Cable Selection – Akalmand bano sahi chuno
Assistant Manager, Technical Cell
We live in an ever-changing world – one that is engaged in deep revolutions. From new business models and new consumer technologies to new infrastructure, energy and power systems – electrical transformation is ubiquitous. The wire and cable industry has moved from being a small industry to a very large industrial segment over the past few decades. This transformation has led to the innovation and developments of wires and cables which were not available ever-before.
However, choosing the right product for your specific application can be toilsome! But it is equally important. Would you put ice cream in a hot oven? Similarly, we cannot install ordinary PVC cable in the Hot production Zone. We need to establish the basic idea that, "not all cables are the same". Even the product shown in best commercials or well-known to the consumers may not be able to handle the harsh industrial conditions for long durations if chosen incorrectly.
Electric wires and cables are nothing less than nerves of any electrical system. Reliability and integrity of any project solely depend upon these connecting mediums. Hence it is significant to understand what to look for in a cable, to make more informed decisions. When selecting wires and cables it really comes down to the following parameters:
- Voltage: The application voltage may range from 12V as used for CCTV Camera signals to extra-high voltage (EHV) for power transmission. The constructions and technical requirements of the cable used for different voltage grades are completely different.
- Temperature: We cannot use an ordinary wire in cold storage having an ambient temperature of -40°C. Neither can we use an ordinary PVC insulated and sheathed cable in the hot production zones of glass, cement or steel industries.
- Installation Type (Moving or Static): Cables meant for fixed installation cannot be connected to a VFD or a drag chain application. It is generally expected for a drive to trip or for a motor connected to VFD to fail sooner than other static applications. But this problem can be solved by selecting a well-designed Servo or Drag Chain cable which is meant for moving applications.
- Environmental Impact: Harsh environmental conditions like abrasion, exposure to dust, chemicals, oils, solvents, UV radiations, EMI, etc. need to be identified before selecting cable.
Here we have to think about an environmental rating system which includes Mechanical, Ingress, Climate and Electromagnetic condition. The site condition has to be assessed and if the rating for any one or more of these criteria is higher we cannot use an ordinary PVC cable.
- Installation Factors: There are several installation factors which include cable installation in air, through duct/conduits, under the ground, with horizontal or vertical spacing, etc., which are needed to be considered before selecting a final cable. Manufacturers generally provide conversion factors for their cables in their technical brochures.
There are several other technical factors such as current ratings, transient conditions, voltage drop, impedance matching, etc. which are also taken into consideration once the above conditions are fulfilled.
RR Kabel offers the broadest range of products with cable temperatures ranging from -50°C to +200°C, voltage grades rating from extra-low voltage (ELV) to Extra High Voltage (EHV), cables with data speed from 9.6 kbps to 1 Gbps for a wide spectrum of frequencies. Our cables are extensively tested in the laboratory accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 replicating the real-world operating conditions.
To narrow down the process of cable selection, RR Kabel has categorized its 1000+ varieties of wires and cables into 13 segments based on their applications. These segments help the end-user to choose a dedicated product for their application, based on the physical and functional parameters discussed above.
The cost of wire or cable may be insignificant compared to the capital cost of the project. However, the impact of choosing an incorrect cable can be very expensive.
Akalmand Bano Sahi Chuno!