4/3/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

Borealis Inaugurates Expanded High Voltage Testing Center

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Since 1970, the wire & cable laboratories in Sweden have been key development centers for cable insulation products.

Increased demand for electricity, growing urbanization, the efficient supply of energy from renewable sources, and the interconnectivity of power grids are just a few of the trends driving the wire & cable industry. To meet and even anticipate these trends, Austria’s Borealis and its Borouge 50/50 joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company—both leading polyolefins suppliers to the global wire and cable industry—continue to invest in research, development and testing. 

The latest example is the newly-expanded high voltage (HV) electrical testing facilities at the Borealis Innovation Centre in Stenungsund, Sweden. The wire & cable laboratories at this location have been key development centers for cable insulation products since 1970, when the first cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable insulation products were produced at there.The scope of testing activities at Stenungsund has been expanding steadily over decades, starting with testing on electrical cables and cable extrusion lines in 1986. In 2009, a new three-layer continuous vulcanization (CV) extrusion line was installed.

The completion of this more recent two-year project in electrical testing significantly expands the range of testing activities, according to Borealis. The Euro 4 million investment served to expand and equip the facility with cutting-edge testing equipment. Borealis and Borouge say the facility enables them to be industry innovation leaders in the most demanding segments of wire & cable.

The enhanced HV testing center offers alternate current (AC) and direct current (DC) simulation testing for the performance of commercial cable materials in the medium (MV), HV, and extra high voltage (EVH) ranges. When developing new materials, the company says testing is crucial to ensure material safety and promote quality assurance. Within the framework of customer and value-chain cooperation, the HV testing center can also open up new projects and accelerate the time to market for new innovations, according to Bart Verheule, Borealis head of marketing, energy.

Collaboration with customers and value-chain partners takes place for the mutual advancement of electrical competence, but has also been a key factor in providing improved materials that support the global energy industry in its efforts to implement more sustainable technologies, according to Borealis.

For one, transmission technology must ensure the efficient connection of remote, clean energy sources to the grid. Here, Borealis has built on its years of operational experience in extruded HVDC materials and its proprietary Borlink PE technology to set even higher standards in proven system performance, setting a new world record of 640 kilovolt (kV) for extruded HVDC cable technology in 2017. The tailor-made Borlink compounds used for these cables are produced in Stenungsund. 

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