Underground Distribution Cable Systems: Managing the Life Cycle of Cable Assets
April 24-25, 2018
Raleigh, NC

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With a wave of solid dielectric underground distribution cable (URD) systems reaching their assumed 30-40 year end of life, utility asset managers are facing significant challenges balancing reliable power delivery with budget priorities. Using age as the determining factor for when to replace URD systems is not financially viable and a run to failure strategy is not publicly acceptable. 

To provide the expected level of reliability within an acceptable budget, asset managers must find a more effective way of making repair and replacement decisions and, in general, develop a sustainable, life cycle approach. This course will provide a comprehensive look at emerging trends in the design and maintenance of URD systems. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the science and practical steps to at least double the assumed life expectancy of their underground (UG) cable systems.

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine previous cable asset life cycle approaches and discuss the new approaches being used
  • Review best practices for cable asset protection systems
  • Evaluate cable installation best practices
  • Identify cable failure causes and misconceptions
  • Discuss cable system best practices for managing outages and repairs
  • Evaluate fault locating techniques and other operational risk factors
  • Formulate asset retirement plans
  • Review UG cable system operating best practices
  • Compare cable system rehabilitation to alternative asset management strategies
  • Identify the recommended steps to implement an effective cable rehabilitation program
  • Discuss strategies to overcome rehabilitation program management challenges
  • Identify cable condition assessment technical procedures



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.1 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day, be in attendance for the entirety of the course

Instructional Methods

Case Studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this course.


Tuesday April 24, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. :: Course Timing

How Long Can Cable Systems Last?

Hint: Way longer than 40 years. True that some cable systems will fail within 40 years, but why? Industry data shows that cables loose most of their dielectric strength in the first ten years of operation but then it flat lines.

  • What can we do to maintain reliability with these cable systems?
  • What are the root causes of failure and how can they be avoided?

Cable Accessory Technology

  • What is the latest in accessory innovations? 
  • What are the most critical parts of an accessory and how do quality accessories compensate the challenges?
  • How are accessories quality control (QC) tested in the factory? 
  • How do factory and field partial discharge (PD) tests compare?

Specifying Quality Cable Systems

  • What is the latest in cable technology? 
  • How likely is a factory defect in cable or accessories?
  • What can we do to strengthen specifications and avoid future problems?
  • What can we learn from installation errors?

CASE STUDY: Quality Control – Duke Energy Case Study

Utilities are using field assessment technology to provide feedback to identify QC issues.

  • What are they learning?
  • How do they use the condition information to improve product specification, installation instructions, and training? 
  • When a systemic issue is identified, how do you get the message to the field?

Contractor Quality Management and Training Program

  • How to implement effective installation training and certification for installers
  • How to confirm the reliability of critical assets through standardized assessments
  • How to ensure your installation teams, direct and contractor stay current and perform reliable work

How to Develop a Cable Assessment Management Program

  • Collecting performance data and dealing with the gaps
  • Selecting a target population
  • Developing an initial business case and comparing options
  • Review case studies


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Cable Life Extension Programs

For over two decades, utilities all over North America have been using assessment technology to develop precise condition information about their aging cable systems. Currently, utilities are assessing tens of thousands of cable systems per year and utilizing the precise information to optimize the life of the cable life cycle.  This session will take a deep dive into utility experience with targeting, assessing, and rehabilitating their URD system on a large scale.  Learn about performance experience, challenges and best practices to ensure a successful program.

Identifying and Minimizing the Impact of Operational Risk Factors

  • Learn some of the most common operational risk factors
  • Developing a plan to identify operational risk factors, and implement corrective actions
  • Review case studies

Utility Panel Session with Q&A


Michael Wallace, Manager Engineering & Technical Customer Relations, Duke Energy Corporation

Michael Wallace is the Manager of Engineering and Customer Planning for Duke Energy covering the Goldsboro area of the East Zone, which includes, Cape Fear, Clinton, Goldsboro, Kinston and the New Bern areas.  In this role, Michael works with customers, developers and municipalities collecting information to design work orders. He is also responsible for reliability, including pole replacement and fusing changes. Previously, Michael has held several positions with Duke Energy, such as Project Manager, Senior Engineer and Senior Component Engineer, where he was responsible for, maintenance and replacement programs for all underground components and underground cable for the legacy Progress service area. He is the Vice Chair on the Medium Voltage Cable Reliability for the IEEE/PES/ICC committee, IEEE, Power Engineering Society, Engineering Management Society and the Chairman of IMCORP Users Group. He is also involved in numerous youth and community volunteer projects. He  holds an MBA from Francis Marion University, a BS in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University and has his PMP certification.

