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Title:
A METHOD OF IMPROVING AN ELECTRICAL LINK BOX
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/206909
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
There is provided a method of improving an electrical link box. The method includes steps of opening the electrical link box to provide access to a space within the electrical link box; inserting an electrical link box safety improving container into the space in the electrical link box; and closing the electrical link box; wherein the electrical link box safety improving container contains a filling material for mitigating blasts in the electrical link box. A safer electrical link box may be provided using the method.

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Inventors:
COX, Steve (Electricity North West Property Limited, 304 Bridgewater PlaceBirchwood Park, Warrington Cheshire WA3 6XG, WA3 6XG, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/050568
Publication Date:
November 15, 2018
Filing Date:
March 06, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTRICITY NORTH WEST PROPERTY LIMITED (304 Bridgewater Place, Birchwood Park, Warrington Cheshire WA3 6XG, WA3 6XG, GB)
International Classes:
H02B1/28; H02G3/08
Foreign References:
EP2597663A12013-05-29
DE19520698A11996-12-12
CN203800419U2014-08-27
US20050174721A12005-08-11
US4667840A1987-05-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FORRESTERS IP LLP (Rutland House, 148 Edmund StreetBirmingham, B3 2JA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . A method of improving an electrical link box, the method including steps of:

opening the electrical link box to provide access to a space within the electrical link box;

inserting an electrical link box safety improving container into the space in the electrical link box; and

closing the electrical link box;

wherein the electrical link box safety improving container contains a filling material for mitigating blasts in the electrical link box.

2. A method according to claim 1 further including a step of determining a volume of the space in the electrical link box and selecting an electrical link box safety improving container with a volume which is less than and/or similar to the volume of the space in the electrical link box for insertion into the electrical link box.

3. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the volume of the electrical link box safety improving container is at least:

50% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

60% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

70% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

80% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

97% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box. 4. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the volume of the electrical link box safety improving container is at most: 95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box. 5. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the volume of filling material is at least:

50% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

60% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

70% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

80% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

97% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box.

6. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the volume of the filling material is at most:

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box.

7. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container selected is dimensioned to leave a gap around a periphery of the electrical link box of at most:

10% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

8% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

6% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box.

8. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container selected is dimensioned to leave a gap around the periphery of the electrical link box of at least:

1 % of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

2% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

4% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

5% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box.

9. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container and the filling material have a mass of at least:

5kg; or

10kg; or

15kg; or

18kg; and/or said mass is at most:

20kg; or

25kg.

10. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container has a length of at least:

650mm; or

700mm; and/or said length is at most:

1000mm; or

1200mm.

1 1 . A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container has a width of at least:

420mm; or 500mm; or

700mm; and/or said width is at most:

1000mm; or

1200mm.

12. A method of improving an electrical link box according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container has a depth of at least:

30mm; or

50mm; or

70 mm; and/or said depth is at most:

150mm; or

130mm; or

100mm.

13. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container includes:

an outer layer for holding the filling material; and

a handle for inserting, positioning and removing the electrical link box safety improving container in or from an electrical link box.

14. A method according to claim 13 wherein the outer layer is flexible.

15. A method according to claim 13 or claim 14 wherein the outer layer is flame retardant.

16. A method according to any one of claims 13 to 15 wherein the outer layer is or includes a thermoplastic coated thermosetting polymer. 17. A method according to any one of claims 13 to 16 wherein the outer layer is substantially liquid permeable.

18. A method according to any preceding claim when dependent, directly or indirectly, on claim 13 wherein the electrical link box safety improving container includes an inner layer positioned within the outer layer.

19. A method according to claim 18 wherein the inner layer holds the filling material.

20. A method according to claim 18 or claim 19 wherein the inner layer is liquid permeable.

21 . A method according to any one of claims 18 to 20 wherein the inner layer is flame retardant. 22. A method according to any one of claims 18 to 21 wherein the inner layer has a thermal conductivity of between 0.14W/mK and 0.17W/mK.

23. A method according to any one of claims 18 to 22 wherein the inner layer is formed from a flexible plastics material.

24. A method according to any one of claims 18 to 23 wherein the inner layer is formed from thermoplastic.

25. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container is openable and recloseable for permitting access to the filling material.

26. A method according to claim 25 wherein the electrical link box safety improving container is openable and recloseable by a zip fastener.

27. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material has a density of at least:

250kgm"3; or

300kgm"3; or

800kgm"3; and/or the filling material has a density of at most:

900kgm"3; or

1550kgm"3; or

1700kgm"3. 28. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material has a water absorption capacity of at most 40% by weight.

29. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material is flame retardant.

30. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material has a thermal conductivity of between 0.29W/mK and 0.58W/mK.

31 . A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material has an internal honeycomb structure.

32. A method according to any preceding claim wherein at least a portion of the filling material is in granular form. 33. A method according to claim 32 wherein the portion by volume of the filling material that is in granular form is at least:

50%; or

60%; or

70%; or

80%; or

90%.

34. A method according to claim 32 or claim 33 wherein the granules are generally spherical. 35. A method according to any one of claims 32 to 34 wherein the granules have a diameter of at least:

4mm; or

7mm; or

10mm; and/or the granules have a diameter of at most:

14mm; or

20mm; or

25mm.

36. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material is or includes a lightweight aggregate.

37. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material includes pelletised pulverised fuel ash. 38. A method according to claim 37 wherein the filling material includes Lytag®.

39. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the filling material includes lightweight expanded clay.

40. A method according to claim 39 wherein the filling material includes Leca®.

41 . A method according to any preceding claim wherein the electrical link box safety improving container is a bag.

42. A method according to any preceding claim further including a step of removing a safety blanket from the electrical link box.

43. An electrical link box safety improving container as set forth in any preceding claim.

44. An electrical link box including an electrical link box safety improving container according to claim 43. 45. A kit for making an electrical link box safety improving container as set forth in any preceding claim.

Description:
Title: A method of improving an electrical link box Field of the invention

This application relates to a method of improving an electrical link box and an improved electrical link box. In particular, this application relates to a method of improving an electrical link box and an improved electrical link box, wherein the improvements provide safer electrical link boxes.

Summary

According to a first aspect there is provided a method of improving an electrical link box, the method including steps of:

opening the electrical link box to provide access to a space within the electrical link box;

inserting an electrical link box safety improving container into the space in the electrical link box; and

closing the electrical link box;

wherein the electrical link box safety improving container contains a filling material for mitigating blasts in the electrical link box.

The method may further include a step of determining a volume of the space in the electrical link box and selecting an electrical link box safety improving container with a volume which is less than and/or similar to the volume of the space in the electrical link box for insertion into the electrical link box.

The volume of the electrical link box safety improving container may be at least:

50% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

60% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or 70% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

80% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

97% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box.

The volume of the electrical link box safety improving container may be at most:

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box.

The volume of filling material may be at least:

50% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

60% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

70% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

80% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

97% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box.

The volume of the filling material may be at most:

95% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

90% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box; or

85% of the volume of the space in the electrical link box. The electrical link box safety improving container selected may be dimensioned to leave a gap around a periphery of the electrical link box of at most:

10% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

8% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

6% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box.

The electrical link box safety improving container selected may be dimensioned to leave a gap around the periphery of the electrical link box of at least:

1 % of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

2% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

4% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box; or

5% of a length and/or a width of an opening of the electrical link box and/or a depth of the electrical link box.

The electrical link box safety improving container and the filling material may have a mass of at least:

5kg; or

10kg; or

15kg; or

18kg; and/or said mass may be at most:

20kg; or The electrical link box safety improving container may have a length of at least:

650mm; or

700mm; and/or said length may be at most:

1000mm; or

1200mm.

The electrical link box safety improving container may have a width of at least:

420mm; or

500mm; or

700mm; and/or said width may be at most:

1000mm; or

1200mm. The electrical link box safety improving container may have a depth of at least:

30mm; or

50mm; or

70 mm; and/or said depth may be at most:

150mm; or

130mm; or

100mm.

The electrical link box safety improving container may include:

an outer layer for holding the filling material; and

a handle for inserting, positioning and removing the electrical link box safety improving container in or from an electrical link box.

The outer layer may be flexible. The outer layer may be flame retardant. The outer layer may include a thermoplastic coated thermosetting polymer.

The outer layer may be substantially liquid permeable. The electrical link box safety improving container may include an inner layer positioned within the outer layer.

The inner layer may hold the filling material. The inner layer may be liquid permeable.

The inner layer may be flame retardant.

