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Monthly Archives: October 2013

  • Nexans WINDLINK Offshore Junction Cabinets for Offshore Wind Farms

    Nexans WINDLINK enclosures for offshore wind farms aim to reduce installation time on site as well as offering considerable cost savings. The available range of offshore junction cabinets (OJC) and frames for use in turbine towers, along with the ability to manufacture and supply pre-terminated leads offer considerable cost saving compared to traditional cable installation in the towers.

    For offshore wind farms, the Nexans offshore junction cabinet/chamber can be used as a connection point for tower cables to subsea array cables. This can be used as a demarcation point between tower / transition piece and/or array cable responsible parties.

    nexans offshore junction cabinets enclosures for offshore wind farms nexans OJC enclosures

    Fully commissioned and tested

    Rated up to 42kV, the offshore cabinet is manufactured from marine grade 316L stainless steel, with a robust design with IP66 protection (BS EN 60529:1992), specifically suitable for use in offshore weather conditions.

    The Nexans junction cabinet has been short circuit tested to DIN VDE 0278-626-1 (HD 629.1 S2:2006 + A1:2008). 2009:07. EN IEC 61442, IEC62271-201: High Voltage switchgear and control gear.

    Accessories and reliability

    These Nexans offshore enclosures can be equipped with different connector combinations and surge arresters to protect tower equipment from HV surges. These, together with pre-terminated and tested leads to connect the junction cabinet with turbine tower equipment, we believe reduces the installation time and increases the quality of the installation.

    All Medium Voltage connection cabinets are reliable, safe and can be tailored to meet customer specific requirements. It can provide a convenient test point and can help with earlier generation of power.

    Benefits of the Nexans OJC

    - Chamber design is specifically suitable to be installed in the severe conditions of the transition piece of the tower.
    - Easy to install due to high accessibility.
    - Ideal test and demarcation point.
    - Time saving.
    - Reducing overal cost of installation.
    - Possibility to use pre-terminated and tested jumpers to tower equipment.

    For more information on Nexans products and off-shore wind farm accessories please contact our Sales Team.

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  • Cable Protection For Hazardous Areas Using Flexible Conduit

    Flexible conduit systems can provide a proven safe and cost effective protection solution for cabling installed in explosive atmospheres. Better safe than sorry is a sensible approach, but make sure that you are not fooled into unnecessarily expensive options warns Tim Creedon, Sales and Marketing Director for Flexicon.

    Explosive areas exist where a flammable mixture of gas and air or dust and air exist in large enough quantities and for long enough. If an ignition source exists then there is a real danger of an explosion.

    Naturally we all think of the oil and gas industry in such situations, but there are a surprising number of other industries where explosive atmospheres could exist such as in building and construction, transport, marine and defence, food processing, water treatment and power generation to name but a few.

    Wherever possible it is important to minimise the risk of explosive mixtures forming and/or prevent the risk of ignition. Where this is impossible or impractical then you need to consider providing protection.

    Any electrical installation in such an environment is a potential source of ignition. The degree of protection any equipment requires depends to a large extent on the risk of an explosion occurring in a given area.

    To understand the level or protection required, you must understand the nature of flammable mixtures and ignition sources and also how different zones are classified depending on the level of risk.

    Gases are classified into 3 groups with group A being the least explosive and group C being the most. Equipment classification is from T1 to T6 according to the maximum allowed temperature resulting from the ignition temperatures of the gas/air mix. It is important to remember that certain fine dusts dispersed in the air can also be explosive.

    Hazardous Zones

    Hazards Risk Zone
    Gases, Vapours and Mist Continuous or long term frequent 0
    Gases, Vapours and Mist Occasional 1
    Gases, Vapours and Mist Occasional, then only briefly 2
    Dusts Continuous or long term or frequent 20
    Dusts Occasional 21
    Dusts Occasional, then only briefly 22

    The above table shows the zone designations, which are divided first into the hazardous areas for gases, vapours and mists and secondly into the hazardous areas for dusts. It also shows their risk categories, i.e according to the probability of a risk being present.

    Assuming that the electrical equipment is correctly specified, it is important not to overlook any cabling that connects into it.

    Until recently those specifying cables for such areas had to select from the products offered by various cable manufacturers. In addition each individual cable needed a flameproof gland, which added to both the cost and the time needed for installation.

    Such cables could also be difficult to terminate and, if a number need terminating in an enclosure, could necessitate the specification of a larger enclosure.

