Insuleak - Low voltage cable insulation tester

The Insuleak system redefines cable’s insulation test standards. It was designed by Hydro-Quebec to prevent major failures in power distribution cables. The Insuleak uses a unique process of air injection in the cable’s core, and pressure monitoring for a determined period of time. The Insuleak is a great innovation for detection insulations flaws in low voltage insulated cables.

The test method consists of injecting air pressure in the core of the low voltage cable. The air pressure is then monitored to detect any fluctuation. The presence of insulation failure is detected when the air pressure cannot be contained in the cable for the determined period of time. Numerous tests were done at Hydro-Quebec’s laboratory to develop a test method. This method is able to meet the performance requirements specified for implementation on Hydro-Quebec’s distribution network. Several variants were assessed on the optimal way of injecting air into the cable and the effectiveness of detecting a small leak. The tests were conducted with different types of calibrated faults that were simulated by perforating the layer of electrical insulation up to the cable core following this process; three variants of the new method for verifying LV cable insulation were selected.

Main features:

  • Detects the presence of very small holes in the cable’s insulating material (1mm)
  • Compatible with cables up to 200m in length
  • Test duration is only few minutes, depending on the cable’s diameter and length
  • Results are unaffected by ambient temperature and air humidity
  • The test does not alter the dielectric properties of the cable’s insulating material at the test pressure of ~500 kPa (~70 psi)

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