Sep 2015
Electricity Distribution
Small Bore Cable Replacement Technology
Sep 2015
Apr 2017
UK Power Networks, Eastern Power Networks, London Power Networks and South Eastern Power Networks
Lynne McDonald
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Network Innovation Allowance
High Voltage Technology
The project aims to demonstrate alternative techniques to the traditional replacement approach for EHV cables employed by GB DNOs. The project will trial identified techniques at a number of sites where there are circuits of small bore cable. The main objectives are to:

  • Conduct a market assessment (nationally and internationally) of the available techniques and suppliers that use offer alternative approaches when replacing fluid filled cables to the traditional open cut lay approach.

  • Select a number of replacement techniques to be tested and the sites within each licence area for them to be trialled. At the moment, only two replacement techniques have been scoped for inclusion.

  • Undertake trial cable replacements at the identified circuits for each identified technique.

  • Assessment of each replacement technique and collation of trial results.

  • Peer review undertaken of trial results with other DNOs.

The Small Bore Cable Replacement Technology project intends to demonstrate emerging techniques for the replacement of EHV cable as an alternative to traditional open cut lay techniques currently used.

Technologies have been trialled on large cross section area cables in rural locations for the replacement of fluid filled cables. These however have not yet been proven on small bore cables in urban environments that may be in close proximity to other circuits or services. Therefore this project plans to trial these emerging techniques at small bore cable routes in urban environments that are close to other circuits and cables. Demonstrating that such cable replacement techniques can be employed may provide the ability for the reduction of: EHV cable replacement costs; cable leakages (fluid and gas); Customer Interruptions; and Customer Minutes Lost. Therefore facilitating a cost-effective cable replacement programme.

The main risks for the project will be impact on customers whilst carrying out the trials due to failure of the new methods being tested. For this reason initial trials will be carried out on inactive sections first.

The following will be considered when assessing whether the project has been successful:

  • A list of suppliers and their contact details that provide services for the replacement of fluid filled cables, along with the techniques (tested and untested) they are able to offer as an alternative to the traditional open cut lay approach.

  • Alternative replacement techniques have been undertaken and tested at the trial sites and replacement circuit is commissioned.

  • An understanding through demonstration whether there are effective alternative solutions to the current open cut technique for EHV cable replacement.

  • The dissemination of trial results with other GB DNOs.