    The development of flameproof ATEX and IECEx approved barrier glands for flexible conduit means that you can use liquid tight conduit systems in hazardous areas without compromising safety.

    There are a number of ways of classifying protection techniques used to address hazardous zones. Most glands are classified as Ex d or Ex e.

    An Ex d classified gland forms a flameproof or explosion proof barrier – they are strong enough to contain any explosion or fire that may occur. An Ex e classification is defined as ‘increased safety’.

    If something is classified as Ex d then it can also be used for Ex e applications in Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas for gases and Zones 21 and 22 where explosive dust may be present. In most cases such glands do not add to the temperature of the enclosure into which it terminates, so it can be used with all temperature classes.

    By using Ex d glands with liquid tight conduit, you can group several cables together into one system. The conduit provides protection for all of these cables and, if correctly selected, offers all the necessary mechanical protection for a given application.

    So, for example, by using steel cored armoured metallic conduit you might be able to use standard cables instead of more expensive SWA specialist cables. In this example one braided conduit effectively takes the place of several more expensive braided cables. It also means that only one flameproof barrier gland is needed, rather than several.

    This single termination, instead of the multiple terminations that would be needed with individual cables, limits the risk of the enclosure integrity being compromised since there is only one point of entry. Using a flexible conduit system also provides additional mechanical protection for the cables.

    It is worth pointing out at this stage that it is the flameproof gland that is rated at Ex d so that if there were an explosion within the electrical equipment enclosure it would be contained. Some conduit manufacturers have in the past muddied the waters and inferred that the conduit is also classified as Ex d and been able to charge a premium.

    The role of flexible conduit in any application is to protect cabling so you should take care in its specification. This is even more important in hazardous areas since you want the installation to remain safe throughout its lifetime, not just once the system is installed.

    Fortunately when you specify the correct barrier gland, you can effectively use a liquid tight flexible conduit for the vast majority of applications.

    There are a number of different types of liquid tight flexible conduit that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

    With this in mind the specifier needs to conduct a thorough risk assessment of all of the hazards potentially faced by the conduit in addition to the explosive atmosphere.

    From this risk assessment they can then accurately specify the most appropriate liquid tight conduit for the project. As an illustration Flexicon has eight different grades of liquid tight conduit which, between them, would suit most applications.

    Other environmental factors

    If conduit is left in an exposed situation, it could be crushed or there is a chance that something could be dropped onto it. For such applications you should specify conduit with an adequate compression and/or impact strength.

    Other factors that you may need to consider when selecting the correct conduit might include: extremes of temperature, EMC screening requirements, moving equipment, abrasion, resistance to chemicals or corrosion and UV resistance for external installations.

    Note this list is not comprehensive, hence the need for a full risk assessment. If you have any concerns then most manufacturers should be able to advise.

    A great deal of attention has been paid to hazardous area equipment. Do not forget cable protection.

    For more information on our range of Flexicon flexible conduits, please contact our Sales Team.

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  • Cable Theft Prevention

    At its peak, cable theft was estimated to cost the UK economy £770 million per year. Even though a £5 million funded crackdown from British Transport Police (BTP) has helped dramatically reduce the level of cable theft, in the first half of this financial year, (up to 14th September 2013) there has been 95 incidents of cable theft within the UK's rail network alone. Causing 30,928 minutes of delays and an estimated compensation cost of over £1 million.

    These figures do not include the cost of staff time to repair and replace the stolen cable, replacement of the cable itself and the cost of extra security measures implemented to try to prevent future thefts. The total cost of these measures in the 12 months up to April 2013 reaching £12.7 million.

    Causes Behind Cable Theft

    It's easy to see why cable theft has seen an increase in the past decade up to its peak, with the price of copper soaring since 2002. From £1000 to around £6000 per metric tonne at its peak.

    Price of Copper 2000-2013

    With copper becoming so valuable and with its abundance within rail networks, copper theft via cables spiralled out of control.

    Combatting Cable Theft

    There are a number of methods than can be implemented to help fight cable theft.

    Existing Technologies

    Tamper Proof Cable CleatsEllis Patents Tamper Proof Cable Cleats – Ellis's tamperproof cleats are designed to make removing copper cables almost impossible. Its box design makes the task of detaching the cleat from the cable as difficult and as time consuming as possible.

    This added to the requirement (for short-circuit protection) to fit cleats at regular intervals along the length of the cable means thieves will simply not have the time to remove the cleats, and therefore the cable, in time before the authorities arrive.