The inner layer may have a thermal conductivity of between 0.14W/mK and 0.17W/mK.

The inner layer may be formed from a flexible plastics material.

The inner layer may be formed from thermoplastic.

The electrical link box safety improving container may be openable and recloseable for permitting access to the filling material.

The electrical link box safety improving container may be openable and recloseable by a zip fastener.

The filling material may have a density of at least:

250kgm "3 ; or

300kgm "3 ; or

800kgm "3 ; and/or the filling material may have a density of at most:

900kgm "3 ; or 1550kgm "3 ; or

1700kgm "3 .

The filling material may have a water absorption capacity of at most 40% by weight.

The filling material may be flame retardant.

The filling material may have a thermal conductivity of between 0.29W/mK and 0.58W/mK.

The filling material may have an internal honeycomb structure.

At least a portion of the filling material may be in granular form.

The portion by volume of the filling material that is in granular form may be at least:

50%; or

60%; or

70%; or

80%; or

90%.

The granules may be generally spherical.

The granules may have a diameter of at least:

4mm; or

7mm; or

10mm; and/or the granules may have a diameter of at most:

14mm; or

20mm; or 25mm.

The filling material may be or may include a lightweight aggregate. The filling material may include pelletised pulverised fuel ash. The filling material may include Lytag®. The filling material may include lightweight expanded clay.

The filling material may include Leca®.

The electrical link box safety improving container may be a bag. The method may include a step of removing a safety blanket from the electrical link box.

There is also provided an electrical link box improving container according to the first aspect of the invention.

There is also provided an electrical link box including the electrical link box safety improving container.

There is also provided a kit for making the electrical link box safety improving container.

Brief description of the drawings

Embodiments will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a perspective view of an electrical link box improving container;

Figure 2 is a perspective view of an electrical link box; Figure 3 is a perspective view of an electrical link box in which the container of figure 1 has been inserted; and

Figure 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an improved electrical link box.

Description of embodiments

Referring to the figures, there is shown a method of improving an electrical link box 10. The method includes opening the electrical link box 10 to provide access to a space 12 within the electrical link box 10, and then inserting an electrical link box safety improving container 20 into the space 12 in the electrical link box 10. The electrical link box 10 is then closed. The electrical link box 10 may be provided with a lid 14 to enable the electrical link box 10 to be closed after the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is inserted. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 contains a filling material 22 for mitigating blasts in the electrical link box 10.

Providing an electrical link box safety improving container 20 which contains a filling material 22 for mitigating blasts in the electrical link box 10 is advantageous. Electrical link boxes are commonly located in the ground in built up areas, e.g. under footpaths or roads. Due to electrical link boxes being located in the ground, in use, gas from the ground may accumulate in a space 12 within the electrical link box 10. Further, as electrical link boxes age they may become less reliable. It is difficult to replace electrical link boxes without causing significant disruption, both in terms of the physical restrictions on paths and roads. It can therefore be relatively expensive and time consuming to replace an electrical link box. It is also difficult to tell when an electrical link box may be about to fail, and so it is difficult to prioritise replacement of electrical link boxes. In some instances, when an electrical link box 10 fails electricity can arc within the electrical link box 10. This may cause any gas within the electrical link box 10 to ignite and thus cause a blast, or explosion, in the electrical link box 10. This blast can cause significant damage to the surrounding area, and may, for instance, injure passing people. This is, in particular, but not necessarily only, because the lid 14 of the electrical link box 10 may be projected violently upwardly when a blast occurs. This is due to the significant amount of force that may be produced by a blast. Further, a blast may start a fire. Advantageously, after installation the electrical link box safety improving container 20 occupies at least a portion of the space 12 within the electrical link box 10. This reduces the available space for gas to accumulate in, and thus reduces the size of any blast which occurs compared to a situation in which the container 20 is not present. Accordingly, the provision of the filling material 22 is advantageous as it reduces the amount of undesirable gas that can accumulate. Further, if a gas is ignited within the electrical link box 10 and the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is in situ with the filling material 22 contained therein, then the filling material 22 provides additional mass against which the blast must act. This additional mass mitigates against the blast by absorbing at least some of the energy from the blast. This results in the lid 14, for instance, not projecting upwardly in such a violent fashion thus improving the safety of the electrical link box 10. It will therefore be apparent that the safety improving container 20 and the filing material 22 together act in a two-fold synergistic way. First, the size of any blast may be reduced, and, second, the consequences of that smaller blast are further mitigated.

