Geomechanics and Geotechnics

high-voltage cables

Underground Power cable system

Power transmission and distribution play an essential role in energy security and industrial growth of a nation. Power transmission over long distance is done by high voltage transmission lines which are prone to high winds, snow and ice storms, earthquakes, metal wire theft and is high electromagnetic pollution. Therefore, in the past decades intensive research has been done to improve the understanding and enhance the knowledge about heat and mass movement around the UGPS. The limiting factor in an UGPS is the melting temperature of cross-linkable polyethene (XLPE) around the conductor which heats up due to resistance to electric current flow (Joule heating). Thus, an experimental setup was designed for recording temperature and moisture content around the heated cylinder which simulated as the underground power cable. A container 1800 mm long, 1000 mm wide and 1200 mm high were fabricated with plexiglass on its four faces for clear visual inspection. The box Is fitted with 96 K type thermocouple and NI data logger to measure the temperature. The heating performed with an electrical heater which can be regulated between 20-100 oC. The box is also fitted with TDRs and tensiometers to measure the moisture change. New high thermal backfill materials are tested and showed positive results as potential backfill material.

Specification of the Device   

1.8x1.2x1 m3 Iron frame plaxiglass box.

1m long heating cylinder with electronic controller with temperature regulation between 20-100

96 K type thermocouple with high-speed NI data logger with 90S/s accuracy.

Power Cabel


Ahmad, S., Rizvi, Z.H., Khan, M.A., Ahmad, J., Wuttke, F., (2019), "Experimental study of thermal performance of the backfill material around underground power cable under steady and cyclic thermal loading", Materials Today: Proceedings 17(1), 85-95.

Ahmad, S., Rizvi, Z.H., Loose, J., Wuttke, F., et al. (2021), Experiment study of temperature distribution around underground power cable for dry and saturated conditions for static and cyclic thermal loads, Applied Thermal Engineering (In Progress)