PFISTERER will supply a 52 km underground cable system to Westnetz

Westnetz, one of Germany’s largest distribution network operators, is building a 17 km underground cable system in Hunsrück as part of their efforts to support the transition to renewable energy. This new high-voltage cable will transport renewable wind power from turbines at Hunsrück to the region's urban centres.

PFISTERER will supply the entire 110 kV cable system with a total cable length of about 52 km together with the cable accessories, as a turnkey system.

Westnetz, the distribution network operator for the Trier region and a subsidiary of Innogy, views the € 19 million project as an investment in transition to renewable energy in Rhineland-Palatinate. Their existing distribution network in Hunsrück is now operating close to capacity due to the rapid growth of renewable energy generation. Consequently, surplus wind energy will soon be transported from a substation in Thalfang (110 kV) through a 17 km renewable energy connection to a substation in Osburg.

"We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Westnetz, a long-term customer, on this key project for the 110 kV distribution network, and thereby contributing to the transition to renewable energy in Rhineland-Palatinate. This is PFISTERER's largest order for HV AC underground cables, and demonstrates our customer's trust in our experience and expertise in handling complex high-voltage underground cable projects," says Vukasin Basara, Senior Manager, Underground Cable Projects with the PTS Cable business unit at PFISTERER.

Underground Cables instead of Overhead Lines

To support the installation, trenches 1.5 m deep and 1.7 m wide will be dug along the 17.3 km route, which will run predominantly along rural roads and over public land. According to Westnetz, this is the longest underground cable that they have ever installed. PFISTERER is supplying the complete cable system as a turnkey solution. Initally, three cables will be installed in parallel conduits, but three additional empty conduits will also be installed to allow for future expansion. Installation of the underground cable, with a combined total length of 52 km, will begin in early 2020. Fibre optic conductors will be integrated into the cable screen, and two conductor cross-sections, one 1200 mm² and the other 1800 mm², will be used to achieve the required transmission capacity.

Quick and sustainable Solutions from a single Supplier

Sixty PFISTERER IXOSIL 110 kV cross-bonding joints will be used to connect the cables, together with transition joints to go from 1200 mm² to 1800 mm². These joints are inexpensive and maintenance-free, and have proven effective worldwide over decades for the installation of HV underground cables in cities and metropolitan areas, as well as in extreme climatic conditions, such as deserts. PFISTERER IXOSIL slip-on joints are available for voltages from 72 kV to 550 kV, and are extremely compact due to their one-piece design. In addition, the splice box to connect the fibre-optic conductors can be fitted either inside or outside the housing. Another advantage is the short installation time. The team has just six months to complete the turnkey installation of the cable system.

Joints for High-Voltage Systems

The PFISTERER IXOSIL product family includes slip-on joints for the entire high voltage range from 72 kV to 550 kV - including various shielding options, and with or without bonding and grounding cables. IXOSIL joints are water-resistant and available with solid metal, plastic, or shrink-fit housing. Our proven slip-on technology enables a safeinstallation and long-lasting connection of polymer-insulated copper or aluminium cables. This technology also allows cables with different conductor materials and diameters to be connected.