The method may include the further step of determining a volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10. This may be done on-site, for instance, by measurement of the space 12 to determine the volume of the space 12. It may also, or alternatively, be done off-site, for instance, by having a record of which electrical link boxes 10 are installed in which locations, and thus having a record of the volume of the space 12 within each electrical link box 10. For example, a link box may be known to be a 4 way or a 2 way link box of a standard size. An electrical link box safety improving container 20 may then be selected with a volume which is less than and/or similar to the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10 for insertion into the electrical link box 10. This is advantageous because it ensures good fitment of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 in the electrical link box 10, thus improving the effectiveness of the electrical link box safety improving container 20. A good fitment allows the lid of the electrical link box 10 to be correctly replaced and also to fill a large amount of the space 12 within the electrical link box, thus reducing the possibility of gas build up. It also enables a fitter of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 to have the correct size electrical link box safety improving containers to hand to insert into each of the electrical link boxes 10 they are to improve.

The volume of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be at least 50% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 60% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 70% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 80% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 85% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 90% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 95% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 97% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10. The volume of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be at most 95% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 90% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 85% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10. Providing an electrical link box safety improving container 20 that occupies at least 50% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10 may be advantageous because it ensures that a significant proportion of the space 12 within the electrical link box 10 is occupied with an inert material thus reducing the available space for flammable substances, such as gases, to occupy.

The volume of filling material 22 may be at least 50% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 60% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 70% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 80% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 85% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 90% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 95% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 97% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10. The volume of the filling material may be at most 95% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 90% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10; or 85% of the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10. Providing a volume of filling material 22 that may occupy at least 50% if the volume of the space 12 in the electrical link box 10 may be advantageous. Providing such a volume of filling material 22 provides a significant mass of material against which a blast must act. Thus, the filling material 22 absorbs at least some of the energy from the blast and reduces the energy available for projecting the lid 14 upwardly. Providing such a volume of filling material 22 is also advantageous because the filling material 22 occupies a significant proportion of the space 12 meaning that there is less space within the electrical link box 10 for gas to build up. Therefore, the risk of a blast occurring may be reduced and/or the consequences of any blast that does occur may be reduced.

The filling material 22 may fill at least 70% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 75% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 80% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 85% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 90% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 95% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20. The filling material 22 may fill at most 97% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 95% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 90% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20; or 85% of the electrical link box safety improving container 20. This may be advantageous in permitting one size of electrical link box safety improving container 20 to be used in many different sized electrical link boxes 10 so that only size of electrical link box safety improving container 20 needs to be carried by the fitter and the appropriate volume of filling material 22 can be filled into the electrical link box safety improving container 20 for that electrical link box 10.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 selected may be dimensioned to leave a gap 16 around a periphery 18 of the electrical link box 10 of at most 10% of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link box 10 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10; or 8% of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link boxl 0 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10; or 6% of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link box 10 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 selected may be dimensioned to leave a gap 16 around the periphery 18 of the electrical link box 10 of at least 1 % of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link box 10 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10; or 2% of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link box 10 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10; or 4% of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link box 10 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10; or 5% of a length 24 and/or a width 26 of an opening 30 of the electrical link box 10 and/or a depth 28 of the electrical link box 10. This may be advantageous because it ensures that the electrical link box safety improving container 20 fits relatively snugly in the space 12 thus ensuring that there is a minimal gas build up within the electrical link box 10, thus reducing the risk of a blast occurring and/or reducing the consequences of any blast that does occur. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 and the filling material 22 may have a mass of at least 5kg; or 10kg; or 15kg; or 18kg. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 and the filling material may have a mass of at most 20kg; or 25kg. Providing an electrical link box safety improving container 20 and filling material 22 having such a mass may be advantageous. It has been found that providing a relatively heavy electrical link box safety improving container 20 and filling material 22 assists in mitigating against any blast that may occur as the container 20 and filling material 22 are able to absorb at least some of the energy from the blast meaning that less energy is available to damage the area surrounding the electrical link box 10.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may have a length 32 of at least 650mm; or 700mm. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may have a length 32 of at most 1000mm; or 1200mm.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may have a width 34 of at least 420mm; or 500mm; or 700mm. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may have a width 34 of at most 1000mm; or 1200mm.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may have a depth (not shown) of at least 30mm; or 50mm; or 70 mm. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may have a depth of at most 150mm; or 130mm; or 100mm.

