This project is a result of Southwire converting a large solar installer from direct buried aluminum PV wire to a SIMpull® Cable-in-Conduit solution.
- 38,085’ of 900-900 AL PV with #2 CU XHHW installed in 3” Schedule 40 Conduit
- 32,850’ of 500-500 AL PV with #4 CU XHHW installed in 2.5” Schedule 40 Conduit
- 215 3” SIMpull® Couplers
- 344 3”-2.5” Couplers
Method of Installation
Soil conditions comprised of red dirt and clay which holds side walls of trenches very well. Only a few rocks were present on the site. Weather during installation was sunny with temperatures in the mid 90’s which caused conduit to be hot to the touch but improved flexibility.
Reels of Cable-in-Conduit were loaded onto a reel trailer and pulled off by hand. The longest pull was about 500’. This required 10 workers to pull the CIC off the reel and 2 workers spinning the reel on the trailer. It was suggested that a pulling eye could be attached to the conduit and pulled off the reel using machines. This would take less people and be less strenuous. Furthermore, the method of installation was to use a trencher and stack the Cable-in-Conduit on top of each other in the trench. This saved excavation time and reduced overall footprint.
Conduit was then sleeved back to expose wires and the wires were pushed into the PVC stub ups. SIMpull ® Couplers were used to connect the HDPE and the PVC pipe.
Feedback from procurement, project managers, foreman and installers was very positive. The product was performing just as advertised and everyone was very happy with Southwire’s performance as a whole.
When direct burying cables, multiple pulls are needed and there is always the risk of damaging the cables during
installation. The foreman found CIC was actually easier to install than direct buried cable because it was just one pull and they’re done. Pulling all the cables at once with Cable-in-Conduit reduced overall pulling time even though it was more exhausting for the workers to pull the CIC than multiple pulls of just cable.Protecting the cables from damage was also observed by workers to be advantageous before, during and after installation.
For more information on SIMpull® CIC, products, visit cic.southwire.com.