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Guide for Operation & Maintenance of Paper-Insulated Transmission Cables

Part 1

Technical Report

Guide for Operation and Maintenance of Paper-Insulated Transmission Cables


Part 1
1000458

Final Report, December 2000

EPRI Project Manager W. Zenger

EPRI 3412 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94304 PO Box 10412, Palo Alto, California 94303 USA 800.313.3774 650.855.2121 askepri@epri.com www.epri.com

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITIES


THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY THE ORGANIZATION(S) NAMED BELOW AS AN ACCOUNT OF WORK SPONSORED OR COSPONSORED BY THE ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC. (EPRI). NEITHER EPRI, ANY MEMBER OF EPRI, ANY COSPONSOR, THE ORGANIZATION(S) BELOW, NOR ANY PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF ANY OF THEM: (A) MAKES ANY WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION WHATSOEVER, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, (I) WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION, APPARATUS, METHOD, PROCESS, OR SIMILAR ITEM DISCLOSED IN THIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR (II) THAT SUCH USE DOES NOT INFRINGE ON OR INTERFERE WITH PRIVATELY OWNED RIGHTS, INCLUDING ANY PARTY'S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, OR (III) THAT THIS DOCUMENT IS SUITABLE TO ANY PARTICULAR USER'S CIRCUMSTANCE; OR (B) ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING ANY CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF EPRI OR ANY EPRI REPRESENTATIVE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES) RESULTING FROM YOUR SELECTION OR USE OF THIS DOCUMENT OR ANY INFORMATION, APPARATUS, METHOD, PROCESS, OR SIMILAR ITEM DISCLOSED IN THIS DOCUMENT. ORGANIZATION(S) THAT PREPARED THIS DOCUMENT Detroit Edison

ORDERING INFORMATION
Requests for copies of this report should be directed to the EPRI Distribution Center, 207 Coggins Drive, P.O. Box 23205, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, (800) 313-3774. Electric Power Research Institute and EPRI are registered service marks of the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. EPRI. ELECTRIFY THE WORLD is a service mark of the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. Copyright 2000 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

CITATIONS
This report was prepared by Detroit Edison 2000 Second Avenue Detroit, MI, 48226 Principal Investigators N. Singh O. Morel This report describes research sponsored by EPRI The report is a corporate document that should be cited in the literature in the following manner: Guide for Operation and Maintenance of Paper-Insulated Transmission Cables: Part 1, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2000. 1000458.

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REPORT SUMMARY

U.S. utilities have more than $20 billion invested in underground transmission cables, the majority of which employ fluid-impregnated paper insulation. Due to the advancing age of these cables and the rapidly emerging competitive utility business climate, it is all the more important to protect this investment through proper O&M. Part 1 of this guide describes the various cable systems, O&M through noninvasive testing of the dielectric system, and invasive tests on the cables paper insulation. Part 2, to be published later in 2001, will address O&M of the complete pressurized cable system, including auxiliary equipment, repairs, and corrosion issues. These guides provide utilities with effective O&M tools and procedures that will permit trouble-free, prolonged use of paper-insulated cable assets. Background Laminar dielectric cables include high-pressure fluid-filled (HPFF), self-contained liquid-filled (SCLF), and high-pressure gas-filled (HPGF) cable systems. While the present market for SCLF cable systems is highly limited, HPFF cable systemswhich experienced significant growth in the 1950s through the 1970sare still being purchased to some extent as new, replacement, and re-routed circuits. Recently, HPGF cables have also received renewed interest. Insulation for each of these cables consists of cellulose paper and a dielectric insulating fluid, both of which govern the condition and life of these cables (assuming that the cables steel pipe or lead sheath maintains integrity and protects the insulating system from moisture ingress). To ensure a long and trouble-free life, it is essential to maintain the insulation system and the metallic enclosure in proper operating condition, through an O&M program that responds to this vital need. Objective To provide a guide that addresses a wide range of O&M issues related to HPFF, HPGF, and SCLF cable systems, with due focus on noninvasive and invasive tests of the insulating system. Approach Developers of this guide drew from the extensive laboratory and field work performed by Detroit Edison. This field work focused on condition assessment of a variety of cable designs, vintages, and accessories. Results Noninvasive testsperformed on a fluid sample taken from an in-service cabledo not require a sample of operating cable. This is an advantage, since actual pieces from an operating cable system are not readily available under normal circumstances. Fluid samples play a critical role in revealing the condition of insulating system as well as a number of cable system problems. Of all the available and potentially available noninvasive diagnostic approaches, dissolved gas analysis v

(DGA) has proven to be the most promising technique and its value has been amply demonstrated for power transformers. Under the thermal and electrical stresses experienced by the cable, the insulating system generates gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and lower and higher hydrocarbon gases. The type, distribution, and concentration of these gases in cable fluid samples form the basis of DGA condition assessment. In addition to DGA, certain fluid tests such as dissipation factor (DF), dielectric breakdown, peroxide, and moisture and furfural content for HPFF/SCLF cable systems are also useful to some extent. Furfural and carbon oxides measurements are the only two noninvasive tests directly covering paper aging. Invasive tests include mechanical, electrical, and chemical measurements on paper tapes from a small cable sample removed from service. These tests evaluate such parameters as folding endurance, degree of polymerization, tensile strength, bursting strength, tearing strength, and wet-tensile strength. As an extension of cable condition assessment, invasive techniques also allow estimation of the life expectancy of the cable for current or modified load conditions. EPRI Perspective Utilities are facing erosion of cable expertise through the loss of experienced personnel, many of whom were involved in the development, installation, and maintenance of laminar dielectric high-voltage cable systems. The need for diagnostic capabilities becomes all the more imperative due to the advancing age of such cable systems. It is particularly noteworthy that nearly 15% of these cables are reaching or have exceeded their design life of 40 years and 30% are more than 30 years old. Rapidly emerging competition in the utility industry dictates minimum expenditures to prolong the use of existing cable assets in order to defer cable replacements. As a part of its continuing efforts to ameliorate this situation, EPRI is issuing this new set of guides which will readily train new engineers and technicians in the O&M of underground transmission systems. The first training guide (1000275, September 2000) describes the application of DGA techniques to condition monitoring of installed paper-insulated transmission cable systems and the encouraging results obtained to date. Related EPRI research includes Transmission Cable Life Evaluation and Management (TR-111712). Keywords Transmission cables Operation Maintenance Condition assessment Dissolved gas analysis

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The valuable contribution of Rommy Reyes of Detroit Edison Company toward the preparation of this guide is acknowledged. The continued support and guidance of Walter Zenger of EPRI is deeply appreciated. The permission of G and W Specialty Company and Detroit Edison Company to include some drawings is acknowledged.

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CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 1-1 2 CABLE TYPES, ACCESSORIES AND SUPPORTING SYSTEMS ..................................... 2-1 2.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 2-1 2.2 High-Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF) Cables.................................................................... 2-1 2.2.1 Propylene-Paper-Propylene (PPP) HPFF Cables ................................................. 2-4 2.3 High-Pressure Gas-Filled (HPGF) Cables .................................................................... 2-5 2.4 Self-Contained Liquid-Filled (SCLF) Cables ................................................................. 2-5 2.4.1 Fluted Paper-Lead (FPL) Cables .......................................................................... 2-6 2.5 Relative Merits of Various Cable Types & Trends......................................................... 2-9 2.5.1 HPFF Cable Systems ........................................................................................... 2-9 2.5.2 HPGF Cable System............................................................................................2-10 2.5.3 SCLF Cable System ............................................................................................2-10 2.6 Cable Accessories.......................................................................................................2-11 2.6.1 HPFF Terminations..............................................................................................2-11 2.6.2 Conventional, Non-Graded Type Terminations ....................................................2-11 2.6.3 Capacitor Graded Type Terminations ..................................................................2-13 2.6.3.1 Coaxial Type Terminations...........................................................................2-13 2.6.3.2 Doughnut Type Terminations .......................................................................2-13 2.6.4 HPFF Cable Splices.............................................................................................2-18 2.6.5 SCLF Cable Terminations....................................................................................2-19 2.6.6 SCLF Cable Splices.............................................................................................2-19 2.7 Pressurization Systems ...............................................................................................2-21 2.7.1 Introduction ..........................................................................................................2-21 2.7.2 High Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF) Cables ...........................................................2-21 2.7.3 Self-Contained Liquid-Filled (SCLF) Cables.........................................................2-24 2.7.3.1 Type AC (Pressure Reservoir)......................................................................2-24 2.7.3.2 Type CC (Gravity Reservoir) ........................................................................2-25

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2.7.3.3 Type DC (Balanced Pressure Reservoir)......................................................2-26 3 OPERATION & MAINTENANCE THROUGH NON-INVASIVE TESTING OF THE DIELECTRIC SYSTEM........................................................................................................... 3-1 3.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 3-1 3.2 DGA (Dissolved-Gas Analysis) ..................................................................................... 3-1 3.2.1 Origin of Gases..................................................................................................... 3-2 3.3 EDOSS (EPRI Disposable Oil Sampling System) Method for DGA ............................. 3-3 3.3.1 Brief description of the EDOSS Method ................................................................ 3-4 3.3.2 EDOSS Sampling Procedure ................................................................................ 3-5 3.3.3 Disassembling ...................................................................................................... 3-5 3.3.4 Hot Line Tapping................................................................................................... 3-5 3.3.4.1 DGA Data...................................................................................................... 3-6 3.4 Terminations Versus Splices ........................................................................................ 3-8 3.5 Flow-Chart on Sampling Procedure, Problem location DGA Interpretation ................... 3-8 3.6 Related Cable Fluid Tests ...........................................................................................3-10 3.6.1 Dielectric Strength (ASTM D 877) ........................................................................3-11 3.6.2 Dissipation Factor (ASTM D 924).........................................................................3-11 3.6.3 Moisture Content (ASTM 1533)............................................................................3-11 3.6.4 Peroxide content (ASTM D 1563) ........................................................................3-12 3.6.5 Furfural Content ...................................................................................................3-12 3.7 General Description of Cable Dielectric Fluids.............................................................3-13 3.7.1 Mineral Oils..........................................................................................................3-15 3.7.2 Polybutene Fluids ................................................................................................3-15 3.7.3 Alkylbenzene Fluids .............................................................................................3-16 3.7.4 Characteristics for New and In-Service Cable Fluids............................................3-18 4 TESTS ON CABLE PAPER INSULATION .......................................................................... 4-1 4.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................. 4-1 4.2 Paper Tests ................................................................................................................. 4-1 4.2.1 Mechanical Tests .................................................................................................. 4-2 4.2.2 Chemical Tests ..................................................................................................... 4-2 4.2.3 Electrical Tests ..................................................................................................... 4-2 4.2.4 Magenta Dye Test................................................................................................. 4-4 4.2.5 Hot Wax Test ........................................................................................................ 4-4

4.3 Test Procedures ........................................................................................................... 4-5 4.3.1 Removal of Tapes from Short Cable Pieces.......................................................... 4-5 4.3.2 Visual Inspection.................................................................................................. 4-6 4.3.3 Folding Endurance (FE) ........................................................................................ 4-7 4.3.3.1 Procedure...................................................................................................... 4-8 4.3.4 Degree of polymerization ...................................................................................... 4-8 4.3.4.1 Procedure...................................................................................................... 4-9 4.3.5 Tensile Strength...................................................................................................4-10 4.3.5.1 Procedure.....................................................................................................4-11 4.3.6 Bursting Strength .................................................................................................4-12 4.3.6.1 Procedure.....................................................................................................4-12 4.3.7 Tearing Resistance ..............................................................................................4-13 4.3.7.1 Procedure.....................................................................................................4-13 4.3.8 Wet-Tensile Strength ...........................................................................................4-14 4.3.8.1 Procedure.....................................................................................................4-15 4.4 Information from Mechanical and Chemical Test Results ............................................4-16 4.5 End-of-Life Criteria for Paper Cables ...........................................................................4-18

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2-1 Typical HPFF cable showing skid wires, outer shielding, inner shielding and segmental conductor ....................................................................................................... 2-2 Figure 2-2 Cross Section of HPFF cable with main components............................................. 2-3 Figure 2-3 Cross Section of HPFF pipe with 3 cables showing key components..................... 2-4 Figure 2-4 Self-Contained Fluid-Filled cable showing two different conductors ....................... 2-7 Figure 2-5 Sectional view of submarine SCFF cable with key components ............................. 2-8 Figure 2-6 Three-conductor (3/C) SCLF cable showing the fluid conduit formed by the spirals.............................................................................................................................. 2-8 Figure 2-7 Cross Section of a fluted paper lead cable with main components......................... 2-9 Figure 2-8 Conventional non-graded HPFF terminaiton with key components .......................2-12 Figure 2-9 Coaxial-type condenser grade termination with key components ..........................2-15 Figure 2-10 Capacitor-graded HPFF termination with key components..................................2-16 Figure 2-11 HPFF SF6 termination with key components .......................................................2-17 Figure 2-12 Main components for a tape splice in HPFF cables.............................................2-19 Figure 2-13 138 kV Self-Contained Liquid-Filled Cable Termination ......................................2-20 Figure 2-14 HPFF Pressurization Plant Diagram....................................................................2-23 Figure 2-15 AC Type Reservoir..............................................................................................2-25 Figure 2-16 Type CC Fluid Reservoir.....................................................................................2-26 Figure 2-17 DC balanced Pressure Reservoir ........................................................................2-27 Figure 3-1 Diagram showing the steps involved in fluid sampling with EDOSS ....................... 3-4 Figure 3-2 Mueller Hot-Tapping performed on a 2 pipe.......................................................... 3-6 Figure 3-3 Flow-chart for fluid sampling and DGA interpretation ............................................ 3-9 Figure 4-1 Picture showing a dissipation factor bridge (left) and a three-electrode test cell for measurements on fluid-impregnated paper tapes (right) ...................................... 4-3 Figure 4-2 Cell for dielectric strength measurement on paper tapes immersed in dielectric fluid (left). Dielectric strength power supply (right) ............................................ 4-3 Figure 4-3 Glass beaker containing a solution of magenta dye (left), and a piece of cable tape after being soaked in magenta test show to reveal the presence of wax (right) ....... 4-3 Figure 4-4 Close view of bubbles resulting from a paper tape with a non-acceptable moisture content submitted to the hot wax test ................................................................ 4-4 Figure 4-5 Karl-Fischer moisture titration system equipped with an oven for solid samples........................................................................................................................... 4-5 Figure 4-6 Removing tapes for testing from a short cable piece.............................................. 4-6