Providing an electrical link box safety improving container 20 having dimensions as listed above may be advantageous. By providing electrical link box safety improving containers 20 of different dimensions it is possible to select an electrical link box safety improving container 20 of a suitable size to fit a specific electrical link box 10. It also enable multiple electrical link box safety improving containers 20 to be inserted into an electrical link box 10 to fit around the components within the electrical link box 10. This ensures good fitment of the electrical safety improving containers 20 into the electrical link box 10 and provides more efficient safety measures against gas accumulation and blast mitigation.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may include an outer layer 38 for holding the filling material 22. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may include a handle 40 for inserting, positioning and removing the electrical link box safety improving container 20 in or from an electrical link box 10. The handle 40 may be advantageous in assisting a user to remove an electrical link box safety improving container 20 from an electrical link box 10 so that they may inspect the electrical link box 10 and then easily replace the electrical link box safety improving container 20. In other words, the handle 40 may provide ease of use to a user and provide easy access to the electrical link box 10 by being easy to remove and replace.

The outer layer 38 may be flexible. This may be advantageous in assisting easy fitment of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 into the electrical link box 10. This is because the electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be deformable to permit the filling material 22 to move within the electrical link box safety improving container 20 and thus deform to be able to occupy the space 12 available within the electrical link box 10.

The outer layer 38 may be flame retardant. The outer layer 38 may be or include a thermoplastic coated thermosetting polymer. This may be advantageous in the event of a blast as it may prevent the electrical link box safety improving container 20 from breaking and releasing the filling material 22. It may also assist in suffocating a fire underneath the electrical link box safety improving container 20 and thus reduce the risk presented by a failing electrical link box 10. The outer layer 38 may be substantially liquid permeable. This may be advantageous because any liquid that accumulates in the electrical link box 10 is able to permeate and flow through the electrical link box safety improving container 20 meaning that any liquid that accumulates in the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is able to drain effectively therefrom. This ensures that the performance of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is not degraded by liquid retention.

Alternatively, the outer layer 38 may be substantially liquid impermeable. This may be advantageous in preventing the filling material 22 from becoming damp which may reduce its effectiveness.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may include an inner layer 42 positioned within the outer layer 38. This may be advantageous in improving the robustness of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 in the event that the outer layer 38 is damaged.

The inner layer 42 may hold the filling material 22. This may be advantageous because in the event that the outer layer 38 is damaged the filling material is still held by the inner layer 42.

The inner layer 42 may be liquid permeable. This may be advantageous because any liquid that accumulates in the electrical link box 10 is able to permeate and flow through the electrical link box safety improving container 20 meaning that any liquid that accumulates in the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is able to drain effectively therefrom. This ensures that the performance of the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is not degraded by liquid retention. Liquid retention within link boxes is particularly disadvantageous, due to increased shock risks, increased corrosion and so on. The inner layer 42 may be flame retardant. This may be advantageous in assisting with the extinguishing of any fire that may result from the ignition of gas build up in the electrical link box 10. The inner layer 42 may have a thermal conductivity of between 0.14W/mK and 0.17W/mK.

