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Going Underground: Best Practices for Burying Utilities

May 30, 2024

To build the grid of the future, electric utilities are partnering with electrical contractors and engineers in their quest to improve reliability, resiliency, and energy efficiency. The demand for grid modernization presents new opportunities but also creates challenges to overcome. To complete projects on time, on budget, and safely, electrical professionals can follow best practices and proven work methods outlined in this e-book.

For example, when designing low-voltage underground electrical duct banks, they should ensure that the cables they’re using are properly sized and de-rated. Improper heating calculations can lead to an undersized duct bank, which can be a costly problem to solve. One of the most critical aspects of the design is considering the thermal properties of the soil in which the duct bank is installed.

Electrical companies must also be aware of the need for better designed and managed distribution systems. Due to increasingly complex electrical needs — ranging from distributed energy resources to EV charging — equipment is under stress and could prematurely reach end of life. Compounding the challenge, utilities are facing both supply chain and labor issues, which could slow down projects.

Finally, contractors should consider best practices for underground conduit installation. By installing fiberglass conduit rather than traditional PVC, they can save time in the field due to its lighter weight, flexibility, and ease of installation. In this e-book, you can learn about tips, techniques, and best practices for installing conduit underground.

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