What Happen If Water Enter Into Power Cable

What happen If Water Enter Into Power Cable

400kV Cable
What actually happen if water or moisture entered into power cable?

We who are engaged with power cable management everyone very concuss to prevent enter water or moisture into cables. In design and production line, they take some options to prevent moisture enter into cables; similarly cable installation and storage team also take tight action to prevent water or moisture enter into the cables. 

Cable Conductors Materials:

Widely used power cable conductors materials are Copper and Aluminum. 100% pure Copper and 99.5% or better pure Aluminum is used for better performance power cable conductor. Small amount of impurity may reduce large percentage of conductivity. Silver is very good conductor, but high cost and extreme softness is obligation to use as wide scale. Compare to Copper Aluminum is inexpensive and softer.

Aluminum Uses in Power Cable:

Many Copper conductors also use Aluminum as armored or metal sheath. Aluminum is very much sensitive with water in insulated power cables. So, presence of water in Aluminum causes several problems. In Aluminum, if there is water in absence of Oxygen, chemically there will be hydrolyzing. 

Aluminum and Water Chemical Reaction:

The chemical reaction of Aluminum and water will be as follows:

2 Al + 6 H2O   =   2Al(OH)3 +3H2  

So, if water entered into having Aluminum in insulated power cable, in absence of Oxygen Aluminum and water chemically combine and produce Aluminum-Hydroxide and Hydrogen gas.

Aluminum Hydroxide:

Aluminum Hydroxide is white and powder type materials having very good insulating character that degrade the conductor conductivity.

This is the theoretical and chemical reaction of water presence inside the cable. Moreover, water presence in vicinity of cable for long time may cause of cable damage shortening the cable lifetime and unexpected breakdown may happen. 

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