Choosing the Right Electrical Cable for Your Project

Electrical cable is made of one or more conductors insulated from each other and plated with a protective insulating layer, and is used to connect electrical circuits and appliances and to transmit electricity and signals. The conductor of electrical cables are made of copper or aluminium, and the outer layer is wrapped with an insulating layer, such as PVC, to enhance the cable’s conductivity, corrosion and heat resistance. Electrical cable wires can be laid overhead or buried in the ground for superior performance.

Electrical cable size refers to its cross-sectional area, the larger the size, the stronger the electric cable’s current-carrying capacity and voltage. Electrical wires are commonly used in residential, commercial and industrial applications, and sizes are selected for different applications to ensure safety and electric system stability.

electric cable
electric cable

Electrical Cable Types

There are many electrical cable types available for people to use. These types are used in different environments to transmit power signals.
Armoured cable: In addition to the conductor, insulation and sheath, there is a layer of armour to protect the cable from mechanical damage, humidity and animal bites.
Control cable: this type of electric cable is used to control electrical equipment to transmit signals, usually in industrial automation systems, etc. can be used.
High-voltage cable: Designed for specialized transmission of high-voltage electricity, long-distance power equipment and substations. And it can work properly with 35kv-110kv.

Medium Voltage Cable: Medium voltage cables have a voltage range of 3.6kv-35kv and are capable of medium distance power transmission cabling.
Low Voltage Cable: Low voltage cables are rated below 1.8kv and are used for close proximity cabling.
There are some other types of cables in power system, the choice of cable type should be based on the specific application, ask the specialist electricians.

armored cable
Armoured cable consist of one or more copper or aluminium conductors with XLPE insulation, covered with a cushion layer, an bending layer and a PVC sheath. The armored layer is made of steel wire, steel tape or aluminium wire and adds an extra layer of protection to the armoured cable from external mechanical and physical damage.Armoured electrical cable is generally divided into several types, steel wire armored.
control cable
Control cables are dedicated cables for automation and instrumentation applications to regulate automated processes. As a multi-core cable, control cable is typically made of copper or aluminum with PVC insulation and sheath.
high voltage cable
High voltage cable is an electrical cable designed for the transmission of high-voltage power, usually containing triple co-extruded insulation and shielding layers to safely and efficiently handle high-voltage electricity, and effectively reduce electric leakage hazards.
low voltage cable
Low voltage cable is an electrical cable designed to carry electrical power at relatively low voltage levels -  typically below 1kv volts and is commonly used in residential and commercial applications.
medium voltage cable
Medium voltage cable is a type of electrical cable designed for the transmission of medium voltage power, typically ranging from 3.6 kV to 35 kV.
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FAQ about Electrical Cable

Selecting the right cable electrical for your project involves considering these factors:
1. The power required for the project, which can help you filter out some cables in electrical;
2. Electrical cable size and current carrying capacity, find the correct size according to the electrical cable size chart;
3. Materials used for Electrical cables, different electrical wiring cable insulation and conductor materials are suitable for different application scenarios;
4. Application environment, select the characteristics of the required electricity cables, such as whether the application environment is a humid environment.
If the above factors still failed to select the right cable, you can consult a cable expert to guide your project and help you select both safe and right elctric cable.

Electrical power cablea are generally colored as:
Black: hot wire, for 120v current delivery;
Red: hot wire, for 240v current carrying;
Blue or yellow: for 208v low voltage lighting etc;
White or grey: belongs to the neutral wire, which brings current back to the power supply;
Green or bare copper: belongs to the earth wire, used to direct the current flow to the ground for safety in case of circuit failure.

The ampacity, voltage, and run distance of the electrical cabling determine the amps in the electrical cable size chart. You can look up the appropriate data from the amperage tables in the National Electrical Code(NEC Standard) or search for a formula to calculate it.

The service life of electric cable is determined by the follow factors:
Firstly, the materials used for the conductor, insulation and sheath of the electrical cable itself determine the service life;
Secondly, the environment in which the cable is installed influences the service life of the cable, e.g. humid environments or environments prone to sun exposure;
Then, the ambient temperature and the amount of load also affect the service life of the cable;
In short, to extend the service life of cables, it is necessary to use properly designed and installed  electrical  cables.

The purpose of installing power cables into conduits is to provide a safeguard for the electrical cables against external mechanical damage, and also to reduce the degree of bending of the electrical cables and prevent damage to the internal conductors and insulation of the electrical cables. If the cable is installed underground, then it must need conduit; if it is installed in other places, you need to choose whether to install conduit or not according to the specific environment. ZW Cable can also be consulted and help you solve the problems.

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