Determining Remaining Usable Life of Aerial Bundled Cables (ABCs)

  • Fahd Bin Tariq
  • Sikander Azam
  • Waleed Zaman Khan
  • Fatima Ali Kazmi


Aerial Bundled Cables (or ABCs) are overhead power lines using several insulated phase conductors bundled tightly together, usually with a bare neutral conductor contrasting with commonly used uninsulated cables. These cables provide a significant upgrade over the presently used copper cables in terms of being light weight, less prone to electricity theft and insulation.

The primary aim of our project is to understand and analyze the working of Aerial Bundled Cables in order to predict the ‘Usable Life’ of said cables. For this we employ various NDT techniques such as Thermal Imaging and Ultrasound Testing to acquire data about the behavior of ABCs. Furthermore we will also be analyzing the ambient conditions surrounding these cables in order to better understand the surroundings of the cables in their on-load conditions. This data acquisition coupled with various algorithms will allow us to successfully obtain the degradation curve of the cables, which we can then use to implement timely maintenance and repair in order to get the maximum usage from the ABCs.

We hope that our research into this field will yield significant results which will enable the widespread use of ABCs throughout the country in order to better equip the power transmission systems. Furthermore we will be partnering with K-Electric for the duration of this project with the hope that their vast experience will enable us to go above and beyond our capabilities to achieve our goals.