Underground Electrical Transmission Cables for Electricity Connections

August 13, 2020

The most common way of transmitting electricity from the energy plant to the properties before is through overhead cables. The overhead electrical transmission cables are typically installed on utility poles that also house lines for internet, cable TV, and phone connections. What is great about overhead cables is that they can easily transmit high electrical power. Their installation and material costs are also cheap, making them more affordable and accessible for most communities.

The only problem with overhead cables is that they are constantly exposed to surrounding elements. Lightning strikes can easily damage both cables and poles. Strong winds during stormy days can likewise force the poles to fall, disrupting the supply of electricity to numerous families. The visual appearance of overhead cables can also be distracting and obstructing.

Underground Transmission Cables Overview

One great alternative to overhead electrical transmission cables is underground cables. Believe it or not, underground cables have already existed for centuries. However, they are only utilised by a very small number of communities in the past due to the limitation of the technology.

Today, the number of methods for installing and laying the cables underground is increasing. Currently, there are three known methods for underground cable installation. The first method is by placing the cables in concrete-reinforced troughs. The second one is by burying the cables directly underground. Lastly, underground cables can be installed within underground tunnels. The basis for using the most appropriate method would depend on the geographical condition of a specific area.

The choice for the cable type, on the other hand, is determined by the transmission demand of a specific area and the chosen installation method. HDVC cables are great for areas that need to consume high electrical power. Plastic and fluid-insulated cables, alternatively, are suitable for areas that only need a small portion of power.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Underground Cables

Just like overhead cables, underground cables also boast some advantages and disadvantages. If you intend to use underground cables for electrical transmission purposes, you may want to check the following benefits and drawbacks first.

  • Benefits: One of the benefits of underground cables is that they are much safer than overhead cables. The exposure of these cables on external, damaging elements is reduced significantly since they are installed underground. And since they do not get damaged easily, the transmission of power and electricity will be much more stable and reliable. Power disruptions with underground cables are uncommon since they are not exposed to harsh weather conditions. Maintenance and repair activities for these cables are also minimised. 
  • Drawbacks: Installing these cables in some places can be manageable but might be very difficult to install. Other places, on the contrary, might not have the chance of obtaining these cables due to terrain situation and ground excavation issues. Installation of these cables is also high since it requires numerous items and equipment for the whole process to push through. The transmission of power can also be limited and restricted as to avoid any accidents in the long run. Maintenance of these cables is minimal, but if they do, the overall costs would be high due to the excavation works and the presence of different equipment.

Underground electrical transmission cables are great for hiding messy cable management in conjunction with different buildings and structures. They can also provide a stable transmission of electrical supply to a community as these cables do not get exposed to damaging elements.

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