Power thefts jeopardizes the quality of the service provided by the distributor, in addition to provoking the loss of billions of reais and putting the population at risk. It is a crime that extorts a daily average of 5% of power from the population and, in the first four months of 2019 alone, led to the arrest of 87 people and 89 inspection activities. Therefore, there is a growing concern to develop strategies, such as grid shielding, for example, to reduce frauds, which may be done by using products available on the market as anti-theft solutions.
What is power grid shielding?
Theft is when someone diverts power for personal use without the knowledge of the distributor. This fraud, also known as “gato” in Brazil, is characterized by the breaking of seals and the manipulation of the consumption measurement clock to slow it down. This has become a reality in most cities around the country, and has become a problem for national power companies.
The shielding of power grids is thus an important step to fight power illegality. It helps minimize this type of theft, protecting all the weak points in the power grid from vandalism. Therefore, if you are not sure what grid shielding is for, if something poses a risk to the population, then it must be addressed. For this reason, shielding helps avoid the occurrence of complex problems such as:
Power theft poses a risk not only to your own life, but also to those who live in the region as well. If a person decides to make an illegal connection they may receive a fatal electric shock and put the local residents and pedestrians at risk.
Shielding helps reduce accidents that may affect the population.
Damage to distribution equipment
Short-circuits are more probable to occur when there are power thefts as a result of the clandestine connections which are frequently done without the proper knowledge. In addition, power outages may be caused by grid overloads.
Thus, grid shielding also helps avoid potential technical problems.
How is grid shielding done?
Shielding is not only done in the caos, but in the entire power grid infrastructure and equipment. In order to shield the grid, and thus reduce power theft, there are some anti-theft items. They stop high frequency signals and electric fields from moving to nearby circuits. They also make it difficult to reach inside the cables, from where the power is stolen. There is a variety of grid-shielding options on the market, some of which are highlighted below:
- Anti-theft splice protector: has male and female threads with PA6 nylon and irreversible M6 torquimetric lugs. May be used for cables of up to 150 mm² and 1” SealTube, surrounds and protects line branching which is the point most exposed and susceptible to fraud. Submitted to 2,000 hours of U.V. testing according to ASTM G-155 test 1 norm, and does not propagate flames;
- BT cable protectors: used for multiplexed BT cables of up to 150 mm², may be installed by a click system, not requiring glue, and cannot be reopened. Submitted to 2,000 hours of U.V. testing according to ASTM G-155 test 1 norm, and does not propagate flames;
- Pulley shields: has male and female threads with PA6 nylon and irreversible M6 torquimetric lugs. Protects the weak point on the grid susceptible to power theft;
- Special shielding sealtube: is a metallic tape conduit which is extremely flexible, made of metal mesh and flexible PVC casing. It has the same resistance of a galvanized tube allowing the adding of extra mesh layers;
- 40 daN cable glans: made of nylon with UV protection for boxes that require resistance to 40kg cable traction. Possesses an internal locking system with screws, impeding the shifting of the cable to the external part of the installation;
- 10 daN cable glands: also made of nylon with UV protection, designed to resist the traction of 10Kgf cables and with a conic nut lock.
- Metallized sheet: Is a self-adhesive asphaltic sealing membrane, pre-fabricated and cold applied, proper for the protection of BT cables.
Kraus-Muller has been on the power protection market for over 20 years. Working in collaboration with concessionaires and developing solutions to meet the needs of electric power distributors, devising items that shield the weak points of a grid.
This is our explanation of what grid shielding is. Follow our news posts on our blog, where we discuss the importance of safe electric installations and the use of quality materials, such as junction boxes, cable glands and conduits. Come take a look!