ABC (Aerial Bundled Cables or Aerial Bundled Conductors) are several phase conductors insulated and tightly bundled together with bare neutral conductor for use in overhead power lines. It utilizes the same principles as used for bundled conductors, but are much closer together and each one, except the neutral line, is surrounded by a layer of insulation. This is in direct contrast to the traditional use of uninsulated conductors which are separated by air gaps. LV (Low Voltage) abc aluminum cable are already in use in many countries around the world. Its main advantages include:
– They are safer and more reliable;
– They are cheaper and more aesthetic;
– They are less labor intensive and require less maintenance;
– They require less pruning and tree clearing;
– They eliminate the risk of bush fires initiated by conductor clashing and fallen trees;
– Simultaneous disconnection of all conductors eliminates potentially dangerous fault conditions when overhead power lines are broken by fallen trees or high vehicles.
– They are less susceptible to vandalism and loss through theft.
It provides a higher level of safety in difficult terrain including forest areas, coastal areas, and hilly areas. In climates with a high level of moisture accelerated tree growth becomes a significant problem increasing the risk of bush fires. If aerial bundled conductors are touched by tree branches they will not arc over. There are many types of abc cable, but their application is the same.
ABC cables can be used in the following ways:
• As replacement for bare overhead power lines in rural areas;
• In areas where space is limited such as narrow streets and lanes;
• In forests and woods where there is an increased risk of damage from fallen branches and trees;
• As replacement for bare overhead power lines where prime importance is placed on reliability of supply;
• Where supply voltage with a high degree of stability is required;
• As reinforcement for existing overhead power systems without having to increase voltage;
• In difficult terrain like hilly areas where the cost of installing underground cabling or overhead power lines is very high.
Two types of systems are available namely a Self-Supporting System consisting of 4 cores of compacted aluminium hard drawn stranded conductors; and a Supporting Core System consisting of 3 phase cores. Triplex wire is also an important product of abc cable.