While driving my client back to his office after a nice lunch, his phone rings. He has a field engineer sitting out in west Texas getting beaten and frustrated on an underground cable fault job. It appears his engineer is on an 18,000 foot run of 35 kV, 1000 MCM XLPE cable at a wind farm. To add to the challenge of finding the fault on this cable run the cable is cross-bonded at each splice along with a ground brought out at each splice … yes this can present a challenge.
Well the field engineer was attacking this fault using a Fault Wizard cable fault locating system. Now don’t misunderstand me … the Fault Wizard is a great product and would be my first choice in many applications, however, based on the cable description I knew the Wizard’s 10 kV, 350 Joule output would be no match for the 18,000 foot, cross-bonded cable run. After talking a brief while between his field engineer and myself, my client asked me what I would suggest for this job. My recommendation was a 2000 Joule, 35 kV ‘thumper’ with impulse current reflection style radar. Fortunately, I knew we carried this in our inventory for just such an application. The field engineer was a little unsure of this since he had not run this system before, but I assured him that I would be ready for his phone call the next morning and that I would guide him through the operation. Well at that we had agreement to move forward. After a phone call to my office the Protec team sprung to action arranging a courier to pick up the 350 pound Megger PFL40-2000 system and have it delivered to west Texas the same day.
As promised, the next morning I was waiting on the phone call from the field engineer. After a telephone assisted tutorial on the operation of the PFL-40 system the field engineer was off and running. I am also happy to report that the fault was successfully located! The field engineer commented that the PFL-40 system made the difference and that he would have never found the fault using his earlier tool. I just kind of smiled thinking about Protec Equipment Resources’ philosophy … the right equipment backed with the right experience.