When it opens in 2019, the Crossrail Connection Scheme will deliver a 10 per cent increase to London’s rail capacity. In order to do this, there will be 42km of new tunnels, ten new stations and improvements to many more. All of which equates to a huge amount of new electrical infrastructure.

Having been sent the news that ABB used Ellis’ Cable Guide Clamp to install high voltage (HV) cables in the Kensal Green section of the Crossrail Scheme, EE decided to find out more about the cable cleat manufacturer’s innovative solution and the reasons for its specification and installation.

Chaminda Karunatilake, an HV cable system design engineer at ABB said: “Ellis’ Cable Guide Clamp turned what could well have been an installation nightmare into a straightforward job. And on top of that, the fact that it also doubles as a cable clamp meant we saved time and money before, during and after the installation.”

Designed to feed, and then restrain, large diameter cables along routes that feature significant numbers of twists and turns, ABB specified Ellis’ Cable Guide Clamp for use on SGT1 and SGT2 transformer end cable sealing end support structures.

“This section of the installation required us running two large cables through a series of tight and unusual angles and then ensuring they stayed in place once installed,” explained Chaminda. “Having been made aware of the Cable Guide Clamp it quickly became apparent it was exactly what was needed for the job.”

Well that’s the reasons for its specification taken care of, but what about the product itself? According to Richard Shaw, managing director of Ellis, the Cable Guide Clamp was initially designed for Siemens for an offshore electrical substation that formed part of the multi-million pound HelWin 2 project and was subsequently developed into a full range and launched in 2015 – a move that made it the world’s first two-in-one cable guide and clamp designed specifically to assist in the installation and subsequent restraint of HV.

“Two major factors in our on-going success have been our ability to innovate and the tried, tested and trusted nature of our products,” said Richard. “This though was the first time a customer had come to us with a new product requirement during a live project situation – something that clearly demonstrated the level of trust the market had in us to innovate and deliver, even when under immense pressure.”

The challenge set to the Ellis team, which had previously developed a roller-system for the installation of HV cables in power tunnels, was to develop a solution that would feed, and then restrain, seven 117mm diameter cables along a specified route within a fabricated structure, which featured a significant number of twists and turns.

The end result was, of course, the Cable Guide Clamp, which works in two stages. Firstly, cables are guided by it into their final location, while trumpeted entry and exit points ensure the cable is not damaged when fed through particularly sharp angled turns. Once the cable is laid correctly, the top half of the guide is removed, a fixing piece installed directly onto the cable and the top half re-secured, thus turning it into a fully-functioning HV cable clamp.

“We’ve been the global market leaders for cable cleats for a long time, but the market innovators reputation is something that has been growing fast during recent years – and the Cable Guide Clamp demonstrates perfectly why that’s the case,” added Richard.

“Not only was it first developed under the pressure of a live project for one of Europe’s largest engineering companies – a first for us –, but its initial success, and the reaction to it, meant we found ourselves in the enviable position of being able to develop it into a full product range in the knowledge that once ready its launch would be greeted with enthusiasm from all corners of the market.” 

Crossrail is a new railway for London and the South East. Aimed at improving journey times across London, easing congestion and improving connections. It is due to open in 2019, and it is estimated the project will create up to 55,000 new jobs.