Retrofit with foresight – Network renewal with environment-friendly terminations on existing cables

Spanish grid operator i-DE Redes Eléctricas Inteligentes, member of the Iberdrola Group, is using the advantages of the new oil and gas free retrofit terminations from PFISTERER for the renewal of its network infrastructure. They allow the existing cable to be retained when ageing terminations are replaced. Easy to install, they also safeguard the environment in the long term.

i-DE Redes Eléctricas Inteligentes, based in Bilbao, is one of Spain’s main grid operators. Like many network operators, it faces the challenge of long-term infrastructure renewal. Networks have to be maintained, updated and brought into line with future requirements. In this case, the task was to replace ageing porcelain terminations on a 132 kV line in the Madrid metropolitan area. A modern solution was sought, but one that did not necessitate changing the existing cable. “This is a typical requirement that we meet with our push-on EST retrofit terminations. In principle they are suitable for all XLPE cables up to a conductor cross-section of 2,500 mm². However, the solution can also be adapted for other cable types – such as here for i-DE, where an EPR cable is used. It is compatible with substation and transmission tower installation, is easy to fit and maintain, and it is sustainable,” explains Tarek Fahmy, Senior Product Manager at PFISTERER.

Environmentally safe and flexible

Whether in the substation (with or without integrated surge arrester), as a flexible solution or on the transmission tower – with its dry retrofit terminations, PFISTERER offers a comprehensive range for all requirements and voltage levels from 72.5 to 170 kV, tested in accordance with IEC 60840. The advantage with these solid-insulated, oil and gas free terminations is that they are explosion-resistant with no risk of leakage in the event of a fault, and there is no environmental hazard at any time. Plus the terminations are maintenance-free over their entire service life. “As well as the installation and maintenance cost savings, the environmental aspect is just as important as it allows us to sustainably renew our energy infrastructure,” says Jose Miguel Sánchez Pereira, Maintenance Manager EHV Lines Centre Region at i-DE. The PFISTERER solution meets all of the grid operator’s needs. It has been in use since November 2020 in a substation and on a transmission tower, each with six terminations. And its flexibility is already apparent: the new terminations can be used as a self-supporting version or in existing support structures, and are also easier and faster to install thanks to their low weight.