Sunday, December 13, 2009

Types of electrical wire

Types of electrical wire usually separated in 3 category:
  • Power cable

  • control cable

  • Instrument cable.

  • You may familiar with some Insulation and Jacket type such as
    THHN/THWN
    PVC/NYLON
    FR-XLP
    RHW-2 OR RHH OR USE-2
    FR-XLP
    HMWPE, LSZH.

    Here are only few cable types and their applications example:

    600 V THHN Copper conductor: For use in general wiring application and power in conduit.
    600 V RHW-2 Copper Conductor: For use in harsh environments for general wiring direct burial.
    300 V UL type PLTC: This is a multi-pair instrumentation cable: For use in instrumentation and process control applications

    Copper Electrical Wire
    Copper is the common used because copper is a very good conductor, and is easy to mold and bend.

    Aluminum Electrical Wire
    Aluminum is cheaper and more abundant than copper. It is also easy to shape and bend.
    More important for electrical designer is to select the right size of electrical wire . The following link is the method of how to determine cable size.


    Electrical Wire Size


    Before selecting electrical cable, There are much more but here are just some criteria s to keep in mind :

  • Cable conductors

  • Cable AWG

  • Temperature

  • Shield type

  • Material type

  • No of pairs



  • Electrical wire size using table 310.16 NEC2008 on page 70-148. Simply calculate amperage (current) flow through the circuit and then apply the table.

    SIZE AWG OR KCMIL COPPER COPPER COPPER ALUMINUM ALUMINUM ALUMINUM SIZE AWG OR KCMIL
    _ TYPE TW,UF TYPES RHW
    ,THHW,THW,
    THWN,XHHW
    USE,ZW
    RHW-2,THHN
    THHW,THW-2
    (90°C)
    TYPES TW,UF
    (60°C)
    TYPES RHW
    THHW,THW
    THWN,XHHW
    USE
    TYPES TBS,SA
    SIS,THHW<>
    SIZE AWG OR KCMIL
    18
    16
    14
    12
    10
    8
    _
    _
    20
    25
    30
    40
    _
    _
    20
    25
    35
    50
    14
    18
    25
    30
    40
    55
    _
    _
    _
    20
    25
    30
    _
    _
    _
    20
    30
    40
    _
    _
    _
    25
    35
    45
    _
    _
    _
    12
    10
    8
    6
    4
    3
    2
    1
    55
    70
    85
    95
    110
    65
    85
    100
    115
    130
    75
    95
    110
    130
    150
    40
    55
    65
    75
    85
    50
    65
    75
    90
    100
    60
    75
    85
    100
    115
    6
    4
    3
    2
    1
    1/0
    2/0
    3/0
    4/0
    125
    145
    165
    195
    150
    175
    200
    230
    170
    195
    225
    260
    100
    115
    130
    150
    120
    135
    155
    180
    135
    150
    175
    205
    1/0
    2/0
    3/0
    4/0
    250
    300
    350
    400
    500
    215
    240
    260
    280
    320
    255
    285
    310
    335
    380
    290
    320
    350
    380
    430
    170
    190
    210
    225
    260
    205
    230
    250
    270
    310
    230
    225
    280
    305
    350
    250
    300
    350
    400
    500
    600
    700
    750
    800
    900
    335
    385
    400
    410
    435
    420
    460
    475
    490
    520
    475
    520
    535
    555
    585
    285
    310
    320
    330
    335
    340
    375
    385
    395
    425
    385
    420
    435
    450
    480
    600
    700
    750
    800
    900
    1000
    1250
    1500
    1750
    2000
    435
    495
    520
    545
    560
    545
    590
    625
    650
    665
    615
    665
    705
    735
    750
    375
    405
    435
    455
    470
    445
    485
    520
    545
    560
    500
    545
    585
    615
    630
    1000
    1250
    1500
    1750
    2000

    Apply table to calculate electrical wire size
    Assume the current calculated result is 14A, cable type is copper THHN, insulated conductors rated at 90° C, and so based on the table, cable size is 18 AWG. For practical safety application, recommended power cable should be bigger than 12 AWG.



    Wire size calculator

    Wire Size Calculator
    Select Voltage
    120V 208V 240V 277V 480V
    Select Wire Type

    Copper Aluminum
    Select Phase

    Single Phase Three Phase
    Input Amperage Input One Way Distance (in feet)
    Minimum Size Required



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