/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgRestoring Plant Power Takes Distribution DiversityRestoringPlantPwrTakesDistributionDiversity.htmWhen natural disasters strike industrial sites, one of the key steps in restarting operations is restoring power distribution from the utility substation to the plant. Southwire can supply all the cable components for this critical network.
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Restoring Plant Power Takes Distribution Diversity

When natural disasters strike industrial sites, one of the key steps in restarting operations is restoring power distribution from the utility substation to the plant. Southwire can supply all the cable components for this critical network.

“Storm damage can range from flooded cables and saturated terminations to wind-damaged structures, and any of these may require replacement of entire cable runs,” says Sy Shaheen, Southwire Midwest regional sales engineering manager.

Distribution cables that have been exposed to flooding should be examined by a qualified person to determine if they can be re-energized. If the ends of a MV cable have been exposed to water, the cable may need to be purged with a dry inert gas to remove moisture. Contact your Southwire representative for details of this process.

Good practice calls for an insulation resistance test before water-exposed cable is energized. Even then, some flooding-related cable problems may show up months after the event. Overheating as a result of conductor corrosion from contaminated floodwater is just one example.

Plant power comes in several voltage ranges

From the substation into the plant, distribution voltages might be at 15kV, 35kV, or even 69kV. (See sketch below.) Applications using multiple single-conductor cables typically use underground conduit and manhole installations. Multiconductor applications might use 15kV three-conductor cables with aluminum interlocked armor, (Type MC) installed in cable trays. In-plant distribution circuits might use 5kV single-conductor or multiconductor armored constructions.

In petrochemical applications, multiconductor MV cables with continuous welded corrugated armor – such as Southwire’s ARMOR-X – are commonly used. ARMOR-X is listed for hazardous locations including Class I, Division 1 applications where hazardous vapors may be present during normal operations. ARMOR-X is available for MV applications from 5kV to 15kV, with conductors up to 750kcmil.

Southwire also supplies high-voltage underground distribution cables, accessories and turnkey installations from 69kV to 230kV. “Where engineers planning storm-damage repairs want to upgrade their distribution system, Southwire can supply all the cable products needed, and assist with application expertise,” says Shaheen.