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IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 9, No.

2, A p d 1994


Richard A. Hartlein, Member
Georgia Power Company
AtlanG, Georgia

V. S. Harper, Member
Georgia Power Company
Atlanta, Georgia

Cable, Lightning, Water Tree,Impulse, Thumper
Electric utility engineers have commented [I], [2] that
extruded distribution cables frequently fail during or shortly
after a thunder storm. These engineers also comment that
failures often reoccur on cable circuits where previous
failures were located with a thumper. Linemen at Georgia
Power often make similar comments.
To investigate this observation, crosslinked W P E ) and tree
retardant crosslinked (TRXLPE) cable designs were
subjected to accelerated water treeing tests. Samples were
subjected to simulated lightning surges or simulated
thumping surges. Crosslinked cables removed after 15 years
of service operation were also subjected to these surges.

The results show that, in some cases, lightning surges do
reduce extruded distribution cable life. Also, high level
thumping surges appear to reduce cable life once cables are
well aged.

program were published in [3] and [4]. Those results
provide data on cables aged in the laboratory and subjected
to 40 kV, 70 kV and 120 kV lightning surges. The data also
include laboratory aged cables which were subjected to a
25 kV thumper surge to simulate surges used to locate field
failures. Aging times of up to 600 days were reported.
To gather additional information on the effects of surges on
aged cable, a second phase was added to the test program.
In this phase, aging was continued on selected cables beyond
600 days, crosslinked polyethylene cables aged in service
(XLPEF) were added to the test program and a 25 kV
lightning surge magnitude was also introduced.
To minimize time and cost, only XLPE, TRXLPE and
XLPEF cables were included in the second phase. These
compounds were selected because they represent the majority
of cable insulations used by electric utilities.
This paper presents the results gathered to date on the cables
tested in phase two. This new data provides greater insight
into the effects of lightning and thumping surges on aged
cables. A brief review of the test program is also included.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) sponsored the
work to investigate the effects of voltage surges on extruded
dielectric cable life under Project RP2284-01. Since voltage
surges may affect insulation materials differently, five
commonly used insulation types were initially chosen for this
test program.
These include high molecular weight
polyethylene (HMWPE), tree retardant high molecular
weight polyethylene (TRHMWPE) and ethylene propylene
rubber (EPR) as well as XLPE and TRXLPE.
Preliminary results and a detailed description of the test
A paper recommended and approved
93 SM 357-4 PVRD
by the IEEE Insulated Conductors Committee of the IEEE
Power Engineering Society for presentation at the IEEE/
PES 1993 Summer Meeting, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. July
18-22, 1993. Manuscript submitted January 4, 1993;
made available for printing April 22, 1993.


Harry Ng, Member
Electric Power Research
Palo Alto, California

Fifteen kV cables were used because they are very common
and 15 kV cables are easily managed in accelerated
laboratory tests. Since the ac voltage and surge voltage
stress distribution varies with insulation thickness, cables
with different insulation thicknesses were evaluated. Table
1 outlines the cables utilized for this program.
The XLPE and TRXLPE cables were made by one
manufacturer specifically for use in this test program. This
was done to minimize the variations in cable quality that can
occur between manufacturers. They were manufactured to
the AEIC CS5-82 specification for crosslinked polyethylene
insulated power cable using a triple extrusion, steam curing
process. The conductor shields were extruded, conventional,
semiconducting XLPE with a nominal thickness of 15 mils.
The nominal insulation thickness was either 175 mils or 220
mils. The insulation shields were extruded, semiconducting
XLPE with a nominal thickness of 30 mils. Extra smooth
or extra clean shields were not available at the time these
cables were manufactured.
Since the XLPEF cable was obtained from the field, the

