What are House wires & their types?

Overview: A lot of gadgets working on electricity like televisions, micro-wave ovens, FM radio or Refrigerators are used inside our homes. All these gadgets work on electricity and draw power from the sockets in switch boards and panels. Electric power is circulated to all the power outlets in the house by means of flexible wires. Thus these wires inside our house are majorly concealed and hidden behind carefully designed decor and slots inside the walls to preserve its elegant and clean look.

Installation of such house wires is an important task which needs to be done properly to keep the house away from mishaps occurring due to short circuits or electrical fires. Being flexible these house wires tend to bend and take the contour of the space they are about to be installed. Flexible wires, as we all know offer a great resistance to breakage and failure to due to load on a specific point while flexing or bending. Apart from the excellent flexibility these house wires typically come in a various color combinations. The outer sheath is available in red, blue, yellow, black or green colors for easy identification during installation and jointing.

A variety of brands have these domestic wiring cables in their portfolio in different length and gauge configuration and are very well chosen according to the application at hand. House wires are available in various types such as Fire retarding/fire retardant cables [FR cables], Fire retardant Low smoke halogen cables [FRLSH cables] and Fire retardant zero halogen cables [FRZH cables]. Different cables are called with different names mainly due to the type of protection they offer. Shop for such house cables online.

Before deep diving into the types of house wires available, knowing about the basic qualities of a house wire is a must. House wires are quintessentially the life line of the entire power distribution inside the house and residential scenarios. Electrical fire and mishaps cause a lot of property damage and that can be expensive to repair. What can be cheaper, is choosing the right cables at the very first step itself!

Fire retardant [FR] cables:

Cables and wires need to have an insulator which acts as the first line of defence against any mishaps. Thus this insulation material should preferably be made up of non conducting material which will resist electric current. Generally plastics like Polyvinyl Chloride, Fluro polymers and rubber can be used as an insulating material. Fire retarding property, if present in the material which protects the cable or the wire is an added advantage. What exactly does [FR] fire retarding mean in simple words? Is the most common question which arises in one’s mind which can be answered fairly easily. Basic meaning of a fire retardant is a substance which is able to reduce the rapid spread of fire and drastically lessen its intensity. If a cable has a fire retardant covering, any electric fire generated or initiated inside the house can be contained before it can cause major damage. Fire resistant cables will be able to hold its own and continue its function for some time before getting damaged but fire retardant cable mainly focus on obstructing the spread of fire which can prove to be fatal in most of the cases.

Fire retarding and fire resisting cables are used in two different scenarios and have different qualities too. Fire resistant cables are used where the integrity of the system should be kept intact as long as possible, for e.g. in case of emergency services or emergency lighting. Fire retarding cables are used where spread of the fire needs to be contained before it causes any damage. Now it is possible to shop online for FR cables of authentic certified brands.

Fire and its effects on cables: Yet another dangerous situation occurs when the wire or the cable starts burning and lets out smoke. Smoke in general is a type of pollutant which if inhaled by a person can cause some unwanted effects. Thus when there is an electrical fire incident, the insulation on the cables also burns letting out fumes which can have a lot of effects. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly used as an insulating material in all types of cables especially in flexible house wires. PVC is made up of chains of alkenes double bonded with monomers. When PVC wire burns a variety of gases are emitted for e.g. Hydrogen chloride and Carbon mono oxide. On a still higher temperature hydrocarbon like benzene, ethylene are produced. Any gas release during burning will prove fatal to a person if exposed to it for prolonged period of time. Thus leading us to a conclusion that fire caused due to electrical faults are bad and if they occur, fumes and emissions due to them are still worst. To avoid such instances various cables are available which will retard the fire and also refrain from emitting toxic or harmful gases. Cables with mineral insulation have a very low burning rate as they have copper sheath, so these cables can withstand higher temperatures than polymeric insulated cables. Polymeric insulated cables will most definitely burn liberating toxic and harmful gases.

Choosing the right material for cables and important facts: Cables installed in household application, residential complexes and rooftop installations are the most crucial locations where the cable installed needs to be such, that it retards fire and protects the surroundings till the fire is extinguished. An electrical fire at such locations indeed causes a lot of destruction of property and possibly loss of life too. Thus to avoid such incidents wires which emit low smoke and wires which do not have halogen in them are preferred.

