Torsion resistant loop cable for WTGs

19 June 2016

An aluminium version of its low voltage loop cable system intended to make energy flow in internal wind turbine circuits lighter and more cost effective has been released by Nexans. The flexible cable system is available for connections up to 1 kV.

Designated 'Windlink' it consists of aluminum loop cables, connectors and lugs that are lighter than traditional copper cables. This type of cable, designed to withstand torsions that arise as the nacelle moves according to the wind's direction, transports power down from the nacelle to the fixed transformer. It is about 40% lighter than its traditional copper counterpart and therefore easier to install inside the WTG. The design life of the system is expected to be the same as that of the wind turbine generator.

The new system has spent three years in development, including rigorous laboratory testing. Nexans tested multiple aluminum alloys to find the best performing solution. Under torsional tests, the chosen aluminum cables were able to withstand a rotation of at least ±100 degrees/metre during at least 2000 cycles while providing the same performance as traditional copper cables. The connectors and lugs have undergone aging testing in a third-party laboratory.

Philippe Michel, global product manager of Wind OEM Industry at Nexans, said "Nexans set out to reduce the cost of low voltage loop cables while maintaining the performance needed by wind turbine generators. Our new low voltage aluminum loop solution, the first of its kind on the market, meets these criteria."

The system will be manufactured at Nexans' Bohain plant in France and at the Hof factory in Germany.

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