Ashley Eanes, Lead Engineer, Duke Energy

Ashley Eanes is a Lead Engineer for Duke Energy in Burlington, NC and serves as a subject matter expert for underground cable and cable accessories. Eanes represents Duke at NESC committee meetings, is a current member of the NESC underground committee for IEEE and is a current member of the Cable Engineering Committee. He is also a member of the distribution standards group, which sets policy and specifies equipment and material for the entire Duke Energy distribution footprint.

Eanes holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Elon University.

Brian Ayres, Manager of R&D for Cold Applied Cable Accessories, TE Connectivity

Brian Ayres is the Manager of R&D for Cold Applied Cable Accessories in North and South America for TE Connectivity. Previously, he has held many roles within TE such as Sr. Product Development Engineer and Product Manager for Heat Shrink. Prior to TE Ayres worked for the NYISO managing the Bulk Power Grid for New York, and Hipotronics testing and calibrating PD detectors and test sets. He sits on a number of IEEE committees, primarily dealing with cable accessory qualification and testing and in his spare time, volunteers with the Cortechs FIRST Robotics team, based in Raleigh North Carolina. Ayres holds a BSEE from Clarkson University.

Ben Lanz, Director, Applications Engineering, IMCORP

Benjamin Lanz received a BSEE degree from the University of Connecticut in 1999. Since 1997, his technical career focus has been power cable system reliability and his experience includes field testing, test technology R&D, reliability consulting, and the development of industry guides and standards. He currently holds the position of Applications Engineering Director at IMCORP. He is a voting member of the IEEE Power & Energy and Standards Societies and he has served as Chairman of the Insulated Conductors Committee (ICC) workgroups responsible for cable testing and cable reliability. He has published over a dozen papers on power system reliability, asset management, and diagnostics and regularly presents on the topics.

Darren Byrne, Business Development Manager, IMCORP

Darren Byrne is the Business Development Manager for IMCORP in Manchester, CT. His focus is developing market strategy, penetration and positioning of IMCORP’s services within renewable energy and utility markets. Darren holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Haven and a Higher National Certificate in Electronic Engineering from Matthew Boulton College.  Mr. Byrne has spent most of his career in various business development, marketing and engineering positions at Black & Decker and AT&T corporations. Darren holds 4 patents.

Matthew Spalding, President, IMCORP

Matthew Spalding joined El Paso Electric in 1987. He started his career working as a Distribution Standards Engineer. In 1990 Matthew moved to Raychem Corporation where his primary responsibilities included: design, development, failure analysis and testing of cable accessories and insulation systems. He has served as an expert witness related to cable accessories and electrical device analysis. Matthew has developed power system products such as: medium & high voltage insulators, substation animal mitigation devices, power connectors, HV cable designs and cable accessories. He holds 9 patents related to these devices and has 3 additional new filings in process.

In 2012, Matthew accepted the High Voltage Cable Systems Business Development Manager at the ABB Huntersville site. He successfully negotiated the first HV project for the Huntersville plant and developed two new conductor designs improving the electrical performance and economics of EHV cables (6000 kcmil aluminum & hybrid copper/aluminum conductors). Notable additional projects included: the highest voltage (345kV), renewables (138kV & 300kV), turnkey and industrial facilities.

Matthew joined IMCORP in 2015 as Vice President of Business Development  before receiving a promotion to Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the beginning of 2017. Matthew was promoted to President of IMCORP January 1, 2018.


Hyatt Place Durham Southpoint
7840 NC Highway 751
Durham, NC 27713

To reserve your room, please call 1-919-688-7800
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate:

The room rate is $131.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of April 23 – 24, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to April 13, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


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