Typically when something burns, smoke is emitted which can be of varied density as well as colour. If a cable or a wire is involved in a fire, smoke and fumes will be emitted by the burning of the insulation for e.g if a standard PVC wire is burned it will burn releasing dense blackish smoke and toxic fumes as discusses earlier. If such a wire or a cable starts burning in a confined place for e.g. a house or a distribution box of a residential building the smoke emitted at that moment will fill up the entire space. The smoke emitted from such incidences can cause two major problems; first it will reduce the overall visibility, thus making the people trapped in such situation difficult to locate the door and escape and second it will obstruct the vision of the fire rescue operators to locate the trapped victims as well as rescue them in time. Toxic fumes apart from the smoke emitted can cause ill effects to the people who inhale them making the situation even more worst.

To avoid such dangerous situations, the cables, if subjected to fire, must emit very low smoke and should not contain any such materials which might emit poisonous or toxic fumes. Low smoke zero halogen cables are the type of cables suitable for application in Libraries, School, Auditoriums and Homes.

Sometimes cables and wires may play a small part or a major part in aiding the combustion process, it depends on the place where the cable is used too! A huge amount of efforts have been put into the design of cables and choice of materials to make them safer and fire retarding. All cables have insulation and can be broadly classified into cables having combustible insulating and non combustible insulating materials. In the recent times, almost all cables use a type of polymeric material for insulation, though some might use material like paper. Even though polymeric materials are combustible they are not as combustible as compared to materials like wood, cotton or paper.

Material used in the cable construction can be rated or judged from the parameters like flammability, resistance to spread of fire, heat release during the combustion, smoke release, toxic gas release and corrosive gas release. According to such parameters plasticized PVC, which is used in many cable and wire construction has a self ignition temperature of about 454℃, Flash temperature of 397℃and a heat releasing value of 19MJ/Kg. Here flash temperature can be understood by the temperature at which the gases emitted by the material can be ignited by a spark and self ignition temperature is the temperature at which it might ignite spontaneously. A polymeric cable material needs a flame retardant additive to the cable material to reduce flammability. Addition of halogen to polymeric materials like PVC or CSP shows a heightened degree of flame retarding behaviour. Halogen atoms react to the decomposition of the polymers in turn reducing the amount of gases released. The only down side of this reaction is the formation of Hydrogen Halides which are corrosive in nature. Halogen combination can be tweaked so that they release less corrosive elements but that can also affect the flame retarding qualities, which is not desirable. Low fire hazard cables and Low smoke and fume type cables are developed to take care of the modern safety regulations regarding the parameters already mentioned above. Among the two types Low fire hazard cables can be termed as Halogen free cables and do not emit Halogen based corrosive agents.

Fire retardant low smoke halogen cables:

FRLSH cables are one of the types of cables which are preferred over simple [FR] Fire retardant cables simply because of the advantages it provides. FRLSH cables are preferred in residential and house installation applications due to its fire retardant capabilities and low smoke emitting qualities. Due to emission of low smoke in case of fire it allows the occupants of that particular place to evacuate the premises and visibility in that area is not hampered. FRLSH cables find utility in and around inverters, battery connections and control panels. Apart from being used in residential applications such cables can be very well utilized in areas where there is a lot of human movement for e.g. schools, theatres and airports. PVC cables resist flames due to having fire retardant properties but emit thick black smoke when burnt hence Flame retardant low smoke compounds have compositions which ensure that these cables emit less smoke and corrosive fumes so that the surrounding machinery as well as people are protected from any harm. Buy online FRLS house cables.

Flame Retardant Zero Halogen [FRZH]:

FRZH cables as they are commonly known have a FRZH material as a jacket and is made up of thermoplastic or thermoset compounds. First invented by Richard Skipper back in 1979 and patented by Raychem Corporation, FRZH materials became available commercially. Aluminium Tetra Hydride [ALTH] is the most preferred material to be added to the thermoplastic composition to reduce the emission of gases and the smoke along with it. Aluminium Tetra Hydride has an endothermic reaction when subjected to fire, which means heat is absorbed and steam is released. This steam which is released helps in interrupting ignition of the other released gases and also helps in forming a char layer which shields the remainder material.

Prior to modern developments in the field, FRZH cables had a lower performance as compared to PVC cables but today’s date and time this has changed a lot. Cost of FRZH cables as compared to the normal PVC cable is high as it requires additional procedures in manufacturing. Modern FRZH cables maintain the flexibility, bending qualities as the PVC cables and are safer too! Such FRZH cables and its applications can be varied and specific at the same time.

