IMCORP Blog

Electrical Tree in an Aged XLPE Cable

By: IMCORP

 

Electrical Tree in Aged URD Cable

At a client utility in the Midwest, IMCORP was performing a Factory Grade® assessment on an aged 2615 foot long XLPE cable.  As the high voltage portion of the test was brought up to operating voltage, a defect site in the cable insulation began to discharge.

IMCORP identified the location of the defect and provided the Location Matching service to the client to ensure the proper section of cable was removed.  The segment of cable with the defect was sent back to IMCORP’s lab for analysis, and the electrical tree shown above was discovered.

There is a dual benefit of using IMCORP demonstrated here.  Identification of potential failure points prior to an actual failure helps our clients reduce their unplanned outages and increase their reliability metrics.  However, the second benefit is a better understanding of the failure modes affecting a client’s network.  Once a cable fails, it is extremely difficult to provide a post-mortem analysis of the failure mode.  Identifying a defect prior to failure allows the client to better understand the factors affecting their cable reliability.




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