The inner layer 42 may be formed from a flexible plastics material. In particular, the inner layer 42 may be formed from thermoplastic. This may be advantageous in assisting a user with inserting the electrical link box safety improving container 20 into the electrical link box 10. This is because the filling material 22 is able to move within the inner layer 42 which means that the filling material 22 is able to flow around the components within the electrical link box 10 to fill any space 12 within the electrical link box 10. This means that the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is able to fit more filling material 22 in it to occupy more space 12 in the electrical link box 10 to then reduce the space available for gas to occupy, thus improving the safety of the electrical link box 10. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be openable and recloseable for permitting access to the filling material 22. In particular, the electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be openable and recloseable by a zip fastener 44. This may be advantageous for permitting the filling material 22 to be replaced or added to in the electrical link box safety improving container 20 to enable the same outer layer 38 and inner layer 42 to be used in a variety of different electrical link boxes 10 which require different amounts of filling material 22. Further, the amount of filling material 22 within the container 20 may be adjusted on site, thus enabling the container 20 to occupy large volumes of the space 12. The filling material 22 may have a density of at least 250kgm "3 ; or 300kgm "3 ; or 800kgm "3 . The filling material 22 may have a density of at most 900kgm "3 ; or 1550kgm "3 ; or 1700kgm "3 . Providing filling material 22 within these densities may be advantageous because the filling material 22 may provide sufficient mass to mitigate against any blasts that may occur once installed in the electrical link box 10 but it may also be light enough to enable a user to easily insert and remove the electrical link box safety improving container 20 from the electrical link box 10. The filling material 22 may have a water absorption capacity of at most 40% by weight. Preferably, the filling material 22 may have a water absorption capacity of at most 35% by weight. Most preferably, the filling material 22 may have a water absorption capacity of at most 30% by weight. This may be advantageous as electrical link boxes 10 can flood meaning that the filling material 22 will, in use, be exposed to water. By providing a filling material 22 that has a water absorption capacity of at most 40%, preferably 35% and most preferably 30%, by weight the filling material 22 will be able to withstand such flooding of the electrical link box 10. The filling material 22 may be flame retardant. This is advantageous in the event that the filling material 22 is exposed to fire due to gas igniting in the electrical link box 10 as the filling material 22 will not fuel the fire. The filling material 22 may also assist in preventing the fire from spreading further. The filling material 22 may have a thermal conductivity of between 0.29W/mK and 0.58W/mK. Preferably the filling material 22 may have a thermal conductivity of 0.35W/mK.

The filling material 22 may have an internal honeycomb structure. This may be advantageous in providing the filling material with additional strength so that it remains intact in the event that a blast occurs. This is advantageous because the filling material may then be reused, even if the electrical link box safety improving container 20 is damaged.

At least a portion of the filling material 22 may be in granular form. The portion by volume of the filling material that is in granular form may be at least 50%; or 60%; or 70%; or 80%; or 90%. Alternatively, or additionally, the filling material 22 may be in pellet form. This may be advantageous as the pellet form provides a rounder shape which may permit the filling material 22 to flow more freely. In other words, the granules may be generally spherical. Providing the filling material 22 as granules may be advantageous in permitting the filling material 22 to flow and occupy space 12 in the electrical link box 10, when inserted therein, whilst providing a relatively compact and dense filling material. The granules may have a diameter of at least 4mm; or 7mm; or 10mm. The granules may have a diameter of at most 14mm; or 20mm; or 25mm. Providing granules having a diameter as listed above may be advantageous. This is because the granules are large enough that they are prevented from compacting together and thus not moving into the space 12 available, but are small enough that there is limited dead space between the granules.

The filling material 22 may be or may include a lightweight aggregate. By this we mean that the filling material may be a material that has a lower density compared to traditional aggregate materials, such as stones used in the manufacture of concrete.

The filling material 22 may include potash.

The filling material 22 may include pelletised pulverised fuel ash. In particular, the filling material 22 may include Lytag®. The filling material 22 may include lightweight expanded clay. By lightweight, we mean that the density of the expanded clay is less than traditional clay. In particular, the filling material 22 may include Leca®. The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be a bag. This may be advantageous in permitting the electrical link box safety improving container to occupy irregular shaped spaces whilst occupying a maximum volume of that space. The method may include a further step of removing a safety blanket from the electrical link box. This may be advantageous in improving the blast mitigation safety measures utilised in the electrical link box 10. In particular, such prior art blankets may disadvantageously accumulate water within link boxes and removing such a blanket can reduce the potential for water to accumulate within the link box.

The electrical link box safety improving container 20 may be provided as a kit. The kit may be provided with instructions for how to make an electrical link box safety improving container 20 as described above. This may be advantageous in assisting users to produce electrical link box safety improving containers suitable for individual electrical link boxes 10. The instructions may further include instructions for carrying out a method described herein.

When used in this specification and claims, the terms "comprises" and "comprising" and variations thereof mean that the specified features, steps or integers are included. The terms are not to be interpreted to exclude the presence of other features, steps or components.

The features disclosed in the foregoing description, or the following claims, or the accompanying drawings, expressed in their specific forms or in terms of a means for performing the disclosed function, or a method or process for attaining the disclosed result, as appropriate, may, separately, or in any combination of such features, be utilised for realising the invention in diverse forms thereof.




 
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