    RedWeb Technologies – Working alongside the BTP, RedWeb Security have designed an indelible fluid that's applied to the surface of cables. The spray will transfer to skin, clothing or hair of the thief and remain detectable for over 6 months.

    Each batch of spray contains a unique forensic code which is traceable to the location of where it was applied to the metal. By glowing bright red under a UV light, signalling the suspected criminal had an involvement with the theft by being contaminated with the dye.

    SmartWater – Similar to RedWeb's forensic fluid, Smartwater asigns trackside cables with a uniquely coded chemical signature that is identifiable by police. The liquid is almost impossible to remove and can even withstand burning. Once detected the Smartwater provides the police with irrefutable proof of involvement with a particular cable theft. It has been proven to cut cable theft on key national rail routes.

    Combatting Cable Theives

    Anti-Vandal Guards - These galvanised steel anti-vandal guards provide protection from vandalism and theft. Designed primarily for 25x3mm earthing tape, the guard is also suitable to secure and protect smaller cable systems. Easy to fix and with long lasting corrosion resistance, it is a further deterant to copper cable theives. Please contact us for price and availability.

    New Legislation

    The new Scrap Metal Dealers Act has now come into force, making it harder for metal thieves to sell on stolen metal. Replacing the 1964 act, it requires all dealers to have a licence, which it makes tougher to get, as well as requiring sellers to provide ID at the point of sale and have it recorded by the dealer.

    It is hoped the new traceability deters criminals from carrying out copper theft.

    These preventative technologies and innovations, along with tougher legislation and police crackdowns have helped reduce cable theft from its peak. Time will only tell whether or not this new scrap metal law will have the desired effect, however we believe the combination of these tactics, although incurring additional costs, will be beneficially in the long run compared to downtime, replacement cable and labour costs.

    Video: Cable Thefts Reach Crisis Point

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  • ETS Have Received The FORS Bronze Award

    ETS Cable Components have received the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) bronze award. The FORS accreditation scheme aims to improve fleet activity in London and throughout the UK and beyond.

    After carrying out an on-site audit we have now been officially recognised for the safety, greenness and efficiency of our delivery fleet.

    This latest accreditation is a testimony to our ongoing quality assurance programme, as we strive to provide the highest levels of service to our customers and suppliers alike.

    You can download a copy of our Quality Policy here.

  • Cable Crimping – Best Practices - Continued

    In our last blog post, we looked at the requirements of the BS7609 code of practice which covers the installation and inspection of uninsulated compression connectors for power cables with aluminium or copper conductors.

    However, there is more to simply following these engineering guidelines to achieve the 'perfect crimp'.

    There is more to crimping a cable than simply affixing a lug to the conductor. The BS7609 standard highlights the code of practice for installation and inspection of uninsulated compression and mechanical connectors for power cables with copper or aluminium conductors.

    Conductor Type

    Although a lot of focus is given to the crimp lug, die sets, tooling and crimp operation, thought should also be given to the cable and conductor. Even if the best quality lugs and crimping procedures are used, the termination can still fail due to the conductor. Make sure the conductor used is both third-party approved and appropriately marked.

    ETS support the work of the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) Code of Practice in fighting the use of faulty, counterfeit and non-approved cables.

    Cable Lug Current Carrying Capacity

    The lug should have equal or greater current carrying capacity to that of the conductor. Using lug that have been manufactured with high purity, electrolytic copper allows the maximum level of conductivity with minimal resistance.

    Lug manufactured from thin wall copper tube have the potential to cause elevated temperatures when used on conductors carrying high current levels.

    Crimp Tooling

    Care should be taken to ensure crimp tooling is kept in good working order. The crimp tool should regularly calibrated and serviced when required. All tooling and equipment should be checked for damage or wear before use. To help prevent damage to die sets and tools, they should be stored in the recommended way. E.g. Protective storage case.

    Our maintenance guidelines to keep your hydraulic crimping tool in good condition highlight how to keep your tool in top condition and maximise it's working life.

    Die Selection and Number of Compressions

    We supply full die set selection charts with all our standard, Cembre and Prysmian lugs. Referring to these guides allows you to match the correct tool, die set and lug, providing the best combination to achieve the best possible compression.

    Always follow manufacturers guidelines concerning number of compressions per lug and in which sequence, to assure the performance of the termination after crimping and avoid distorting the lug.

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