Plug connectors for high-voltage components

Paul Boughton

Even today, electric contacts in power transmission and distribution systems are still made using screw connectors. Most of the time, however, there is a simpler and quicker alternative: plug connectors.

For Multi-Contact (MC), the Swiss connector specialist, there are a number of applications in which plug connectors are preferable to screw connectors.

The wide range of MC connectors, in particular for PTD installations, makes it easier to design modular connections that can handle high voltage and reduces installation and maintenance costs.

Contacts using MULTILAM technology have been proven to work reliably in these installations even after 10,000 connection cycles. They can be installed in a number of insulating materials such as SF6, insulating oil, or vacuum insulation and are resistant to shocks and vibrations. Oliver Semling: “We offer these highly durable connectors in a variety of shapes, from round to flat to spherical. Our products greatly exceed the current requirements for PTD installations in terms of service life.”

Manufacturers of and testing institutions for medium- and high-voltage systems turn to Multi-Contact for a range of comprehensive solutions. This range spans from contact solutions for air- and gas-insulated switchgears as well as circuit breakers and contact breakers to cable sealing boxes, sliding contacts in gas-insulated cables (GIL connectors), all the way to connectors for transformers. MC connectors are used for electrical grounding as well as for measurement and testing purposes in high-voltage bushing and insulators.

Connecting testing equipment to various parts of a transformer or switchgear generally requires a lot of work and is often time-consuming. “In this situation, we recommend relying on plug connectors, because often the testing engineer has to work in confined spaces, the work needs to be done quickly, and the connections must be assigned so that they will not be mixed up. Our single-pole connectors are the ideal alternative to impractical screw connectors. They allow you to greatly reduce the time needed to perform tests. Designs with push-pull locks mean that our connectors are even safer,” explains Oliver Semling, Product Manager Power Transmission and Distribution (PTD).

MC connectors are intended for the electrical and mechanical connection of copper cables with cross sections from 6 mm2 to 300 mm2, class 5 and 6, in accordance with DIN VDE 0295 and IEC 60228, among other uses. Equipped with the AR locking system, they ensure a safe and fast connection for power transmission. The optional AxiClamp cable connection system offers the reliability of a solid crimp connection while still making it easy to disconnect and reuse the cables and connectors.