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WG B1.27

Recommendations for testing of long AC

submarine cables with extruded insulation for
system voltage above > 30 (36) to 500 (550) kV
Johan Karlstrand

ICC St. Pete /Florida 05/23/11 Submarine Cables, C11D

Member list B1.27

Anders Gustafsson SE Convener

Johan Karlstrand SE Secretary
Anders Jensen DE
Christian Remy FR
Geir Clasen NO
Gianni Miramonti IT
Harry Orton CA
Juan Prieto ES
Robert Donaghy EI
Ronald Gruntjes NL
Sren Krger Olsen DK
Takenori Nakajima JP

Input: Terms of Reference

Examination of relevant IEC standards / CIGRE recommendations and

The work should adopt a system approach. Particular attention should
be paid to repair joints as part of the submarine cable system and the
WG should consider tests with external water pressure, heat cycling and
mechanical handling (during installation of a repair joint).
The work should propose development and prequalification tests for the
EHV submarine cable system and requalification in case of minor or
major changes and define the range of prequalification and type
approval for EHV submarine cable systems.
The work should propose tests for long submarine cable lengths - both
in the factory and after installation and explain clearly the basis for the
recommended tests and the range of application.
The work should include a review of the currently available technologies
for submarine cable and joint design and consider possible implications
for testing.
A Technical Brochure should be prepared for publication.


Covering now also > 36 170 kV

The work was extended by one year
ToR shall be written for an update of Electra 171

Output: Technical Brochure and Tutorial

Technical Brochure TB xxx ready for approval by SCB1 Sept 2011

Summary in Electra and TB xxx issued 2011/2012
Tutorial 2011/2012

Recommendations for submarine cables

Electra 68 1980 Electra 171 1997 New ToR new WG?

Recommendations for mechanical tests on submarine cables

Electra 189 2000 (170 kV - extruded)

Recommendations for tests of long lengths of extruded cables
New TB from B1.27

IEC 60840, IEC 62067, TB 303, reference knowledge

The new TB will follow a System Approach for the whole voltage range,
i.e. > 36 to 550 kV.

TB Table of Contents
Executive Summary
1. Introduction
2. Definitions
3. Current technologies for submarine cable designs
4. Current technologies for submarine joint designs
5. General aspects on submarine cable testing
6. Routine Test
7. Sample Test
8. Type Test on Cable System
9. Prequalification Test
10. Extension of Qualification Test
11. After Installation Test
12. References
13. Appendices

1. Introduction: Reference projects
Year Country, Project Voltage Area [mm ] Route Depth Application
2006 Brazil, Santa Catarina 245 kV 1 x 500 Cu 4.5 km 10 m Interconnection
2006 Norway, Ormen Lange 420 kV 1 x 1200 Cu 2.7 km 210 m Interconnection
2008 Canada, Wolf Island 245 kV 3 x 500 Cu 8.4 km 30 m Wind farm
2008 Norway, Oslo fjord 420 kV 1 x 1200 Cu 3.2 km 300 m Interconnection
2010 Qatar, Doha bay 245 kV 1 x 1600 Cu 7.3 km 20 m Interconnection
2010 Ireland, Cork Harbour 1 245 kV 1 x 1600 Cu 3.3 km 10 m Interconnection
2011 Ireland, Cork Harbour 2 245 kV 1 x 1600 Cu 4.3 km 30 m Interconnection
2011 Sweden, Nacka sj 245 kV 1 x 1200 Al 6.5 km 45 m City ring
2011 USA, NJ-Brooklyn 362 kV 1 x 1750 kcmil Cu 11 km 20 m Interconnection
2012 Denmark, Anholt 245 kV 1x 1600 Al 24.5 km 20 m Wind farm

> 200 km for U 245 kV installed in the next few years

2. Definitions: What is a long length?
A long length is considered to be:

a cable delivery length which includes one or more factory joints, or

a cable delivery length for which the electrical characteristics make the carrying out of
high voltage tests and partial discharge tests strictly in accordance with IEC 60840
/IEC 62067/IEC 60885-3 impractical in factory test facilities or on site, or

a cable delivery length which cannot be accommodated on an individual transportable

drum suitable for moving around in the factory to the appropriate test facilities.

2. Definitions: Internal/External design of Joint

Internal Design of Joint

Either the joint is rigid or flexible, single-core or three-core, it has an
electrical function based on the design principles to transfer the current, to
control and withstand the electrical stresses, to screen the joint electrically
and to protect the insulation system from moisture ingress. These design
principles are attributed to the internal design of the joint.

External Design of Joint

Either the joint is rigid or flexible, single-core or three-core; it has a
mechanical function based on the design principles to withstand the impact
from the surroundings, to withstand (in some designs) the mechanical
bending and to withstand the mechanical tension and torsion during laying
and operation. These design principles are attributed to the external design
of the joint.

6. Routine Test: Frequency Range

Today some standards (for example IEC 62067 and ICEA

S-108-720) stipulates 20 300 Hz for After Installation Test.
but new edition of IEC 60060/3 stipulates 10 500 Hz for onsite testing

AC resonant equipment (ACRF) has been used below 20 Hz

VLF-testing is not considered mature for HV and EHV

WG B1.27 recommends 10-500 Hz for routine -, FAT and after

installation tests.