0885-8977/94/$04.00 Q 1993 IEEE

All of the cables had a 1/0 AWG.3 kV followed by subsequent oscillations associated with the 120 kV surge. To simulate the reverse polarity stress conditions which can occur in service. A 200 ns risetime was chosen for all the lightning surges to represent the very fast rise wavefronts which are also known to occur in service. This was accomplished by discharging a surge capacitor through gas filled gaps and metal oxide arrester blocks onto the energized 60 Hz aging test bus. This impulse is injected into the faulted cable and causes an arc at the cable fault. superimposed on the negative peak of the 60 Hz ac aging voltage. the circuit configuration and worker techniques. the ac test voltage was reduced from 3 X rated voltage to ground to 1 X rated voltage to ground during the surge application. Therefore. Therefore. Cables subjected to the 120 kV surge experienced a voltage change of 132. the fast-rise. Cables subjected to the 70 kV surge experienced a voltage change of 82. To simulate worst case conditions. the negative peak of the ac sine wave. A plot of the 70 kV waveform is shown in Figure 1. it was very liketp made using a two pass. This termination was removed to produce the 120 kV oscillating surge. The oscillating nature of the 120 kV impulse is typical of a field cable with an open circuit end.3 kV to +25 kV. A termination imperlance equal to the characteristic impedance of the test cable was used to minimize reflections and. Utility workers then locate the fault by using a variety of acoustic and electromagnetic detection devices. 70 kV x 200 p lightning surge applied to cables during aging test on the negative peak of the 8. 3/4 hard. Specialized equipment was built to provide the required lightning surges.3 kV.3 kV. stranded aluminum conductor. Class B.6 kV to ground on the Tampa Electric System in Tampa Florida. when the surge occurred. A 200 p s pulse width was chosen for all lightning surges to represent the long pulse durations which can occur in service. Given the age of the cable. the voltage impulse was referenced to ground. Lightnine Surne ADdication Fault Location rrhumoer) Surge Selection Lightning surges most often occur in the field while the ac system voltage is present. - - 50 MlCROSECONOYDIVlSION Figure 1.7 kV. 40 kV and 70 kV surges. Thus. a relatively large magnitude thumping surge was used with many repetitions. 40 kV and 70 kV impulses are well defined square waves. (25 kV and 40 kV surges differ only in magnitude) In all lightning surge applications. a total voltage change of 37.60 Hz ac voltage. . Conductor moisture blocking material and overall jackets were not used. The 25 kV. steam cure process. control the wave shape during the 25 kV. Cables subjected to the 40 kV surge experienced a voltage change of 52.612 manufacturing process is unknown and only one insulation thickness was available.3 kV.3 kV. To make this test as realistic as possible. to the positive absolute value of the applied surge. the applied voltage rapidly changed from -12. positive polarity surges were Underground cable faults are frequently located using a voltage surge generated by a capacitive discharge device commonly called a thumper. Lightning surge magnitudes were based on the surge levels which can be imposed on a 15 kV cable system. The metallic shields were concentric. The 120 kV impulse is a square wave that starts with a high frequency decaying waveform on the front of a 70 kV square wave. Table 1 Test Cables Insulation Material Insulation Thickness --------T I TIME XLPE XLPEF' TRXLPE 175mils and 220 mils 175 mils 175 mils and 220 mils I This cable obtained from the field after 15 years of service at 7. cables subjected to the 25 kV surge experienced an immediate change in voltage from -12. rms. bare copper wires. The characteristics of the impulse varies depending on the thumping equipment used. therefore. Both the surge magnitude and the surge width were variable and controllable. it was considered mandatory that the lightning impulses be superimposed on the normal 60 Hz ac waveform. IMPULSE WAVE SELECTION AND APPLICATION Lightning Surge Selection A detailed discussion of the process used to select and apply the impulse waves used in this test program was presented earlier [4].

