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Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Chapter Technical Visit to GE Grid Solutions.

The most expensive asset in a HVDC link is often the power cables; where costs can reach hundreds of million GBP, therefore long service life is critical. Understanding cable ageing and accurate models ensures Voltage Source Converter (VSC) developments maximise equipment longevity while maintaining performance.

The HVDC cable ageing facility at Stafford is the world’s only laboratory with the ability to monitor the extruded cable insulation health under ageing programmes. This is achieved with two complimentary space charge monitoring techniques; the Pulsed-Electro-Acoustic and the Thermal-Step-Method.

The facility is equipped to simultaneously test two HVDC XLPE cable loops rated at 200 kV. A land pure grade XLPE cable is supplied by Nexans and submarine composite XLPE cable is supplied by VISCAS. The 360 days ageing regime recommended by CIGRE TB 496 is followed for VSC pre-qualification and space charge measurements made throughout.

The aim of the facility is to enable the understanding of ageing mechanisms of extruded HVDC cables to support system based approach to hardware design and control.


13:00 – Welcome & EHS induction

13:30 – Grid solutions introduction

13:45 – Introduction to HVDC and DC cable modelling

14:30 – Coffee break

14:45 – Introduction to the cable ageing facility

15:45 – Q&A Laboratory tour

16:30 – Close


Dr Antonios Tzimas and Dr Rose King



  • For security reasons registration closes 48 hours before the event
  • The capacity of the facility is limited to 30 persons due to EHS restrictions
  • People with heart problems supported by pacemakers are not allowed to enter the facility
  • There is one step to enter the facility and no ramp.


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