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Figure 4-7 View of a MIT folding tester unit with fan folded open to show the tape holding jaws................................................................................................................................. 4-8 Figure 4-8 View of a paper grinder used to pulverize the paper tapes before chemically dissolving the fibers in CED solution (left). Constant temperature oil baths and timers utilized in the determination of the intrinsic viscosity of the CED paper solution at 25C (right)....................................................................................................4-10 Figure 4-9 Computer controlled twin-screw tensile tester unit (left) and air-operated linegrip jaws (right)...............................................................................................................4-12 Figure 4-10 Mullex C burst strength testing unit .....................................................................4-13 Figure 4-11 Elmendorf tearing strength tester (left). Edge tear fixture, when mounted on a tensile strength unit, can be used to determine the edge strength of narrow paper tapes ..............................................................................................................................4-14 Figure 4-12 Finch fixture held in place by the line-grip jaws of a tensile tester during measurement of wet-tensile strength..............................................................................4-15 Figure 4-13 Radial distribution of wet-tensile strength (left coordinate) and degree of polymerization (right coordinate) for a new cable............................................................4-17 Figure 4-14 Radial distribution of wet-tensile strength (left coordinate) and degree of polymerization (right coordinate) for a severely aged cable ............................................4-18

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LIST OF TABLES
Table 3-1 DGA schedule for splices and terminations ............................................................ 3-7 Table 3-2 Specifications for New HPFF Type Cable Fluids ....................................................3-14 Table 3-3 Usage of Dielectric Fluids in Underground Transmission Cables ...........................3-17 Table 3-4 Fluid Designation According to Manufacturer ........................................................3-18 Table 3-5 Characteristics of New Fluids and Limits for In-Service and Reconditioned Fluids in SCLF Cables....................................................................................................3-19

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1
INTRODUCTION
The majority of underground transmission cables in the United States utilize fluid-impregnated paper insulation. Such cables represent a utility investment of approximately 20 billion dollars. It is important to protect this investment through proper operation and maintenance, all the more due to the advancing age of these cables and the rapidly emerging competitive utility business climate. These factors dictate prolonged and trouble-free use of installed cable assets, amounting to about 3750 circuit miles, with minimum expenditures and deferment of any cable replacements. It is noteworthy that about 15% of such cables are approaching or have exceeded their design life of 40 years and 30% are over 30 years old. At the same time, utilities are facing erosion of paper-insulated transmission cable expertise through attrition of experienced personnel, many of whom were involved in the development, installation and maintenance of such cables. The significant reduction in U. S. paper-insulated transmission cable suppliers and the consequent limited availability of such expertise by manufacturers personnel to utilities has further restricted access to cable knowledge base. The paper-insulated cables include High-Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF), Self-Contained LiquidFilled (SCLF), and High-Pressure Gas-Filled (HPGF) cable systems. While the present market for SCLF cable systems is highly limited, HPFF cable systems, which experienced significant growth in the 1950s through 1970s, are still being purchased to some extent as new, replacement and re-routed circuits. Recently, HPGF cables have been receiving a renewed interest since their introduction in the early 1940s. Part 1 of this guide covers the description of the various cable systems, operation and maintenance through noninvasive testing of the dielectric system and tests on the cable paper insulation. In Part 2 to be published later we will address the operation and maintenance of the complete pressurized cable system including auxiliary equipment, repairs and corrosion issues. The guides also ameliorate the gradual erosion of paper cable expertise at utilities brought about by attrition and competitive market conditions. The age of a large number of paper-insulated transmission cables is well beyond the working span of individuals. Consequently, most of those who designed and installed such cables are no longer available. The power engineering education with a hardware content, no longer occupies a prominent place as it once did at U. S. universities. Records on many such cable systems have not been well kept, and some important details are not often available. The guides are intended to fill this much-needed knowledge-gap for the present engineers and technicians, who are called upon to operate and maintain fluid-impregnated transmission cables in service. The three key components of a transmission cable are conductor, insulation and a metallic covering, namely, pipe or a sheath. The condition and life a cable is basically governed by the insulation system, providing the metallic pipe or sheath maintains its integrity. Because of their 1-1

Introduction

cost and importance to the transmission system, high voltage cables are operated well within the power handling capacity of the conductor, which thus receives relatively limited attention in the operation and maintenance process. Any conductor problems are reflected in the condition of the insulation system. To ensure long and trouble-free life, it is essential to maintain the insulation system and the metallic enclosure in their original condition. A proper operation and maintenance program responds to this vital need. The operation and maintenance consists of steps designed to monitor and ensure the continued integrity of the insulation system and the steel pipe or lead sheath, including support systems relating to the preservation of the two components. A wide range of maintenance aspects related to HPFF, HPGF and SCFF cable systems are addressed in this guide with due focus on noninvasive and invasive tests of the insulating system. The maintenance practices depend on cable type and design. It is essential to have a good understanding of three types of paper (also referred to as laminar dielectric or taped) cables, accessories and the many associated components to perform an effective maintenance program. Chapter 2 covers cable types and designs along with the pressurization systems. Chapter 3 deals with non-invasive tests performed on fluid samples, with emphasis on Dissolved gas Analysis DGA), which is being increasingly applied as a part of maintenance program. The key paper tests performed on paper tapes to assess the condition of such cables are covered in Chapter 4. The importance of proper operation and maintenance is underscored by the fact that the repair cost of a HPFF cable failure can amount to several hundred thousands of dollars. It is recognized that many paper-insulated transmission cable systems problems can be minimized and are avoidable by means of a planned maintenance program. This guide is meant to provide utilities with effective operation and maintenance tools and procedures so that trouble-free and prolonged use is made of paper-insulated cable assets.

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2
CABLE TYPES, ACCESSORIES AND SUPPORTING SYSTEMS

2.1 Introduction
This guide covers the three main fluid-impregnated transmission cables, namely, HPFF, HPGF and SCLF Cable systems, 69 kV and above. The applicable pressurization systems have been discussed. The variations of the SCLF cables such as fluted cables and three-conductor cables are also included. The relative merits of HPFF, HPGF and SCLF are also addressed. The maintenance and operation practices depend on cable types and designs. Proper maintenance and operating procedures lead to long life. It is essential to have a good understanding of various cables, accessories and the many associated materials and components to perform a proper maintenance program. Accordingly, the general construction of each cable is described as follows:

2.2 High-Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF) Cables


These were pioneered in the United States and were first introduced in 1935. Although they are utilized at 69 kV through 345 kV in the U. S., they were successfully tested at 550 kV/765 kV at the EPRI Waltz Cable Testing Facility in the 1970s. The paper is applied to the conductor in the form of helically wound paper tapes, keeping a uniform gap, termed butt-gap, between individual tapes. The thickness and width of paper tapes varies respectively from 1 mil to 10 mil and 0.5 in. to 1.625 in., depending on the voltage class, i. e., insulation wall thickness. The butt-gaps facilitate the bending of the cable during installation and operation. Starting from the conductor, the main components of a HPFF cable are: binder tapes, carbon-loaded semi-conducting conductor shield, paper insulation, carbon-loaded semi-conducting insulation shied, moisture barrier (seal) or outer shielding, metallic shielding tapes and skid wires. The HPFF cable construction is illustrated in figures 2-1 through 2-3. The insulated conductor assembly up to the moisture barrier is heated to 120-130C under vacuum (20-50 microns) for several days, depending on the cable length, and then finally impregnated with a viscous fluid (~3,500 SUS @ 100 F) under heat and vacuum. The moisture seal provides a semi-impermeable barrier so that the impregnating fluid cannot readily drain from the cable insulation and at the same time prevent moisture ingress during storage, transportation and installation.

2-1

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems Outer Shielding Conductor Shielding

Skid Wires Moisture Barrier Carbon Tapes Binder Tapes

Figure 2-1 Typical HPFF cable showing skid wires, outer shielding, inner shielding and segmental conductor

2-2

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

SKID WIRES (also D-Wires)


- Stainless steel, brass or zinc

MOISTURE BARRIER OR OUTER SHIELDING - Nonmagnetic metallic tape intercalated with polyester tape - Metallized polyester tapes INSULATION SHIELD - Semicon carbon black or metallized paper

IMPREGNATED PAPER INSULATION

CONDUCTOR SHIELD - Carbon black and duplex tapes

BINDER TAPES - Bare or coated copper, copper alloy, brass, bronze, zinc, aluminum alloy or nonmagnetic stainless steel
SEGMENTAL CONDUCTOR PAPER FILLERS CONDUCTOR SEGMENT INSULATION
Notes: - Mylar (Du Pont TM) is a polyester film - Duplex tape is a carbon-black tape bonded to a paper tape

Figure 2-2 Cross Section of HPFF cable with main components

2-3

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

PIPE COATING (Somastic or polymeric materials)

STEEL PIPE

PRESSURIZED FLUID

SKID WIRES

INSULATION SHIELD

INSULATION

CONDUCTOR SHIELD

CONDUCTOR

Figure 2-3 Cross Section of HPFF pipe with 3 cables showing key components

The insulated conductor so produced is often referred in the European literature as massimpregnated cable. The viscosity of the pipe fluid is much lower (10 to 500 SUS @ 100 F) than the impregnating fluid (3200 to 3450 SUS @ 100F). The insulation of HPFF cables is fairly tightly bound to yield a somewhat hard insulation, eliminating any installation damage as the three cables are pulled into steel pipes, particularly along the inevitable bends. The pressure in the pipe is maintained by means of a pumping plant, which also provides accommodation for excess pipe fluid during load cycling. 2.2.1 Propylene-Paper-Propylene (PPP) HPFF Cables The PPP-insulated cable is fabricated by the same equipment as that employed for cellulosic paper insulation. These cables were developed by EPRI, as a HPFF system, in the 1970s to reduce the inherent losses resulting from cellulosic paper. The proportion of paper, polypropylene and paper in the composite is respectively 25%, 50% and 25%. These cables have been successfully used at 230 kV and 345 kV applications in the U. S., including the retrofitting of a traditional 69 kV paper-insulated cable with a PPP cable. The reduced wall made possible by the high dielectric strength of PPP insulation allows such upgrading in existing pipes. In addition, PPP cables lead to longer pulling lengths and reduction in usage of pipe fluid. 2-4

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

2.3 High-Pressure Gas-Filled (HPGF) Cables


The general construction of HPGF cables is quite similar to HPFF cables. However, the pressurization medium is dry nitrogen at 200 psi instead of a dielectric liquid, hence the name high-pressure gas-filled cable. Since the dielectric strength of gas is not as high as that of a dielectric liquid, the HPGF cable system is limited to 138 kV. Due to the lower electrical strength of gas versus dielectric fluid, the insulation wall of HPGF cables is thicker than the corresponding wall of HPFF cables (300 mil vs. 270 mil for 69 kV; 485 mil vs. 375 mil, 115 kV; 585 mil vs. 440 mil for 138 kV). A leading HPGF cable user specifies 620 mil insulation wall thickness for its extensive 120 kV system (105 circuit-miles), with graded insulation having four different paper thicknesses of 2.5 mil, 3 mil, 5 mil and 6.5 mil. However, two paper thicknesses are quite adequate. The density of papers employed in HPGF cables is high (0.9 - 1.0 gm/cc); super-dense (greater than 1 gm/cc) papers are also find application. The HPGF cable impregnant is much more viscous than its HPFF cable counterpart to minimize drainage from the insulating tapes. Compared to the 165 SUS @210F viscosity for HPFF cables, a minimum viscosity of 1,000 SUS @210F is utilized for impregnating the paper insulation of HPGF cables. A higher viscosity of 3,000 SUS @ 210F, which was more common in earlier HPFF cables, is also utilized. The heavier insulation wall combined with lower heat transfer capability of the gas reduces the ampacity ratings of HPGF cables by about 4% compared to HPFF cables. The absence of an insulating liquid with its potential environment problems makes HPGF cables an attractive alternative to HPFF and SCLF cable systems at 138 kV. It is attractive all the more for short cable runs of about mile due to its simple and inexpensive pressurization system. Typical pipe sizes are 6 in. and 8 in. Provision is made to supply nitrogen by means of nitrogen cylinders at one or both ends. However, the nitrogen cylinders are not permanently open to the cable pipe, as no nitrogen is added or taken out of the system in every day operation. For a large HPGF cable system, it is economical to re-supply nitrogen, if needed, by a movable truck and dispense with the nitrogen cylinders associated with the HPGF cable system.

2.4 Self-Contained Liquid-Filled (SCLF) Cables


Although the self-contained liquid-filled cables were developed in Italy, the worlds first SCLF cable installation was made at 132 kV by a US utility in 1927; 5 years before the first HPFF cable was introduced in the U.S. While there are still about 425 circuit-miles of such cables in the U. S., SCLF cables have been extensively utilized in rest of the world both for land and submarine applications, with great success. These cables cover 69 through 525 kV, albeit they have been successfully tested up to 1,100 kV. Such cables utilize higher fluid pressures (50 psi to 200 psi) at 230 kV and above. The operation of SCLF cables depends on a fluid that is maintained under pressure within a narrow longitudinal duct at the center of the conductor over the entire cable length. A continuous steel spiral is usually placed within the hollow conductor to maintain its shape and integrity. The entire assembly, consisting of liquid-impregnated paper insulated conductor, is enclosed generally in an extruded lead sheath, with limited usage of aluminum. Figure 2-4 shows two self-contained cables depicting different types of hollow conductors. Starting from the conductor with and without a steel spiral, the key components of a self-contained cable are: 2-5

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

binder tapes, carbon-loaded semi-conducting conductor screen, paper insulation, semiconducting insulation screen, bedding tapes, lead (or aluminum) sheath and PVC or PE jacket. Neoprene has been employed as a jacketing material in some of the old designs. The Conci conductor is composed of keystone-shaped wires wound in layers with opposite lay and is self-supporting and does not require a spiral core. The Milliken conductor is fabricated by cabling individual segments around a spiral steel core, serving as a fluid pressuring channel. Both constructions, which are extensively used in SCLF cables overseas, are shown in Figure 2-4. A low viscosity dielectric (40 to 100 SUS @ 100F) is utilized at pressures ranging from 5 to 60 psi. However, pressures as low as 0.5 psi through 10 to 12 psi are also utilized for some SCLF cables, and this is true for most of the land cable in the country. This fluid maintains the pressure in the paper insulation during load cycling. Fluid pressures as high as 120 psi have been also employed, largely for submarine cables. The pressure is maintained by several reservoirs, or a conventional pumping plant for longer lengths at comparatively high pressures 50 psi or higher. Compared to HPFF cables, each phase has its own independent casing, hence the name self-contained cables. Submarine applications of SCLF cables require the use of a steel armor to support the weight of the cable while it is being installed and for additional protection, Figure 2-5. Three-conductor SCLF cables have 3 fluid tubes in the filler spaces as shown in Figure 2-6 and are still in service at several utilities. 2.4.1 Fluted Paper-Lead (FPL) Cables This cable can be looked upon as SCLF cable, the lead sheath of which has inner flutes or grooves, to provide space for the insulating fluid. At 69 kV level, the conductor does not have a hollow core. However, fluted cables with a hollow conductor have been installed in the U.S. The fluid pressure is maintained by means of fluid reservoirs. The elimination of the longitudinal core within the conductor leads to a cable with a small overall diameter to fit in narrow ducts. The current use of fluted cables is highly limited in the industry. The details of a 69 kV fluted cable are given in Figure 2-7.

