Low Voltage Aerial Bundled Cable (ABC) is a cheaper, safer, more reliable cable which requires less tree clearing and pruning and so be more aesthetic, be less labour intensive, require less maintenance and eliminate bushfires be initiated by conductor clashing. LV ABC is used on every continent and in a total of approximately 80 different countries, with Australia being no exception.
The cable consists of four cores, each comprising a cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulated aluminium conductor, twisted together to form a bundle. Electrical connections are made by the use of insulation piercing connectors and the cable is supported at intermediate poles and strain poles with easy to install mechanical fittings. The electrical and mechanical characteristics of the cable are similar to existing bare conductors.
The conductors used for all the cores are of stranded hard drawn aluminium which are partially compacted, and are available in sizes ranging from 25, 35, 50, 70, 95 or 150 mm2.
Conductors must be readily identifiable, particularly in poor light, and there is a special need to distinguish between the phase and neutral conductors. The phase conductors are identified by prominent longitudinal ribs on the core insulation, one, two or three ribs to distinguish between the three phases. The neutral has a minimum of sixteen low profile, longitudinal ribs equally spaced around the circumference of the core, these serving to ensure that the neutral can be identified at all times by sight and touch irrespective of the position of the neutral in the lay of the bundle.