The drive to a low carbon economy is turning traditional power generation, transmission, and distribution on its head. With it comes a change in manufacturing considerations and therefore medium voltage cabling requirements.
The historical predictability of power availability and consumption is being challenged by the need to integrate new, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind into the grid.
Coupled with a significant change to consumption dynamics, driven by the electrification of transport, heating, and cooling systems, a completely new power landscape emerges.
A smart dynamic power distribution grid
The distribution network of the future is likely to be presented with a number of challenges when transitioning from a traditional flexible power availability. A new dynamic grid will need to be bi-directional allowing consumers to generate their own energy.
It will also have to deal with much larger demand spikes as a result of electric vehicle charging and ground source heat pumps providing heating, hot water, and cooling. The challenge for grid operators is to manage this seismic technology shift, whilst maintaining energy security and grid resilience.
In this flexible grid distribution cables will need to manage a very different load profile, as modern consumers switch to electric transport and climate control systems.
Medium voltage cable testing
Of course, prevention is better than cure. There is no substitute for a cable that is correctly designed, manufactured, and robustly tested to ensure constancy of performance.
Type testing regimes to national and international standards have long offered a safety net to asset owners to assess cable performance in service.
With the increasing global need for utilities, it is for this reason high and medium voltage cables should be type tested, at intervals of at least three years, to ensure product quality is consistent.
For more information download the free brochure: https://www.basec.org.uk/download-your-copy-of-the-medium-voltage-cable-guide/