Modeling software facilitates composite-for steel-cored cable conversions

Often, the toughest job in commercializing a composite product is not the design and development of a product that is superior to a legacy system. Rather, it's convincing someone to buy it. Prospective customers are typically reluctant to abandon a product made from familiar, traditional materials and take the risk to

Often, the toughest job in commercializing a composite product is not the design and development of a product that is superior to a legacy system. Rather, it's convincing someone to buy it. Prospective customers are typically reluctant to abandon a product made from familiar, traditional materials and take the risk to specify one made with unfamiliar materials that, in the case of composites, typically cost more up front. To help its utility clients grasp the cost-effectiveness of its ACCC composite-cored electrical conductor cable, Composites Technology Corp. (CTC, Irvine, Calif.) has custom-designed a modeling software program that enables electrical, structural and applications engineers to compare ACCC conductive cables to traditional steel-cored cable.

Trademarked as PLAT (Power Line Analysis Tool), the software reportedly can be used to compare and evaluate the electrical and physical performance of available cable products. "PLAT's 12 linked screens identify performance and financial advantages of the composite-cored conductor compared to other conductor types," says CTC's CEO Benton Wilcoxon. The software also is designed to help engineers select cable size (diameter) based on a project's particular line requirements; to calculate ampacity (power capacity) and cable sag; to anticipate seasonal (weather-related) performance, to estimate installation cost and, most important, to compute cost savings over the useful life of the cable.

For customer convenience, CTC has made its PLAT software available to utility engineers online at plat1.compositetechcorp.com/PowerLineAnalysisTool/Index.aspx.