Advanced Power Services (APS) will announce at RailTex 2023 that the first extended 3M Medium Voltage 20 Year Warranties have been released to the UK rail industry as part of the drive for modernisation and efficiencies.
BAM Nuttall appointed APS for the Jointing & Commissioning elements of 12 33,000 feeder replacements in Sussex and Kent. This partnership sees the introduction of the first 20-year Medium Voltage product warranties, which APS has been working on with 3M for some time. The program, which runs in the US but hasn’t hit the UK or Europe until now. The warranties are issued directly by 3M to the client Network Rail.
APS installation personnel go through various technical and theoretical training programs as well as practical observation in order to become authorised QECC Installers. This has led APS to become the first company authorised to provide the warranties in the UK and to introduce this into the rail infrastructure.
When commissioning feeders in the past, APS used DC direct current testing, which caused problems on cable assets that were becoming life expired. APS and the Sussex Regional Asset manager took conducted trial testing on the network using VLF and Partial Discharge testing. This was implemented on the Tunbridge lines where cables that were introduced on the network in the early 1990s were becoming life expired and showing signs of treeing in the insulation and prone to insulation failures. Following the introduction of new technology, new feeders being replaced on the network are using VLF Testing as part of the form B commissioning practices.
APS and BAM Nuttall are the first to commission feeders using this method on the network and this has been very successful to date.
Recycling, cost saving, and efficiency
As part of the company’s relationship and APS’s fault response partnership with Maintenance in Sussex, the three departments including the RAM team are recovering assets on the renewals and recycling this equipment back into the network saving network rail thousands of pounds. The type of equipment being recycled includes fluid-filled oil tanks which are double skinned and can no longer be purchased, LOPI panels, and Oil Stop Joints that will be refurbished, tested, and re-commissioned. Although Sussex is leading this, the equipment will be available to all areas of the network as part of the drive for efficiencies and cost saving measures.
On occasions, poor quality cable supplied to the network could escape detection through the current testing procedures. Now with new technology being introduced onto the network as part of the modernisation drive this is identifying exactly what condition the cable is in before it’s commissioned into service and passed across to the maintainer as an asset. Saving thousands of pounds in cable repair costs and replacement before life expiry.
Visit Advanced Power Services at RailTex 2023 on Stand E45.