2-6

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems


Binder tapes

Conci type hollow conductor

Paper insulation

Reinforcement tapes

Milliken type hollow conductor

Corrugated aluminum sheath

PVC or PE Jacket

Figure 2-4 Self-Contained Liquid-Filled(SCLF) cable showing two different conductors

2-7

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Figure 2-5 Sectional view of submarine SCLF cable with key components

Figure 2-6 Three-conductor (3/C) SCLF cable showing the fluid conduit formed by the spirals.

2-8

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Fluted Lead Sheath

Fluid Ducts

Insulation

Conductor

Figure 2-7 Cross Section of a fluted paper lead cable with main components

2.5 Relative Merits of Various Cable Types & Trends


While the HPFF cable systems were introduced in the U.S. later than the SCLF cable systems (1932 versus 1927), the former came to dominate the U. S. underground transmission system, also finding some applications in Japan, France, Russia, Korea and Egypt. However, the SCLF system became the main cable type in Europe until the late 1980. The HPGF cable systems are experiencing a recent renewed interest. The relative merits along with trends for each cable category are briefly addressed as follows: 2.5.1 HPFF Cable Systems If it were not for the environmental concerns of insulating fluids and costs associated with fluid leaks, HPFF cable systems would continue to maintain their position in the U. S. Moreover, the presence of significant amount of fluid and its handling and treatment also renders HPFF repairs quite expensive, up to several hundred thousands of dollars. However, the presence of fluid readily lends to effective forced-cooling; it has been successfully employed at a large East Coast utility. Likewise, fluid also makes oscillations possible, overcoming hotspots and this practice is frequently utilized when two pumping plants are available. Fluid also facilitates the monitoring of the condition of such cables through dissolved gas analysis (DGA) and other fluid tests, including the location of a problem source by performing DGA as fluid is drained. The presence 2-9

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

of steel pipe hinders the application of partial discharge measurements that have generated interest as a potential diagnostic tool for extruded cable systems. The ruggedness, high reliability and proven long track record at 69 kV through 345 kV is well known. Such cables have been successfully tested by EPRI as paper-insulated cables at 550 kV and PPP-insulated cables at 765kV at Waltz Mill. The PPP cable with its reduced walls, lower dielectric losses, higher ac and impulse strength confers further advantages to the well proven HPFF cable system. Compared to SCLF cables, the higher operating pressure imparts higher ac breakdown strength; the impulse strength is also slightly higher owing to the much higher viscosity of the impregnating fluid. HPFF cables are not suitable for steep gradients. The steel pipe readily offers re-pulling and re-conductoring options. When installing a HPFF cable, it is possible to lay a spare pipe so that a second circuit can be installed for the future without incurring excavation expenditures. 2.5.2 HPGF Cable System While this type of cable is limited to 138 kV, it offers the same ruggedness and high reliability of the HPFF pipe-type system but without a pipe fluid, thereby eliminating environmental concerns. Moreover, it has a simple and trouble-free pressuring system, which is used only on an as-needed basis. Its slightly reduced (4%) rating than HPFF cables for the same pipe size is a minor disadvantage. Unlike the dielectric liquid, a gas cannot be frozen and thus the entire gas has to be removed for repairs, however, nitrogen is quite inexpensive. The recent renewed interest at 138 kV level in the U. S. has been largely created because of the environmental acceptability of HPGF cable systems. Gases also enable the monitoring of HPGF cables through gas analysis and moisture content. HPGF cables, as is true for HPFF cables, provide extremely low electromagnetic fields external to the pipe, compared to individually installed cable phases. 2.5.3 SCLF Cable System The use of SCLF cable systems is limited to 138 kV in the U. S., with the exception of two short lengths of 525 kV cables at the Grand Coulee Dam in the U. S. However, such cables have been extensively utilized all over the world at 69 kV through 550 kV, including Canada. They have been successfully laboratory-tested up to 1100 kV in Europe. It should be added that PPPinsulated SCLF cables have been employed up to 500 kV. Whereas SCLF cables are directly buried in Europe, they are installed in ducts in the U. S. While SCLF cables have a solid record as submarine ac cables in the U. S., their experience in land-use applications leaves something to be desired. This is due to general age, fluid leaks and attendant environmental concerns, lack of polymeric jacket over lead sheath for older installations, lead fatigue and comparatively low pressure operation for SCLF cables for land use. The general complexity of the SCLF cable system due to many different fittings, complex splice designs, various types of reservoirs and need of skilled labor to handle repairs under constant fluid flow further complicates matters. The art of lead wiping, so essential for SCLF

2-10

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

cable systems, is fast dwindling. The potential environmental concerns of lead may also not favor SCLF cables. Aluminum has also been employed as a sheath. A large majority of land SCLF cables operate at pressures in the range of 5-15 psi. Submarine cables operate at higher pressures (50 to 60 psi) compared to their land counterparts in the U.S. Moreover, the submarine installation environment is thermally more stable and varies less with seasonal changes than that of land SCLF cables. This is perhaps why the former has a better service record. The general trend is to replace them with extruded cables.

2.6 Cable Accessories


2.6.1 HPFF Terminations A termination is a device utilized to connect a cable to an apparatus or an overhead line. It provides electric stress control at the transition between the cable and connecting system, while protecting the cable insulation from environmental conditions and preserving the dielectric fluid critical to the cable insulation. 2.6.2 Conventional, Non-Graded Type Terminations Conventional, non-graded terminations are utilized for 69 to 161 kV HPFF cables in the U.S. for outdoor applications. However, this design is used up to 345 kV for SF6 and fluid-immersed terminations. Europeans and Japanese utilities utilize this design up to 500 kV for outdoors, SF6 and fluid-immersed applications. These terminations have a conventional stress relief cone and a porcelain stress-control unit to maintain safe operating voltage gradients in the dielectric components, Figure 2-8. In the U.S., this design is not applied to voltages over 161 kV. This is due to the large diameter porcelain insulator required to house the porcelain stress relief unit. A large diameter porcelain insulator is not desirable for the high pressures associated with HPFF cables. Conventional terminations are also utilized in self-contained liquid-filled cables up to 161 kV in the U.S. The stress relief cone is a critical part of a high voltage termination, and its proper application is equally important. The entire stress relief cone is comprised of pre-impregnated kraft-paper roll, carbon black crepe paper tape, tinned copper shielding braid, and crepe paper tape cover. The paper roll, which can be purchased from the termination supplier to fit with the cable size, is perforated at the bottom end to form the stress relief profile according to a log-log profile. The paper roll consists of a single sheet of high quality Kraft paper that has been dried and impregnated in the same manner as the cable insulation. Such rolls are stored in fluid-filled cylinders and so transported. It is important to keep the paper rolls completely sealed and covered with fluid until they are used.

2-11

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Lug Connector

Corona Shield O-Ring Sealed Top Flange 1/4" Drain Valve

Cable Pipe Fluid

Insulation Cover Tapes

Porcelain

Stress Control device

Apprx. location for end of outer shield

Bronze cementing Flange

Stress Cone

Shield Braid

Internal Filter/Bypass Unit Mounting Flange

Figure 2-8 Conventional non-graded HPFF terminaiton with key components

2-12

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

It is imperative that no telescoping or any other mishandling should occur during the assembly of a termination. The two Mylar Tabs, with a central red line are attached to the first inner layer of paper on both ends of the paper roll. These tabs are held against the cable insulation during the tightening of the paper roll to prevent the inner layer from turning. Proper alignment of the red lines further serves as good indicator to guard against telescoping. The direction of the application must follow the direction of cable lay, lest the cable paper tapes are disturbed. In the final stages of the application of the paper roll, a clean rag can be used to tighten the paper roll before the paper is cut at the perforations. If necessary, a few layers of the paper can be removed to properly reduce the diameter of the paper roll to accommodate the porcelain housing. While paper rolls, with built-in stress cone profiles, are finding increasing applications, handapplied tapes are also used to prepare a termination. However, the latter approach requires a high degree of workmanship. The preparation of the stress profile and the incorporation of several tape thicknesses and widths do pose a challenge. Unlike a paper roll that comes in one mass, the slow wrapping of individual tapes exposes the assembly to a greater degree of risk in the external environment. Despite all care to provide controlled temperature and humidity enclosures so that moisture is excluded, it is difficult to ensure proper conditions in the field. It follows that factory supplied paper rolls are preferable. Dense flat Kraft paper with a density of about 0.92 gm/cc is used in paper rolls: however, crepe paper also finds some application. 2.6.3 Capacitor Graded Type Terminations Capacitor graded type terminations require relatively small insulator bore diameters compared to conventional type terminations and, therefore, this type of termination can be utilized in high voltage HPFF cable applications at 230 kV and above. There are two types of capacitor graded terminations are described below: 2.6.3.1 Coaxial Type Terminations This type of termination consists of a series of cylindrical electrodes arranged in a coaxial configuration around the cable with the voltage grading electrodes extending one beyond the other, Figure 2-9. This type is usually made as a single unit, although designs of two or more units have been used, usually resulting in lower maximum stresses than the other (doughnut) type. However, routine and production proof tests are difficult to conduct and evaluate; production losses of a single unit can be quite costly. While this type of terminations has been applied up to 500 kV outdoor terminations in Europe and Japan, its use in the U.S. is limited to 161 kV. 2.6.3.2 Doughnut Type Terminations This type of termination was developed in the mid-1950s for the 345 kV HPFF and SCLF cable testing program at Cornell University. The design was later successfully extended to 550 kV and 765 kV HPFF cable evaluations at Waltz Mill in the late 1960s to mid-1970s. This type is now primarily used at 230 kV and above. A series of individual condenser elements are arranged in a coaxial configuration around the cable and connected in series to establish voltage division, 2-13

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Figure 2-10. A paper roll with stress relief cone is used over the cable, as usual. While the individual capacitors basically control the external stresses over the porcelain, the paper roll controls the cable stresses. The doughnut capacitors thus bring the high-pressure porcelain length and diameter to acceptable levels, while also alleviating the problems brought about by pollution deposits. The individual capacitors can be subjected to routine production tests. A very small radial gap between the barrier tube and field applied insulation is desired to limit the dielectric gradient in the free oil. However, too small of a gap might lead to excessive pressure gradients during fluid filling. For SF6 high voltage terminations, the conventional non-graded design based on a pre-perforated and pre-impregnated paper roll is utilized. Metallic straps support the comparatively large stress cone build-up in 345 kV terminations. The key features of a 345 kV HPFF cable termination employed in SF6 equipment are illustrated in Figure 2-11.

2-14

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Lug Connector Corona Shield

Porcelain

Paper Roll Build-Up

Paper Roll with Metallized Laminations Cementing Flange Stress Cone Internal Bypass Filter and Check Valve Fluid Stop Mounting Plate

Figure 2-9 Coaxial-type condenser grade termination with key components

2-15

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

1/4" Valve

Lug Connector Corona Shield

Porcelain

Oil Impregnated Capacitor

Stress Cone

Supporting Straps

Copper braid with brass support strip & wire Power factor test bushing

Pipe Plug

Check valve & filter bypass elements 1 psi incoming & 20 psi outgoing

Mounting Plate (Mild Steel) Semi-stop seal

Figure 2-10 Capacitor-graded HPFF termination with key components

2-16

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Lug

Vent Valve

SF6

Corona Shield O-Ring S

Porcelain

Outside C

Aluminum Ground

Drain

Perforated Paper

Aluminum

Shielding Semi-Stop Stainless Steel Bronze

Porcelain

Molded Fiberglass

Figure 2-11 HPFF SF6 termination with key components

2-17

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

2.6.4 HPFF Cable Splices A pipe-type cable joint consists of three single-conductor splices installed in one enclosure. The individually spliced cables are bound together with the help of a number of aluminum cable supports (spiders), four to six, using cotton-webbing tapes. This forms a mechanically strong cable bundle and prevents damage by cable movement resulting from daily load cycles. Since the diameter of each splice is considerably larger than the diameter of the original conductors, a large diameter joint casing must be used to confine the cable joint. Telescoping three-part or five-part joint-casings can significantly reduce the size of the manhole required when compared to two-part joint casings. Five-part joint-casings are more typically utilized in cable systems with large pipe diameters. The essential components of a taped-cable splice are shown in Figure 2-12. The connector joins the conductors of the two cables and must have high mechanical strength to allow high pullout strength and low electrical resistivity. The connector must have a diameter comparable with the cable being connected to restrict the final OD of the splice and must be of the same material as the conductor. When jointing cables of different materials, bimetallic connectors must be used. Copper connectors are of compression type for all conductors sizes, while aluminum connectors for large size conductor are of welded type. Swedge connectors are often used or 345 kV PFF cables. The hand-applied impregnated tapes to form the slope are usually made of hard paper; crepe paper tapes are also used. The slope follows the typical log-log profile and is critical to splice performance. The thicknesses and widths of the paper tapes match those of the able insulation. Along with the cable, the cable manufacturer supplies the splicing tapes in an impregnated state. Utilities usually purchase such impregnated tapes from a vendor (such as G&W, Mac Products) other than the cable supplier. Because of its inherent flexibility, the same width and thickness may suffice for crepe paper tapes. The cable manufacturer also provides the necessary drawings and instructions to prepare the splice with proper sloping, and these should be faithfully followed. Large utilities develop their own specifications, which are modifications of the manufacturers drawings. The drying and impregnation cycle of the splicing paper tapes is similar to that of the cable. It is important to maintain proper humidity and temperature conditions during the preparation of splices. The splices of PPP cables utilize the laminate, the dimensions of which match those of the PPP cable. The making of papertape insulated joints requires highly skilled and experienced labor.

