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Monthly Archives: August 2014

  • More additions to our Brush Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts Range

    Brush Female & Male Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts

    To make our replacement Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts range even most concise we have introduced four more sets of Brush replacement contacts.  These include both the Fixed Female and Moving Male Contacts.

    Additions to our range are the following

    Brush VBQ R4/2 - Moving Male Contact
    Brush VBQ R4/2 - Fixed Female Contact
    Brush VBQ R8/2 - Moving Male Contact
    Brush VBQ R8/2 - Fixed Female Contact
    Brush VBAD R4/2 - Moving Male Contact
    Brush VBAD R4/2 - Fixed Female Contact
    Brush VBAD R8/2 - Moving Male Contact
    Brush VBAD R8/2 - Fixed Female Contact

    For further information please contact us through our contact form or by calling one of our experienced sales team!

  • Substation Metal and Copper Theft Prevention

    In 2013 metal theft cost the UK economy £770 million pounds.  It also cost 6 lives.

    Ever increasing metal prices have contributed to a large increase in the number of metal theft incidents.  The largest sector to be affected has been infrastructure and businesses.  The Home Office and Department for Transport have also announced an investment of £500,000 to continue its Metal Theft Taskforce which is in place to tackle the theft of vital infrastructure.   The sharp rise in copper prices has seen substations targeted for their copper earthing materials.  For example in just the Saltcoats area they had 20 substation break-ins in one weekend.

    Power companies have had to invest large amounts of money to try and curb metal and particularly copper theft from their sites.  Scottish Power have run campaigns through various media platforms warning of the dangers of metal theft to both the thief and the general public, and to also offer up to £10,000 in rewards for successful metal theft prosecutions.  Electricity North West invested £1million at the end of 2011 in securing their infrastructure.

    Guardian Security Pins

    Guardian Security Pins

    Here at Alcomet we worked alongside engineering professionals to create a range of  products to stop and deter metal and copper theft on substations.  The Guardian Security Products Range was created and won the Queens Award for innovation.

    The range includes security pins to fix earth tape to concrete, these take 1000kg of force to remove.  There are also cover guards which can be fixed over earth tape and conductor.  These products are incredibly difficult to remove and are a great security measure to aid in metal and copper theft prevention.

    The Guardian Security Products Range also includes products for securing earth tape on to metal and has a full accompaniment of tools and security paints to aid in metal and copper theft prevention, and also to deter vandalism.

  • Thieves risk their lives to steal electric cables

    Scottish Power is fighting against Metal Theft criminals as the move to target overhead lines in a spate of thefts in the Milngavie area.

    The Milngavie Herald has reported the following.

    Thieves risked their own lives and threatened the safety of others to steal electricity cables from overhead power lines.

    The brazen crooks carried out two raids on August 4 and 6 - one near Mugdock Country Park (to the west of the park) and another near the A809 in the vicinity of Milngavie and Hilton Park golf courses.

    Properties in the areas lost their power supply for a number of hours until it was restored.

    The power lines can carry up to 11,000 volts of electricity, so as well as putting nearby properties at risk the reckless thieves were dicing with death.

    ScottishPower is working closely with the police to catch those responsible.

    They are offering a £5,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to the conviction of the people involved.

    Guy Jefferson, network operations director at Scottish Power Energy Networks, said: “The recent thefts near Milngavie have been concerning.

    “I’d urge anyone who spots suspicious behaviour near our power lines to report what they see to the police. The thefts can also cause power interruptions, which are a major inconvenience. In the event of any power supply problems, the sooner they are reported to our hotline the quicker we can respond.

    “Metal theft is one of the biggest threats to the safety of the electricity network and the impact of these crimes can be devastating.

    “As well as major power cuts that have inconvenienced thousands of families, we have experienced house fires and damaged electrical appliances in homes following haphazard thefts of our cables.

    “One man died recently attempting to steal copper from an electricity pole in Lanarkshire, and others have suffered horrific burns, loss of limbs and scarring.

    “Unfortunately, it seems like the thieves don’t care about the risk to their own lives, and they certainly show no regard for the safety of neighbouring properties.”

    The Scottish Government is bringing in tough new legislation to address metal theft, ensuring that all dealers are licensed and eliminating cash payments.

    Better records and identity checks will also be introduced to tackle the widespread problem.

    Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP, said: “Metal theft is simply not a victimless crime. As recent incidents have shown, the actions of a selfish minority create unnecessary cost, danger and disruption for the rest of the community.

    “By reducing the outlets for stolen metal and the lure of ready cash we believe we can remove the incentive to steal.

    “With tough legislation and enforcement, and continued work with police, companies like Scottish Power and the majority of reputable metal dealers, we believe we can end this crime.”

    If you can provide 
information on the recent spate of thefts contact the 
police, or call Scottish 
Power’s 24 hour hotline on 0845 272 7999.

    Source - http://www.milngavieherald.co.uk/news/local-headlines/thieves-risk-their-lives-to-steal-electric-cables-1-3508244

  • Trenchlite® the lightweight alternative to Concrete Cable Troughs

    Trenchlite Cable Trough

    Trenchlite multi-core Cable Trench

    Developed by Alcomet, Trenchlite® is a new specialist range of GRP cable trench.  This is a versatile and lightweight alternative to pre-cast concrete cabling trenches.

