Power cables are electronic systems that transmit power (or electricity) from one place to another. They are used in all kind of electrical instruments and tools. This includes cables for computers, radio, television, washing machine and refrigerator. In the industrial sector, their presence is even more vital, responsible for running the many machines and equipments that power production. We see power cables all around us, from our building wiring, on poles overhead and buried under the ground.
In short, they are the soldiers that run our lives, businesses and leisure. As the prominence of machines increases in our life, power cables have also become important. This has led to tightening norms for power cable manufacturers and an increased attention to better quality. Today we have a number of varieties to choose from. These are designed carefully to suit the equipment, power consumption and even the location.
We can credit the beginning of power cables to Thomas Edison who created a power distribution system in New York City in 1882. The system used copper rods. The insulating material was jute and this was placed in rigid pipes. Later vulcanized rubber was introduced as the insulating material. It was used for the 11,000 volt circuit Niagara Falls power project in 1897.
Other innovations took place in insulation and jackets, including paper-insulated cables. But the biggest push came in World WarII when necessity forced more innovations to carry heavy voltage as well run machines with their peculiar demands. This was the time when polyethylene and synthetic rubber made their appearance. Other innovations include aluminum wire and asbestos for insulation. Now we have PVC insulation, braided wires and more.
A power cable will have an electrical conductor that carries power (or electricity). This is typically cased in an insulating material to prevent any friction or reverse reaction with other conductors. This is again enveloped in the outer jacket. There are many ways this combination is working out. The material used also varies according to the function and the location.
There are braided as well as unbraided cables, single or bunched together, round or flat, insulated or uninsulated. The construction of the cable depends on a number of factors, such as the voltage, location factors like temperature, moisture and corrosive factors. Some will work better in certain conditions, while some will not.
Even flexibility can act as a criterion. For instance, in cases where a large quantity has to be packed (such as, for offshore location), we need a flexible wire that can be coiled easily without cracking. For such cases, power cable manufacturers use insulation and jacket material that can be coiled repeatedly. Flat cables are a popular choice here.
For instance, flat cables are popular in higher computer installations because there is less friction in high voltage. Outdoor overhead cables are often unsheathed to prevent overheating. Underground cables, on the other hand, may have lead sheath! In cables carrying high voltage, we will often find conductive shield around the insulating material.
In addition, the end of the cable and at various point, we have conductor shields grounded to earth. The grounding of the cable provides protection against electric shock, which can be fatal with a high voltage cable. The insulation material uses polymers and even oil and paper.
Selecting the right power cable manufacturer
For electrical goods manufacturers, the selection of the right manufacturer is important. It affects the standard of their own product, affecting not just its sales, but also government certification. To get the ISI mark or ISO certification, you need certain prerequisites and the quality of the cable system is a critical part of this.
Other fields where you need to be certain of cable certification is in the laying of cables for public utilities, such as the electricity distribution system as well the telecommunication systems. The cable should be able to carry the voltage required, whether low, medium or high. It should remain functional without getting overheated and must be protected against corrosion. As mentioned above, there are many factors that can determine the actual construction. However, ensuring the quality is easy. Simply loom for certification!
Power cables are an important part of our landscape, connecting us to each other, running appliances and powerful machines. Power cable manufacturers have come a long way with customized products under strict rules and regulation.