/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgCPE Jackets Gaining in Power Generation - July/August 2002CPEJktsGaininginPwrGenerationJulyandAug2002.htmIndustry business trends and advances in compounding technology are driving cable-jacket evolution in power generation applications.
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CPE Jackets Gaining in Power Generation - July/August 2002

Industry business trends and advances in compounding technology are driving cable-jacket evolution in power generation applications.

“We’re seeing CPE (chlorinated polyethylene) jackets displacing CSPE (Hypalon®) in power plant applications,” says Doug Ramsey, Southwire’s national sales manager for power generation. “CPE and CSPE are both traditional in this market, but CSPE now seems to be giving way to new CPE formulations. It’s economics meshing with new CPE compounding technology.”

The economic driver is the shift in power generation projects toward independent power producers (IPPs) and merchant plants. New power plants are going up on accelerated schedules, and they’re likely to be sold within a few years of construction. That makes cost-efficiency very important.

New CPEs can deliver thermoset performance

At the same time, new CPE compounding technology is producing CPEs with the thermoset properties that originally led buyers to select CSPE. Today’s CPEs burn to an ash and pass all the IEEE 1202 flame tests.

The CPE jacket option offers this flame performance at a lower cost that CSPE, and also delivers other benefits over CSPE. Compared to CSPE, CPE has a lower coefficient friction, so it’s easier to pull than CSPE. That means lower installation costs for the plant builders. CPE also has better moisture resistance, better low temperature ratings and better oil resistance.

“There are environmental issues, too,” says Ramsey. “Tetrachloride found in CSPE is on the EPA materials list and the environmental and disposal considerations are helping move buyers to CPE.”

Southwire CPE offerings use XLPE

Southwire produces 600V power and control cables, and 5kV - 15kV MV cable with CPE jackets. Southwire’s line of CPE-jacketed power and control cables use XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) insulation and carry Type TC ratings for tray cable applications.

“Most power generation cable specifications accept XLPE insulations with CPE jackets,” Ramsey says. “The XLPE construction costs substantially less than Flame Retardant EPR (ethylene propylene rubber) with a CPE Jacket, which is also used. The difference in cost can make a significant difference in power cable budgets.

Ramsey adds, “These cables let power generation buyers retain familiar specifications and still get Southwire quality and service levels.”

Where halogens are an issue, consider SOLONON “For maximum equipment protection in a fire, Southwire’s low smoke, non halogen SOLONON jacket and insulation compounds offer fire performance features that are better than either CSPE or CPE,” Ramsey says.

Halogen-based acidic smoke can corrode electrical contacts. For this reason, many cable specifiers now look at halogen content. “If you're really concerned about halogens, SOLONON is the way to go,” says Ramsey.

Get it all from Southwire “CPE jackets are part of Southwire’s broad product line for the power generation market,” says Ramsey. “Southwire can provide everything from 600 V control cables to solid-dielectric 230kV extra-high voltage products. The real key to CPE use is that it hits a sweet spot in the cost efficiency range. It delivers thermoset properties for a more attractive price.”