    Being lightweight the use of cranes or heavy lifting gear is not necessary for the installation of Trenchlite®.  This in turn reduces the number of staff needed on site resulting in a fast and easy installation process.

    Trenchlite® has various sizes and shapes such as tee’s, straight sections, junctions, chicanes and crossovers.  These are all pre-fabricated and ready for shipping straight to site for a quick and easy installation.  It can also be made to custom specifications.

    Not only does Trenchlite® offer a fast and efficient installation process, Trenchlite® can also be cut and adapted whilst on site to suit unforeseen conditions.  This makes Trenchlite® a unique and versatile product for the Cable Trench market.

    Trenchlite® offers the following qualities

    • Cost efficient
    • Time and Man power saving
    • Non corrosive
    • Non conductive
    • Lightweight
    • Strong and Durable
    • Maintenance free
  • Oil Circuit Breakers - A Brief History

    From the turn of the 20th century Oil Circuit Breakers have been used as an efficient and successful way of detecting and interrupting fault current.  The Oil Circuit Breaker still retains its place amongst commonly used Circuit Breakers especially in the 11-33kV range where they have been in use for 50 years or more.

    South Wales Swtichgear Oil Circuit Breakers

    Within the 11-33kV range of Oil Circuit Breakers there were many manufacturers.   As transportation of heavy equipment was challenging in the early 1900’s, Oil Circuit Breaker manufacturers were more inclined to supply in to their local areas.  For example, in the West Midlands there is an abundance of South Wales Switchgear and GEC/AEI.

    Over time many of the switchgear manufacturers were acquired or merged with other companies.  GEC acquired AEI (Associated Electrical Industries), Metropolitan Vickers, British Thompson Houston (BTH) and English Electric throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.  Another prominent switchgear manufacturer that has featured many of the iconic British switchgear names is Hawker Siddley Switchgear.   Again throughout the latter part of the 1960s and onwards they bought out or merged with South Wales Switchgear, Brush Switchgear and Whipp and Bourne.

    As Oil Circuit Breakers were such an effective and reliable method of arcing control, many of the Oil Circuit Breakers have been in service for 50 years or more.  Due to the critical nature of Oil Circuit Breakers,  DNO’s (Distribution Network Operators) and private owners of this equipment still have to keep a tight schedule on maintenance to ensure everything is running efficiently and safely.  With Oil Circuit Breakers, once the fault current has been interrupted, the severity of the current can be judged and then post fault maintenance can be performed.  Otherwise maintenance is at a scheduled time.

    As part of an Oil Circuit Breaker, the Moving Male and Fixed Female Contacts are used to carry load current and with the addition of oil and an arc control pot, the contacts can effectively break the arc generated under fault conditions.  These contacts get damaged and therefore become inefficient or unable to carry load current.  Although contacts can extinguish lots of minor faults, severe fault currents can damage the contacts rendering them ineffective.

    Alcomet has a range of original Fixed Female and Moving Male Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts to assist with the maintenance of Oil Circuit Breakers.  These have been engineered to the highest standards within the UK.  Alcomet stock an extensive range of products from manufacturers such as

    Brush
    British Thompson Houston
    Crompton Parkinson
    Ellison
    English Electric
    GEC
    GEC/AEI
    Metropolitan Vickers
    Reyrolle
    Statter
    South Wales Switchgear

    Other Manufacturers of Switchgear are as follows

    Ferguson Pailin
    Switchgear & Cowans
    Johnson & Phillips
    Whipp & Bourne
    Hawker Siddley Switchgear
    William White Switchgear ltd
    Ottermill Switchgear

  • Gangs risk lives on overhead cables

    POLICE have warned that a gang of idiotic thieves are risking their lives by stealing overhead power cables in Beith and Dalry.

    They have issued a plea for witnesses to come forward after a string of early morning thefts in recent weeks.

    A police spokesperson told the Herald: “There is great risk involved in stealing overhead cables. We are concerned that soon someone will be seriously injured or killed when committing these thefts.

    “We are appealing to anyone who has seen people acting suspiciously around electricity infrastructure to contact us.

    “Those involved in this type of crime are often organised and may even appear to be genuine workers wearing similar clothing for example. If you see something you think isn’t right, call us and we will check it out.”

    The power cable thefts took place in Dalry and Beith during the early hours of Monday, July 21, Monday, July 28 and Tuesday, July 29.

    Guy Jefferson, network operations director at SP Energy Networks, commented: “The criminals are targeting mainly remote and rural locations and they are showing a staggering disregard for their own safety, the safety of the public, and that of our employees.

    “Metal theft is not a victimless crime. These dangerous acts not only have the potential to cause serious injury. They can also have a serious impact on nearby homes and businesses.

    “Thefts in Greenock and Kilbarchan last year resulted in a serious house fire and residents experiencing damaged household appliances and extended power cuts.

    “It quite simply beggars belief that anyone would put their life on the line by interfering with thousands of volts of electricity to steal small amounts of copper with a minimal scrap value.

    “If the gangs persist with this reckless behaviour it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed.”

    To provide information on those involved in metal theft or to report suspicious activity call Police Scotland on 101 (always dial 999 in an emergency).

    Information on those involved in crime can also be provided through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity is guaranteed.

    Source - http://www.ardrossanherald.com/news/garnockvalley/articles/2014/08/06/506203-gangs-risk-lives-on-overhead-cables/

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