National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
Click here to send a question to the contact.
Innovation Funding Incentive
Currently, cable backfill is concrete bound sand. This sets
essentially like concrete, and cannot be dug out easily without
specialist teams due to risk of damage to the cable below.
Currently, it could take up to three weeks to excavate the cable
properly with specialist contractors having to use sandblasting
to excavate the cable. This is both labour intensive and
The proposed method gives a backfill that can be removed with
a shovel, and as such, non-specialised contractors can be used
to carry out the work, and the time delay in reaching the cable
is significantly reduced (to approximately 3 days).
This project aims to deliver a novel material for backfilling cable
trenches that requires much less time and a non-specialist
workforce to excavate. This proposal seeks funding for a trial
and demonstration of a new (to the GB system) backfill from the
US & Canada, and the thermal testing that goes with it. This will
be tested as soon as possible on a critical part of the network.