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FIRST USE OF PE100-HT CONDUITS FOR ADVANCING THE CONTAINMENT OF UNDERGROUND HIGH VOLTAGE CABLES

 

Dr. Holger Brüning, Serge Hascoët, Yann Delanne, Didier Nozahic, Jawdat Mansour, José Santana

# 2021 Amsterdam

RTE operates, maintains and develops the French electricity network, including the High and very High Voltage cable lines. Their network is the largest in Europe and includes over 6400 km of underground HV links operated in 2018. The company is modernizing and developing its network by investing 1.5 billion euros per year between 2015 and 2024. Most of this network study, supply and installation work will be undertaken by companies selected through the Official Journal of the European Union qualification systems. The relatively recent establishment of underground cable lines in rural areas has contributed to the increase in the number of RTE ‘s long (over 20 km) underground High Voltage cable lines. This has generated a strong demand for high quality HDPE conduit pipes that can ensure a safer installation and the containment of a possible cable defect. The increase in the use of HDPE conduits has been supported by the development of a new generation of "PE100-HT" (High Temperature) black compounds developed for use at high operating temperatures and which have been tested at temperatures of up to 110°C. Extrapolation of the ISO9080 [1] regression curves, provided by the resin manufacturer, show that such materials can have a service life in excess of 50 years at temperatures of 60°C as compared to only 6 years for a conventional PE100. The performance of this new material was evaluated and incorporated into Group 5 of the French NF114 Quality Mark [2], a quality system of PE Pipe systems under the governance of an administrating laboratory. PE100-HT conduit pipes are proposed for new RTE high operating temperature projects. The first RTE project for which PE100-HT conduits were selected was IFA2, the interconnection between France and the United Kingdom. This project involved undersea and underground high voltage direct current cable lines between the two countries. Prysmian Power Link was awarded the supply and installation contract for the cables. A critical point was the transition length between subsea and conventional underground buried conditions, where operating temperatures can reach 70°C. PE100-HT conduit pipes were selected to ensure that these critical conduits would have a long operational life. The ‘landing’ was carried out in 2019 with 1500 m of 560mm OD conduit pipes being installed by horizontal directional drilling.

Related keywords : underground high voltage cable lines conduits pipes PE100-HT NF114 Quality Mark electricity network.
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