URD Cable Injection Results in a Significant Drop in Cable Faults
“The cost to replace these aging cables would have been astronomical and our capital budget would have had to double if we had to dig them up and replace them. And since we haven’t had to raise rates to cover the cable replacement cost, our paying customers are happy as well. ”
Director of Operations
London Hydro realized approximately $13.4 million in capital budget savings
Cable failures have declined by 58 percent since Novinium began the injection process
London Hydro chose Novinium again in 2013 with an award for a new three-year cable rejuvenation contract
As an alternative to ongoing cable replacement, London Hydro asked Novinium to conduct a pilot cable injection project in a large subdivision. Since then, Novinium has gone on to inject more than 174,465 meters of cable for London Hydro and cable failures have declined by 58 percent.
THE COMPANY AND THE SITUATION:
In 2003, London Hydro was having major reliability issues with its aging underground cable infrastructure. In a single two-week period, one subdivision experienced seven cable-related outages. These outages were the tipping point for London Hydro to investigate methods to improve infrastructure reliability.
London Hydro understood that the cost to replace their aging cable would significantly increase its capital budget. The utility decided to conduct a pilot cable injection project in a large subdivision where several cable faults had already occurred. Between 2003 when the pilot cable injection project was completed and 2010, no further underground cable faults occurred in the pilot subdivision.
In 2010, London Hydro experienced 31 underground cable faults system-wide that impacted nearly 10,000 customers. Given the success of the pilot subdivision project, London Hydro issued a cable rejuvenation RFP and Novinium won the bid. Several challenges that the utility faced included:
- The cost and rate of underground cable failures was increasing
- Limited capital budget
- Very tight labor market in the Toronto area
- Limited availability of London Hydro switching crews
Novinium provided a turnkey solution for London Hydro that included switching, transformer replacement, and craftwork. The solution used Novinium’s patented state-of-the-art Cablecure® 732 fluid and Sustained Pressure Rejuvenation (SPR) injection process.
In the first three-year project, Novinium addressed 200,689 meters of underground cable and injected 85 percent, or 174,465 meters. The injected cable is now covered by a 40-year warranty.
“Ironically, the biggest issue we’re having with cable rejuvenation is our younger linemen are not getting enough experience dealing with underground cable faults due to the significant drop in cable failures we’ve experienced since 2010. Our 2013 system-wide failure rate was less than half of what it was in 2010,” said Ed Jambor, London Hydro’s director of operations.
London Hydro recognized Novinium’s superior rehabilitation solution again in 2013 with a second bid award in a new 3-year cable rejuvenation contract.