Low Voltage Aerial Bundled Cables, which have an insulating layer of XLPE, are an innovative concept for the distribution of electricity to households, street lights or other low voltage applications. These electrical distribution systems are practical not only in congested cities where the insulation provides safety and manoeuvrability but are also useful in rural areas where live line maintenance is much easier than using bare conductors. You can read more about this in our article on the “Advantages of Low Voltage Aerial Bundled Cables for Overhead Power Distribution”.
According to research published in 2017, “XLPE cables are expected to last or service well beyond the 40-year design life under normal circumstances”. However, this long lifespan can be severely reduced if improper clamps and connectors are used along with the AB Cable. According to the research, the most influential factor in ageing ABC cables is the use of non-standard cable connectors, accessories and clamps because they allow water ingress which slowly damages the cable.
The appropriate components to be used along with the AB Cable system are listed below.
1. Aerial Bundled Cable (ABC)
a. Insulated Messenger System: An insulated messenger system (also called the French system) consists of 3 black, weather-resistant XLPE or PE insulated phase conductors twisted along with an insulated messenger conductor made of a high strength Aluminum alloy which serves as a dual purpose earthing and/or neutral messenger wire.
b. Self-Supporting System (Two Core or Four Core System): The self-supporting cable system consists of 2 or 4 PE or XLPE black, weather-resistant insulated conductors. The mechanical strength of all the cables is equal such that, when strained, all the cables will equally bear the load of the system.
c. Uninsulated Messenger System: An uninsulated messenger system (also called the Finnish system) consists of 1-4 black, weather-resistant PE insulated phase conductors twisted around a messenger conductor made of a high strength Aluminum alloy.
a. Wooden Poles
b. Cement (RCC – Reinforced Cement Concrete, PCC – Plain Cement Concrete Poles)
c. Steel Tubular Pole (Stepped pole, Swaged pole).
d. Rail Pole.
3. Suspension System:
a. Suspension Clamps for LV AB Cables are used along with a bracket or other supporting hardware to suspend and grip, without damaging, the insulated or uninsulated messenger or the self-supporting system of a LV ABC system by means of an adjustable lock that accommodates a range of cable sizes.
4. Anchoring System:
a. Anchoring Clamps for LV AB Cables are used along with a bracket or other supporting hardware and are used to strain the insulated or uninsulated neutral messenger or the self-supported system to terminate into transformer leads or mains for industrial/residential supply. They are also used to provide angles to a LV ABC system without damaging the cable’s insulation.
5. Taking service lines or tap connections:
a. Service Clamps are used along with a bracket or other supporting hardware and is used to strain the insulated service conductor of an LV-ABC system without damaging the cable’s insulation. The main application of Service Clamps is to bring service connections to households or street lights.
b. Insulation Piercing Connectors are used on all AB cable systems (messenger wire as well as self-supporting system) to take tap connections. This tap can be used to continue the line, distribute the line, be used in street lighting or in-service connections to households.
6. Service line distribution
a. Distribution Boxes are used to take multiple connections from a single enclosure. These connections can be used for distribution to households.
7. Other Hardware
a. Midspan Joints are used for insulated ABC cables on stranded phase and neutral to join two cables.
b. Insulated BM Lugs are used for insulated ABC cables on stranded phase and neutral to terminate the cables.
c. Elastomeric or Heat Shrinkable End Caps are used to safely terminate the ends of the AB Cable. Elastomeric End Caps are usually supplied with insulation piercing connectors.
d. Fixing Nails are used to support Aerial bundled cable on façades.
e. Stainless Steel Straps are used along with the Fixing Nails to accommodate an additional bundle if required. Stainless Steel Cable ties are also used to fix brackets and distribution boxes onto the electric pole.
f. Tensioner is used to tension the steel straps which are mounted on the poles to hold the brackets or distribution boxes in place.
To learn more about AB Cable Accessories, please watch our videos on how to install the components.
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