,



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