Photo of a data center bank

As key players in the future of the U.S. power grid, the technology and energy industries are both poised for rapid growth.

Data center demand is forecasted to continue to grow by close to 10% per year until 2030. In addition, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that AI-ready data centers are poised for growth since the explosion of AI powered tools over the last year.

Fueled by legislation, new technology and the growth of the renewables sector, the power and utilities industry is also experiencing rapid growth and evolution. There is also a structural similarity between these two industries: the need for a large number of electrical conduit sweeps and elbows in varying sizes.

As a leading supplier of electrical conduit for both industries, Champion Fiberglass® has developed product lines that deliver solutions for common project challenges, including:

  • Repairs due to burn-through
  • Installation challenges
  • Product availability
  • Fault concerns 
  • Project longevity

Eliminate Repairs

Cable-dense data center and utilities projects are at higher risk of costly repairs resulting from burn-through. A single-circuit winding process provides flexural strength and the ability to absorb mechanical impact, keeping cables from burning through RTRC fiberglass conduit elbows and preventing the need for costly repairs. Fiberglass is also the only electrical conduit substrate where cables won’t melt or weld to the inside of the conduit.

Safer, Easier Installations That Save Money

RTRC conduit sweeps have a .38 coefficient of friction, much lower than .55 for GRC and .90 for SCH 40 and SCH 80 PVC, which allows them to be used in longer conduit runs with fewer pull boxes, making for a faster, smoother pull with less labor time, cost and risk. It also offers no conductivity, resulting in safer installations with reduced risk of electrical injuries.

For jobs with fiberglass conduit sweeps at larger diameters significant labor savings can be found through faster installations. According to NECA, fiberglass installation labor time is a fraction of what it is for galvanized rigid steel (GRC) or PVC-coated steel. You can estimate your potential project savings with the Champion Fiberglass Elbow Calculator.

Elbows in ground with two workers

Product Availability  

Champion Fiberglass Elbows are available in sizes ¾” thru 12” with limited sizes available above 8”, as well as larger radii, and ship out quickly. An assortment of transition and termination options are available for use with RTRC or other electrical conduit systems. The suitability of Champion Fiberglass elbows for below ground or above ground applications make them a preferred conduit for buried transmission lines

Facing Fault Concerns

Data centers securely deliver one of the modern world’s most valuable commodities – data. Continuous power is necessary to sustain data center operation. Fault resistance ensures cable will not melt the fiberglass conduit or weld the cable to the conduit, allowing wire to be easily pulled through, without a costly repair to the conduit. PVC SCH 40 and 80, galvanized rigid steel, PVC-coated steel and aluminum conduits are all susceptible to either melt, fuse or weld due to cable fault, while epoxy fiberglass (RTRC) conduit remains unaffected.

Additional Considerations

As Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP, points out in the Consulting Specifying Engineer ebook Data Centers, “Climate change is on the minds of many data center owners. We are seeing records for flooding and unusually high temperature and also low temperature “design days” … You want the facility and the electrical power systems designed to accommodate these new environmental stresses.” Extreme temperatures can be managed by Champion Fiberglass Epoxy Fiberglass (RTRC) conduit which offers an excellent wide temperature range and is designed to perform within temperatures of -60° to +250°F.

Learn More

To learn more about the features and benefits of Champion Fiberglass no burn-through elbows, download the newly updated No Burn-Through Elbow eGuide and the How Data Centers Benefit from Fiberglass Conduit Elbows white paper.

Elbow Eguide Cover
 How Data Centers Benefit from Fiberglass Conduit Elbows white paper

To purchase RTRC conduit elbows today, reach out to your local Rep.

This post was originally published on April 18, 2023 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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