Confined places and areas where ventilation is improper such as houses, residential building, aircrafts, tanks, submarines, subsea applications and other off the shore places, are the type of applications suitable for use of FRZH cables. Apart from these applications FRZH cables are and will be extensively used in nuclear applications as these wires won’t emit toxic and corrosive gases as well as the electronic machinery used in those facilities will remain protected too. To summaries the entire write up the cables which are used in particular residential applications need to be strong and flexible but fire retarding at the same time. Such cables have numerous advantages which have great impact and add to the overall safety for the occupants of the place. Fire can be destructive and life threatening if it occurs at crucial spots, so to avoid any mishaps cables with special jacket of Low smoke and Zero Halogen materials is used. Low smoke allows the rescue operation to be swift and easy; no halogen content in the materials means any dangerous fumes and gases emitted. All these things are possible due to the ongoing progress in the field of materials, cable design and construction. Cable with such jackets and compounds does not lose its flexibility or its strength which is most important if the cable is being utilized in places where the available space is limited. Thus FRLSH and FRZH cables help in improving safety and reduce the losses to minimum. Now buy FRZH cables at just a click of the button.

What is Solar Cable?

Overview: Electricity is generated at the power plants and transported all the way to the substations and distribution centers, which finally supply them to the end consumer. Right from the moment the electricity is generated, to the point where it is being consumed, it is transported by cables and wires. Now, cables have a very big and important responsibility to carry out and that too safely! It is rightly understood that various applications demand cables with specific qualities and capabilities. In other terms, cables must be chosen properly for them to function safely and appropriately in coordination with the application, for e.g., Cables used in household and residential applications are flexible cables which may have a special jacketing material which has a low smoke and zero halogen coating. Similar to household applications other applications demand cables with flexibility, fire retardant, strength, durability, weather resistant properties and much more. While installation and setting up any application which involves a lot of electrical utility, cables are meticulously selected and properly installed. Care is taken at the point of jointing as well as the process where the cables are laid if not, then the entire integrity of the cabling structure is at stake.

Similar to household and industrial applications, solar installations also need specific cables which can carry out its duty even in the most hostile situations. Before understanding the solar cables themselves some knowledge regarding solar installations is a must.

Solar installations: As any other power plant, solar power is generated at a particular place and needs to be transported to the end user to consume. The place where this solar energy is trapped and converted to useful electricity is called as a Solar Farm or a Photo voltaic power station. Energy generation at these power stations is a bit different from the energy generated at the panels which are mounted on rooftops or small areas around residential buildings. Solar energy, which is generated on these solar harvesting farms can be fed into the grid as is fed by any other fossil fuelled power station. Solar farms use solar panels to capture solar energy. These solar panels have Photo voltaic cells which are mainly made of silicon based materials. These cells convert the incident solar rays on them into electric power. Solar farms can be typically spread on a big patch of land and have a multiple solar panel array. To generate electricity, it needs multiple solar panel arrays, thus the arrangements. If we look at some general statistics the state of California is the top solar energy harvesting state, whose energy powers around 1 million homes in the USA where as Karnataka and Telangana prove to be the top energy generators in India.

Solar panels: Apart from the solar panels, the solar setup has other components too! Major component of any solar harvesting setup is the Solar panel array. These arrays capture the solar rays and convert them into electricity. The farm installation can have either a fixed array or axis tracking array. Fixed arrays are those types of arrays whose inclination can be fixed at a certain angle which provides maximum exposure to sun rays and which can be effectively adjusted seasonally. Another type of is the dual axis tracking array which track the sun as it moves throughout the day. Cables which connect all the components, Inverters, step up transformers and other power lines are some of the other components present in the solar harvesting stations.

Location of solar farms and cable selection: Solar farms with large scale installation as well as solar panel clusters installed over buildings and other establishments are situated at such a location where there is no hindrance in between the panel receptive surface and the sun rays. These farms can be located in open fields, desert areas or any other open and unobstructed area. The cables used in the PV installation applications must have certain qualities to be able to survive and sustain in all conditions. The main focus of solar installations is absorbing as much solar energy as practically possible so the cables present in the vicinity of the solar panels will be exposed to solar rays throughout the day. Naturally, when the cables get bombarded with sun rays they are also exposed to UV radiation too. Some solar panels have a rotating axis, which is most helpful when the solar panels track the sunlight though out the day that means the cables used in such installations need to have a sufficient amount of flexibility. If the cables are rigid and do not bend as according to the turning panel then there are high chances of the cable breaking apart. Another factor which is very important while choosing the cables is the heat and temperature these wires can withstand. Solar cables need to be extremely durable, which means these cables should be able to withstand high temperatures without melting or getting damaged. Apart from the temperature resistance, cables need to be resistant towards all the other weather conditions too. Generally, such cables will be laid underground or have some similar layout for making the connection from solar panels. So the cables laid underground or on the surface need to be dust and dirt resistant plus the cables will undergo a certain amount of abrasion while laying and over the period of its working period.

