Listening to the network
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Listening to the network

Discover how the Sibelga technicians locate faults in the electric cables - by ear.

And no, we’re not even pulling your leg! As incredible as it may seem, a fault on an underground electric cable can be located by sound. Sceptical? Let us explain!

Fault histories

Just like any other equipment, an electric cable can encounter operating problems due to a variety of causes:  manufacturing defect, natural wear and tear, variations in temperature or damage caused during works.

A Sibelga work team is on the ground every day to detect and repair these faults.

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When identifying a supply problem in the network, the duty teams isolate the faulty section and re-route the electricity to restore the supply to consumers. 

This then brings the troubleshooters onto the stage, Sibelga technicians trained specially to detect the precise location where the cable is damaged. They have three specially-equipped vans to do this. 

Seeing and hearing

They start by pre-localising the fault using, for example, an echometer. This instrument sends a signal that is reflected by the fault and appears as a graphic on the screen. 

A technician wearing headphones then listens carefully to the sound shock transmitted by an electric arc that is triggered in the cable. The technician is trained specifically to determine where to start digging to repair the cable to within a few centimetres. Impressive isn’t it?

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