Aging Temuerature ACCELERATED AGING PROCEDURE Aeinn of New Cables The cable aging test was designed to simulate and accelerate field aging and was pattemed after the AEIC CS5-82. Since cables with this type of watertreeing and dielectric strength are considered to be well aged. large bowtie and vented water trees. the aging voltage used in the laboratory was the same magnitude as the service voltage (7.220. This was done to preserve field conditions as much as possible. This was also done to represent field conditions. Cables used for the thumping test condition were removed from the aging test and connected to the thumper. the XLPE and TRXLPE cables were thermally preconditioned. this temperature was also used in the second phase of the test program. 652025 thumper with a 12 pf capacitor was used to apply the thumping surge. in phase one. Thus. the voltage was lowered to 1X the operating voltage to ground (8.6 kV).5 accelerated water treeing test which was in force when this project was initiated. Deionized water was used to avoid adding ions which may not have been present in service. the conductors and conduits were filled with tap water. the aging stress was 149 V/mil on the thin wall cables and 118 V/mil on the thick wall cables. However. the AEIC accelerated water treeing test is performed with sufficient current to achieve a 90°C conductor temperature in air. However. the 75°C rated HMWPE cables were connected in series with the 90°C rated XLPE. Aging of Cables Removed From the Field The XLPEF cables aged for 15 years in service at 7. A typical waveform at the open end of the test cable is shown in Figure 2. For consistency. A C breakdown tests were conducted according to AEIC CS5-82 starting at 100 V/mil. To accelerate aging. a maximum conductor temperature of 75 "C was chosen for all test cables in phase one. After preconditioning. Preconditioning was conducted after the cables were placed in the aging conduits but before they were filled with water. A Biddle Model No. applied. Typical waveform as seen at the open (far) end of the cable subjected to a 25 kV thumping surge. However. In accordance with the AEIC accelerated water treeing test procedure. Figure 2. TRXLPE and EPR cables. 30 foot long samples was 220. Approximately 5 to 10 minutes before the lightning impulse was applied. Thumping was performed . Nine hundred thumping impulses were applied to each test cable rack individually. 60 Hz ac) was applied to both the XLPE and TRXLPE 175-mil-wall and 220-mil-wall cables.7 kV. AEIC specifies a preconditioning conductor temperature of 130 "C for 10 days using current in the conductor. This is done to reduce the high concentration of volatiles contained in the newly manufactured cable insulations. The vented trees were as long as 170 mils and the bowtie trees were as long as 60 mils. the aging voltage was reduced from 26 kV to 8. 12-hour-off load cycle. The cables were then placed back in the aging test. Initially. the XLPEF cables were aged in conduits filled with tap water but with no water in the conductor. This procedure was followed to represent the different stresses that thick and thin wall cables experience in the field. When the lightning surge was Thumping surges were applied in a manner that represents field conditions. 3X rated voltage to ground (26 kV. since no failures occurred after aging in the laboratory for 200 days. deionized water was added to the conductors. An examination of the insulation revealed numerous. B. The resulting breakdown strength of five. They were always applied at the end of the 12-hour-on period while the cables were still warm.220 and 260 V/mil. Aging With ImDulses The lightning surges were applied an average of 2. All temperature tolerances were f 5 " C . This temperature was achieved with 260 amperes in the conductor using a lZhour-on. Normally. a thumper was connected to each cable rack individually using a dummy cable length which contained a simulated fault to ground. The conductor of this cable was sealed immediately after receipt at the laboratory.6 kV).6 kV. To prevent overheating of the HMWPE cable and to maintain the same aging conditions on all cables.613 Thumuer Surne Auulication r I To apply the thumping surge.3 times a week. 220. 110 "C was used in this test to avoid the possibility of overheating the insulation.