2-18

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems


5-Part Joint Casing Line Pipe Reducer

Hand-Applied Tapes

Connector

Straight Spider Floating Transition Spider Tapered Spider


Joint Casing Aluminum spider Binding Tape Cable Insulation Hand-Applied Insulation

Figure 2-12 Main components for a tape splice in HPFF cables

2.6.5 SCLF Cable Terminations Conventional, non-graded terminations are utilized SCLF cables. The main difference between these terminations and those utilized in HPFF type cables is the way fluid is brought into the termination. Since the fluid in SCLF is contained in the conductor core, a hollow connector is installed at the end of the cable, Figure 2-13. This figure shows in detail the stress control porcelain insulator and the top connector. The end-connector has a plug on the external side of the termination and side ports inside the termination that serve to feed fluid to the termination cavity. 2.6.6 SCLF Cable Splices Essentially two types of splices are commonly utilized for SCLF cables, stop-joints and normal joints. The stop joints are designed to provide separate fluid sections in the line to limit the volume of fluid available during a leak or to decrease the hydrostatic pressure in circuits with steep profiles. While the normal joint is built entirely with hand-applied paper tapes, the stopjoint has pre-cast stress cones and fluid barriers. In single conductor SCLF cables, there are three independent joints. A lead wipe is formed at the end of the splice to seal the joint casing to the lead sheath. All this holds for 1/C splices. Three-conductor SCLF cables have a variety of joint designs such as normal, stop, trifurcating and feeder joints at 69 kV level. In a trifurcator joint, the 3/C cable construction converts to three individual 1/C SCLF cables for the outdoor potheads. Feeder joints are occasionally used between two stop-joints to feed fluid from an AC reservoir.

2-19

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Pipe Plug

Lug Connector Corona Shield Oil Ports Bronze Cementing Flange

Fluid

Stress Control Porcelain

Stress Control Paper Roll Build-Up

Bronze Cementing Flange Stainless Steel Flange Shielding Braid Tinned Copper Tubing Field Wipes
Figure 2-13 138 kV Self-Contained Liquid-Filled Cable Termination

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Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

2.7 Pressurization Systems


2.7.1 Introduction Pressurization systems are needed in HPFF and SCLF cable systems to maintain adequate pressure on the insulation to suppress ionization activity at all times. As mentioned earlier, nitrogen is only added if the pressure falls in a HPGF cable and thus the question of the exchange of the pressurization medium does not arise. The pressurization system must be able to support the cable pressure at all times for HPFF and SCLF cables, including thermal cycling and slow circulation in the case of oscillating operation modes. Sufficient fluid and pumping capacity is also necessary to compensate for possible system leaks. Monitoring systems must be in place in the pumping system to maintain the proper pressure along the line and terminations. The same system should monitor the fluid reservoir level and alert the system operator in case excessive system pressure drop, fluid level drop and/or excessive pumping action. Excessive pumping action is indicative of system leaks. All these operations must be carried out by the system in a completely automated manner. 2.7.2 High Pressure Fluid-Filled (HPFF) Cables Compared to SCLF cables, HPFF cables operate at higher pressures and require significantly larger volumes of cable fluid. Depending on conductor size, insulation thickness and pipe diameter, HPFF cables can hold about 2 to 3 gallons of free fluid per foot of pipe. To this large volume of fluid, about 5% have to be added to account for the reservoir fluid, which must be made available to increase system pressure when the load decreases and the line cools. The volume in the reservoir is generally twice as much as needed to compensate for volume changes between extreme conductor temperatures. The pressurization systems for HPFF cables are larger and far more complex than those utilized in SCLF cables due to the volume involved in the former. Pressurization systems for HPFF are designed with double pumping circuits for reliability. The pumps have to be sized sufficiently large so that pressure can be maintained in the dual eventualities of sudden line de-energization and small fluid leak. On the other hand, the pumping system cannot be too large. A larger than necessary pumping plant can generate pressure differentials along the line resulting in high pressure trips at the pumping station end of the line while the pressure at the opposite end is still low. Pumping stations for HPFF cables are normally unattended and consist of a fluid reservoir, a gear or screw type positive displacement pump, a pressure control ladder, a strainer, gauges and controls, Figure 2-14. When the pressure in the line drops, fluid is taken from the reservoir by the positive displacement pump and forced into the line. Positive displacement pumps have safety relief valves for protection in case of system blockage. Once the pump is energized, it will run for a fixed amount of time. If during the pump operation the cable working pressure is reached, fluid will flow back into the reservoir through the normal pump relief loop. If working pressure is not achieved, the pump will re-start once again. In the case of a leak, the pump will keep starting repeatedly, in which case an alarm indicating excessive pump demand is triggered.

2-21

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

As the load in the cable increases, the increasing fluid pressure will open the cable relief valve, allowing the fluid to return to the reservoir. A check valve at the outlet of the positive displacement pump prevents the fluid from returning through the pump. A reduced pressure relief valve is also available in the control system. This valve provides the low system pressure needed when maintenance work is performed in the line, i.e. during a line freeze. This pressure relief valve is commonly set at 60 psi. The headspace in the fluid reservoir is maintained under a positive nitrogen pressure. The pressure in the tank depends on the fluid level, varying from about 20 psi for a full tank to about 1 psi for a nearly empty tank. Nitrogen keeps moisture and oxygen from contaminating and oxidizing the pipe fluid. The fluid reservoir has a rupture disk and relief valve to avoid damage to the tank. Remote alarms are also provided to announce instances of high or low nitrogen pressure as well as high or low fluid levels. The pumping system also provides remote alarms to announce high or low cable pipe pressure and repetitive or continuous pump operation. Other alarms indicate low nitrogen cylinder pressure, pump failure, rupture disk failure on tank, full strainer, access and high-temperature pump bypass. Many utilities install low-pressure switches to trip the circuit when the line pressure drops below 100 psi. Added level of sophistication in pumping plants includes leak detection systems utilizing microprocessors that compare the readout of cumulative flow meters installed at inlet and outlet lines. However, this approach is not quite effective. A single cable pipe between two stations can be pressurized by a single pumping plant. However, one pumping plant cannot maintain pressure in the far side while supplying fluid to a leak at that point. For single pumping plant systems, it is preferable to have two cables or one cable with a return line. With a return line, fluid can be circulated along the cable to average the fluid temperature. With two pumping plants, fluid can be oscillated between the two stations to reduce formation of hot-spots. This approach is not as efficient as a forced-circulation system with cooling stations, but the cost is significantly smaller. In complex systems, pumping plant can be designed to serve more than one circuit such as in radial cable systems. Pumping systems are very reliable and have built-in redundancy through the use of two systems in parallel. Specific details on routine inspections and maintenance of pumping plants can be found in Operation and Maintenance manuals supplied with each plant.

2-22

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Figure 2-14 HPFF Pressurization Plant Diagram

2-23

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

2.7.3 Self-Contained Liquid-Filled (SCLF) Cables Self-contained cables represent the oldest technology in pressurized fluid cables. Due to the relatively small amount of fluid utilized in these cables, a pumping plant is not required, except for the case of long submarine cables. The pumping plants for SCLF cables follow the same design as is utilized for HPFF cables. Reservoirs are provided to maintain line pressure in SCLF systems that do not have pumping plants. These fluid reservoirs are completely sealed and contain bladders or bellows that act as volume compensators to keep line pressure. The pressurizing reservoirs must maintain the operating pressure of the line within a narrow range by supplying or receiving cable fluid as needed to compensate for daily load cycles, seasonal temperature changes and/or small system leaks. Such reservoirs are essentially maintenancefree because no moving parts are involved. Alarm systems are incorporated to detect low fluid pressure and/or low volume in the reservoir. There are three types of reservoirs commonly used in SCLF cable systems and are known as Type AC (Pressure Reservoir), Type CC (Feeder or Gravity Reservoir), and Type DC (Balanced Pressure Reservoir). Due to the impedance to flow presented by the narrow fluid duct in the conductor core and the rate of load changes, depressurization of the fluid due to the cooling action can reduce the pressure at a point far from the reservoir below the acceptable level. Similarly, an increase in load can bring the pressure of the end of the line opposite to the pressurization reservoir to a pressure outside the acceptable limit. To avoid this situation, pressurization reservoirs are installed at both ends of the line (or cable sections between stop-joints), as a minimum. In some situations, three pressurization reservoirs might be needed, one at each end, and an additional one in the center of the cable section. 2.7.3.1 Type AC (Pressure Reservoir) The type AC reservoir, also known as bladder type reservoir, consists of a number of gas-filled cells installed within a fluid tank connected to the line but sealed to the atmosphere, Figure 2-15. The gas in the cells, namely, nitrogen, is compressed when cable fluid is forced into the tank or expanded when fluid leaves the tank. Although gases are compressible fluids, the walls of the expansion cells have limited elasticity. As a result, changes in the internal pressure, as fluid is admitted into or delivered from an AC reservoir, are unavoidable. Once the expansion limit of the cells is approached, the fluid pressure falls very rapidly. Accordingly, it is virtually impossible with this type of reservoir to maintain constant pressure at varying cable loads. Although Type AC reservoirs are relatively inefficient because the full pressure range cannot be utilized, their cost per gallon capacity is about half the cost of other type reservoirs. In addition, due to their compactness and less restrictive requirements, type AC reservoirs are utilized to maintain fluid pressure in cable reels during cable shipping and storage.

2-24

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Cable Fluid

Fluid Pressure Alarm

Gas Filled Cells To Cable Fluid Shut-off Valve Fluid Fill and Sampling Valve

Figure 2-15 AC Type Reservoir

2.7.3.2 Type CC (Gravity Reservoir) Type CC or Gravity Reservoir consists of a number of cells connected in parallel by a manifold enclosed in a tank that is open to the atmosphere and partially filled with dead fluid, Figure 2-16. The cells are filled with degassed fluid and the cells are connected through tubing to the cable joint or termination (pothead). The idle fluid is not in contact with the degassed fluid and is only utilized as a visual indication of the volume of working fluid in the fluid cells. As fluid is forced into the reservoir, the fluid surrounding the cells rises and the quantity of working fluid can be determined by means of a glass sight gauge mounted on the tank. Type CC reservoirs must be installed at a level higher than the line to generate the desired pressure by height differential. These reservoirs are generally installed at terminal ends where they feed directly into the cable termination. This type of reservoir cannot be installed in manholes for lack of height to generate the needed pressure, with the exception of an elevated manhole along the line. .

2-25

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Air Immersion Fluid Immersion Fluid Sight Gauge Breather/Dessicant Alarm Switch

Immersion Fluid Fill and Sampling Immersion Fluid Shut-Off Valve

Cells with Cable Fluid Cable Fluid Fill and Sampling

Connection to Cable

Figure 2-16 Type CC Fluid Reservoir

2.7.3.3 Type DC (Balanced Pressure Reservoir) Type DC reservoirs are similar to type CC reservoirs except that instead of idle fluid, the tanks are filled with nitrogen and sealed from the atmosphere. In addition, no fluid is added to the tank except for the degassed fluid inside the cells connected to the line. The nitrogen pressure inside the type DC reservoir can be adjusted to have the same effect as raising the reservoir elevation comparable to type CC reservoirs. As shown in Figure 2-17, additional gas can be provided by connecting the type DC reservoir to supplementary tanks of compressed gas. The large volume of gas compared to the volume of fluid in these reservoirs allows large volume of fluid exchange with hardly any change in pressure. The pressure volume functionality of a type DC reservoir is such that pressure build-up is not reached until about 5 to 6 gallons of fluid are added to the reservoir. Later, pressure is maintained almost constant up to about 22 gallons. The elastic region of the fluid cells is reached at 33 gallons where the pressure increases exponentially with additional fluid. The tank shown in this illustration has a capacity of 22.5 gallons of active fluid. Hence, the remarkable efficiency of type DC reservoirs. Such reservoir can be utilized in systems with widely varying fluid demands. In addition, without the need of elevation, these reservoirs can be installed underground in auxiliary manholes.

2-26

Cable Types, Accessories and Supporting Systems

Pressure Switch Alarm Gas Shut-Off Valve

Auxiliary Gas Tank

Gas Fill and Sample Valve Pressurization Gas

Pressure Switch Alarm Cells with Cable Fluid Cable Fluid Fill and Sampling

Connection to Cable

Figure 2-17 DC balanced Pressure Reservoir

2-27

3
OPERATION & MAINTENANCE THROUGH NONINVASIVE TESTING OF THE DIELECTRIC SYSTEM

3.1 Introduction
Non-invasive tests do not necessitate a piece of an operating cable, which is not readily available in normal circumstances. Such tests are performed on a fluid sample taken from an in-service cable. Invasive tests include mechanical, electrical and chemical measurements on paper tapes from a small cable piece removed from service and/or electrical breakdown tests on a 30-40 ft. of cable, however, the latter approach is more common on a paper-insulated distribution cable rather its transmission counterpart. Of all the available and potentially available diagnostic approaches, DGA (dissolved gas analysis) has proved to be the most promising technique. Its value has been amply proved for power transformers. To some extent, certain fluid tests such as dissipation factor (DF), dielectric breakdown, peroxide, moisture and furfural content for HPFF/SCLF cable systems are also useful. Furfural and carbon oxides measurements are the only two non-invasive tests covering directly the aging of paper. The commonality of such testing to power transformers, employed at utilities in exceedingly larger numbers than transmission cables, renders these tests all the more familiar to utilities. The key lies in the interpretation of results. Depending on the nature of the particular test involved, the testing and sampling method also becomes important.

3.2 DGA (Dissolved-Gas Analysis)


Following the transformer practice, DGA has been gaining increasing importance for HPFF/SCLF cable systems, with encouraging results. It should be emphasized that these methods have been largely developed from the transformer standpoint, where the market is understandably extensive. However, because of the inherent differences between the construction and operating conditions of power transformers and taped cables, due attention has to be paid to fluid sampling, handling, transportation and storage for paper-insulated transmission cables. Differences such as higher fluid viscosities, higher operating pressures, higher electrical stresses, general gas contents, degree of fluid movement, geometry and compactness of taped insulation make the transformer DGA significantly different from that of taped cables. Thus the importance of correct sampling from paper-insulated cables such as HPFF, SCLF and HPGF cable systems under service conditions cannot be overemphasized. The results are no better than a faithful representation of the fluid sample through chemical analysis. Accordingly, an appropriate DGA method for HPFF/SCLF cables should be preferred.

3-1

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

Several methods have been developed for DGA, and are listed as ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) methods such as D 831-63, D 1827-64, D 2945-71 and D 3612-79. Again, it should be noted that these methods have been largely developed for transformers. EPRI sponsored work1,2 at Detroit Edison has resulted in two DGA methods, namely, EPOSS (EPRI Pressurized Oil Sampling System) method and EDOSS (EPRI Disposable Oil Sampling System) method specifically for cable DGA. While both are based on the same headspace principle, each has its own unique, evacuated sampling cell. On account of the inherent simplicity, cost, and lightweight of its disposable cell, the EDOSS method has basically replaced EPOSS, the earlier version. Accordingly, only the EDOSS method will be briefly discussed. The concentration of 16 gases (methane, ethane, ethylene, acetylene, propane, propylene, nbutane, isobutane, 1-butene, t-2-butene, isobutylene, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, nitrogen and oxygen) is measured in this method. The details are given in the EPRI licensable report TR111322, September 1998.

