Cable Testing

Medium voltage cable systems are often overlooked, which can be a costly oversight since medium voltage cables have a limited life.  There are two problems with this.  The first is that many people do nothing, and when a failure happens they unknowingly place their facility at risk by allowing a costly power outage to occur.  In addition to the great cost associated with the unproductive labor, missed shipments, unhappy customers, and overtime pay needed to get back on schedule, there will be an increased cost for the emergency service required to replace the feeder and any associated damaged equipment on short notice.

5.6 pic15.6 pic2Power Cable Testing

The second problem is, even if the life expectancy of a cable is tracked by facility engineers, the actual life of the cable may not always match what is listed in the manufacturer’s specifications.  Many variables can change the life of a medium voltage cable, such as the type of stress cone and splices, the proper installation of the terminations, and the environment and manor that the cable is installed.  When cables have a catastrophic failure, they tend to damage anything near the fault.  This could be the conduit they are contained in, medium voltage switches, protective relays, or plant personnel.  The importance of having a safe cable system is paramount to having a safe and reliable plant.  Diagnostic testing is a great way of reducing the risk factor.  Diagnostics testing looks into all aspects of a cable.  It helps identify issues that exist within the system from the deterioration of the cable to the incorrect installation of terminations and splices.

ICS has the in-house ability to test and identify the condition of your medium voltage system.  Our condition assessment utilizes a state of the art cable tester that goes above and beyond the typical AC or DC hi-pot tester.  We perform Tan δ (Tan Delta) and VLF (very low frequency) hi-pot testing on your cable system.  This enables us to identify any potential issues while enabling us to grade your cable system from the strongest to the weakest link.  The Tan δ test procedure can be incorporated into your maintenance schedule, and can be performed at scheduled intervals to document and trend your cable system.  This data can then be used to ascertain the condition of the cable, which should allow ample time to coordinate and plan a replacement project for the deteriorating cable well before a catastrophic failure occurs. A failure will undoubtedly be very costly and cause severe downtime.