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Recommendation for commissioning testing

of medium voltage cables


The recommendation

Recommendation for commissioning


testing of medium voltage cables.

Includes:
Sheath testing
Withstand testing
PD testing

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Initiators

The treatment recommendation was created by the same work group,


which was responsible for the development of the VDE Cable Data Base

Members of this working group are specialists of

- 18 Power Utilities
- 4 Universities
- 4 Service providers for testing and diagnosis
- 1 Accessory manufacturer
- 1 Cable consulting company
- 4 Manufacturers of PD measuring systems

Note: VDE cable database is a web-based database where PD measurements are stored
and where also the PD affected accessories has been inspected. This get a better
knowledge about the type of faults and its remaining life time. (www.VDE-Kabeldatenbank.de)

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Motivation

The experience of 20 years commissioning testing with 0.1 Hz VLF test


voltage indicate, that by a voltage test, only the very serious workmanship
failures are detected.

There is a large variety of workmanship failures, which pass the com-


missioning tests, and fail only after several months or years of operation.

Target

Fulfillment of the statutory requirements of the Operation Safety Act, the


BGV A3 and the VDE 0105 in respect to the commissioning test of newly
installed resp. modified electrical systems.

Quality control of newly installed cables/ accessories by PD testing

Gaining information for the condition assessment of cable systems


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Contents
Cable sheath testing

Table 1: Test voltage levels and requirements


Sheath Material PE PVC
Identification 2Y Y
Cable types (examples) NA2XS(F)2Y NA2XSY
Test voltage type DC DC
Test voltage level < 5 kV < 3 kV
Test duration < 5 min < 5 min
Typical leakage current < 100 A/km < 800 A/km @ 3 kV

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Contents
Cable sheath testing

Norm cable acc. to DIN VDE

Conductor Material (A = Al / C = CU)

Dielectric (2X = XLPE / Y = PVC)

Shield (S = Cu / K = Pb)

Sheath (2Y = PE / Y = PVC)

N A 2X S 2Y 1 x 150 rm /25 12/20 kV


Description of German abbreviations of cables

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Contents
Cable withstand testing (aged/ in-service cables)

Table 2: Overview of the voltage levels and durations to be used for plastic
and paper mass impregnated MV cables after repair or reallocation.
Insulation DC AC 45 Hz < f < 65 Hz AC f = 0,1 Hz
Test Level Test Test Test Test Level Test
UT = x Uo duration Level duration UT = x Uo duration
min UT = x Uo min min
PVC Uo/U=6/10 kV
34 to 48 kV
Uo/U=12/20 kV
15 to 30 2 30
67 to 96 kV
Uo/U=18/30 kV
76 to 108 kV
XLPE, PE 2 60 3 60
PILC and mixed Uo/U=6/10 kV
cables with PVC 34 to 48 kV
Uo/U=12/20 kV
15 to 30 2 30 3 30
67 to 96 kV
Uo/U=18/30 kV
76 to 108 kV
Mixed cables of
XLPE/PE with 2 60 3 60
PVC and PILC

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Contents
Cable withstand testing (new cables)

Testing of cable insulation after new installation of pure XLPE Cables


Experiences of 20 years commissioning tests with 0.1 Hz VLF test voltages
indicated that this reveals only the very serious workmanship failures. There
is a large variety of workmanship issues which pass the VLF commissioning
tests, and fail only after several months/ years of operation under load.

Field statistics on newly installed cables indicates that test failures appear
within 15 to 30 minutes of operation. Test durations of 60 minutes produced
no additional information or results. Therefore, a test duration of 30 minutes
is considered as sufficient.

A significant amount of the faults that are probably not detected during the
withstand tests can be detected and localized by an additional partial
discharge measurement.

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Contents
Cable withstand testing (new cables)

PD Measurements for commissioning tests


PD measurements allows to check the cable installation quality as well
as the condition of the complete system installation. Potential fault
spots can be detected in an early stage, and an evaluation of the
system and a budgeting of the required investments can be made.

A fundamental rule is:


Partial discharges occurring at U0 indicates a high risk of operating.

PD measurement test systems with the following type of voltages are


commercially available:
0.1 Hz VLF (VLF Very Low Frequency)
20 300 Hz AC (AC Alternating Current)
100 500 Hz damped AC ( DAC Damped AC)

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Contents
Cable withstand testing (new cables)

PD Measurement for quality assurance on newly installed systems


Newly installed cable accessories are, with a correct installation, PD free up
to at least 1.7 U0.

Field experiences showed that some types of accessories require several


load changes resp. temperature cycles, before they are PD free. This has
to be considered during the evaluation, or the PD test has to be repeated
after some load cycles.

The voltage has to be increased in steps up to the maximum test voltage


level. Possible PD signal have to recorded.

The test voltage has to be present for a sufficient duration to enable a


reliable detection of fault spots and to confirm the dielectric strength.

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Contents
Cable withstand testing (new cables)

PD Measurement for quality assurance on newly installed systems


For different voltage types, the following test procedure is recommended:

0,1 Hz VLF - Stepwise increase of the test voltage up to 2 U0


- 10 minutes stress duration @ 2 U0 to test the
dielectric strength and operational readiness

20 300 Hz - Stepwise increase of the test voltage up to 2 U0


- 5 minutes stress duration @ 2 U0 to test the
dielectric strength and operational readiness

100 500 Hz DAC - Stepwise increase of the test voltage up to 1.7 U0


- VWD (multiple test 50 cycles) @ 1.7 U0 to test the
dielectric strength and operational readiness

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Contents
Cable withstand testing (new cables)

Table 3: Evaluation and recommendation of measurement results

Test result Evaluation Recommendation


No detectable Test passed Requirement BNL < 100 pC (BNL = background noise level)
PD For cables with high attenuation (during calibration with 1000 pC, no end
reflection detectable) the PD measurement must be performed from
both ends.
Ui < Uo Test not passed Replacement of the affected accessories, new measurement on the new
installed accessory (confirmation of the PD fault spot only based on
visible installation errors, there are not PD tracks visible)
Entry into www.VDE-Kabeldatenbank.de)
For operational reasons, a temporary net operation after passed test
acc. to table 2 is permittable.
Ui between 1 Commissioning Result of the repeated measurement:
and 1.7 Uo of the cable - If Ui 1.7 Uo the test is passed
system possible, - If Ui < 1.7 Uo the test is not passed
but repeated -Replacement of the affected accessories (visual inspection to identify
tests after 4 to 8 the installation errors and PD fault spots (Voids, de-lamination,
weeks tracking/PD erosion) Entry into www.VDE-Kabeldatenbank.de)
In exceptional situations, at Ui between 1.2 and 1.7 Uo, the system can
be released for continuous operation. In this case annual repeated
measurements to control the stability of Ui have to be performed.

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Contents
Final recommended procedures

Table 4: Recommendation for testing of MV cables


Case Procedure Requirements
New cables - Sheath testing Table 1
(completely new installation)
- 0.1 Hz VLF test Table 2, Part 2.2

alternatively

- PD measurement Table 3
Aged cables - Sheath testing Table 1
(Fault elimination, partial
replacement, re-jointing, loop - 0.1 Hz VLF test Table 2, Part 2.2
insertion
alternatively

- PD measurement Table 3

The PD measurement has to be considered as a qualitative valuable part of the


commissioning test

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Contact

Thank you for your attention!

Name: Hein Putter

Telefon: 0049-1759361560

E-Mail: putter.h@sebakmt.com

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For more info please visit our website:
www.sebakmt.com
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