Good care and life management of cables can greatly improve a utility’s reliability indices. Cable testing features prominently in this process, and can be split into the following categories:
- Cable testing to verify and prove the serviceability of the cable
- Cable diagnostics to assess a cable’s integrity/health and thereby predict its long-term viability
- Fault location to efficiently and speedily locate the faulted section of the cable
Cable testing and diagnostics
Cable testing and diagnostics provides information about the cable’s global condition (e.g. the cable’s overall insulation system), and will reveal localised problems, such as poor joints and terminations; it will also reveal localised weak spots in the insulation. Various cable tests are carried out to spot potential failures before they can cause severe outages. Megger cable test equipment provides access to all of the technology needed to make informed cable management decisions through the different stages of the cable’s life cycle.
Newly laid cables may be tested to reveal any faults arising from transportation or installation
During the life of power cables, older PE/XLPE insulation cables may require testing to assess aging, particularly water-tree growth, which causes sections of the cable to weaken.