FluidCableCare is undertaken in partnership with the Energy Innovations Centre (EIC), with funding provided by a number of UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). This project addresses the problem of leakage of low viscosity insulating fluids from damaged fluid-filled circuits, which can cause premature cable failure and contaminate the local environment.
The eventual aim of this project is to develop reactive oil blends that can replace the current fluids in fluid-filled cable circuits. If the cable sheath is breached, the blend will react upon contact with an external agent (e.g. oxygen, moisture) to form a cross-linked film that prevents further leakage. Selected blends must be able provide this functionality whilst retaining the fluid and electrical properties of currently used cable oils.
This is being achieved by carrying out the following:
- Review currently available materials and potential chemistries, and determine a range of candidate blends based on technical and economic suitability. Where opportunities arise, Gnosys will develop proprietary chemistries that can be specifically tailored to the application.
- Carry out a first-level assessment of selected candidate blends; this will include evaluation of the fluid and electrical properties, as well as the capability to seal defects in blocks simulating damaged cable sections.
- Carry out a second-level assessment on particularly suitable candidate blends. This will include the filtration of these blends to optimise fluid and electrical properties while retaining self-repair functionalities.
- Explore the efficacy of these systems under operational conditions by using a simulated oil circuit. This can also be used to demonstrate the technology to potential adopters.
- Investigate the possibility to functionalising the carrier oil itself. If successful, this would mitigate the need for additional reactive components.
Gnosys has determined that there are a number of blends that would be suitable for this application. These blends have shown to effectively seal small defects, thereby preventing potential cable failure and minimising the environmental impact. It has also been shown that should reactive oils leak from the cable they will react shortly thereafter in the surrounding media and act to contain the leaked oil in the region immediately surrounding the cable.
This cable is now being extended to include cable trialling of the technologies developed.
Contact Point: : Rhys Rhodes