Transmission & Distribution Channels

Category Archives: Wire and Cable

Wire and Cable

Utility Proactively Tests Underground Cable


Distribution companies are continually looking for ways to improve system reliability, all while conserving capital investments and operational costs. With an aging infrastructure, one of the main issues that utilities face is a way to assess the actual condition of their capital assets.

With respect to underground cables, utilities can achieve enhanced reliability by developing a smarter asset management strategy. Historically, utilities used a reactive-based maintenance approach: when a cable fails, have it replaced. However, with increasing proportions of cables approaching end of life, this method is not sustainable because it consumes a significant portion of the operation and maintenance budget.  Simply put, for most utilities, not enough capital dollars are available to replace all of the aged cables. For this reason, utilities must employ an effective strategy to adopt condition-based maintenance to balance this issue.

Many utilities have switched to condition-based maintenance programs to more efficiently spend their capital budgets. Generally, utilities diagnose the health of a cable based on its age, and they expect cables to last 25 to 30 years. The age of a cable, however, is not always an indication of the cable’s quality.
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Wire and Cable

Ethernet Cable Selection for Utilities


Electric utilities are constantly searching for the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective methods to deliver electricity to customers. A vision for accomplishing this is the migration of the electrical grid from a reliable, but inflexible system to the Smart Grid, which promises adaptability and efficiency. Read more

Wire and Cable

Copper Theft: A Call to Action


How utilities can stand firm to save money and save lives

BY PHILL FELTHAM, Executive Editor
Electricity Today Magazine

Copper theft has become a growing problem for utilities in Canada and the United States. This precious metal has increased in value in recent years, so thieves are stripping copper from substations and power lines to make money. Unfortunately, copper theft does more than cost millions of dollars in damage for utilities; it costs lives as well. The serious impact of copper theft has caused governments, utilities, and power sector organizations to take notice. In fact, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), for example, recently released a white paper entitled, “Copper Theft from Canada’s Electricity Infrastructure”. The paper details just how damaging copper theft has been to Canada’s power industry and its customers. Here are a few examples from that paper. Read more

Wire and Cable

The Copper Theft Outbreak


How utilities can stand firm to protect the power grid


Copper is a ductile and malleable metallic element that conducts heat and electricity. It is widely used for electrical wiring, water piping, and corrosion-resistant parts. In addition, copper is the preferred electrical conductor in almost all categories of electrical wiring and is used extensively in power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. An added advantage is that copper also allows utility workers to perform repairs on electricity facilities without fully powering them down, ensuring that Canadians and businesses have uninterrupted electricity service. As such, copper components can be found on the vast majority of transmission and distribution towers, poles and substations located in every part of the country, from the smallest town to Canada’s largest cities. Read more

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