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(From Gulf Construction)
Underground high-voltage power cables can prove to be the weakest link in a nations massive electricity network if they do not perform when under stress. LEE STONES of Bahrain-based electromechanical major Alkomed indicates how the integrity of a network can be assured through proper testing
While electricity is recognised as a necessity worldwide, few people realise the extent of network required to provide a reliable electrical supply to their homes or workplaces. The Gulf region is growing at an unprecedented rate, and hence the existing power network is placed under greater load and forced to grow, becoming increasingly more complicated as efforts are made to maintain a reliable supply to the end-users. A basic transmission network consists of a gas and oil-fired power station that generates power which is fed into a transformer and the voltage is stepped up to 220 kV. From here, the power is transmitted through underground 220 kV XLPE (crosslinked polyethylene) power cables to a bulk supply point station (BSP). The voltage may then be stepped down to 66 kV and transmitted further to smaller substations through 66 kV XLPE power cables, where it can be stepped down further to 11 kV and finally to more localised stations where it will be converted to 415 V, which is how the end-users will receive their power
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