Anti-robbery cable terminates power crime
Stealing the invisible
After receiving InnovAction’s Excellence Award last year, Nexans’ concentric anti-robbery cable is continuing to cut power theft in Brazil with a new multi-phase aluminum version.
“Jaw” clamps or nails are often used to steal electricity. Concentric cables foil thieves by creating a short circuit when pierced. After a 1-phase design installed on 3,000 km of distribution lines, new 2 and 3 phase versions have raised capacity while using cheaper aluminum cores and “cool” Alu connectors.
Utilities in developing countries have suffered 25-30% energy loss on their networks and dangerous overloading. Widely used in Brazil, Nexans anti-robbery cables are now installed in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and even Africa and Asia.
Ring of power
Familiarity with customer needs was the key to our solution. That is why our engineering department (process, product and applications) worked closely with power utilities. Our answer was concentric aluminum, substituting a copper, single-phase conductor which eventually accommodated 3-phases within an aluminum ring. Then, we developed a bi-concentric and tri-concentric design which also replaced expensive copper by aluminum to achieve savings and improve efficiency. This demanded new aluminum joints and terminals to reduce “heat points” on low-voltage overhead lines.
Meanwhile, we got involved in a Slum Electrification project with Eletropaulo, USAID and the International Copper Association. 120 km of cable of five different sizes (19 tons) is now connecting 3,800 houses and 400 commercial shops in Sao Paulo, while people are being educated about the safety and advantages of legal electricity.