.. four traditional methods of evaluating the integrity of an extruded power cable were used to determine the effects of surges on each cable tested in the project...... By the end of 360 days............ data are available for longer than 360.. Also......... Summarv of Test Variables Investigated Table 2 shows a matrix of the test conditions examined in phase 2... an abbreviation is used to describe the test conditions....... .... y ....................... 175-mil-wall cable subjected to a 70 kV surge is referred to as XLPE..................y...)(.. y _ ....M!! 4!??. To compare the time to failure data for all cables. ... Each coil was a continuous length which contained six.. An "X" at the end of a line means either the test condition was discontinued to perform breakdown tests or most of the samples failed at the time the "X"is shown.. Therefore.... N N N ...........y..........X ....A.....A&............ Each failure is represented by a triangle........................A 175 HII 70kv Pulse ... 175/70... .........A u .........* .....A ....... 500 600 ~ 0 100 200 300 400 Oays of Aging 700 Figure 3... PUIS0 ......... The data presented in this manner provide a visual method of observing early failures or clusters of failures.... A n...... almost no samples remained..... . 175 MI1 ConlMl _ ............. 220 MI1 7WV Pula8 _. No "X" at the end of the line means the cable is still under test... the TRXLPE 175/control condition was repeated...... All samples were e n e r g i d ..A*.. n M M k x . only time to failure data is presented for the cables tested in phase two.. 175 mil wall thickness surge condition CNTRL 25kV 4OkV 70kV 12OkV XLPE TRXLPE XLPEF Y Y Y N N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y Y N 220 mil wall thickness surge condition CNTRL 25kV 40kV 70kV 120kV XLPE TRXLPE XLPEF Y N N N N N N N N Y N N _ .. Table 2 Matrix showing all of the test conditions reported in this paper......x ....... . Every effort was taken to ensure that the only difference between the control and surged samples was the application of the voltage surges. during the first 360 days of aging in the initial tests.... To simplify the discussion... Thus there were 12 samples or replicates for each test condition........ .y..A ..614 every 60 days after the first 120 days of aging..... failures during the surge application are rare... ... However......................... 175 MI1 l2UV They included ac breakdown tests.................. Except for the XLPEF cable..... individual surge effects were considered the most important variables to investigate first........................ No cables were subjected to both thumping and lightning impulses....... After a thorough investigation.. Each surge test condition was applied to a separate set of cable samples.. -!?5.................y .A ... An (N) indicates that a test to evaluate this condition was not performed due to time or space limitations.. at the start of this project ac breakdown tests were considered an important diagnostic tool for evaluating surge effects.. 30-foot-long samples.... Aging Failures Control samples were exposed to the same aging conditions as the surged samples but with no surges applied....x ............. ... deenergized and filled with water at the same time.. 175 MI1 Thumper RESULTS In phase one....... time to failure and visual analysis.. the 175/control and 175/70 surged samples of XLPE and TRXLPE cables were unavailable for further aging beyond 360 days............... *........... The failures as a function of time are shown in Figures 3-5..........A. Redicates Two....... time to failure analysis was the only method which revealed differences between control and surges samples...................... The insulation material and wall thicknesses in mils is followed by the surge or control test variable.... As mentioned earlier. A.... ....... . Other conditions examined for these cables as well as the XLPEF test cables started the test program after the data showed that aging time is more important than breakdown strength...........A . 180-foot-long coils of cable were subjected to each test condition........... since unaged TRXLPE cable was still available.. ........... Thus......... A Cy) indicates that a test covering this condition was performed......A.. For example................. X .... _ . impulse breakdown tests......*........... XLPE failures as a function of time in the aging test...... ........... .. *... Therefore............. the XLPE..... line graphs are employed which show when each failure occurred.... This would have been an interesting condition to evaluate because it represents the kind of surge combinations that can occur in service..X ..... numerous samples were removed from the test and subjected to an ac breakdown test....Pu!?e....... ....... ........ Therefore...........

