ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Shout Box
Recent Posts
MRI LED lights dimmer control replacement - wow!
by Potseal. 01/18/18 10:41 PM
Video: Inventor of the GFCI self-testing shocks
by Bill Addiss. 01/17/18 11:11 PM
FPE in Germany
by HotLine1. 01/17/18 07:07 PM
VDE 0100 to introduce AFCIs
by LongRunner. 01/17/18 10:32 AM
Fujifilm Recalls Power Adapter Wall Plugs
by Admin. 01/16/18 07:04 PM
New in the Gallery:
Housebilding DIY wiring
SE cable question
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 5 guests, and 11 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
Cheapest possible cable? #139350
11/02/03 12:45 PM
11/02/03 12:45 PM
C
C-H  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
I keep on with my little project concerning very low cost power distribution.

I think some simple overhead cable is the best distribution to each house. Bare wires seem rather unsafe and are exposed to theft of electricity.

The cheapeast type of cable I can think if would be something similar to an American zip-cord with alumin(i)um conductors. Has anyone seen something like #14 or 2.5 mm2 Al for outdoor use? I can't find anything on the net.

(Someone is likely to bring up the possible fire hazard: I think that can be avoided by using stranded wires, suitable terminations and a trained workforce. The wiring inside the house will still have to be Cu, of course.)

Test Equipment:
Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement
Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement
Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139351
11/03/03 08:10 PM
11/03/03 08:10 PM
T
ThinkGood  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
Can't help you with the specific cable type, but just wanted to let you know that many houses here in the US are served by overhead Al wiring to the meter, where it is then changed over to Cu.

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139352
11/04/03 06:34 AM
11/04/03 06:34 AM
P
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
I don't recall ever seeing an aluminum version of the sort of cable you're talking about.

Why only #14 / 2.5 mm? Are you thinking about a service limited to 15A or so?

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139353
11/04/03 07:39 AM
11/04/03 07:39 AM
D
David UK  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 134
Inverness, Scotland
Would Al cable of such a small c.s.a. not be mechanically weak, and prone to break very easily in an o/h line situation.
In the UK the minimum size permitted for Al conductors is 16mm.

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139354
11/04/03 09:21 AM
11/04/03 09:21 AM
C
C-H  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
ThinkGood,

that was what gave me the idea. If it's used in America, it's probably the cheapest way of doing things. (Don't get me wrong: Americans are good at finding cheap solutions)

Paul,

Quote

Why only #14 / 2.5 mm? Are you thinking about a service limited to 15A or so?


More like 1A and 2.5A services. Of course, you'd market them as 200W and 500W services. Sounds better. [Linked Image]

David UK,

am afraid it might. But a copper conductor would be even thinner.

How do phone wires work?

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139355
11/04/03 01:19 PM
11/04/03 01:19 PM
P
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Ah.... You're linking this up with those current-limiting devices from another thread, right? [Linked Image]

Just as a matter of interest, does anyone have any idea what the cost differential would be between Cu and Al for cables this small? Would it be high enough to make the use of aluminum worthwhile?

By the way, phone lines are generally tinned copper, around #22 or #24, or metric equivalents.

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139356
11/04/03 01:29 PM
11/04/03 01:29 PM
C
C-H  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
...current-limiting devices....

Yup. I just read about 20W services somewhere in south east Asia. Yes, twenty watts! Enough to run one short flourescent tube.

The difference in cost between copper and aluminium is probably small and with copper I could go one size smaller. However I wonder what happens to it mechanically when the wind gets hold of the cable. A steel cable would be great from a mechanical perspective, but it's that voltage drop thing... I suppose I have to suspend the cable with a steel wire.

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139357
11/04/03 01:39 PM
11/04/03 01:39 PM
C
C-H  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
I managed to find some Russian type building cable, APPV:

2*2,5 Aluminium € 70/kilometre ex works Lithuania.

[Linked Image]

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139358
11/04/03 03:57 PM
11/04/03 03:57 PM
T
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,409
Vienna, Austria
Hey, that's what our NYIF looks like, only it's light grey! And of course copper.
Wouldn't the voltage drop be a problem anyway with such thin wires? How long do you plan on making those runs?
Steel wire definitely isn't a good idea. I read somewhere about a trolley bus service in Vienna (1940ies), they fed 750V into the wire and on the other end they had about 300... with only 1 bus... the service never opened to the public.

Re: Cheapest possible cable? #139359
11/04/03 04:22 PM
11/04/03 04:22 PM
C
C-H  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
NYIF ? I'll have to look that one up.

Voltage drop is a nasty thing. Pretty soon you end up with a huge cable.

Let's say I want to make a 150 m run from the transformer and have a 2.5A service. I admit that's not entirely realistic, but it's a starting point. What would the voltage drop be?

Vdrop = 2 x length x amps x resistivity / CSA = 2 x 150 x 2.5 x 0.03/2.5 = 9 V

Acceptable, but I think the lights will dim a bit when you turn on the TV...

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

Featured:

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman

 

Member Spotlight
Attic Rat
Attic Rat
Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
Posts: 524
Joined: December 2003
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Admin 20
sparky 18
Potseal 14
Popular Topics(Views)
243,547 Are you busy
180,353 Re: Forum
170,835 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1
(Release build 20180101)
Page Time: 0.018s Queries: 15 (0.004s) Memory: 1.0262 MB (Peak: 1.2019 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2018-01-19 11:04:19 UTC