High voltage cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) power cables in the voltage range of 60 to 150 kV are state of the art technology for Europe’s distribution networks. The technology has been in commercial use for more than 25 years. Since then, high voltage cables have proven to be a reliable power distribution component. When integrated into distribution networks, high voltage underground cables can be applied in lengths up to 100 kilometres. Specific configurations need to be performed on a case-by-case basis for each project.
Distribution networks will play a key role in Europe in the coming years notably as the mainstay electricity infrastructure. Given that most of Europe’s distribution networks date from the 1950s and 1960s, significant upgrading and expansions will be required.
It is in this context that high voltage XLPE power cables will play a key role: Increasingly, XLPE cables are the preferred solution and the technology can also be deployed to replace existing overhead lines. With investment costs not being substantially higher than for overhead lines, they are an economically viable solution.