............... .... TRXLPE failures as a function of time in the aging test..... ....... the thumper has not had a significant effect on the cable life. .& .............. In fact........ For the 220 wall XLPE cables.... 0 200 400 600 Days of Aging 800 1000 Figure4.... At that point............... The test conditions are noted on the graphs following the insulation material description. This phenomena will be discussed in more detail later...................... as before........... Weibull probability statistics were employed....A yX............. & ........ 175 Mil 70 kv Pulse -..... .... .i&..............................*..... the 63.................. once the samples subjected to the thumping surge started to experience a few failures... .............A.................*..... 2........ the subjected to the lightning surge........ Each failure is represented by a triangle....... f........... Once again............ The estimated failure rates for the XLPE..... 175 Mil Cnnlmi ................... -- TIME..A.................2........................ . the cable failed rapidly until all the samples were consumed. For the 175 wall XLPE cables.. A..& .................. it is unclear how strongly the lightning surges influenced cable life.............A............... Statistical Analysis of Time to Failure Data I I 1 Figure 5 ....... ...... the only apparent difference between the control condition and the 70 kV lightning surge condition is that failures occurred earlier on the samples Interestingly.............A. ... to have a significant effect on the cable until approximately 450 days of aging.......................... The abbreviations used are similar to those employed for the aging failure graphs except that a "0" represents the control condition......................... For convenience. ...175 .........75 Mil Thumper .................. The samples subjected to the lightning surges failed fairly regularly throughout the test after the first 150 days of aging.... The control and 120 kV lightning surge TRXLPE cables appear to experience similar failure rates.. ........... Weibull life model for 175 wall XLPE cable. comparing the 40 kV and 70 kV lightning surge conditions to the thumper test condition is useful. 175 MI1 25 kv Pulse ...... a failure model could not be calculated....... it is difficult to compare the control condition to the surge conditions because the control test was terminated so early in the test program....... .......1 615 I75 Mil Cantmi ........... there are no clear differences between the 25 kV and 70 kV surge levels... Therefore.....................................& 175 Mil 70kv Pulse .A.................. The effect of the 25 kV and 70 kV lightning surges on the XLPEF cable is very There is also no clear difference between the 40 kV and 70 kV lightning surge conditions...... . However.......................................... .. ...... ................ XLPEF failures as a function of time in the aging test.... If fewer than three failures occurred for a given test condition..... The characteristic life for each test condition is the point at which 63... Thus...... observation made for the 175 wall XLPE cable subjected to the thumping surge also applies to the 220 wall XLPE cables subjected to the thumping surge..... .... However....... . the samples subjected to the thumping surge fail rapidly after they have aged for 450 days............................. the thumping surge did not appear ~ To provide a more in depth analysis of the time to failure data............. .. K......................... ............ Interestingly............... &........... the thumper failure points on the graph were artificially spread out to distinguish individual failures......................................... Discussion of Time to Failure Data Examination of the time to failure data begins to provide interesting insight on surge effects.............................. TRXLPE and XLPEF cables using the Weibull model are presented in Figures 6 9....... the XLPEF cables often failed when the lightning surge was applied................ Each failure is represented by a triangle..2% level is shown with a dotted line on each graph........ Mil Thumper -.2% of the samples have already failed.. .. Unlike the XLPE and TRXLPE cables.............. they failed very rapidly....... Multiple failures occurred on the samples subjected to lightning surges while no control samples failed. On the other hand......... ................ 175 Mli IZWv Pulse . DAYS Figure 6.............

