Jan 2014
Electricity Transmission
Novel Backfill
Jan 2014
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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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 expensive.

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.