3.2.1 Origin of Gases


It is important to understand the origin of gases for proper application of DGA as a diagnostic tool. During the operation of a HPFF cable, a number of gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and lower as well as higher hydrocarbons are generated in the fluid-paper system under electrical and thermal stresses. They remain dissolved in the dielectric fluid in a fluid state, hence the name dissolved gases. Once these gases are formed, they remain in place, even if, the cause of generation has ceased. Partial discharges disappear, once the source causing them becomes inactive or subsides, due to many factors such as modifications of the internal surface of the cavity changes in its pressure or even shape. Paper yields carbon oxides, moisture and minute amounts of methane and hydrogen. The pipe fluid yields lower and higher hydrocarbons, hydrogen and even carbon oxides, depending on its peroxide content. The type, concentration and distribution of gases are governed by the specific nature of the problem faced a cable. Certain gases can be associated uniquely with either electrical or thermal activity. Dissolved gases do not only lend themselves to accurate measurements but their generation is also more sensitive to thermal and electrical stresses compared to partial discharges. Moreover, such gases can be detected at extremely low levels with relative ease. Carbon oxides are related to the condition of the paper. Whereas hydrogen is related to low level electrical activity, acetylene is associated with strong electrical activity. Ionization activity leads to partial discharges, yielding acetylene and carbonized fluid along with other unsaturated species such as ethylene, propylene and butenes. Acetylene is considered to be the single most important gas. The generation of isobutylene is connected with the thermal decomposition of the dielectric fluid, particularly polybutenes for which isobutylene is the starting material.

1 Singh, N., Morel, O., Butucel, B. and Rochon, M., Development of an Oil Deterioration Test Method to Monitor the Condition of High-Pressure Fluid-Filled Paper Cable, EPRI Final Report, EL-7488-L, Research Project 7895-1, November 1991 2 Singh, N., Morel, O., Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) by EPRI Disposable Oil Sampling System (EDOSS), EPRI Final Report, TR-111322, September 1998

3-2

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

Both the levels and ratios of gases are important. It is essential to consider the entire pattern of gases rather than rely on a few individual gases for proper data interpretation. While sound DGA experience can readily distinguish between a sound and unsatisfactory cable, periodic monitoring to establish gas generation trends and rates is essential for cases posing concern. Nevertheless, the gas generation rates should be periodically determined to establish whether or not a particular cable is maintaining dielectric integrity or deteriorating. Such periodic monitoring also confirms, if any previous unusual electric or thermal activity has ceased. The cable per se, splices and terminations are the source of gases. In rare circumstances, the components of the pumping plant can generate gases that can confuse the DGA picture and it has been observed. However, this is invariably tied to hydrogen generated as a result of rusting of some fittings associated with the reservoir such as piping. Gases are seldom generated by cables per se. However, splices and terminations frequently are the sources of gases. It is also important that the initial dielectric fluid is free of gases and this should be ensured in the beginning. For a new fluid, acetylene and hydrogen must be both zero, with the remaining gases generally below 10 ppm. Before a high quality nitrogen blanket became the normal practice for cable fluid shipment, ethane or propane or methane was occasionally utilized in conjunction with nitrogen. Thus, some older cables could have much larger amounts of such gases, and it has been observed Terminations3 can yield significantly larger concentrations of some key gases due to the nature of the electric field involved, and possible exposure to external/internal over-voltages. Thus the limits of key gases for terminations are different from those of the splices and cables, with terminations yielding higher limits.

3.3 EDOSS (EPRI Disposable Oil Sampling System) Method for DGA
While the EPOSS system has proven useful for the DGA of HPFF and SCLF cable systems, the time required to assemble, dissemble and clean the EPOSS cells adds to the cost of analysis. In addition, the EPOSS cells are relatively large (3 in x 11 in), heavy (about 1 lb) and expensive ($450). To overcome these drawbacks, while retaining all the positive features, a new method based on a disposable vial has been developed. Unlike the EPOSS method, this new approach utilizes a small glass disposable vial and hence the name EDOSS (EPRI Disposable Oil Sampling System). The accuracy and precision of EDOSS, which operates on the headspace principle as EPOSS method, is essentially the same. In addition to HPFF and SCFF cables, EDOSS method has been successfully applied to transformers, and extruded cable terminations.

Dissolved Gas Analysis ensures Continued Operation of 115-kV High Pressure Fluid-Field Cable System , Innovators with EPRI Technology, IN-101579, August 1993

3-3

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

Oil Flush c

Oil Flush

Oil Level

Figure 3-1 Diagram showing the steps involved in fluid sampling with EDOSS

3.3.1 Brief description of the EDOSS Method


The key components of the EDOSS approach are: sampling vials, disconnect coupler and an adapter incorporating a hollow needle along with a 3-way valve. The sampling vial consists of a 22 mm x 75 mm disposable crimp-top glass vial shown on the top of Figure 3-1 at c. The quickdisconnect coupler that can hold the disposable crimped-top vial is shown at the bottom of Figure 3-1 at c. The adapter incorporating the 2 -inch long hollow needle, while protecting it in the housing, is shown on the top of Figure 3-1 at b. The 3-way valve is shown connected to the needle assembly at the bottom of Figure 3-1 at b. These three components are also shown in Figure 3-1 at d, as a part of various steps involved in EDOSS sampling procedure. 3-4

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

3.3.2 EDOSS Sampling Procedure


The procedure to perform DGA sampling by the EDOSS method is described below. The EDOSS sampling vial is under vacuum, with a shelf life of about 6 weeks from the date of preparation. The date of preparation is inscribed on the vial and is represented by the first, three digits. First digit stands for the month 1 through 9 for January through September and O, N and D respectively for October, November and December. The day is shown by the following two digits. Connect the sampling device as shown in Figure 3-1 at a. With the valve handle pointing toward the sampling port, open the equipment valve to flush about one quart of fluid. This operation cleans all the connecting fittings and pipes. Point the valve handle toward the needle by rotating it 180 and allowing a few cc of fluid to flush through the hollow needle, Figure 3-1 at b. While fluid slowly drains out of the needle, install a glass vial in the vial holder, Figure 3-1 at c. This is accomplished by pulling down the outer ring of the vial holder with a springloaded mechanism, inserting the vial and then releasing the outer ring. The spring-loaded mechanism should close by itself and hold the vial firmly in place. As shown in Figure 3-1 at d, push the vial holding unit with the secured vial into the needle housing. Fluid will rush into the vial as soon as the needle passes through the rubber stopper. Allow fluid to reach the center blue line as shown in Figure 3-1 at e and pull from the glass vial until it is released from the vial holder. You can leave the valve open until the next sample or close the valve as the proper level of fluid is reached. Two samples should be taken at every location.

3.3.3 Disassembling
Once the two samples are taken, close the valve connecting to the equipment being sampled and rotate the valve handle to the drain position allowing the release of pressure buildup. Drain as much oil as possible and disassemble the unit. Zep Break Wash in spray can works well to clean the fittings. CAUTION this fluid does not contain CFC s but is extremely flammable.

3.3.4 Hot Line Tapping


Sampling ports are usually provided at splices and terminations. In case such ports are not available, they can be later incorporated in the field and this has been accomplished by some utilities, utilizing in-house labor. A photograph of the hot-tapping operation performed on a 2 diameter pipe is shown in Figure 3-2 to understand the operation. The cable is de-energized and its pressure brought down to about 50 psi. The welding operation should be performed gradually to avoid any undue heating of the pipe fluid. This is followed by the welding of the Mueller device (Figure 3-2) containing the hot-tapping cutting stem. The metal fillings produced as a result of the hot-tapping operation are permanently held onto the stem and do not fall within the 3-5

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

cable pipe. The tapping stem is manually operates from the top. In conjunction with the fluid sampling port on the left side of Figure 3-2, it serves to control the fluid flow to the orifice formed on the cable pipe. In some cases, a small piece of steel called weldolet , the shape of which fits with the curvature of the pipe, is first welded onto the cable pipe before the Mueller hot-tapping tool is installed.

Figure 3-2 Mueller Hot-Tapping performed on a 2 pipe

3.3.4.1 DGA Data In addition to proper sampling and subsequent analysis, the success of DGA depends on sound interpretation of results. The interpretation aspects have covered in another EPRI Guide entitled Guidelines for the Interpretation of Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) for Paper-Insulated Underground Transmission Cable Systems EPRI #1000275, September 2000. This Guide is based on extensive laboratory and field sampling experience involving over 6,000 cable sampling points and provides the normal, concern and action gas levels for HPFF splices, terminations and cable runs. The action level category requires prompt attention, which includes high sampling frequency, inspection and repairs.

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Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

Details of the DGA sampling schedules for splices and terminations for normal and concern conditions along with recommended actions, which may be encountered in an operation and maintenance program, are given in Table 3-1. Because of safety considerations, even greater attention should be paid to terminations. The actions summarized in column 4 of Table 3-1 should be well considered as they represent high expenditures. As mentioned earlier, problems are primarily confined to splices and terminations. However, if a splice is yielding large levels of gases, it is important to ensure that the cable is not involved. This can be readily accomplished by moving the fluid from either side while measuring the gas content. If the gases increase as the fluid is drained, it means that the cable is involved. Knowing the amount of fluid per foot of cable, one can almost pinpoint the location of the gas source along the cable length. If there is only one pumping plant and no return line, one can only move the fluid only in one direction. It is evident that for circulating lines, there is no need of fluid movement. It is advisable to consult with experts within the Company and possibly elsewhere so that proper decision on the splice or cable can be made.
Table 3-1 DGA schedule for splices and terminations Accessory Normal Concern Action

Splice

2 to 4 years, depending on cable voltage class

6 months to 1 year

Establish whether or not the splice is the source of gas. Drain fluid to obtain sample from the cable, both sides if possible. Two pumping plants or one pumping plant and a return line enable inspection of both sides through fluid movement. Consult with experts before opening the splice.

Cable Run

1 to 2 years, if a problem has been identified 2 to 4 years

6 months to 1 year

Consider changing cable length in question

Termination

6 months

Open termination for visual inspection/ rebuild.

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Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

3.4 Terminations Versus Splices


It is important that the fluid being sampled from a termination reflects the high stress region of the termination, which is located at the bottom. There is hardly any movement of fluid within a termination and it is further restricted by the small thickness of the fluid gap between the termination structure and the inner wall of the porcelain housing. To take into account the entire length of a HPFF termination, it is important to take 2 or 3 samples and perform DGA as the fluid is drained from the top of the termination in increments of 2/3 gallons. If there is a sampling port at the bottom, there is no need to drain the fluid; however, it is essential to make sure that the fluid is being sampled from the termination and not the adjoining portion of the cable. The sampling from the top eliminates the possibility of the fluid sample from the cable. Unlike 138 kV terminations, 230/345 kV terminations always have a bottom valve.

3.5 Flow-Chart on Sampling Procedure, Problem location DGA Interpretation


The application of DGA depends on three inter-dependent steps, namely, fluid sampling, chemical analysis and interpretation of the generated data. Accordingly, the success of DGA is governed by the proper execuation of each step. A knowledge of cable operating history relating to repairs, fluid leaks, make-up fluid, initial pipe fluid quality and presence of any hotspots is important for data interpretation. Improper interpretation can lead to wrong decisions that can be expensive. The entire process of DGA is summarized in a flow-chart, which covers the sampling procedures on splices, terminations, static versus forced-cooled cables, and frequency of sampling, Figure 3-3. Unlike static HPFF cable systems, it is sufficient to sample a forced-cooled HPFF cable at a single point. The approaches to locate the source of problem in splices, terminations and cable runs through fluid drainage have been included in the flow-chart. While this flow-chart contains all the important details in a sequential fashion, the user should refer to EPRI Report # 1000275 for backup information to make sound decisions on cable system condition and follow-up action(s). The flow-chart is fully applicable to HPFF cable systems, both static and forced-cooled. It holds equally for splices and cable runs of SCLF cables, with the exception of SCLF terminations. Unlike HPFF terminations, the design of SCLF terminations complicates the coverage of the entire termination length through fluid drainage from the top as the termination fluid and the hollow core conductor fluid are in contact at this location. However, if a bottom valve is provided for a SCLF termination, fluid drainage is possible. Because of the limited fluid supply in SCLF cables, it is recommended to perform only two fluid drainages for SCLF terminations, if a bottom valve is available. It should be ensured that the connector needle valve is open when fluid is drained from the bottom valve. The flowchart applies to the splices and terminations of HPGF cables. However, the process of gas drainage to locate the problem source at a distance is not applicable to HPGF cables due to the high diffusion rate of the generated gases along the pipe in such cables, as opposed to HPFF cable systems.

3-8

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

Start

Identify cable system (static or forced-cooled, no. of splices & pumping plant(s); cable history, etc)

Yes

Forced-cooled ?

No

Sample at a single location (circulating pump) Valve on all splices ?


No

Install valves

Yes

Sample splices (without cable shutdown) Take two samples at each location

Deenergize cable for termination sampling

Bottom valve available ?

No

1st sample from top valve without drainage, 2nd and 3rd samples from top valve with 2 - 4 ga. drainage

Yes

1st sample from bottom valve without drainage, 2nd and 3rd samples from top valve with 2 - 4 ga. drainage

Continued on next page

Figure 3-3 Flow-chart for fluid sampling and DGA interpretation

3-9

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

From previous page

Perform DGA

Results for splices

Results for terminations

No

Gases Acceptable ?

Gases Acceptable ?

No

Yes

Yes

Locate gas source by fluid movement

Repeat sampling in 2 to 4 years

Repeat sampling in 2 to 4 years

Sample trifurcator

Concentration decreases with drainage

No

Problem in termination
Yes

Yes

Gases Acceptable ?

No

Gas source in splice

Gas source in cable run Problem is the in raiser or further away in the pipe

Consult with experts

Move fluid to localize source

Consult with experts

Figure 3-3 (continued) Flow-chart for fluid sampling and DGA interpretation

3.6 Related Cable Fluid Tests


The details of the handling of various cable fluids as regards degassing, available degassing and filtration systems, circulating pumps and storage along with relevant fluid aspects of interest to cable users will be discussed in a new Cable Fluid Handling Guide to be published in 2001. The key properties of various dielectric fluids utilized by cable users that play an important role in the operation and maintenance of paper-insulated transmission cables are discussed below: 3-10

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

3.6.1 Dielectric Strength (ASTM D 877)


A new cable fluid should have breakdown strength greater than 30 kV at 100 mils; it is generally over 40 kV for alkylbenzene fluids. Lower values are attributed to moisture or other contaminants. If the dielectric strength of a fluid sample from a HPFF cable is below 25 kV, the cause of the low value should be investigated. A value of 20 kV or less calls for fluid filtering or replacement. Because of the dual impregnating and pressurization function of the fluid in SCLF cables, it is important that the dielectric strength is no less than 25 kV for in-service SCLF cables; it is essential for trouble-free operation. The dielectric strength of pure alkylbenzene fluids is appreciably higher than that of mineral oils. Accordingly, the lower limit for a self-contained cable with alkylbenzene fluid should be about 30 kV.

