KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) approves SICAME Australia’s «PiranhaTM» technology
On 30 June in Seoul, the Korea Electric Power Corporation officially authorised SICAME Australia’s «PiranhaTM» series underground connectors to be fitted to its low-voltage network after four years of technical demonstrations and commercial activities.
Two new PiranhasTM have been developed specifically to meet Korean requirements for cable sizes between 70 and 300 mm2.
One of the connectors, the PHM4-70-300G-V0, has a single earth cable which is integrated into the connector to connect the neutral system to the earth in MEN systems. The two connectors also have black fire-wall over-moulds. This is a specific KEPCO requirement for all their underground connectors. The new PiranhaTM is fully tested according to standard ANSI C119.
Major challenges were encountered during the development of these connectors, both in the design and production phases. One of the biggest challenges was to provide an innovative design for the shape of connection chamber elements, for cables ranging from 70 to 300 mm2.
The manufacturing and sealing of the integrated earth cable also caused new difficulties in terms of designing the production tools. Successful product testing (in line with ANSI C119) and subsequent approval from KEPCO are proof that the SICAME Australia design team was able to overcome these challenges.
The development process for this project began in 2012 when Charles Chin (SICAMEX Asia) insisted that we present the PiranhaTM connector to a group of KEPCO engineers in Seoul.
At the time there didn’t seem to be much interest, but 6 months later we were contacted by V & P, a company that until then we hadn’t heard of, about supplying KEPCO with test samples.
Testing was then conducted using existing models in the PiranhaTM range and after much discussion and a number of changes, the final design was decided upon and the production process began with product approval.
The product approval process was lengthy and included a visit by KEPCO engineers to the factory in Australia to carry out a «compliance audit».
The language barrier also presented a challenge and so it proved necessary to call upon the services of a professional interpreter. KEPCO’s approval specifications and processes were strictly adhered to, with no deviations possible. The result of this process, which took over four years to complete, opens the door to the Korean market for the Group.