Gooseneck solution for concentrated solar power

Spiral of  flexibility

Designed by Nexans China for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) farms in California, this data/energy conduit cable draws on principles used in microphone stands and shower extensions to offer flexibility, rodent-resistance, and high mechanical performance.

Hat trick performance

Steel-wire armoring is flexible, but not anti-rodent or abuse-resistant. Steel-tape offers the latter, but not high flexibility. This cable (with a twisted pair for signal transmission and three wires for power) offers all three, with 100mm bending radius on a 24.5mm diameter cable.

EURIKA in the shower!

When we received the customer’s requirement, we realized that our biggest challenge was how to make the cable bend 90º upwards from a horizontal ground position. This was complicated by the need for hard armoring because of exposed conditions, or possible burying. One member of our team had a brainstorm one morning and wondered if a spiral gooseneck-type design could be a solution. It was. This cable is now both UL-certified worldwide, and patent-protected in China.

Focusing opportunity

CSP uses mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight onto a small area high up in a tower. The steam generated drives a steam turbine and power generator. Increasingly used in Spain, the US, North Africa, the Middle East, India and China, CSP could eventually compete with conventional power, with optimists predicting that it could meet a significant portion of world energy needs by 2050. This innovation helped Nexans win an initial contract and not only has it allowed us to gain knowledge about UL standards, it may lead to more orders requiring highly flexible cables with hard armoring.