Update from CIGRE Study Committee B1: Insulated Cables

September 17th, 2018, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize

Study Committee (SC) B1 for insulated cables has been in existence since 1927. This SC comprises 33 advisory groups, work groups, task forces and joint working groups for the development and publication of the international best practice on cable systems.

Insulated cables, better known as cable systems, are becoming more and more in demand all over the world especially for off shore wind farm power generation connections, submarine interconnections, and for underground transmission and distribution power systems in densely populated and developed city areas.

Although South Africa predominantly uses overhead power line systems for the transmission and distribution of power to all parts of the country, insulated cables have also taken a very important place for the transmission and distribution of power in city areas. The larger city areas (Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town) are good examples of where cable system distribution networks rated from 11 to 132 kV are installed, operated and maintained since the 1940s. In the last four years at least two 275 kV and six 400 kV cable systems were also commissioned at various locations in the country.

The work of CIGRE’s SC B1 over the last few decades made a great contribution to help utilities all over the world to understand cable system best practices for their design, manufacturing, testing, installation, operation and maintenance of cable systems.

The last week of August 2018 will again be a highlight for the international electrical engineering community when the 47th CIGRE Session will be hosted at Les Palais Des Congres in Paris. At this session for all large electric system study committees, over 2000 international electrical experts from various academic, governmental, manufacturing and utility backgrounds will gather to continue their work activities for the development and improvement of the electrical world as we know it.

The main themes under discussion at the upcoming Paris SC B1 open session will include:

  • The recent experiences with underground and submarine AC and DC cable systems:
    • Design, manufacturing, installation techniques and operation
    • Advances in testing and relevant experience
    • Safety, health, environmental and quality considerations
    • Lessons learnt from permitting, consent and implementation
  • The best use of existing underground and submarine AC and DC cable systems:
    • Condition assessment and diagnostic testing of cable systems
    • Innovative tools for monitoring cables and accessories
    • Upgrading methodologies and related experiences, including AC to DC conversion
    • Trends in maintenance strategies, asset management and remaining life methodologies
  • AC and DC underground and submarine cable systems in the network of the future:
    • New functionalities expected from cable systems
    • Innovative cables and systems
    • Environmental challenges for future cable systems
    • Higher voltage levels for AC and DC Cables

These main themes are also then considered in the related work groups, task forces and joint working groups that all report back to the SC B1 meeting during the Paris session. Part of the report-back function for these work groups, task forces and joint working groups will then also be to publish these findings and learnings in the form of technical brochures as best practise guidance to the electrical cable world in need of such knowledge.

Recent technical brochure publications for SC B1 include:

  • TB 728 “On-site partial discharge assessment of HV and EHV cable systems” by work group (WG) B1.28
  • TB 722 “Recommendations for additional testing for submarine cables from 6 to 60 kV” by WG B1.55
  • TB 720 “Fire issues for insulated cables installed in air” by WG B1.51
  • TB 714 “Long term performance of soil and backfill systems” by WG B1.41
  • TB 680 “Implementation of long AC HV and EHV cable systems” by WG B1.47
  • TB 669 “Mechanical forces in large cross section cables systems” by WG B1.34
  • TB 652 “Guide for the operation of self-contained fluid filled cable systems” by WG B1.37

These and many other SC B1 technical brochures are available on the e-Cigré website.

Contact Thinus du Plessis, duplestp@eskom.co.za





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