A power cable includes an assembly of one or more electrical conductors which are held together with an overall covering by insulator so as to insulate it from the outer atmosphere. Power cable comes in a variety of sizes and material according to their type of application. The main purpose of power cable is to transmit electrical power with minimum losses. The loss of electrical power is more near joining parts of cable. The electrical loss produces heat which can decrease the insulation in the cable and result in more loss of electrical power. To curb this loss, power cable accessories are used. Thus, power cable accessories are special devices aimed to connect cables mechanically and electrically with other device or cable. It consists of a non-conducting and high flexibility material which is covered around the joining parts of cable. This provides a high electrical insulation resistance and heat insulation at cable end. Power cables are rated according to their transmitting voltage that usually ranges from 220V to 500kV. Power cables with low rating of 220V do not require any special cable accessories at joining part. However, power cables with medium voltage (415V to 66kV), high voltage (66kV to 230kV) and extra high voltage (230kV and Above) rating require accessories to join and isolate the cable from the outer atmosphere.
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Power cable accessories can be categorized based on their application as cable termination and cable joining accessories. Power cable termination accessories are used to connect power cables to different equipment terminals such as switchgear, transformer and electrical poles. In electrical industry, companies need to maintain continuity of power cable especially for long distance. Therefore, power cable joints are used to connect a power cable with another cable. Power cable termination and joining accessories can be classified depending upon its usage such as taped type, pre-moulded type, cold shrinkable type and heat shrinkable type. In heat shrinkable type, the accessory is fitted on power cable and a heat gun is used to shrink the accessory to join with the cable. In cold shrinkable type, the accessory shrinks upon removal of the supporting core and the cable end is quickly inserted in the accessory. The selection of appropriate type of power cable accessory depends upon the consumer site conditions, voltage applications, operating parameters and cable types. Earlier power cable accessories were made of porcelain material. Although, today more preference is given to composite materials such as glass reinforced epoxy and silicon sheds.
The growth of power cable accessories market depends on growth of power cable market. The use of power cable is more common in urban areas where there is resistance to overhead transmission lines. Therefore, the market for power cable accessories is more in developed economies such as North America and European region as their economy is more urbanized. Developing economies such as China and India are expected to experience a huge increase in demand for power cable accessories in coming years due to rapid industrialization and urbanization.
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Power cable accessories find its application mainly in areas of construction, power generation plants, electrical transmission companies, railway and shipping industries. Some of the key manufacturers for power cable accessories are Prysmian Group, Pfisterer Holding AG, Nexans S. A., NKT Group, ABB Ltd., Brugg Kabel AG, Sudkabel GmbH and Taihan electric wire co. Ltd.