UK Power Networks is upgrading three vital high-voltage electricity circuits in the south of England with Nexans’ innovative pipe-type XLPE cables.

The new XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) insulated pipe-type cables are replacing 132kV gas cable circuits which are due for renewal. The compact design of the cable means that they can be drawn into existing steel pipes via a series of jointing bays, minimizing road-digging and disruption for local residents.

The new pipe-type cables are ideal for high-voltage, underground systems because they can handle conductor temperatures of up to 90 degrees centigrade, need no fluid-pressure system and require no maintenance.

The first new 132 kV pipe-type cable circuit, running a distance of around 12 km between Steyning and Worthing on the south coast of England, has already been commissioned.

Philip Howell, Sales and Marketing Manager for Transmission, Distributors and Operators Markets at Nexans UK, said, “This contract builds on the existing relationship between Nexans and UK Power Networks. Our innovative pipe-type cable provides a significant upgrade of the previous circuits, allowing for increased reliability, while ensuring low maintenance costs and minimal disruption.”

The cables are manufactured at the Nexans plant in Hannover, Germany.   UK Power Networks distributes more than a quarter of Britain’s electricity through its networks of substations, underground cables and overhead power lines, keeping the lights on across London, the South East and the East of England.