Impact of increased penetration of low-carbon technologies on cable lifetime estimations

Jiang, Xu and Corr, Edward and Stephen, Bruce and Stewart, Brian G. (2022) Impact of increased penetration of low-carbon technologies on cable lifetime estimations. Electricity, 3 (2). pp. 220-235. ISSN 2673-4826 (

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Cables are the largest assets by volume on power distribution networks and the assets with the least health information routinely gathered. Projections over the next 8 years suggest increased penetration of low-carbon technology (LCT) at the distribution level with higher loads resulting from electric vehicle (EV) and heat pump uptake. Over this period, increased cable loading will directly influence their lifetimes and may mean that existing asset management practices need to be revised to understand the specific impact on end-of-life assessment. Accordingly, this paper uses a physics-based thermal lifetime model based on projected uptake trends for LCTs to evaluate the impact on distribution cable lifetime. Two case studies are presented considering portions of network and the ultimate impact on asset life over the next decade. Two commonly used cables are considered to quantify the lifetime reduction caused by LCT for asset fleets. The paper shows that the projected uptake of EVs and heat pumps will have a detrimental effect on cable life with a 30% reduction in cable lifetime possible.