Skip to main content

Cable testing facility

More Information

About the Cable testing facility

We are very experienced in the testing of parent cable, joints and terminations and have developed facilities specifically for several bespoke electrical, thermal and mechanical tests.

In recent years we have tested a range of different designs of cable, including extruded polymeric, PILC, mass impregnated and fluid filled.  Distribution cables, transmission cables, offshore wind array and export cables, HVDC cables, submarine fibre optic cables and neutrally buoyant cable systems have all been assessed. 

Examples of the cable testing which TDHVL has performed in recent years include:

  • AC and DC withstand tests
  • lightning and switching impulse tests
  • capacitance / tan delta
  • partial discharge
  • thermal cycling (including for the validation of cable thermal models)
  • bending (transverse) and axial stiffness measurement
  • exploratory fatigue testing (through repeated bending cycles), including subsequent forensic inspection.
  • measurement of cable losses, including to determine measured losses in comparison to those obtained from IEC 60287

Where it becomes necessary to develop bespoke test programmes, or build new experimental rigs, our team are able to bring about the benefit of decades of accumulated experience to design an appropriate and cost-effective solution.

We also perform forensic investigation of cables and accessories that have failed in service - for more details please see forensics. This work has also been conducted for parties requiring an independent expert opinion.

We also perform forensic investigation of bushings that have failed in service - for more details please see Forensics.


If you are considering testing of a cable or accessory, please contact us  and include the following information:

  •  the relevant section of a standard or details of the test schedule that you wish to have performed
  •  the type of cable (or cable accessory) as well as its operating voltage, design details and the likely test length
  • if you will require access to the laboratory in order to prepare suitable test samples (apply terminations etc) on site
  •  your requirements with respect to reports

This activity is provided by the Tony Davies High Voltage Lab.

Technical specification

Recently used standards 

  • BS 7888-4.1 HD 629.1 S2  - Test requirements on accessories for use on power cables of rated voltage from 3,6/6(7,2) kV up to 20,8/36(42) kV - Part 1: Cables with extruded insulation 
  • BS 7888-4.2 HD 629.2 S2  - Test requirements on accessories for use on power cables of rated voltage from 3,6/6(7,2) kV up to 20,8/36(42) kV - Part 2: Cables with impregnated paper insulation 
  • IEC 60502 - Power cables with extruded insulation and their accessories for rated voltages from 1 kV (Um = 1,2 kV) up to 30 kV (Um = 36 kV) 
  • BS EN 61442 - Test methods for accessories for power cables with rated voltages from 6 kV (Um = 7,2 kV) up to 36 kV (Um = 42 kV) 
  • BS 7933-1 HD 631.1 S2 - Electric cables - Accessories - Material characterisation - Part 1: Fingerprinting and type tests for resinous compounds 
  • BS EN 60230 - Impulse tests on cables and their accessories 
  • BS EN 50395 - Electrical test methods for low voltage energy cables
  • BS 7769-2.2 - Electric cables — Calculation of the current rating — Part 2: Thermal resistance — Section 2.2 A method for calculating reduction factors for groups of cables in free air, protected from solar radiation
  • IEC 60287 - Electric Cables - Calculation of the current rating

Contact Us

Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory

Building 20, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ 
We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 UK time.