Nexans has completed the final type-test to qualify its 420kV XLPE power cable design for use in water depths down to 550m


he cable type-testing, carried out by Nexans Norway, is vital preparation

for a project to create a subsea power interconnector crossing Fensfjorden, a fjord close to Bergen in Norway, which is approximately 8km wide and 526m at its deepest point. The Fensfjorden project forms part of

a broader plan by BKK Nett AS, one of Norway’s largest power companies, to strengthen the electrical grid in Western Norway. This includes a new 420kV connection

between Modalen-Mongstad that will ensure a stable and reliable power supply to over 420,000 residents, businesses and industry facilities throughout the region. Ivar Rolfstad, Nexans project manager,

said: “We have every reason to be proud of what we have accomplished. We have pushed the technological boundaries and our own previous world records!” Nexans developed and produced the

Fensfjorden cable at Nexans Norway facility in Halden. Installation on the bed of the fjord will be performed by Nexans’ own cable-laying vessel, C/S Nexans Skagerrak, later in 2019.

BEST PATHS The company has also completed successful qualification testing of ‘Best Paths’ superconductor cable for HVDC power links. The EU-funded Best Paths project has

focused on the investigation of HVDC solutions for bulk power transmission with a modular design that is easily adaptable so that the rated current and

voltage can be matched to any power grid specification. Nexans was the project

leader, with nine other industrial and academic partners including CERN, Columbus Superconductors, ESPCI Paris, IASS Potsdam, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE), Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE), Technische Universität Dresden and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The Best Paths project

culminated with the first-ever successful qualification on a test platform of a full-scale 320kV HVDC superconducting loop. This loop comprises two terminations and a 30m length of cable carrying a current of 10kA for a rated power transmission capacity of 3.2GW. The program included a complete sequence of voltage testing at 1.85 times the rated voltage (up to 592kV) and impulse tests. The Best Paths cable is based on

magnesium diboride (MgB2), a simple compound based on raw materials that are abundant in nature. The compound is easy and inexpensive to manufacture – providing a cost benefit compared to other relevant superconductor materials with the need to cool at a lower temperature. The cable is housed in a thermally insulating cryostat cooled by helium gas.

The main advantage of

superconducting cables in HVDC applications is their capability to carry high currents so that they can transfer very large amounts of power with minimal losses. This high power capacity results in a very compact installation footprint in the range of one metre in width for a dipole carrying 6.4GW. In contrast, a traditional circuit based on XLPE insulated copper cables would typically be 10m wide. This footprint reduction provides significant cost savings as well as making it easier to obtain permits for rights-of-way. While the Best Paths project has

focused on HVDC applications, the same cable technology could be employed in AC applications up to extra high voltage levels of 400kV.


Cable sealing solution for £1.1bn Sellafield project Roxtec UK has supplied Sellafield with specialist cable sealing solutions to support a major overhaul


he firm has joined the British nuclear waste site’s £1.1bn project

as part of preparations to clean up and decommission Europe’s most complex nuclear site. “We have joined Sellafield’s

Infrastructure Strategic Alliance to deliver

a range of cable sealing solutions,” says Will Melvin, Roxtec UK’s nuclear and process manager. “Our cabinet seals are being used in a

number of substations, helping to divide the plant into zones and cells separated by fire-rated, watertight structures. Our


seals are also being used within junction boxes across a CCTV network. The cabinet seals sit next to the cameras, helping protect internal electrical infrastructure.”


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