Thus, looking at all the aspects the cable used in solar applications needs to be robust and extremely versatile. These cables are required to behold their own in tough and hostile situations. Setting up a solar harvesting farm is a costly affair as one has to arrange the required land, installation of the solar panels, inverters and connection to the grids. Failure of a cable due to any factor will cause a lot of damage to the entire systems, the power supply will be affected and it will be a costly affair to mend. Thus, selection of proper cables at the initial stage is as important as selecting the place for the installation of the solar farm itself.

Solar cables and its details: As compared to any other cable used in a system, Solar cables too are the main components carrying the electricity from the generation source to the utility destination. As most of the electric power generated by the Photo Voltaic system is generated at solar farms or at PV panel installations and it is utilized somewhere else, solar wires help with the transmission of this power. Unlike house wires, these solar cables require special tools for making connections which also need to be resistant to heat and efficiently work in rugged environment as already mentioned above. Photo voltaic cables are also being made in different colors to help identify the source, inverter and the output due to which marking and tagging of the cables is partially eliminated. Even though solar cables are usually open to environment and electrical fire, if caused, will not cause as much damage as in residential or industrial setups, but if these cables have fire retarding capabilities, it is most welcome. Fire retarding properties will help in extinguishing the fire before it can cause damage to any equipment and machinery in the solar setup. Halogen if absent from the cables will be most beneficial for PV devices near residential setups. Now buy solar cables online at a click of a button.

Solar cables can be further classified into 2 categories, for e.g. DC main cables and AC connection cables. Module DC cables are generally integrated in the PV panels. Such cables have specific connectors which hugely help in jointing and interconnections. As these Solar cables are used in outdoor environments, positive and negative cables may not be placed in the same cable to avoid the chance of a short circuit thus increasing its safety factor. The power output of a particular Solar harvesting installation has a huge impact on selection of cable cross section, for e.g. 2.5 sq mm, 4 sq mm or 6 sq mm and so on. AC connection cables typically connect the solar power inverter to the main grid passing through some protective equipment. Three phases inverter having connections to a low voltage [LV] grid may employ a multi core construction like for e.g. three wires to carry three current carrying phases, one neutral wire and ground where as single phase inverters require only three core cable having one live wire, one neutral wire and ground.

Selection of cable size is important when it comes to solar cables as it ensures no loss of energy and no overheating of the cables. Typical solar cables are chosen with respect to the generating capacity of the Solar Panel and distance between the panel and the corresponding load. Lastly, solar cables must be all weather and UV resistant, high temperature resistant, able to bear stress, acid proof, flame retarding and short circuit proof and have less diameter for space saving purposes.

The Whole point of power generation from renewable sources like sunlight or wind is maximizing the use of such resources and reduces dependency on fossil fuel generation sources. A solar cable should be designed in such a way that electrical losses are avoided and are cut to the minimum. Cables used for solar transmission have the higher voltage range to offer, up to 2000 volts in comparison to 600 volts used in conventional applications. As the technology is develops special efforts are being put on reducing the losses and increasing the life of cables which run between transformers and distribution stations. As discussed earlier, these cables need to have a larger working temperature range for e.g. a single core cable with 1.8 KV maximum DC voltage should work anywhere between -40°C to +90°C. Shielding of the cable is received by the means of metal meshing which improves protection from over voltage too. Shop for solar cables online.

Solar cables can be installed in a loop, cable raceways or installed along the mounting railings. However, in such situations the cable needs to be installed safely for e.g the cables must not hang in such a manner which might entangle or give rise to fire hazard. Wiring loop should preferably be 5 times the diameter of the cable. Cables which are installed in cable runways or the railings are secured by means of metallic clips or brackets. Care should be taken in such installations as the temperature of the railings or the runways might cause unwanted heating effects on the cable. Sharp bends or installing the cables near railings which have a sharp edge may lead to cuts in the cable leading to cable damage and ultimately failure of the system all together. Hence the installation of these cables is also an important aspect as compared to the cable design and specifications itself.

This from all the information mentioned above, one can understand that harvests energy from renewable resources is quite easily possible, but one needs to have knowledge of the subject to make it more efficient. Demand for solar energy harvesting is on the rise and so are the standards being developed for the safety of such installations. Different law enforcement and safety authorities in different countries apply different standards for the cables used in such solar installations. Even if the size of the solar farm is small or is done on a large commercial scale it requires a safe, tough and resilient cabling. Manufacturers who are commercially made such cables can always improve the quality and utility of cables by making a sizeable investment in R n D initiatives, due to which these cables can achieve all the modern standards.

Summarizing the content, solar cables can be considered to be one of the toughest and rugged cables available in the market. These particular cables carry out power transmission duty in versatile situations and also posses the strength to sustain them. Proper cabling and correct cabling in solar installations can help energy harvesting and consumption a smooth and efficient process.