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T. Heizmann, C. Wyler, C. Biolley and A. Marro Alcatel Cable Suisse SA CH-2016 Cortaillod, Switzerland

A. Nicolet Amnagement Cleuson-Dixence, c.p. 439 CH-1950 Sion, Switzerland

Rsum La premire installation de cbles 400 kV en XLPE en Suisse a t mise en service en octobre 1998. Trois circuits cbls dune longueur denviron 400 m relient les transformateurs situs dans la caverne de lusine hydolectrique 1200 MVA de Bieudron une sous-station 400/220 kV sur lautre rive du Rhne. Les cbles ont un conducteur en cuivre de 2 800 mm et une gaine ondule en aluminium extrud. Les extmits et les cbles sont remplis de SF6.

Abstract The first commercial installation of 400 kV XLPE cables in Switzerland has been in industrial service since October 1998. Three cable circuits of lengths of 400 m link the transformers of the 1200 MVA underground hydro power plant Bieudron with a 400/220 kV substation located across the Rhone river. The cables have a conductor cross-section of 2 800 mm copper and a metallic sheath made of seamless extruded corrugated aluminium. The cables as well as the terminations are filled with SF6 gas.

1. Introduction The system of hydro-power plants of the Amnagement Cleuson-Dixence SA uses the 3 400 mio m of water stored in the Lac des Dix, which is located in Valais, Switzerland. The three existing power stations Chandoline, Fionnay and Nendaz use the head of 1745 m to produce some 780 MVA of electric power (see figure 1). To enable a better response to the strongly fluctuating demand, the peak power production has been increased by the construction of the 1200 MVA power station Bieudron. This power station comprises the following components : a new water intake bored in the Grande Dixence gravity dam a headrace gallery of 15.5 km a surge tank a steel lined inclined shaft of 4.3 km a power station with three hydroelectric groups (Pelton turbine 423 MW, generator 465 MVA). The power station is installed underground in three 3 caverns with a total volume of 155'000 m (see also [1] for more information on the installation). With a head of 1883 m, a power of the Pelton turbines of 423 MW, and a power per pole of 35.7 MVA of the generators, the new hydro power plant Bieudron sets three world records.

2. Electrical conception of power plant Bieudron Figure 2 shows a schematic of the electrical installations. Each of the three groups has a 423 MW Pelton turbine with 5 injectors running at 428 rpm. The generators have 7 pairs of poles and are cooled by purified water. The energy produced by the generators is lead to the transformers by means of a system of coaxially shielded air insulated busbars at a nominal voltage of 21 kV and a current of 15'000 A. The busbars have an aluminium cross-section of 2 21'000 mm . Each group is provided with a threephase 21/410 kV transformer of 500 MVA which is also installed in the cavern. There is no circuit breaker between the generators and the transformers. Three systems of 400 kV cables link the transformers with a 400 kV gas-insulated substation (GIS), where also the circuit breakers are installed. From there, the energy produced is evacuated by a 400 kV overhead line and, by means of a group of single-phased 400/220 kV transformers of 600 MVA, by the 220 kV grid. The basic characteristics of the 400 kV grid are given in table 1. Table 1 : Specifications of the 400 kV grid. Max. operating voltage BIL Short circuit current 435 kV 1550 kV 55 kA / 3 s

Figure 1 : System of hydro-power plants of Amnagement Cleuson-Dixence SA

3. Design of cables After an extensive study of different types of cables which included oil-filled cable and polypropylenelaminated-paper insulation (PPLP), the customer preferred XLPE to oil-filled insulation. This decision was based on the positive experience gained with 400 kV cables with synthetic insulation. In addition, the maintenance is reduced and all risks of pollution are avoided which is particularly important for a cable that is crossing a river. The 400 kV XLPE insulated cables (see table 2 for specifications) have a copper conductor of 800 2 mm , an extruded corrugated aluminium sheath, which is protected with an anti-corrosion compound and a jacket of flame-retardant polymer. To enable a meaningful oversheath voltage test, an additional extruded semiconducting screen was applied on the jacket. The cable is filled with SF6, which gives an additional security by the gradual impregnation of the insulation by SF6, leading to an improved dielectric strength and aging behavior. The cables were produced on a horizontal extrusion and vulcanization line (MDCV).

