Here’s What To Do After Finding Hot Connectors

As the grid continues to age, many utilities are increasing connector inspection frequency with a main goal of preventing outages and wire down incidents. One simple and relatively inexpensive line inspection method utilizes Infrared (IR) technology.

The above images were provided by a utility located in Pennsylvania.

Image #1 in the IR photo below shows the interface of the conductor at the entrance of the dead end body at a significantly high temperature.

Image #2 shows the same DE in the Visual Spectrum.

Image #3 shows the same DE cooled following ClampStar installation.

Image #4 shows the now corrected DE in the Visual Spectrum.

 

When helicopters are used to perform line inspections they should be equipped with appropriate ClampStar units so damaged and degraded connectors can be immediately corrected. This results in substantial cost savings compared to returning at a later date and immediately reduces the possibility of downed lines caused by failed connectors.

ClampStar….

  • Lightweight design installs in less than 10 minutes!
  • Permanent installation for deadends, inline splices, suspension clamps, OHSW and damaged conductor
  • Easily installs over existing connectors
  • No mechanical grips, Come-Alongs, jumper cables or cutters needed
  • Installs with hot sticks or barehand
  • Available for copper, composite core and all aluminum stranded conductors

ClampStar units are readily and quickly installed from any aerial platform (including helicopters, click here to see a video).

ClampStar shunts provide an excellent solution for PERMANENT mechanical and electrical upgrade to existing overhead connections. ClampStars are also used to increase the performance rating of existing splices and other connectors, clamps and fittings for the purpose of increasing line ampacity that may be presently limited by such devices.

Each unit is prefilled with proprietary CC² inhibitor to prevent galvanic corrosion and is designed with an integral fastening assembly that provides a high conductivity path and incorporates flat and Belleville washers to maintain compressive force regardless of thermal contraction and expansion.

NOTE: Safe-T-Link Tether assemblies are available for deadend and suspension clamp applications requiring additional mechanical support.

As the grid ages, many electric utilities are experiencing a large increase in downed lines due to overhead connectors reaching the end of their service life. Installing ClampStars on them before they fail is the best way to prevent outages and protect the public.

The smartest grid in the world looks pretty dumb when it is lying on the ground!

2 Comments

  1. Marcos |

    Sounds like a great product but I’m wondering what is the recommended usage of these ClampStars per span of wire. Example, 5 automatic splices in one span of wire. Is it permissible to apply 5 ClampStars in one span?

    Reply
    • Chris Costanzo |

      Great question! The short answer is “it depends”. For instance, if you are moving a line and replacing it but you have to do the work energized you may be concerned with the weight of the ClampStar units. However, for the purpose of moving the line, ClampStar is a perfect tool, which you could then remove after the line is replaced, and reuse them.

      Of course, factors such as; conductor length, sag, and splice location must all be considered. 3 ClampStars per span would generally be the max, but depending on location, perhaps only one or two if they are both in the middle of the span, but if they were all located close to the crossarms, could be as many as four. Presently, there is no hard rule or standard, every situation may be different.

      Reply

So, what do you think ?