What is an overhead connector?

The aerial connector is part of the electrical environment since the overhead lines were created. Essential to provide power to the subscribers, it enables the customer to be connected on the low voltage distribution network. First designed to be installed on bare lines, the connector evolved to adapt to the transition from bare lines to insulated ones. Finally, it is used to tap a power line to create a network or service T joint.

How is an electrical tap connection carried out?

The body of the connector can be in synthetical material, it has got metal bridges, mainly in aluminum or in alloy copper to ensure the electrical connection between the main conductor’s core and the tap’s one.

The connection between the several conductive parts is ensured thanks to the mechanical tightening of the whole connector. Once the connector is installed, the current that flows in the network will take the path created by the tapping and will supply the service line or the second network. The intensity transiting in the connector is defined by the section of the tap conductor.

Insulating piercing technology, how is that work?

If the insulated conductors provide many benefits like a protection against shock hazards, ensure cables water tightness or help to save space because they can be bundled, the insulation makes the connection harder. Thanks to the insulation piercing technology, the connector’s teeth pierce the synthetical layer and aggregate the conductor core to create an electric connection. The piercing is carried out on the main and tap conductors simultaneously, in most cases, by means of a single tightening operation.

The importance of a reliable and a qualitative electrical connection

While the cost of the connectors is only 2% of the whole LV network implementation, a poor connection could be responsible of 80% of the incidents.

This equipment represents a low cost for the installation but can be a real investment during its life. The main risk is a burning caused by a bad junction between the main / tap lines or water penetration in the connection because of a lack of tightness. The risks can lead to a totally faulty installation and so compromise the safety and durability of the equipment. These incidents may be the result of an error during the installation because of installer’s too light training or connectors failure. All of this damage the whole line and endangers people’s safety.

Thanks to real conditions tests, field experience, Michaud has developed a solid expertise in the electrical contacts and designs insulation piercing connectors with a lifetime superior to 40 years when the connection and installation are qualitative.

This reliability and quality of the connectors is also allowed by the conception of products adapted to each world’s standards: IEC, EN, DIN, AISI, AS, NZ… reflecting local constraints.

Many options for overhead connections

In order to adapt to the market specifics, Michaud’s offers a multitude of options allowing to customize overhead connectors.

Indicators to ensure a proper connector tightening, an important range of sections to suit all needs, or a movable sealing cap enabling a left or right tapping while preventing water penetration in the tap conductor. Without forgetting the fastenings more or less resistant to aggressive environment, or a test probe available on the connector to check the correct functioning of the connection.

Finally, shear head breaking indicator, glued sealing cap, captive components, traceability, overmoulding, shear head screws […] are all features and options that allow an efficient and simple installation for the fitter.

You still have some questions about overhead connection? Watch this video about the Michaud IPC range.

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