Figure 9. making distinctions between the characteristic lives of each sample statistically inconclusive. Thus the observation that the two test conditions differ is statistically valid. Weibull life model for 220 wall XLPE cable. Weibull life model parameters. The calculated characteristic life values are shown as a "*' TIME. indicating that lowering the surge . However. 90% confidence intervals on shape factor. %e shape parameter gives an indication of bow the probability distribution function changes with aging time. the values for characteristic life (indicated as with corresponding 90 % confidence intervals are shown for each test condition in Figure 10. there are slight differences in characteristic life between test conditions. the confidence intervals overlap. . the amount is very small. . . The calculated shape factor values are shown as a TIME. Although there is a slight overlap in the confidence intervals of the two test conditions. shape parameter (also indicated as with corresponding 90% confidence intervals are shown in Figure 11. Weibull life model for XLPEF cable. 90% confidence intervals on characteristic life. Figure 10. DAYS "*U. I*") I*") h e XLPEF cable design does show a noticeable difference in characteristic life between samples subjected to the 25 kV lightning surge and those subjected to the 70 kV lightning surge. w -50 1 / 1 . DAYS Figure 7. Weibull life model parameters. Confidence Intervals To gain further insight from the Weibull statistical mdel.616 Discussion of Statistical Model I / / I F6r the XLPE and TRXLPE cable designs. in all cases. DAYS Figure 8. Weibull life model for TRXLPE cable. Figure 11.'k . 1 5 TIME. The values for the Weibull.

this trend indicates that the samples subjected to the thumper surge very likely experience a wear out phase." on Power Delivery. the effect was not observed in the characteristic life. There is a distinct difference in the slope for the 220 wall XLPE cable between the control and the 70 kV lightning surge condition. Several conclusions drawn during the first phase of the project are presented in [3] and [4]. They may or may not be applicable to cables operating in service. Only the XLPEF cables demonstrated a change in failure rate as a function of surge magnitude. April 27-29. Although there is some overlap in the confidence intervals. However. Ng. 1986. REFERENCES 1.617 level from 70 kV to 25 kV increases cable life. many questions remain unanswered. 3. Voltage Surges on IEEE Transactions Volume 4. V-E2. April 21-23. failures occurred in the aging test long before the water trees reached the length observed in the XLPEF cables. This is a new observation. "Effects of Extruded Dielectric Cable Life. Since extremely long water trees are not present in these cables. Number S. They apply only to the cables evaluated in the test program described in this paper. 2. Minutes of the 80'' Meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Insulated Conductors Committee Meeting. . Harper and H. Many of the trees found in the insulation of this cable extend through as much as 97 9% of the insulation wall. pp. as if the cable reached the end of its reliable service life. Only new conclusions developed during phase 2 are stated in this paper. After 400 days of aging in the laboratory. They continued to grow slowly in the aging test where the applied voltage magnitude is 1X the operating voltage. they are not nearly as susceptible to failure during voltage surges. This observation was made in phase one and reinforced in phase 2. CONCLUSIONS Phase 2 The results of EPRI Project RP2284-01 have provided some interesting insight into the effects of voltage impulses on extruded cables aged in the laboratory. The XLPE and TRXLPE cables started the test new. The XLPEF cables age at 1X r a t d voltage which allows the dielectric to experience greater deterioration before they fail than the other cables which were aged at 3X rated voltage. pp. V. 829-841. but in the slope of the Weibull model curve. Lighting Surge Magnitude Does Not Strongly Affect Cable Failure Rates. R. Lightning Voltage Impulses Can Reduce Cable Life. This implies that once cables have been in service long enough to develop water tree growth similar to that obtained after 400 days of aging under the conditions described in this paper. pp. they start to fail rapidly. However. The different failure mode for the XLPEF cable can be explained by the degree of water treeing in the insulation. 1989 2. A. Hartlein. failures of the XLPEF cables during the lightning surge application is a newly observed phenomena. Since the aging voltage on these cables was 3X the operating voltage. Another interesting observation for the XLPE and TRXLPE Weibull curves is that the slope for the thumper test condition is consistently higher than the slope for other test conditions. Obviously. V-C. they may fail prematurely if subjected to thumping surges. FAILURE MECHANISMS Several possible reasons for differences between control and surged sample failure rates as well as differences in lightning surge and thumping surge failure rates were discussed in [4]. 3. April. the XLPE and TRXLPE cables subjected to a thumping surge failed more rapidly than the same cables subjected the control or lightning surge condition. Minutes of the 78"' Meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Insulated Conductors Committee Meeting. 2. However. after a period of occasional failures. The 175 mil and 220 mil XLPE cables. That is. 1. with no water trees present. Thumping Voltage Surges Can Reduce Cable Life. the 175 mil TRXLPE cables and the 175 mil XLPEF cables which were surged often failed more than the same cables that were aged without the voltage impulses. they easily become a failure path in the presence of a large magnitude lightning surge. Thus the ratio of the surging voltage to aging voltage (degree of deterioration) is larger for the cables operated at 1X than for the cables operated at 3X rated voltage. This phenomena is demonstrated by the very large bowtie and vented water trees which formed while the XLPEF cable was in service. 1987. Almost all of the other cable designs failed sometime after the surge was applied. This verifies the observation made on the time to failure data that the samples subjected to the 70 kV surge failed earlier than the control samples.