3.6.2 Dissipation Factor (ASTM D 924)


The dissipation factor of pipe cable fluids is not generally affected by the operation and remains essentially constant throughout the cable life. It follows that this test has limited value as diagnostic tool for HPFF cables. It should be noted that the pipe fluid is not exposed electrical stresses under normal operating conditions; it essentially serves as a pressurizing and cooling media. Moreover, the extent of the mixing with impregnation fluid through load cycling is confined only to the outer layers. If the dissipation factor of the cable fluid increases from the original value (0.1% at 100C) to about 0.3%, there is strong possibility of external contamination of the cable fluid. The source of contamination should be investigated in the laboratory. This could be attributed to high moisture content or degradation of the internal pipe coating. The dissipation factor of old fluid i.e., taken from an in-service cable is highly sensitive to temperature, and it is essential to conduct this at precisely 100C to obtain consistent results. Unlike HPFF cable fluids, the dissipation factor of fluid samples removed from SCLF yields significantly higher values. Dissipation factors at 100C as high as 2 to 3% are not uncommon in old self-contained cables. This situation is brought about by the fact that the fluid in selfcontained cables is contact with cable constructional materials such as hollow conductor with spiral strip, semi-conducting shields, paper, metallic shields, metallic jackets, a wide variety of fittings associated with the splices and reservoirs. The relatively small volume of cable fluid along with its low viscosity further impacts the dissipation factor problem. This does not hold for HPFF cables. A value greater than 3% should be investigated and monitored on a yearly basis. Because of the intimate contact of the fluid with the paper insulation, this could adversely impact cable life and cable losses.

3.6.3 Moisture Content (ASTM 1533)


While the specified value for new fluids is 30 ppm, moisture values typically observed on fluid samples removed from operating cables range from 5 to 20 ppm. Moisture values over 50 to 60 ppm are of concern since phase separation can occur at cable operating temperatures. Since 3-11

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

water is heavier than cable fluids and accumulates at lower regions of the line, fluid samples for moisture measurement should be taken from the bottom ports. While syringes can maintain the sample free of atmospheric contamination, sometimes the presence of free moisture can be missed. Sampling in clear glass open jars allows visual observation of water droplets for cables showing high moisture content.

3.6.4 Peroxide content (ASTM D 1563)


Peroxide content is related to oxidation of the cable fluid during manufacturing processes and handling. Accordingly, peroxide content in new fluids should be kept to a minimum. Unlike polybutenes and mineral oils, pure alkylbenzenes are characterized by peroxide content below 1 ppm. Polybutene fluids are prone to oxidation and tend to yield high peroxide content. A value of 1 and 2 ppm should be specified respectively for alkylbenzenes and polybutenes. The peroxide content in cables does not increase during cable operation and, in some cases, small decreases are observed. As such, it is sufficient to establish this value only once. The decomposition of peroxides leads to the formation of carbon oxides and hydrocarbons. Accordingly, to reduce the influence of peroxides on dissolved gas analysis, it is essential to limit peroxide values within the recommended values.

3.6.5 Furfural Content


The thermal degradation of cellulosic paper produces minute amounts of furfural, which is readily dissolved in the cable impregnation fluid. It should be added that dielectric fluids are not the source of furfural. Furfural concentration correlates well with the concentration of both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The chemical stability of furfural along with its low vapor pressure makes this compound a reliable indicator of the degree of paper aging. Unlike the other fluid measurements, the determination of furfural content in fluids is rather complex and there is no ASTM standard. The minute concentration of the observed furfural further complicates the analysis. Several approaches based in HPLC (high-pressure liquid chromatography) and GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) are being used. Detroit Edison has developed a technique for both cables and transformers utilizing a preconcentration stage by solid phase extraction (SPE) followed by GC/MS analysis. This approach, which is being increasingly applied to monitor power transformers, also holds promise for HPFF/SCLF cable systems. Compared to power transformer, smaller levels of furfural are expected due to slow migration from the impregnating fluid to the pipe fluid for the case of HPFF cable systems. The construction of SCLF cables facilitates the accumulation of furfural in the fluid being sampled. A value of about 1ppm is of concern. It is recommended to check the furfural content every 5 years, unless normal cable loading and/or the frequency of emergency temperature condition increases significantly.

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Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

3.7 General Description of Cable Dielectric Fluids


Along with the paper or PPP insulation, the dielectric fluid constitutes the insulating system. This fluid displaces the air and moisture content of the paper, filling its pores, and thus leading to markedly improved dielectric strength of paper. It is this insulating fluid that enables the realization of the full insulating potential offered by paper insulation. The application of pressure on this fluid further improves and maintains the electric strength of the cable. In addition, the insulating fluid, also termed the cable impregnant or saturant acts as a lubricant. It thus facilitates the relative movement of paper or PPP tapes when the cable is inevitably bent during manufacture, storage, transportation, installation and operation. Such fluids also act as a cooling medium, and this function is significantly improved through circulation. It follows that the quality and handling of the dielectric fluid is critical to the fabrication as well as to the long and reliable service of paper cables. Unlike transformer oils, additives are not added to cable fluids. Cable fluids are derived from petroleum crudes or by synthesis from natural or cracked gases, thus their sources are either petroleum crudes or natural gas. The insulating fluids utilized in the cable industry are characterized by high dielectric strength and low dielectric loss and long-term stability of these two properties. Basically, either one or two fluids having different viscosities are used, depending on the type of taped cable. Whereas the SCLF cables utilize a single type of fluid (with one viscosity), two fluids with different viscosities are employed in HPFF cables. The high viscosity and the low viscosity fluids respectively serve as the impregnating and pipe filling fluids for HPFF cables. Compared to the impregnating fluid, utilities have more control over the pipe filling fluid. The pipe fluids are also used as make-up fluids in case of any leaks encountered in service. Therefore, utilities keep such fluid in stock to meet emergency needs. Likewise, need for such additions also arises for SCLF cables. The key properties for cable dielectric fluids are given in Table 3-2.

3-13

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System Table 3-2 Specifications for New HPFF Type Cable Fluids
Low Vis. (Forced Cooled) Property Method Alkylbenzene Polybutane Medium Viscosity (Static) Alkylbenzine/ Polybutane Blend Chemical Contaminants Neutralization Number mg KOH/g (Max.) As-Received After 96 hours at 115C Chlorine (Max.) Organically Bound (ppm) Inorganic (ppm) Sulfur Free & Corrosive Total Maximum (ppm) Water Max. (ppm) Free Oxygen Content (% v/v) Max. Color, Max. As-Received After 96 hours @ 115C Flash Point C (F) Min. Viscosity Saybolt Universal Seconds @37.8C ( 100F) @98.9C ( 210F) Kinematic Viscosity (cSt) @37.8C ( 100F) @98.9C ( 210F) Dielectric Strength kV/100 mil gap, Min. Dissipation Factor Tan delta 60Hz @ 100C, As-Received, max. After 96 hours @ 115C, max. ASTM D-974 ASTM D-664 0.05 0.08 0.02 0.10 0.05 0.08 0.02 0.10 Polybutene

ASTM D-2522 ASTM D-878 ASTM D-1275 ASTM D-3246 ASTM D-1533 ASTM D-1827

40 NIL NIL 5 30 3 Physical Properties

10 NIL NIL 100 30 3

10 NIL NIL 5 30 3

30 NIL NIL 100 30 3

ASTM D-1500 ASTM D-92

1.0 1.5 150C (302F)

1.0 1.5 130C (266F)

1.0 1.5 160C (329F)

1.0 1.5 130C (266F)

ASTM D-88

90 to 110 34 to 41

115 to 145 38 to 44

500 to 550 55 to 65

500 to 620 55 to 65

ASTM D-445

18.12 to 22.85 2.35 to 4.48

24.00 to 30.77 3.55 to 5.41

108 to 119 8.77 to 11.60

108 to 134 8.77 to 11.60

Electrical Properties ASTM D-877 ASTM D-1816 ASTM D-924 ASTMD-1934-A 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 35 35 35 35

The fluid specifications for SCLF cables are similar to low viscosity alkylbenzenes used in HPFF cables. However, lower viscosities are used in SCLF (40 to 100 SUS @ 100F). 1) Polybutene/Alkylbenzene blends are usually 25:75 polybutene:alkylbenzene

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Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

The following types of dielectric fluids are used: Mineral oils Polybutene fluids Alkylbenzene fluids

Each is briefly discussed below:

3.7.1 Mineral Oils


The introduction of mineral oils dates back to the early days of taped cable industry in the late 1880s. Mineral oil is derived from petroleum crude stock, which is refined to give an electrical grade insulating liquid. The production of satisfactory insulating oil depends both on the crude stock and the refining process. Mineral oils are broadly classified as paraffinic (straight and branched chain saturated hydrocarbons), naphthenic (cycloparaffins), and aromatic (ring molecular structures), depending on the main constituents of their distillation crudes. These three broad classifications are present in all mineral oils to different degrees. The non-hydrogen compounds present in these petroleum derivatives contain oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen and traces of iron, copper, aluminum and sodium. These non-hydrocarbon compounds impact the final electrical properties and are removed or greatly reduced by proper refining. The refining process also removes or reduces wax content, which is undesirable. Proper refining keeps a certain amount of aromatic content that imparts gas-absorbing characteristic, a desirable feature for taped cables operating at high electrical stresses. It should be noted that naphthenic type mineral oils are preferred because of their desirable properties such as low wax, sulfur and asphaltene contents along with improved viscosity characteristics. Such oils were predominantly used up to the late 1960s for both HPFF and SCLF cables in the U.S. and there were many suppliers such as Sun Oil Company, Mobil Oil Company, Exxon Oil Company. However, such oils ceased to be available in the early 1980s in the U. S. when the Sun Oil Company, the last supplier discontinued the cable oil product line. This was brought about by the high cost associated with the disposal of spent clay. Hot clay treatment is essential for proper refining of cable oils. The Sun oils for HPFF and SCLF cables were respectively designated as Sun#6 and Sun#4.

3.7.2 Polybutene Fluids


These fluids are extensively used in the U. S. and are available as both impregnating (high viscosity) and pipe filling liquids fluids (low viscosity). These fluids were the first to serve as replacement for the traditional mineral oils in the U.S. and were introduced in the late 1950s. Polybutene fluids are characterized by inherently low dissipation factor and stability against contamination and oxidation. Polybutene fluids belong to the synthetic hydrocarbon family in that they are produced by chemical reactions in chemical plants. The starting material is the isobutylene gas and the fluid 3-15

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System

is produced through the catalytic-polymerization of this gas. Hence these fluids are called polyisobutylene fluids or simply polybutenes. The isobutylene gas is separated from other refinery gases and subsequently purified for the manufacture of polybutene fluids. This process is carried out in the liquid phase, utilizing a catalyst (e.g., aluminum chloride) and an acid activator at a reaction temperature ranging from 5 to 50C. The resulting product is purified by removal of the catalyst, followed by neutralization, distillation, drying and filtration to produce a quality dielectric fluid.

3.7.3 Alkylbenzene Fluids


Such fluids have been used in Europe and Japan since 1960s. However, they became available in the U. S. since 1980. It is possible to obtain alkylbenzene fluids with lower viscosity than polybutenes, making the former particularly appropriate for SCLF cables. Alkylbenzene fluids are often mixed with polybutene fluids to reduce the latter s viscosity. In fact, a combination of alkylbenzene fluid and polybutene fluid in a proportion of 75% to 25% is often employed as a medium viscosity pipe filling fluid. Like polybutene fluids, alkylbenzene fluids are synthetic hydrocarbons. They are produced by the alkylation of benzene with normal olefins. The starting material is a suitable aromatic and nparaffin or olefin. The resultant polymer is then condensed with benzene at 23 50C using hydrofluoric acid or aluminum chloride as a catalyst. Subsequently, this product is purified by removal of the catalyst and acid bye-products. Finally, it is subjected to distillation, filtration and drying to produce an electrical grade fluid. The major usage of alkylbenzenes is in the detergent industry. There are two basic types of alkylbenzenes, namely, branched and linear. Both are employed in the cable industry. However, the former is generally preferred due to its higher auto-ignition, greater resistance to oxidation and biodegradability. Compared to other cable fluids, alkylbenzenes offer superior resistance to gassing under electrical stresses, a desirable feature for high voltage cables.

3-16

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System Table 3-3 Usage of Dielectric Fluids in Underground Transmission Cables Fluid Usage Mineral Oils Alkylbenzene Fluids Polybutene Fluids Polybutene/ Alkylbenzene Blends (1) -

Impregnant for HPFF Cables HPFF High Visc. Pipe Fluid (Static HPFF Cables) HPFF Low Visc. Pipe Fluid (Forced Cooled HPFF Cables) Self-Contained Low Visc. Cable Fluid (Medium/Low Pressure Cables) Self-Contained Extra Low Visc. Cable Fluid (High Pressure Self-Contained Cables, Submarine Cables) Cable Fluid Viscosity Modifier Critical Tests for Fluid Quality Dissipation Factor Breakdown Strength Moisture Content Peroxide Content Free Benzene Content
(1) (2)

Polybutene/alkylbenzene blends are usually 25:75 polybutene:alkylbenzene Each different fluid is prone to a different type of contamination according to its chemical composition.

(2)

3-17

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System Table 3-4 Fluid Designation According to Manufacturer Company Sun Oil (mineral Oils) Dussek Campbell (Polybutene Fluids)
(1)

Impregnants Sun X

Pipe Fluids Sun 6

Self Contained Sun 4

015 CS, 010 CS & 30 CS DCL 3000

06 CS & 0 CS

(Alkylbenzenes)

DCL 500, DCL 150 & DCL 100

DCL 100 & DCL 45

(Mineral Oils) Shrieve Cosden


(1)

TC 2288/84 Dichevrol 3000 Polyvis 015 EG Dichevrol DF 3000 Polyvis 6 EG & 0 EG Dichevrol DF 100, DF 150, DF 500 D-50 & D-14 Dichevrol DF 100

Chevron
(1)

(1)

Amoco
(1)

No. 300-H, 100-H & 15-H

No longer available

3.7.4 Characteristics for New and In-Service Cable Fluids


The cable fluids that have been utilized in self-contained fluid-filled systems are low viscosity mineral fluids (Sun 4), and low viscosity alkylbenzenes (dodecylbenzene, tridecylbenzene and mixtures of these and some tetradecane, the latter represent the linear type. Although new Sun 4 is no longer available, many systems in the USA still are being operated with this fluid. Typical usage of dielectric fluids in underground transmission cables is given in Table 3-3. Fluid designation according to different manufacturers is given in Table 3-4. Characteristics of new fluids together with go/no go condition for in-service fluids are given in Table 3-5. It should be noted, that the go/no go specifications also apply to new reconditioned fluids that are being added as make-up fluid to the cable in service.

