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400 kV Underground Cables in Rural Areas C. JENSEN* ENERGINET.DK DENMARK P. ARGAUT SILEC CABLE FRANCE
SUMMARY In 2004, three extruded 400 kV double cable circuits were energised in the transmission grid in Denmark. The three double circuits are made as siphons for an overall route length of 14.7 km in a new 400 kV line from Aarhus to Aalborg (140 km). It was a political decision to build part of the line with underground cables. The paper presents the 400 kV cable system, the layout and bonding of the cables, the transition compounds and the compensation of the cables. A description of the service experiences so far will be given. The paper also discusses the cable ampacity and compares it with the ampacity of overhead lines. Distributed temperature sensing and calculation of dynamic load will be used in the control centre in the day-to-day planning. The costs of the cable circuits are compared with the costs of sections in the line made as overhead lines.
KEYWORDS Underground - 400 kV Cable - Rural - Overhead Line - Costs
1 Underground Cables in Open Countryside For the first time part of a 400 kV line was undergrounded in the open countryside in a very simple way. It was a political decision to build parts of the line with underground cables. The first siphon is 4. The next is 2. The distance between the two circuits is 6 m. The three cables in each circuit are laid in flat formation with a distance between the phases equal to 300 mm.5 km long and crosses a valley with a river (Gudenaaen). Description of the Cable Systems
. Introduction In 2004 three extruded 400 kV double circuits were energised in the 400 kV grid in the western part of Denmark. The three double circuits are made as siphons in a new 400 kV line from Aarhus to Aalborg . 2. The third is 7. Figure 1: New 400 kV line 2. Under the outer sheath there is an aluminium tape to prevent radial water penetration. See also  and .4 km long and goes along a valley (Indkildedalen). The three siphons were built on grounds of nature. The screen wires are of aluminium. The backfill closest to the cable is sand and the rest is natural backfill (original soil). The cables are laid down in an open trench in sand.1. The cable that crosses a fiord is with a lead sheath instead of aluminium. The conductor is a 1200 mm2 Al stranded conductor. The cable is XLPE-insulated with a PE outer sheath. Figure 2: 400 kV land cable 2. Cable and accessories are described in more detail in other papers  .3 Simple System Layout The double cable circuit is made after the same principles as 150 kV underground cable circuits. too.2 Simple Cable Structure The cable structure is simple.8 km long and crosses a fiord (Mariager Fjord).
The generation is compensated mainly in two reactors (100 and 140 Mvar). roads and other cables or pipes are made by directional drilling or by buried pipes. In a substation close to the 7.7 km * 10 Mvar/km = 295 Mvar.
Figure 4: Transition compound layout
2. Crossing of a 700 m wide fiord is done by pulling the cables through ducts previously lowered to the sea bottom. The surge arresters in the link boxes can withstand a DC test voltage of minimum 5 kV for further sheath tests.7 U0 for the main insulation. Because the connected overhead lines are double circuits with one 400 kV and one 150 kV system. In one of the transition compounds there is a 100 Mvar reactor connected to the line.7 Compensation The 400 kV cables generate about 10 Mvar per circuit km. One of these is placed there because of the 400 kV cables. streams. which are directly linked to the line itself. They are placed close to the siphons. The only link box which is placed above the ground is where the cable screen is directly earthed in a cross bonded cable circuit. The third one is single point bonded. In this substation there are two 70 Mvar reactors. but not exactly in the same place.4 km long siphon there is a 140 Mvar reactor connected directly to the line too.Crossing of rivers. The link boxes are sealed and afterwards buried close to the cable. The oversheath has been tested at 10 kV DC and a 1-hour withstand test has been made at 1.6 After-laying Tests After-laying tests have been carried out before commissioning. A third reactor (70 Mvar) can be switched on and off. Figure 3: System layout for double circuit 2.5 Transition Compounds Six transition compounds have been built. which can be switched on and off. the transition compounds are made so that there is space for two double cable circuits. The directly connected reactors compensate most of the production from the 400 kV cables. This means a total generation of 2 * 14.4 Bonding Two of the siphons are cross bonded. Each compound is about 50x80 m. One of them is part of a 150/60 kV substation. 2. The other five only contain equipment for the transition from overhead to underground.
3. so that third parties can get the exact position of the cables.8 Division into Subcontracts When the owner of the grid has built overhead lines.Figure 5: Compensation with reactors
Figure 6: Reactor in transition compound direct connected to the line
2. the temporary roads etc. The cables are marked with stands that show there is a cable beneath ground. terminations and the installation have been made by the cable manufacturer who also was supervisor when the cables were pulled. The cables. This philosophy has been used in the cable project as well. Crossing of other cables is normally done by protecting the 400 kV cables with pipes.4 km) has been in operation since August 2004. Surveys of the cable position have been made. who was responsible for making the trenches.8 km) were energised in March 2004 and the third (2*7.5 and 2*2. Until now there has been no fault on the cables or on accessories. 3.2 Third Parties There has been no internal cable fault neither faults from third parties.1 Cables. The other main contract was made with a local contractor. joints. The owner has therefore bought an extra drum with a cable length of about 3
. 3. the directional drillings. it is essential to have a repair procedure ready and to have the spare parts available in time. Joints and Terminations The first two siphons (2*4. 3.3 Contingency Plan If a fault occurs. the contract has been divided into more subcontracts. This way of dividing the contracts into subcontracts has worked well. The owner had the overall responsibility and coordinated the work. This means that the owner has kept the responsibility for the whole project.
