£280k Lightning Impulse investment to spark cable development

Published 2 November 2017

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s world-class High Voltage (HV) Laboratory has been given a £280,000 boost with a significant upgrade to its lightning impulse (LI) test capabilities.

The upgrade, funded by InnovateUK, will support the development of high voltage cable systems and accessories, such as export cables and universal joints, helping to reduce export cable failure rates.

The new Lightning Impulse Generator enables the testing of equipment rated up to 275 kV for offshore renewable applications, as well as transmission and distribution markets.

As industry moves towards larger capacity AC cables at export voltage levels up to 275 kV and greater HVDC connections, ORE Catapult can now generate 1050kV peak lightning impulses and 850k V peak switching impulses, which are required for type testing equipment up to 275 kV operating levels. This surpasses the previous peak capability of 350 kV. The impulse generator can also be used for superimposed lightning and switching impulse testing that is part of HVDC cable prequalification and type testing requirements.

Alex Neumann, ORE Catapult’s HV Asset and Business Development Manager, said:

“With export cables from the UK fleet of offshore wind farms experiencing failure rates higher than anticipated, there is great value in improved testing capabilities and equipment to improve cable performance and reduce maintenance and repair times, by providing, for example, third party qualification of universal repair joints. With this investment, we are supporting the very latest cable developments in offshore wind.”

For more information on the new test capabilities, contact Steve Robertson, ORE Catapult’s Head of Business Development, on 01670 543053.

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