3-18

Operation & Maintenance through Non-Invasive Testing of the Dielectric System Table 3-5 Characteristics of New Fluids and Limits for In-Service and Reconditioned Fluids in SCLF Cables

New, Typical Values Alkylbenzene (Dodecyl or Tridecylbenzene) 0.893 < -80C 122C

In-Service Alkylbenzene (Dodecyl or Tridecylbenzene)

Property Specific Gravity Pour Point Flash Point Viscosity @ 100C @ 40C Color Water Breakdown kV/100 mil Gassing Tendency Dissipation Factor @ 100C

Sun 4 0.880 - 0.901 -46C 158C

Sun 4

2.45 cSt 8.93 cSt 0.25 0.5 20 ppm 35 - 45 -4.4 l/min 0.002% max

1.12 cSt 10.0 cSt 0 30 ppm 40 - 50 -95 l/min 0.065% 1 2% 1 - 2% 40 ppm max 30 45 ppm max 30

The fluids that fall in the reconditioned category corresponds to fluids that have been kept in sealed metallic 50 gallons drums and that are degassed in portable units before added as make-up fluid to the cable or cable reservoir.

3-19

4
TESTS ON CABLE PAPER INSULATION
4.1 Introduction
The condition and life of oil-paper transmission cable is basically governed by the impregnated insulating system, providing the integrity of the pipe or the lead sheath is in order. Accordingly, the testing of paper insulation offers an opportunity to assess both the condition and remaining life of the cable. Unlike paper, the dielectric properties of the insulating oil are maintained at high temperatures, approaching about 160 C in the absence of oxygen. The testing of oil has been covered in chapter 3. A series of mechanical, electrical and chemical tests are performed on paper to establish the condition and remaining life an oil-paper transmission cable. Depending on the nature of the particular test, paper is tested in impregnated or oil-free state; the oil in the latter is removed by chemical means. A small piece of cable is often available from relocation, repair and reconductoring activities and should be used to evaluate cable condition. The main objective of this chapter is to demonstrate that the condition of oil-paper insulation transmission cables can be assessed with the combination of appropriate paper testing techniques. As an extension of cable condition assessment, the life expectancy of the cable can also be estimated for current or modified load conditions. Life expectancy calculations that are briefly mentioned in this presentation only deal with the paper part of the cable insulation and do not take into consideration the many other aspects of the system that could lead to cable failure. Other cable systems also essential for a trouble-free operation and not considered in this presentation are pipe or metal sheath corrosion, thermomechanical bending in splices or cable runs, fluid contamination, operation pressure losses, pumping plant malfunction, termination failure, fluid leaks, dig-ins, etc.

4.2 Paper Tests


Paper tests have been grouped into those of mechanical, chemical and electrical nature, depending on the way a given paper behavior is assessed. The majority of such tests have been traditionally utilized by the cable industry as acceptance tests to assess the quality of paper sheets before used in the manufacturing of cables. A complete list of tests for determining the acceptability of paper received from the paper supplier by the cable manufacturer is given in ASTM D 202.

4-1

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

4.2.1 Mechanical Tests Among the mechanical tests routinely performed in the acceptance criteria are: Folding endurance, in any of the two common forms: Schopper (ASTM 643) or M.I.T. (ASTM 2176) Tensile strength (ATM D 828) Bursting strength (ASTM 774 or TAPPI T403) Tearing resistance (ASTM D 689 or D 827).

Another mechanical test, called wet-tensile strength (ASTM 829) has not been used as a qualification test since the results of this tests are not relevant to the quality of a new cable insulation. The fact that wet-tensile strength increases as paper ages is the reason this test is only applicable to determine the extent of paper aging. The wet-tensile test was originally developed by the paper and pup industry for papers that must maintain physical strength under wet conditions, such as tissue paper or paper bags. 4.2.2 Chemical Tests The only test useful for age determination that qualifies, as a chemical test is the degree of polymerization. This test is of significance for new as well as aged paper tapes. In the case of new paper tapes, the degree of polymerization indicates the average molecular weight of cellulose chains and is relevant to the quality of the paper stock. New papers with low molecular weight are indicative of excessive degradation during the pulping process or poor quality stock. In aged papers, the molecular weight of the fibers in paper decreases as aging increases due to the thermal breakdown of the cellulosic chain. 4.2.3 Electrical Tests Among the electrical tests performed on new papers that can also be applied to aged papers are dissipation factor and dielectric strength. Both tests are performed on impregnated paper tapes as soon as they are removed from the cable to avoid moisture pickup. The equipment to perform these tests is respectively shown in Figures 4-1 and 4-2. However, the effect of aging on the magnitude of these two properties is not completely clear. The accepted criterion is that these two properties hold their magnitudes until paper tapes become exceedingly aged or nearly carbonized. As a matter of fact, significant increase in dissipation factor is observed in browned and carbonized papers, however, the effect in dielectric strength is not always clear. The brittleness of aged papers makes the handling of aged paper very difficult. Breakage of tape samples during testing can lead to low-breakdown voltages.

4-2

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

Figure 4-1 Picture showing a dissipation factor bridge (left) and a three-electrode test cell for measurements on fluid-impregnated paper tapes (right)

Figure 4-2 Cell for dielectric strength measurement on paper tapes immersed in dielectric fluid (left). Dielectric strength power supply (right)

Figure 4-3 Glass beaker containing a solution of magenta dye (left), and a piece of cable tape after being soaked in magenta test show to reveal the presence of wax (right)

4-3

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

4.2.4 Magenta Dye Test The magenta dye test is really a paper staining procedure. Oil-impregnated paper is soaked in a solution of acid fuchsin, which imbibes the paper fibers, turning the paper purple. The presence of wax deposited over the fibers impedes the absorption of dye, thus revealing the presence of wax. This is shown on the right in Figure 4-3, which also shows a glass beaker containing a solution of magenta dye on the left. The solution in water contains about 2 grams of acid fuchsin (acid magenta) per liter of water. This powdery dye can be dissolved with a few drops of methanol, which facilitates its dissolution in water. This test can also be performed on paper from which oil has been removed, however, an oil-impregnated tape is preferred. 4.2.5 Hot Wax Test This test allows the field determination of excess moisture in paper tapes. Suspected paper tapes are immersed in melted paraffin wax heated to 350F (175C) as soon as they are removed from the cable. At this temperature, free moisture in paper boils away and its presence is revealed by the formation of bubbles, Figure 4-4. The more the bubbles, the higher the moisture content. It is possible to detect as little as 0.8% (8,000 ppm) moisture in paper by this procedure. The moisture content in new cables is under 1,000 ppm, therefore, no bubbling should be observed when tapes from a virgin cable are tested this way. Considering the lack of sensitivity of this test, field personnel may reject a paper tape that conduces to the formation of even small amounts of bubbles. Accordingly, for such cases laboratory instrumentation should be used.

Figure 4-4 Close view of bubbles resulting from a paper tape with a non-acceptable moisture content submitted to the hot wax test

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Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

Figure 4-5 Karl-Fischer moisture titration system equipped with an oven for solid samples

In the laboratory, the actual concentration of moisture in paper insulation is determined with a Karl-Fischer titrator, Figure 4-5. An oven is utilized to dry the paper while a stream of dry carrier gas is passed over the paper sample and then bubbled in a reaction vessel. The paper sample is weighed after drying to avoid moisture uptake while weighing. This method gives the total amount of moisture per unit weight of insulation, which includes paper and impregnation fluid.

4.3 Test Procedures


4.3.1 Removal of Tapes from Short Cable Pieces A short cable piece must be made available to perform the above tests. A piece about 24 inches long is needed to obtain sufficient tapes for all the testing. Before the cable piece is dissected, about 4 inches are removed from each end to eliminate moisture contamination during handling of the cable piece. However, it is essential that the 24-inch piece, which should be cut in the shop from a longer piece, be quickly wrapped with many layers of clear stretch polyethylene film or Saran (polyvinylidene) film to avoid moisture uptake. In the case of self-contained cables, remove the oil from the 24-inch piece, fill the core space with loose clear stretch polyethylene film, and then wrap the entire piece with many layers of such film. Before the 18-inch piece is dissected, one of the 4-inch end pieces is carefully unwrapped to establish the cable construction, Figure 4-6. It is important to know the number of reversals and 4-5

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

the size of tapes in each reversal. Different tapes usually have different physical characteristics and these have to be taken into consideration when determining the radial distribution of properties. When the same tape size is used in a large group of reversals, a sample is taken from the center of reversal. At least two tapes are considered from the last reversal (next to the conductor), one next to the conductor and the other one at the opposite end of the reversal.

Figure 4-6 Removing tapes for testing from a short cable piece

4.3.2 Visual Inspection A visual inspection is always performed when carefully removing paper tapes from the 18-inch cable piece. Assuming that the piece being inspected is not part of a failure, tapes are taken 2 or 3 at a time, while counting the number of tapes. To avoid errors in the counting process, it is best to align the tapes belonging to the same reversal so that these can be recounted, if necessary. Depending of the insulation thickness, a number of tapes are tested for moisture content, dissipation factor, dielectric strength and if waxing is suspected, immersed in magenta dye solution. These tests are performed on tapes not to be used in later mechanical and chemical testing. The tests performed on oil impregnated tapes have to be performed immediately after removing the tape from the short cable piece to avoid moisture uptake. The presence of impregnating fluid does not prevent the ingress of moisture, only slows it down. 4-6

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

In addition to the tests mentioned above, the inspection includes observation of the quality of the impregnation, size of butt spacing, presence of tape registration, presence of any markings, tracking, presence of paper imperfections and/or foreign materials and formation of wax. Strong odors can be indicative of waxing. Wax accumulation is observed in places with free oil such as butt spaces or between conductor strands. Waxing represents the polymerization of oil through any ionization activity. It should be added that waxing is not common in oil-paper transmission cables due to pressurization, unlike paper-insulated lead-covered cables employed at distribution voltages. The tapes to be used for mechanical testing have to be treated with hexane to eliminate the impregnation fluid. This operation is performed in a Sohxlet extraction apparatus. Some form of marking must be utilized to identify the tapes after cleaning. We use a small single holepunching system at the ends of the tapes for identification purposes. If only selected tapes are being cleaned, these can be marked with the number of reversal from where these were taken. After solvent cleaning and once the solvent has evaporated, the tapes are taken to a paper laboratory where constant temperature and humidity conditions are maintained (23C and 50% RH). Paper tapes must be kept at these conditions for no less than 48 hours (ASTM D 685) before measurements are conducted on the tapes. All qualification tests on clean tapes, with the exception of degree of polymerization, must be performed under controlled temperature and humidity conditions of the paper laboratory. 4.3.3 Folding Endurance (FE) Folding endurance is often employed to assess the deterioration of paper during accelerated aging studies. It has been utilized to monitor paper aging because of its rapid rate of deterioration at high temperatures, where such experiments are usually conducted. It is noteworthy that the rate of loss of FE exceeds that of tensile strength (TS) and degree of polymerization (DP) at aging temperatures in excess of 70C. The rate of loss of FE is similar to that of TS and DP between 60 and 70C. Below 60C, the rate of loss of FE is significantly slower than the loss of TS and DP. That is, for papers never exposed to temperatures over 70C, the deterioration of FE will not exceed the deterioration of TS or DP. This situation has not been fully appreciated and it has been accepted that FE is the most sensitive property to aging at both high and low temperatures. Accordingly, folding endurance does not offer life prediction potential at low temperatures that are typical of HPFF cable operation. As true for most other tests, FE depends on paper grammage (basis weight or grams per square meter), density, thickness, moisture content, test room conditions and the type of testing machine. Folding endurance is similar to TS test, where the results are greatly affected by the flexing ability of paper. The fibers do not break during the test, but inter-fiber bonds do. Folding endurance increases linearly with paper grammage to a point where further increases in paper grammage lead to a decrease in FE. In other words, folding strength reaches a maximum as thickness increases in papers of equal density or as density increases for papers of equal thickness. The selection of load is very important in the application of FE to monitor paper aging. Higher loads reduce the number of folds, however, the number of folds for breakage decreases rapidly as 4-7

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

paper ages. If a high load is selected to achieve a reasonable number of double folds in fresh papers, the number of folds in aging paper falls rapidly below the acceptable. 4.3.3.1 Procedure The procedure describes the utilization of a M.I.T. type folding tester, Figure 4-7. A paper strip, 15 mm wide and about 15 cm long, is cut from an oil-free conditioned paper tape. The strip is secured between the top grips and bottom jaws of the testing unit. The test is conducted under a 1 kg or 0.5 kg load. The lower jaws are closed while pulling the paper down. To proceed with the test, the centrifugal fan is brought over the sample and the counter is zeroed. As the paper breaks and the upper grips are retrieved by the pulling load, the machine and the counter shut-off automatically. The reported repeatability at 95% confidence limit is 20% for the folding endurance test

Figure 4-7 View of a MIT folding tester unit with fan folded open to show the tape holding jaws

4.3.4 Degree of polymerization Degree of polymerization is a term that represents the number of monomer units in an average size polymer molecule. In the case of cellulose, which is the main component of paper, the repeating unit is known as D-anhydroglucopyranose, anhydroglucose or glucose (C6H12O6). For a rigorous understanding, adjacent units of anhydroglucose molecule are rotated 180 on their longitudinal plane, with the repeating unit comprising of two glucose molecules. This unit, having two geometrically opposite anhydroglucose molecules, is called cellobiose. The method utilized to determine DP in cellulose, however, is not sensitive to this geometrical peculiarity and only indicates the total number of anhydroglucose units in an average cellulose strand. The importance of DP stems from the fact that the tensile failure mode of aged papers is controlled by the fiber strength and not by the strength of the fiber-to-fiber bond. Since the 4-8

