In late 2009 Integral energy approached Sicame and others to develop a range of 2 bolt connectors for the neutral connection at both the dwelling point of attachment and connection to the mains.
This concept of having 2 bolts on every neutral connection was being adopted throughout the system from the substation to the point of attachment on all neutral conductor throughout their network. This project would be an ongoing rectification and update of their system. Their theory was that they wanted an inbuilt redundancy on all neutral connections. This would maintain the reliability of the system.
Integral were very clear on the requirements needed to develop a product that would meet their needs. Their major concern was poor installation practices. But at the same time they were very happy with the current design philosophy and integrity of the existing HSC connector and wanted to retain those features of waterproofing and reliability to be taken into the new connector.
The issues that they required to be addressed were ease of installation for the installer, it had to be fully insulated, UV stabilized accept 25mm2 XLPE aluminium conductor on the mains and 25mm2 copper service cable. It should have adequate water sealing and reduce the effect of possible corrosion through water ingress down the conductor’s strands. The product tightening of the bolts should all be independent of each other and the installer should be easily be able to confirm that the conductor is fully inserted. Blind connections had to be overcome.
A clearly defined specification was raised that needed to be met. Sicame Australia undertook the development of the point of attachment connector and the mains connection for both overhead LVABC and aluminium and copper bare overhead with relish. Our history and expertise in developing innovative and reliable waterproofing and insulation piercing connectors allowed us to complete the initial design of the range of 2-bolt connector within 8 weeks. The design concept and drawings were presented to integral and open discussions were held discussing features and benefits.
Once the design concept were completed and accepted by the customer, Sicame undertook final design and engineering of the products. Prototypes were developed for customer approval. Once approved full manufacturing commenced. This whole process took less than 1 year, including trials and customer training.