Table 2 : Specification of 400 kV cable. Type Cross section Nominal voltage Un / Uo Max. operating voltage Insulation Insulation thickness Field strength at 400 kV Sheath Outer sheath Diameter Weight Minimum bending radius Min. radius during pulling XAluWET-Tsc (Nof) 800 mm

400 / 230 kV 435 kV XLPE 32 mm 12.3 kV/mm seamless extruded and corrugated aluminium flame retardant polymer 142 mm 21.6 kg/m 3000 mm 5000 mm

High Voltage cables 400 m

Coaxial aluminium busbar 21 kV / 15'000 A

400 kV XAluWET 1x 800 mm Cu 400/230 kV 3-phases transformer 410/21 kV, 500 MVA

Generator 465 MVA

Pelton turbine 423 MW

Figure 2 : Schematic of the electrical installations of the hydro-power plant Bieudron

4. General description of cable circuits Nine cable lengths of approximately 400 m link the 21/410 kV transformer in the cavern with a gas insulated switchgear on the other side of the Rhone river. Along most of the route the cables are laid in trefoil formation. As there is no separate duct for the cables, they are fixed on the wall or on the floor of access galleries by means of supports (see figure 3 for a typical laying arrangement). The route is characterized by about 10 changes of direction, many of them with radii of only 3 m, which is the minimum allowed for this type of cable. The crossing of the river is done by a metallic bridge with a length of approx. 100 m. Close to both ends of the cables spare loops are provided, enabling the mounting of a new termination or a joint in the case of a failure (see figure 5). The cables are provided on both sides with SF6-type terminations, i.e. both of the introductions into the GIS and the transformers is done by 90 angles of gas-insulated busbar of lengths of about 6 - 10 meters. The terminations as well as the cable itself are filled with SF6 gas, the pressure of which is monitored on both sides and the corresponding alarms are transmitted to dispatching.

18 mm of a fire resistant material (F30 : 30 min at 1000 C) between two plates of 5 mm thickness of aluminium. Additional mechanical protections were provided in locations with a risk of damage, e.g. by circulating trucks (see figure 6). 6. Terminations The cable circuits were provided on both sides with SF6-type terminations (see figure 4) according to IEC 859 with silicone stress cones filled with SF6. The aluminium sheath of the cables is directly welded under Argon to the entrance tube of the terminations.

Figure 4 : SF6-type terminations at the entrance of the GIS. 7. Ampacity / thermal design The current carrying capacity has been calculated according to IEC 287. As it can be seen from table 3, the conductor temperature at the nominal current is moderate, thus reducing transmission losses. In reality the cables are operated at even lower temperatures taking into account the cyclic loading for only a few hours per day. Table 3 : Ampacity of the cable circuits at 20 C ambient temperature. Nominal current In Cond. temp. at In Total losses at In Max. adm. current Im Cond. temp. at Im Total losses at Im 782 A 49 C 70.8 kW/km 1207 A 90 C 182 kW/km

Figure 3 : Fixation of cable circuits in vault of access gallery. 5. Mechanical aspects The cables are laid in trefoil formation and are fixed on supports by means of aluminium clamps every 6 meters. To cope with the short-circuit forces the cables are provided with an intermediate clamp between two supports. To ensure a controlled dilatation and to avoid unacceptable stresses on the supports, each cable was pre-formed with a sag of 10 cm, which will increase to about 16 cm by the heating caused by the nominal current. The three cable circuits are separated one against the other with plates consisting of a sandwich of

8. Admissible short-circuit currents Table 4 shows the admissible short-circuit currents in the conductor and the sheath (initial / final temperature : 90 / 250 C). Table 4 : Admissible short circuit currents. Conductor Sheath 67 kA / 3 s 64 kA / 3 s

high-voltage, high-frequency capacitors were mounted in parallel to the surge arresters on the side of the transformers. Similar capacitors were also mounted on the other side in parallel to the ground connections of the sheath (lengths of about 1.5 m because of current transformer used for protection), as their impedance at high frequencies was not low enough to avoid discharges.

Due to the high aluminium cross-section of 1114 2 mm the requested short-circuit current of 55 kA / 3 s can also be carried by the sheath without additional parallel conductors.

Figure 6 : Mechanical protection of cables arrangement as shown in figure 3. 10. Tests Figure 5 : Spare loop and mounting of the cables to the transformer. 9. Sheath bonding / EMC The cable feeders are operated with single point sheath bonding on the side of the GIS. The open sheath end close to the transformer is protected with surge arresters with a rated voltage of 6 kV. During the first tests, air discharges on both ends of the cable circuits were observed when disconnectors in the GIS were activated. To cope with this problem,


The routine tests in the factory comprised of an AC withstand test at 460 kV for 60 min and a partial discharge test at 345 kV. For commissioning of the three cable circuits an on-site AC withstand test of 460 kV / 15 min was performed. The capacitive power of 2.3 MVA necessary to energize one cable was provided by a series resonance test set at a frequency of 62 Hz. References [1] A. Nicolet, Amnagement Cleuson-Dixence, Equipements lectriques, IAS (Ingnieur Architecte Suisse), no. 3, pp. 30-40, February 1999.