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

molecular weight of cellulose strands has a significant impact on the strength of the paper fibers (the higher the molecular weight, the stronger the fiber), the determination of DP presents a direct way to assess the condition of the fibers and hence the physical strength of the paper. The quality of paper, as an electrical insulating material, declines with extensive aging due to the evolution of moisture. The chemical reactions responsible for the scission of the glucoside link between glucose units, leading to a decrease in DP, also result in the formation of secondary products, affecting the dielectric quality of paper. Therefore, low values of DP in aged papers not only indicate the presence of a physically weakened paper but also the possibility of advanced deterioration of its dielectric integrity due to the accumulation of moisture and other polar materials. Degree of polymerization in paper is determined by measuring the intrinsic viscosity of a solution made by dissolving a known mass of paper in an appropriate solvent. Few solvents exist that can dissolve cellulosic paper. Among them, cuprammonium hydroxide (cupram) (ASTM 539) or more recently, cupriethylenediamine (CED) (ASTM 1795 & ASTM 4243, TAPPI 230, IEC 450) have been used for specific viscosity measurements on papers made from unmodified cellulose. While the ASTM 1795 is a general standard for the determination of DP in cellulosic materials, the ASTM 4243 is specific for electrical insulating papers. The mechanism of dissolution of cellulose fibers is achieved by the swelling action of this strongly polar solvent that allows the breakage of the hydrogen bonding holding the cellulose strands together with groups known as microfibrils. The strands become solvated by the CED, allowing them to remain in solution. The specific viscosity of the CED solution is a function of the average molecular weight of the cellulose strand as well as of the number of strands per unit volume of solution (concentration). Empirical tables are available from these standards to relate the viscosity of the CED/cellulose solution with the average molecular weight of the cellulose at the established solution concentrations. 4.3.4.1 Procedure The determination of the DP requires the dissolution of paper in CED. The rate of dissolution of paper is greatly enhanced if the paper tape samples are ground to a powder. The equipment used to prepare the sample is shown in Figure 4-8. The viscosity of the solution must be measured at a constant 25C temperature. This is achieved by immersing the viscometer in an oil bath, Figure 4-8. The specific viscosity (s) of the paper in CED solution, which corresponds to the viscosity of the paper-CED solution corrected for the viscosity of the CED solution alone (blank), is determined at 25C with a Cannon-Fenske viscometer by the following relationship:

s =

Ts To To

where TS is the efflux time of the solution and To is the efflux time of the blank. The intrinsic viscosity (), which corresponds to the specific viscosity extrapolated to zero paper concentration, is determined from tables (ASTM 4243), where the product of pulp concentration times intrinsic viscosity (C) are tabulated against the specific viscosity (s). The concentration of paper in the CED solution has to be corrected for the moisture content of the original sample. The average DP is subsequently calculated from Martins formula: 4-9

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

Degree of Polymerization, DP =

-3 Where is the intrinsic viscosity and k = 7.5x10 . The DP of native cellulose can range from 14, 000 to 2,500 depending on the origin and purification procedure. However, the DP of new insulating paper, which depends mainly on the paper pulping process, ranges from 750 to about 1,650. Values as low as 800 or as high as 1,200 are typically found among the insulation of new cables.

During the determination of DP for extremely aged papers, the cross-linking between fibers that result from the thermal aging can reduce the solubility of the paper in CED, resulting in smaller DP values.

Figure 4-8 View of a paper grinder used to pulverize the paper tapes before chemically dissolving the fibers in CED solution (left). Constant temperature oil baths and timers utilized in the determination of the intrinsic viscosity of the CED paper solution at 25C (right)

4.3.5 Tensile Strength Tensile strength more closely represents a fundamental measurement than any other mechanical property such as bursting, folding and tearing resistance. Tensile strength is not governed by a single paper property. It depends on two fundamental properties, namely, fiber strength and inter-fiber bonding strength. Fiber bonding and inter-fiber bonding strength constitute the basis of the physical strength of paper, and depend on many variables, ranging from the nature of the raw material to pulping conditions and paper manufacturing. Moreover, these fundamental forces are also strongly affected by paper aging. Paper aging leads to a continuous decrease in fiber strength and the formation a permanent cross-linking between cellulose fibers. The interfiber bonding in new papers is composed mainly of hydrogen bonds but more permanent 4-10

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

covalent link form during thermal treatment. At high temperatures, the rapid loss in folding endurance is believed to be associated with the rapid increase in inter-fiber bonding and enlargement of crystalline regions in the fibers brought about by fiber entanglement occurring during thermal cycles. However, the relationship of cable life to the retained value of TS as representing end-of-life is not fully understood. The determination of TS with motorized tensile testers is relatively simple and the process is well documented in the ASTM 828 Standard. The tensile measurement described under ASTM D 828 is not true TS, since it is described as the breaking load per unit width of a tape rather than per unit of cross sectional area. In this work, the breaking load was divided by the tape cross-sectional area to account for the varying tape thickness in actual cable insulation. In general, nominal tape thickness could vary by 10% from the actual tape thickness. Moreover, the same tape can show significant thickness variations along the same short cable length. The tensile stress () is defined as the load per unit original cross sectional area

F A

where F is force in pounds at the failure point and A is the cross sectional area before the test. The breaking load of paper corresponds to the maximum load registered before sample failure. The tensile strength expressed in lbs/in2 (psi) is calculated from the breaking load in pounds divided by the cross sectional area of the paper in square inches. The elongation of the specimen is determined also at breaking load and is expressed as a percentage of the initial 7.1 inches sample length. From the same measurement, it is possible to calculate another variable known as the tensile energy absorption (TEA). This corresponds to the area of the tensile strain versus stress curve and represents the total work performed on the paper during the tensile strength test. It should be noted that no advantage has been found in the utilization of percent of elongation or TEA instead of TS. 4.3.5.1 Procedure The tensile tester has a set of line contact grips, Figure 4-9. The center of the line contacts must be set 180 mm 5 mm (7.1 inches) apart. The load is increased linearly at a rate that must fail the tape within 10 5 seconds. There is no need to modify the width of the paper strip as long as this is accurately determined. The length of the strip is not critical but must be sufficiently long to be held within the two grips. This test must be repeated 5 to 10 times for the same tape. During the measurement, all the specimens are held from the top grip, and then attached to the lower grip and tested one by one. Data associated with specimens that break at the grips must be rejected. Breakage at the grips indicates misalignment and is more typical of papers with high breaking loads.

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Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

Figure 4-9 Computer controlled twin-screw tensile tester unit (left) and air-operated line-grip jaws (right)

4.3.6 Bursting Strength This test is one of the paper tests and it is still widely used for routine mill control and for specifications testing because of its simplicity. This test is a complex function of tensile strength and stretch. In general, bursting strength follows the tensile strength. 4.3.6.1 Procedure Bursting strength is the hydrostatic pressure, in pounds per square inch required to produce the rupture of a paper sample when the pressure is applied, at a controlled rate of increase through a rubber diaphragm, to a circular area of 1.200 in. in diameter. The equipment utilized in this test is shown in Figure 4-10. A piece of paper no less than 2.5 by 2.5 in. is needed. This test was devised for the testing of paper sheets and is not applicable to paper tapes removed from cable samples with the generally available test equipment.

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Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

Figure 4-10 Mullex C burst strength testing unit

4.3.7 Tearing Resistance There are three types of tearing resistance tests: (1) internal tearing or Elmendorf, Figure 4-11 left, (2) edge tear or Finch, Figure 4-11 right, and (3) in-plane tear. Tear resistance normally refers to Elmendorf, unless specified. In case of tapes removed from cable pieces, Elmendorf cannot be utilized because a much wider piece of paper is required, as true for the case of bursting strength. Edge tear (ASTM D 827) requires a special fixture and it can be performed with a tensile tester. The specimen in this test is stressed in a very small area and the results are subject to a wider variation than in a test such as tensile strength. Size limitations for the specimen in this test are not as restrictive as in the case of the internal tearing resistance test (Elmendorf), however, there are many cases where the size limitations would not permit this test. 4.3.7.1 Procedure A Finch edge tear stirrup accessory is needed for this test. The stirrup is held by the bottom grip of the tension tester while the paper is held from the top grip. Although the length of the strip is not limiting, the width cannot be over 1.00 in. or less than 0.59 in. Although most paper tapes in cables can be found to fall in this region, many modern high voltage cables have tapes over 1.00 in. width.

4-13

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

Figure 4-11 Elmendorf tearing strength tester (left). Edge tear fixture, when mounted on a tensile strength unit, can be used to determine the edge strength of narrow paper tapes

4.3.8 Wet-Tensile Strength The tensile strength of water-saturated paper tapes, also known as wet-tensile strength , provides an excellent tool for the determination of thermal aging of taped cable insulation. Contrary to all other physical properties of paper, wet-tensile strength increases with the aging of paper. Wettensile strength develops as a result of chemical cross-linking between paper fibers and this leads to the strengthening of the fiber-to-fiber bonding. The new bonding does not dissociate when the paper is soaked in water as is the case for the regular hydrogen bonding holding the fibers together in unaged paper. However, this increase in wet-paper strengthening is eventually limited as a point is reached where the wet-tensile strength begins to fall. The maximum in wettensile strength is reached when the fiber-to-fiber strength exceeds the fiber strength. As the strength of paper fiber continues to decrease with aging, the wet-tensile strength also decreases. Wet-tensile strength is applicable to condition assessment of taped insulation. As the tapes near the conductor age faster than those near the insulation shield, the maximum in wet-tensile strength appears first in the inner most tapes near the conductor. As aging progresses, the development of the wet-tensile strength maximum will appear in tapes farther and farther from the conductor, while tapes near the conductor will show a steady decrease. Based on work done under EPRI projects, the radial location of wet-tensile maximum can be associated with the degree of aging of cable insulation.
1

4-14

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

In contrast with other paper tests, the radial distribution of wet-tensile strength of new insulation is not needed to assess the condition of aged cables. New insulation has very little wet-tensile strength and shows no correlation with the distance to the conductor. 4.3.8.1 Procedure A special testing grip known as Finch wet strength device is used. This device is held by the bottom grip of the tensile tester. The distance between the upper line contact and the wet tensile device is about 3 inches. The paper strips are immersed in water and heated in a microwave oven for 5 minutes under high power setting. The amount of water used should be sufficient to cover the paper. Water should be brought to boiling point. The paper tapes should be removed from the water, one by one, and tested. During testing, the strip is looped around the Finch wet strength device and a water container is raised to submerge the strip loop, Figure 4-12. The rate of load increase should be such that breaking load is reached in 105 seconds. Divide the breaking-load in pounds by the cross sectional area of paper (dry) to obtain the wet-tensile strength. Plot the wet-tensile strength as a function of radial location of the tested tapes. In new cables, the radial distribution of wet tensile strength should show a flat line with a slight increase near the conductor. As the cable ages, the wet-tensile strength of tapes near the conductor should show an increase. Outer tapes in HV cables should not show much of a change, as these tapes do not experience the same temperatures than the tapes near the conductor. The wet-tensile strength of the inner most tapes will increase until a maximum is reached. After the maximum, the wet-tensile strength of the inner most tape will begin to slowly drop as the cable age increases. It has been observed that by the time the wettensile of the inner most tapes show a clear decrease, the DP of these tapes is reaching values in the range from 400 to 500. This is an indication of severe aging condition in the cable insulation.

Figure 4-12 Finch fixture held in place by the line-grip jaws of a tensile tester during measurement of wet-tensile strength

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Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

4.4 Information from Mechanical and Chemical Test Results


EPRI sponsored studies4 at Detroit Edison have shown that there is a strong correlation among tensile strength, extension to break, tensile energy absorption (TEA) and burst strength. A good correlation between folding endurance and tear resistance has been also found. The tests showing the least amount of inter-correlation are: Tensile strength Folding endurance Degree of polymerization, and Wet-tensile strength

Accordingly, such tests are most likely to be used in the assessment of insulation condition and life estimation. However, in the utilization of tensile strength, folding endurance and, to a much lesser extent for degree of polymerization, the lack of the initial property value limits the quality of the condition assessment. That is, paper tapes in new cables can have a quite large range of tensile strength and folding endurance, making the utilization of these properties hard to use when determining the age of used cables. New tapes can have tensile strengths varying from 12,000 to 20,000 psi and folding endurance range from 12,000 to 22,000 double folds. This wide spread can even be found within the same cable sample. In contrast, the range of DP is limited, varying from 800 to 1,200 for new cables. A much smaller variation in DP is found among tapes of the same cable. In the case of wet-tensile strength, the dispersion among the initial values is of no consequence, as what is needed is whether or not this property has peaked within the cable insulation wall. Consequently, preference is placed on the last two properties, degree of polymerization and wettensile strength. The manner these two properties vary across the insulation wall of new and aged cables respectively is shown in Figures 4-13 and 4-14. Figure 4-13 shows the radial distribution of wet-tensile strength (left coordinate) and DP (right coordinate) on a sample of new cable. Notice that both the radial distribution of wet-tensile and DP is rather flat with hardly any difference between the tapes next to or far from the conductor. However, in the case of a severely aged cable (Figure 4-14), the radial distribution of wet-tensile strength shows a large increase at about 200 mils from the conductor while DP shows a continuous decrease as the tapes get closer to the conductor.

Singh, N., Morel, O., Singh, S.K. and Cooper, J.H., Transmissions Cable Life Evaluation and Management, EPRI Final Report, TR-111712, December 1998

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Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

6000 5000 W-Tensile (psi) 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 Distance to Conductor (mils) WT DP

1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 600 DP

Figure 4-13 Radial distribution of wet-tensile strength (left coordinate) and degree of polymerization (right coordinate) for a new cable

4-17

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

12000 10000 W-Tensile (psi) 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 Distance to Conductor (mils) WT DP

1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 600 DP

Figure 4-14 Radial distribution of wet-tensile strength (left coordinate) and degree of polymerization (right coordinate) for a severely aged cable

4.5 End-of-Life Criteria for Paper Cables


The remaining life of HPFF transmission cables can be determined following the procedures outlined in EPRI Report TR-111712 and utilizing the degree of polymerization as key property. In terms of wet-tensile strength, it can be said that the end of life of cable is reached when a welldefined peak is revealed within the insulation wall. This peak is formed after the tapes near the conductor have lost the wet-tensile strength developed during early paper aging. Utilizing the formulas for loss of DP given in the EPRI Transmission Cable Life Evaluation and Management Report TR-111712, the years that would take the present value to the point when failure is expected can be calculated at present or any other loading condition. In terms of wettensile strength, the level of DP expected at a cable failure point is reached after a clear 4-18

Tests on Cable Paper Insulation

development of a wet-tensile peak located at a radial location between 0.3 and 0.4 from the conductor shield is observed. Simulation of wet-tensile strength requires complex formulae that have not been fully addressed. As such, the DP of the tape next to the conductor should be used for life estimation.

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Target: Underground Transmission

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