Electric Power Research Institute. September. energy conservation and amorphous steel core distribution transformers. Russell G. Tucson. He serves on the Wood Pole Working Group of the Distribution Committee of IEEE. Mississippi State University. It addresses an area that has concerned electric utility engineers for many years. He received a Bachelor and Master of Mechanical Engineering degrees in 1976 and 1982 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. starting as a Distribution Engineer. . in Tucson. S. 1990. The authors would also like to thank the following Georgia Power Research Center personnel for their hard work and dedication to accomplish the project goals. Pate1 for his suggestions and guidance.Mr. He received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree in 1966 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Larry Coffeen who designed and constructed the lightning surge test equipment. 1943. Georgia on March 20. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer (Electrical) in the states of Arizona and California. the IEEE Insulated Conductors Committee. He has been employed with the Georgia Power Company since 1966 and is presently a Research Manager. Harper is a member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society. distribution design and analysis software. . In addition. GA. Mr. 230 kV transmission cable. Interim Report. . He is chairman of ICC Task Group 10-27 which writes the IEEE 404 splice testing standard.S. From 1971 to 1983 he was with Tucson Electric Power Co. BIOGRAPHIES Richard A. thin wall. Some of his responsibilities include distribution cables. He is a member of the IEEE Insulated Conductors Committee. the authors would like to thank Dr. and the American Wood Preservers Association. P. He is also a past chairman of the Cable Engineering Section of the Association of Edison IlluminatingCompanies and chairman of the task group which writes the S I C CS5 specification for XLPE insulated distribution cables. Mr. and power cable ampacity inside riser shields. Hartlein (M '80) was born in Atlanta. His work has been in a broad area related to the distribution of power by electric utilities. In 1983 he joined the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto. Hg (SM '74) received his B. Boyd Pettitt who processed the large volume of data generated and developed many of the graphs and maintained the surge test equipment. wood pole management. fault current calculations and project engineering for customer substations. California where he is presently Manager. Mr. Ng is a member of the IEEE Power Engineering Society. H a m W. Georgia on October 3. in the Electrical Systems Division. 6902. electrical fault location. He has authored many papers related to power distribution.Mr. Georgia. H a m r (M '74) was born in Marietta. In 1976. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1971 from the University of Arizona. Arizona.618 4. He has been employed at the Georgia Power Research Center since 1970 where he is currently manager of the mechanical section. He has also managed EPRI projects on the short-circuit characteristics of cable metallic shields. Previous fields of work include substation control. He has conducted test programs on extruded. Report EL- ANOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank the Electric Power Research Institute for funding this research project. 1952. power line relaying. water tree resistance of extruded cable designs. Distribution System Design and Operations. he was appointed Supervisor of Distribution Engineering. Insulated Conductors Committee and has served on several EPRI task forces and committees. Arizona in various distribution engineering positions. V. Heikes of the Georgia Institute of Technology for providing the statistical data analysis and the project advisor. "Effects of Voltage Surges on Solid-Dielectric Cable Life". the research committee of the American Wood Preservers Association and as advisor to the Forest Products Laboratory.

