Nexans has opened a new high voltage test laboratory at its Calais Center of Excellence in France, making it fully operational with the capacity to test cable systems up to 1.5 million volts.
The new laboratory is dedicated to high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables, a market Nexans believes is of primary importance for high-capacity links and connection of renewable energy sources, such as the DolWin 6 offshore wind farm, for which the company will provide and install two 90km-long HVDC cables.
The decision to enhance its testing capacity by building a new direct current (DC) laboratory is a result of the HV market requiring an increasing number of tests at higher and higher voltage levels, Nexans said.
The laboratory allows simultaneous testing of three independent qualification loops, each composed of multiple cable sections and joints and connected to the electrical network through two terminations.
According to Nexans, the lab is designed to represent the various configurations existing in power grids. The generators, rated for voltages up to 1.2 million volts, operate in a controlled environment, which guarantees the optimum equipment availability required for performing ageing tests typically lasting more than one year, the company said.
“As the global energy needs continue to grow, the world will require extremely reliable cable systems for power transmission at ever higher voltage levels for both AC and DC applications,” said Dirk Steinbrink, Nexans’ Senior Executive Vice President, High Voltage and Underwater Cable Business Group.
The Calais Center of Excellence for HV testing is now composed of 12 HV test laboratories equipped with generators operating up to 1.5 million volts, and addresses both alternating current (AC) and DC applications.
“With its new laboratory, the Calais Center of Excellence will be positioned as one of the leading hubs for helping our clients address the challenges of the future,” Steinbrink said.