3. Transmission Capacity
4. The distributed temperature monitoring system gives alarms directly to the SCADA system in the control centre. there is a risk to generate an overvoltage when the line is switched off. Level one is a warning when the temperature of the fibre optic cable rises to over 50 °C. 4.2 Short Term Load Because of the large thermal time constant in the cable surroundings it is possible to load the cables harder for some hours without overloading them. In the project it was calculated that when the total preload was equal to 500 MVA it would be possible to load the double cable systems up to 2000 MVA for almost 30 hours without having the conductor temperature raised to more than 90 °C. This phenomenon has been examined and the conclusion is that the temporary overvoltages do not harm the equipment. Using the cables' short term load also means that we cannot make a direct comparison between overhead lines and underground cables. 4. The overhead lines are in some cases built with larger capacity than in fact is necessary during the cable's lifetime. The transmission capacity does not need to be the same as the transmission capacity of the overhead line. Level two will give an alarm which indicates that the conductor temperature is close to 90 °C (fibre optic temperature about 70 °C). The simple laying technique and the lack of knowledge of the thermal behaviour of the surroundings force a verification of the calculations.1 Continuous Load Underground cables are dimensioned to the present demand and the expected demand in their lifetime.4 Calculation of Dynamic Ampacity Having measured the distributed temperature along the cables for some weeks or months it is possible to find the hotspot and make a thermal model of this very hotspot . The nominal rating of the cables is 825 A. when we demand a maximum temperature of the outer surface of only 50 °C to prevent from thermal run-away. but with lead sheath).4 Compensation and Overvoltage The compensation of the cable circuits has worked well. 60 kV rms). There are also spare parts for joints and terminations. Because the 4
. The overhead line connected to the underground cables has a nominal rating equal to 2000 MVA per circuit. A better knowledge of the thermal parameters can result in another continuous rating. In 2005 distributed temperature monitoring equipment has been installed to monitor the cables and to find the hotspots . Under conservative considerations the cable transmission capacity is only half of the overhead line's capacity.e. The size of the overvoltage is about 25 % (i. 4. There are two alarm levels.900 m for the underground parts and a drum with 870 m of submarine cable (very much the same as the land cable. 4. the total rating will be 1400 A.3 Distributed Temperature Monitoring To verify the preliminary calculations a fibre optic cable has been placed in a tube taped to the middle phase of each circuit. Because the direct connected reactors are installed to match the capacitance of the underground cables in the line. That is about 1000 MVA. If the continuous rating is 700 A per circuit. The cable supplier is responsible for making the repair of the cable. Because of deep drillings the actual possible continuous load is only 700-750 A.
5. it is necessary to make measurements at specific intervals to control if other hotspots have popped up. When the calculations for the next 36 hours have been made. the weather forecasts and the computer programs that will calculate the expected total production will – combined with the knowledge of import and export agreements – make it possible to calculate the load of all lines in the grid. the way the lines can be operated are different. can be used as preload for the cables the day after tomorrow. very wet soil. The mentioned calculations are already in service in the control centre. The production plan of the power stations. 36 hours and 60 hours. Costs Comparing costs of overhead lines and underground cables is not an easy issue. Underground Cables in the Transmission Grid
5. The future will give some experience which may change the values. When we presuppose a preload less than 50 % of the maximum allowed continuous rating. when the parallel overhead line is removed as indicated in the reconstruction plan.2 Operation Planning In the daily operation of the grid it is necessary to look 36 hours ahead when controlling and planning the next day's system. but it will be necessary if it is decided to split up the double cable circuits into two separate circuits. the maximum short term load for 100 hours will be used as the cables' transmission capacity. Using a 100 hours short term load does not give a large extra capacity. It is also necessary to make plans for the 24 hours which follow the coming 36 hours. where we find the cable load for every hour. but it is a principle step forward. In that way it will be possible to make use of the cables' good short term load capabilities.) will also influence a lot on the costs. In that way we can make use of all the transmission capacity of the underground cables without having the risk of destroying them by overload. rural area. In the planning perspective it is normally the outer sheath temperature that limits the short term load. The technical solutions are different. 5
.1 Transmission Grid Planning It has been decided to take the cables' short term ampacity into consideration when planning new lines using underground cables. the next five hours. normal soil. As input to these calculations the underground cables' actual short term load for the next 36 hours will be used. 6. and the costs from project to project will differ a lot depending on the demands to the rating. During 2006 the dynamic rating of the 400 kV cables will be incorporated into these calculations. etc. rock. If the current load exceeds the nominal rating. The different surroundings (city. 5. the load flow calculations. The thermal model will be used in a software program developed in 2006 which calculates the maximum possible load of the cables for the next hour. the program calculates the maximum time the cables can be loaded with the current load before the temperature of the outer sheath is beyond the limit of 50 °C and the time before the temperature of the conductor exceeds 90 °C. One line after the other will in the calculations be switched off. It is not an immediate demand to do this.behaviour of the surrounded soil can change. and by using those n-1 calculations it will be possible to ensure that there will be no overload of any line.
