As consumers, we don’t tend to pay much attention to our power lines—especially our buried power lines. Yet we should, because over 3 billion feet of the world’s underground power cables were installed before 1985. Which means that they’re way out of date and are in danger of failing, mostly due to water damage.
Thankfully, Glen Bertini has been preparing for this eventuality. Bertini is the founder of Novinium, a Federal Way-based firm that offers a variety of so-called “cable-rejuvenation fluids” —compounds that, when injected into aging subterranean power lines, reseal damaged cable insulation and prevent further water damage, without having to entirely dig up the cable.
To date, Bertini’s products have rejuvenated over 100 million feet of cables on four continents. The newest generation of cable rejuvenation technology, which was released in 2006, will extend cable life by 40 years, more than double that of Novinium’s first-generation product. In all, Bertini’s inventions have saved power utilities over $1 billion during the past 15 years. And the savings don’t end with dollars: cable rejuvenation has saved an estimated 30 million kilograms of aluminum, 7 million kilograms of copper and 11 million kilograms of polyethylene, all of which would have been consumed in the manufacture of new replacement cables.