A variety of myths about power cables

The most essential part of any electrical system is the power cable. There are many different kinds of power cables on the market. A huge range of possibilities also brings a wide variety of stereotypes. The general myth that copper is always a much stronger conductor of electricity than aluminum is extremely prevalent. Well, that’s not true at all. There are numerous aspects to take into account when selecting which conductivity between copper and aluminum metals is best.

Even if you may be educated about electric cables, there is a chance that you may not be familiar with some aspects of power cables.

myths about power cables
photo: Pixabay

Therefore, you should check that your power cable is secure before utilizing any equipment, such as a universal power cord, on your devices. What you need know about power cables is as follows:

The most significant of them is that conductivity in respect to cable wires is not just a result of resistivity measurement, but also a special interaction between cable diameter and insulation type. Aluminum cables become the more cost-effective option when super-high voltages are required to be usable over extended distances.
People frequently discuss the idea that their present cable capacity will remain steady indefinitely, so there’s there. But this is a typical misunderstanding that people have with electrical cables.

The reality is that the cable current capacity completely depends on where and how it is used. The most crucial of these is that before selecting a function for any use, you should review its technical specifications.

Aluminum Can Sometimes Be a Better Conductor Than Copper

It is important to keep in mind that the copper conductor does not maintain its stability over the duration of the cables. Common causes of stability shifts include things like the current ground or air temperature. The stability of power cables is also impacted by the actual method of cable laying and the depth at which the wires are buried.
Many factors contribute to newly installed power cables not lasting as long as people would hope. Starting with the first, it is obviously doubtful that every power cable you install will endure for a certain period of time because there are numerous manufacturers of electrical cables.

The availability of several power cable types is the second argument. A specific power cable is defined by the terms below:

Other industry-specific characteristics

The third factor, which we just covered, is that the manner in which the installation process is carried out greatly affects how long a cable will last. A cable’s durability could be greatly shortened by a bad installation.
The cable armor serves no purpose in defending the cable from potential physical harm. On the other hand, if any power cable is exposed to physical stress of any kind, it is feasible that the armor would certainly exacerbate the cable’s impact damage. This is so because cable armor manufacturers typically utilize steel wire or steel tape to protect all types of wires. The purpose of these materials is to increase the cables’ tensile strength, not to shield the cables from damage.

The cross section of the aluminum conductor cable that can be use in the same system must be roughly 1.6 times that of the copper conductor. On the other hand, when evaluating electrical performance, topics like dielectric properties, impedance characteristics, and short circuit resistance should be taken into consideration. When evaluating physical performance, topics like response to temperature increase, fire resistance, and mechanical strength should also be taken into account.

Copper conductors maintain their mechanical strength during a short circuit better than aluminum conductors do. Aluminum use has the potential to pull and twist rigid conductors, while bending, loosening, or compressing flexible conductors.

stability of power cables
photo: Pixabay

Electric Cables Cannot Be Protected From Moisture by the Cable Armor

Therefore, it is wise to seek out facts rather than myths. Because depending on myths could be harmful to the overall performance of the cable. This brings us to the last but most important factor you need to think about, which is safety. Remember that improper cable installation might quickly result in an accident. Therefore, you should speak with your local building inspector or the site electrical inspector before beginning any electrical installation projects.

Once the project is finished, it is best to have it inspected for full compliance with local codes and regulations. Therefore, after properly fitting power cables, you can use equipment like universal power cords on any device without risk.

Currently, copper is a much more preferred material than aluminum. This is true even if copper’s price has risen significantly during the early 2000s commodities boom. On the other hand, the price of aluminum has remained rather stable, so if this practice continues, it will be more crucial to take aluminum into account as a substitute conductor material.


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