105 km new line and 20 km changed from one to two circuits For one 400 kV circuit and one or two 150 kV circuits 3) For one 400 kV circuit only 4) One 100 Mvar and one 140 Mvar reactor directly connected to the line and one 70 Mvar reactor connected via switchgear in a substation 5) Each transition compound includes site. crossing a river and very wet areas near the river. Total costs for the double 400 kV cable circuits are inclusive crossing a fiord. are 91. including 150 kV circuits.The Aarhus-Aalborg project is an example which cannot be used in general for comparison. foundations. The total costs for the overhead line.000. but is used with only one 400 kV circuit and one or two 150 kV circuits. Table 1: Absolute costs for 400 kV overhead line and underground cable Total costs for the overhead line is inclusive of changes on an existing overhead line (20 km).7 0. we can compare costs of overhead lines and cables in the present project: 6
.7 M€/km) and the actual costs for the double cable circuit. but 26 km is made as a single circuit line on new design towers. it means that the total costs would rise to about 1. The installation costs are therefore relatively high compared with installation costs under normal circumstances in rural areas in Denmark. exclusive of costs for the transition compounds (1. Most of the line is inclusive one or two 150 kV circuits. The line is dimensioned for two circuits of 400 kV. Using the actual costs for overhead lines (very same as normal planning costs for overhead lines = 0.72) 1.000 €. The normal planning costs for a double circuit 400 kV overhead line in Denmark is 0.7 M€/km. steel stands. surge arresters and terminations (12 units).2 0. 2*400 kV cable
Total Costs [M€] 91 25 3 5
Costs per km [M€] 0.3 2. The total length of the overhead line sections is about 140 km.2
Nominal Load [MVA] 20003)
1401) 14. The numbers given in this paper are taken from the final statement of the project . Length [km] 1 * 400 kV + 1 or 2 * 150 kV overhead line on double circuit towers 2 * 400 kV cable Compensation (310 Mvar) 3 reactor coils4) 6 Transitions Compounds including Terminations5) Total. The overhead line is a combination of 400 and 150 kV lines.6 times the current costs. If the price of the cable and the accessories should double. The costs of the cables and the installation of joints and terminations are about 60 % of the total costs.9 M€/km).
3 M€/km inclusive of compensation and exclusive of terminations. 7. so the demands from the system will be fulfilled and the costs will be minimised. It represents the first 400 kV cable project in the western Denmark area. the starting point was the actual transmission requirement and not the transmission capacity of the overhead lines. The costs of underground cables with one 400 kV double circuit is 1.in total 2.9
Nominal Load [MVA] 4000 1000
Costs per km per MVA [€] 175 1900
Table 2: Costs per km and MVA for 400 kV overhead line and underground cable In real life the cable dimension. The cable systems have been executed as three part sections in the overhead line system which stretches from Aarhus to Aalborg. Laying 400 kV cables in open countryside is a new area of expertise.7 km lengths of 400 kV cable in all.Costs per km [M€] 2 * 400 kV overhead line 2 * 400 kV cable inclusive of compensation 0. During the dimensioning of the cable system. The following years will provide operating experience which together with experience from similar cable systems abroad will clarify the suitability of the methods which have been used. Conclusion The overall project consists of two 14.
. In the Aarhus-Aalborg project the costs of an overhead line with one 400 kV circuit and one 150 kV circuit is about 0.9 M€/km and the planning costs for one 150 kV circuit is 0. number of circuits and installation methods will be optimised.4 M€/km . Experience from this project has shown that it can be done without it being a technically complicated operation. In addition.7 M€/km.7 1. it is assumed that the short-term load capacity of the cables can be utilised.
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Cigre WG B1. P. A.3 P.eltra. Technical Brochure 247. A. Cigré. CIRED conference. Jaspers.19: General Guidelines for the Integration of a new Underground Cable System in the Network. J.E.02: Optimization of Power Transmission Capability of Underground Cable Systems using Thermal Monitoring. Jensen: New 400 kV Cable System in Jutland (Denmark). 2004 S. Kerstens. D. Amsterdam 2001 Web site with final statement: http://www. 2003 B. de Wild: Increasing the Capacity of Cable Systems Using Cable Asset Management Based on Thermal and Mechanical Properties.H. C. van der Wey and F.dk/composite-15807 (in Danish)