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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,426
Likes: 3
Brian, are they Over-head or Undergound?.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,426
Likes: 3
How about Transformers? I always use aluminum wound XFMRs. in all applications.
Aluminium Wound Tranny?, first I've heard of this!?. [Linked Image]

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 110
99% in my area, SE MI, is Aluminum. If someone wants copper I have to search for it. And, of course, it will be more expensive.

Blessings, Mark

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 444
Trumpy.....Yes, aluminum wound XFMRs. I use em all the time.

Read this....

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 795
BigB Offline OP
Trumpy, they're overhead. I figure if the Poco uses Al why should I spend the extra for Cu? Do you think I should be worried about open neutrals or phases with Al? Anytime I deal with Al I always scrub the conductors under a coating of Noalox before termination anyway. The Poco connects their Al directly in contact with my Cu and I don't think they use Noalox. I noticed they always place the Al on the top side of the connector however.

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 440
Likes: 3
Copper here. I've never installed any large Al wire, but I've taken plenty out that would still be in use if it were copper. The NEC allows it, and it is written in the specs on some jobs. So therefore, someone will always use it.
Ask a lineman which is better. You don't see PoCo's out there stringing up copper MV and HV lines. The answer is that there are applications for both. Big, if I was in your shoes, I would look at it on a "case by case" basis.

Cu later,

The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 32
Her in WA, from all that I've seen, 99% Al, if underground, though I personally would NEVER have any major current flow through a direct buried AL conductor. Always pipe...always de-ox...always pray...with Al For over head, have used and seen Cu mostly. Ask yourself if weight is a concern...for some overhead aplications, weight is a big concern...others, sag is a concern. Cu would be my choice overhead, and Al underground and piped. Best wishes !

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 10
The code doesn't forbid it, but in the long run copper is the only way to go. It has a much longer "life cycle" than aluminum.
It has a 1.6 times ampacity advantage, it is easier to install because you can twist it tighter, bend it further and pull it harder than it's alum counterpart. It is resistant to corrosion, has the highest conductivity rating of all engineering materials. It is more resistant to nicks and mechanical abuse.
Copper connections also run cooler which definatly pro;ongs there life, unlike aluminum. When and if you see old alum conductors check the connections. Normaly they are loose and completly oxidized.
It is more cost effective to run copper for commercial and industrial applications.

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
I'm with the Cu guys on here for one reason...I've replaced wayyyy to many panel boards & OCPD's where the AL feeders have pushed the lugs loose while expanding under load/heat & the subsequent loose connection has burned everything up! Anytime I go into gear or a panel with AL conductors that hasn't been opened for a while, I make sure to retorque everything, usually getting at least ΒΌ turn on each lug! All this assuming the lug was fully torqued in the first place, but this is many, many times over!
While these installations did last well out of their compulsory warranty periods, when I do an installation, I want to know that unless its upgraded years down the road, that it's going to be safe & functional for the long haul [Linked Image]


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