V.s immersed in water i s not liable to result in much useful information. to eee if any chemical change had occurred? surge had a very noticeable effect on cable performance. Suree Effects Although there were some test conditions where the surge appeared to have no effect. the there is a significant difference in the calculated shape factor and the corresponding confidence interval for the XLPE 220 control samples and the XLPE 220 samples subjected to the 70 kV lightning surge. HARTLEIN. In many cases. or randomly. there were others where the All test samples were constructed with standard terminations as used in the field. For example. Some really useful information could have been obtained if the teat eamplee had been made up in such a manner ae to reflect actual field conditions. the slope of the Weibull curves in Figures 6 and 7 is very different for control samples and surged samples. Other tests are currently underway in our laboratory to judge the effects of jackets and moisture barriers on cable aging. whether they f led at or near the termina'tione due to vo?tage streae. and installere. the 175 mil and 220 mil cables clearly had more failures earlier in the test when the 40 kV and 70 kV surges were applied. sealed condinuoue ehielding tapes or eimilar barriers againet moisture if long cable life is t o be realized. 1993. Also. Perhape the facifitiee available to the authore did not permit thie manner of testing. were the compounde teated in any ray after failure. TORONTO. Some of thie in?or#afion wae preeented as etatietical data on cablee installed in the field. and thie data seems to indicate little difference in erformance between the control samplee a n 8 the test samples. In the case of the field aged XLPE cables. It appeare from thie that any furtxer teeting of similar cables under laboratory conditions with bare eam 1. In Figure 3. All cable neutrals were grounded. Water impervious jackets and/or blocked conductors would have significantly increased the time to achieve significant aging. The results obtained in this test program should be applicable to those cables. generally from water treeing. which provide information or teat data concerning the performance of such cablee of varioue CO f i U atione and compounds. They had unfilled. and at the conductor termination. although the teet eamples were eub ected to impulee waves t o simulate ligitnin surges. However. . This is demonstrated again in Figure 11 where the confidence intervals are plotted for the Weibull shape factor.9). s ecifiere. we used a very common procedure of aging cables in an accelerated water treeing test. Test Procedure RICHARD A. stranded conductors and no jackets to allow for maximum accelerated aging. These procedures are commonly used throughout the cable industry in accelerated aging tests on extruded dielectric cables. whether TRXLPE or EPR provide good life if the cablee are sealed against moieture at the shield. KILBORN INC. CANADA : The authors have reeented data on impulee testing of XLPE RND EPR insulation under laboratory conditione. Termination failures were repaired and not considered cable failures. 1993. It appears that future efforte in regard to cab1 m r v ent s uld be dire ed tow w'llg provfdtn8 %ez?er cakne conf iguraelone filled conductors. HARPER AND HARRY NG: The authors would like to thank the discussor for the opportunity to clarify and provide comments on several aspects of the paper. All reported test sample failures occurred in the cable within the water filled tube. The data indicates that all similar compounde.619 Diecussion MARC AUDET. These results will be presented sometime in the future. Manuscript received October 5. Test Cables Since the scope of our work was to evaluate the effect of lightning surges on aged underground cable. and impervious jackete: 8uch teete would yield really useful data for cable suppliere. The teat data presented by the authore on1 reinforces reviouely ubliehed data thaz XLPE E%R ineulatea cables and cablee ineulatnedd with similar compounds fail when subjected to moieture. It would have been intereeting to know where the test cablee failed. This is direct evidence that there is indeed a difference between control and surged samples. the surged samples failed and the samples which were not surged experienced no failures. It is important to note that there is a considerable amount of cable in service which is very similar to the cable in our test. S. or somewhere in the middle of the cables. Manuscript received August 9. Weibull statistics do show that the characteristic life of a specific cable design may be similar for control and surged conditions (Figures 6 . with amroved terminations etrees -relief debices rounded shielde. Various papers have been presented.