‘Self-healing’ power cables able to repair themselves could save Northern Powergrid £20 million over the next five years.
The Distribution Network Operator says fluid-filled power cables were deployed across 8,000 kilometres of the UK’s electricity network in the 1960s and 1970s – the fluid provides insulation and aids the transfer of heat away from the conductor.
However, these fluid-filled cables can leak and impact the surrounding environment over time.
It claims the new cables can minimise environmental impact and increase efficiencies thanks to the addition of tung oil and metal soaps to the fluid, enabling them to self-seal when exposed to air.
Iain Miller, Head of Innovation at Northern Powergrid, said: “Self-healing cables have the potential to improve reliability and benefit the local environments.
“We spotted an urgent need for operators to prevent fluid-filled cable leaks and we are very proud to be the leading backers of this innovative and progressive solution.”
Northern Powergrid has approximately 930 kilometres of fluid-filled cables at highly important parts of its network and plans to start rolling out the new technology across these sections later this year.