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Development of an advanced technology tool for the determination of medium voltage cable aging in underground electricity distribution lines, MATUSALEN

Start 2014 – Finish 2017


The project aims at dealing with how and with which elements and operational strategies it is possible to estimate the estate of the working medium voltage cables, also thanks to the aging patterns generation that can be used to make decisions. These advances are strengthened by Smart grids new capacities, not only in data communication, but also in the integration of sensor that permit to carried out the autodiagnosis of the system, and because fundamental historic usage data of every cable are available for the estimation of the state of deterioration.

In addition, it is being developed a unique and innovative solution for the management of medium voltage power assets. The aim is to create an interoperable tool to promote synergies between electricity companies and manufacturers and that is easily exportable and adaptable to international electrical grids.


The main aim of the project MATUSALEN is to develop an advanced and interoperable technological solution, with a hardware and an expert system, addressed to the estimation of the deterioration degree of underground medium voltage cables in electrical grids, for a meter management of assets and to enable the optimal implementation of future Smart grids.


  • Development of a theoretical model which predicts the medium voltage cable status. Generation of faults and characterization of insulating materials and damaged cables. Development of performance patterns which correspond to a degradation level of cables. Definition of the characterization parameters for cables to be monitored online.
  • Development of new sensors for partial discharges measurement suitable for the installation in transformation centers for underground cables supervision applications. Tests carried out to analyze the influence of partial discharge measurements on communications.
  • Design of a metering system compatible with the architecture of current Smart Grids. Study on the interoperability between partial discharges measurements and medium voltage PLC communication. Development of the hardware prototype of the supervision system for partial discharges measurement in transformation centers. Development of the algorithm for local data processing.

This project is led by IBERDROLA and the participating entities are ITE, INGETEAM, ARTECHE, ZIV and the UNIVERSIDAD DE SALAMANCA. The project has been co-funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness within the call Retos-Colaboración 2014.