6. Routine Test: Withstand voltage versus frequency

Source: Gockenbach/Hauschild-2000

6. Routine Test Summary of tests
Test component Strongly recommended Comment
Manufacturing Length Ac test (10-500 Hz) Pd test on long length if
Pd test on cable samples for agreed (for information)
long length
Pd test on full length if not long
Factory Joint Pd test (>8 kV/mm, > 4 kV/mm) X-ray inspection of insulation
X-ray inspection of conductor system gives additional
Records of qualification of Ac voltage test may be
jointers performed if agreed
Design and control instructions

Delivery Length Ac voltage test if not possible

acc. to IEC, reduce test voltage
level and increase duration of
Repair Joint/Termination Follow IEC for premoulded

Test levels and durations according to IEC 60840 and IEC 62067.

7. Sample Test New tests

Volume resistivity of conductor screen, insulation screen and semi-conductive polymeric


Examination of completed cable

a. A sample of completed cable (length: more than one pitch of wire armour) shall be subjected to a visual
inspection to ensure that the manufacturing process has not caused any harmful defects. There shall be
no signs of harmful indentations in the cable cores, no crossing of screen or armour wires, bird cages etc.

b. The number of wires shall be counted in each armour layer and validated according to the design.
The dimensions of five wires in each layer shall be measured and the average cross-section(s), for the
wires (round or flat) shall be calculated before calculating the total cross-section area. The total cross-
section area shall not be less than the declared value.

c. The pitch length(s) of the armour layer(s) shall be measured and validated relative to the declared
value by a tolerance of 10%.

8. Type Test: Range of Type approval
The range of type approval for land ac cable systems is described in IEC 60840*
and IEC 62067. Those and the additional conditions below must be met:

the cable system is subjected to less severe mechanical stress (tension, bending
etc) than the tested cable system
the design and method of conductor and/or screen/sheath water tightness is
NOTE: The whole type test program does not need to be repeated but only the test which is
affected of the design change, i.e. a water penetration test described in 8.7.
the design of conductor connection for joints is unchanged
the calculated nominal electrical stress and the impulse voltage stress calculated
using nominal dimensions at the conductor screen in the flexible joint (factory joint) do
not exceed the respective calculated stresses of the tested cable system(s) by more
than 10 %
NOTE: A flexible joint with the same dimensions as the cable, shall be treated and tested as the
cable both from an electrical and mechanical point of view.

* Even if IEC 60840 includes type testing on cable and accessories, type testing on submarine cables in
the range of > 36 to 170 kV shall follow the system approach (12) so that 14 and 15 of IEC 60840
do not apply.

8. Type Test: Repair Joints

Type A1 - Fully Flexible Joint Flexible Joint


Flexible Joint with tension

restriction during bending
Type A2 Flexible Joint with R

some mechanical restrictions

Release of tension
during bending.

Type B- Rigid Joint

8. Type Test: LWP/RWP test

For long submarine cables the water penetration tests are divided into
three tests:
LWP a: conductor water penetration test
LWP b: metal sheath water penetration test
RWP: radial water penetration test of joints (10 days heat cycling + 48
hours of pressure)
+ 33% d1




9. Background for PQ-test

For an ac extruded submarine cable system there are mainly four

parameters that make up a difference to an ac extruded land cable
1. a flexible joint is normally needed
2. the cable has normally an armour (external design)
3. the repair joints have normally a mechanical housing (external design)
4. the cable conductor is normally not of a segmented design
1. PQ-test needed for either a land or submarine cable system
2. External design Electra 171, performed prior to the electrical type test
3. External design Electra 171, performed prior to the electrical type test
4. PQ-test needed but is mostly qualified in a PQ-test for land cable systems

Thus, a land cable system PQ-test may prequalify a submarine cable

system as well, if the range of approval in IEC 60840 and 62067 is met.

9. PQ-test: Range of Approval

Refer to IEC 60840 and 62067.

If a land (or submarine) cable system already is prequalified, another submarine
cable system is qualified if the following conditions and the conditions given in
IEC 60840 and 62067 are met:

The electrical stress at insulation screen of a repair joint, using prefabricated

components, is equal or lower than the electrical stress at insulation screen in the pre-
qualification test
The flexible joint has an electrical stress at conductor screen which is less than
10% higher than the electrical stress at conductor screen in the pre-qualification test

If the internal design of the flexible joint (materials, vulcanisation process

etc.) is substantially changed, then a new prequalification test shall be
performed. It may be part of either a land or submarine cable system
prequalification test.

9. PQ-test: Example for Range of approval
Electric stress

Inner stress for Factory Joints

Outer stress for Premolded Joints

Conductor Cross-section area

Factory Joint approved with 10 % higher inner stress than qualified for

Premolded Joint approved for all lower outer stresses than qualified

13. Appendices: Example of PQ-test in Appendix D

Cable System

Cable, factory joint and repair joint

>36-170 kV >170 kV
Summary of prequalification test [TB IEC60840 IEC62067
9.1 - 9.2] 13.2.1 13.2.1
IEC60840 IEC62067
Test voltage values [TB 9.3.1]
13.2.2 13.2.2
IEC60840 IEC62067
Test arrangement [TB 9.3.2]
13.2.3 13.2.3
IEC60840 IEC62067
Heating cycle voltage test [TB 9.3.3]
13.2.4 13.2.4
IEC60840 IEC62067
Lightning impulse test [TB 9.3.4]
13.2.5 13.2.5
Examination of cable system [TB IEC60840 IEC62067
9.3.5] 13.2.6 13.2.6


A new TB XXX Recommendations for testing of long ac submarine

cables with extruded insulation for system voltage above > 30 (36) to
500 (550) kV will be issued in the near future.

The TB aims to provide stakeholders with an improved understanding

and quality assurance of testing long ac submarine extruded cable