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What are the Benefits of a High-Voltage Cable for Your Business?

Managing a reliable electrical supply for your business is critical to keep your operation running. The U.S. economy relies on a constant stream of electricity. Still, unlike the sockets and low-voltage wiring you find in residential and office settings, most electricity is delivered via high-voltage cable.

According to the latest research, the high-voltage electrical cable market was worth $35 billion, with further growth expected. It underpins the importance of this industry in supplying businesses in ordinary commercial and industrial settings.

Before discussing the benefits of high-voltage wiring, let’s determine what a high-voltage cable is and how it works.

What is a High-Voltage Cable?

First, high voltage refers to the amount of voltage power above the regular thresholds. High-voltage wires are used for high-power electric transmission. They come with thunderbolt warnings because they can cause sparks to appear in the air and deliver electric shocks to anyone who gets too close.

Regarding posted voltage, it can refer to two conductors in the system or a conductor and the ground. Ensuring the proper classification depends on how the system is designed and insulated.

Today, anything above 35,000 volts is considered high voltage, with some cables and generators handling more than 100,000 volts.

Safety is crucial when installing a high-voltage network for any business, commercial or industrial. According to OSHA, 50 volts is the threshold. Exposure to electrical voltage past this number can lead to a lethal current surging through the human body.

How Do High-Voltage Power Cable Networks Operate?

The real power of high voltage is the first step to understanding how these networks operate. Installing a high-tension cable is just one part of the system, with power networks requiring several components to function.

Typical power cables operating at high voltages need the following:

  • Conductors

  • Insulation for underground/underwater usage

  • Cables and joints to control the impact of high voltage

Not all cables that deal with high-voltage electrical currents are the same. Several types of cable address specific circumstances. Some are vital for certain machines to operate, while others specialize in Direct Current (DC) or Alternating Current (AC) transmission.

The purpose of these cables is to allow large amounts of electricity to flow while preventing contact with living beings and other objects. Advanced monitoring systems are designed to prevent current leakage and address any detected issues immediately.

Insulation is essential in high-voltage power cables. The quality of insulation is tightly regulated because, during spikes in high voltage, the cables can produce electrical discharges into the air, posing a threat to human life and the integrity of the network. Every cable joint and terminal is insulated with a metallic shield connected to the ground.

How are High-Voltage Cables Used?

High-voltage wires are among the market's most potent and versatile electrical products. Businesses wouldn’t be able to operate without these cables carrying out the demanding applications required.

Some of the primary uses for high-voltage wires include:

  • Primary power circuits

  • Distribution circuits

  • Additional protection to prevent contact with ambient air

  • Power circuits within electrical generation plants

  • Installation in wet and dry locations

  • Long-distance electrical transmission

Various high-voltage cabling solutions come into play, depending on the scenario. Their overall purpose is to reduce power loss, increase capacity, and build a more efficient infrastructure.

Over the years, cabling has become more advanced, enabling national grids worldwide to produce better systems for energy transmission.

Types of High-Voltage Cables

High-voltage cable types are designed to fulfill specific purposes. However, the concept of a high-voltage cable isn’t a uniform one.

Let’s discuss the three primary types of cable found throughout the world. Note that there are other types of industry-specific cables, such as x-ray and mining cables, too.

Teck Cables

Teck cables are flexible, compact, and highly resistant to mechanical stress and corrosion. These cables are commonly found within primary and secondary industries, such as chemical plants, refineries, and general factories.

These cables are comprised of the following:

  • Annealed and bare copper to reduce the wire’s overall diameter

  • Cross-linked polyethylene insulation

  • Plastic PVC layer

  • Interlocking aluminum armor

Shielded Cables

Shielded cables are available in single or three-conductor forms. These cables allow for data to be transferred through cables without being afflicted by degradation resulting from EMI exposure.

Most commonly, shielded cables are used in data centers, offices, and industrial settings.

Shielded cables contain annealed and bare copper surrounded by a semiconducting material later. A layer of high-voltage wire insulation wraps around the central conductor, followed by another semiconducting insulation layer. Finally, these cables have a metallic shield in the form of copper tape.

Concentric Neutral Cables

Concentric neutral cables are available in single and three-conductor forms, like shielded cables. The advantage of these cables is that they work equally well in dry and wet environments. While unjacketed concentric neutral cables exist, they’re mostly found jacketed.

Like other cables, bare and annealed copper is the most common type of conductor, but solid and tinned copper conductors also exist. The name comes from the shape of the tin-coated or bare copper wire conductor.

These cables are mainly used for power distribution.

Business Benefits of High-Voltage Cables

Electrical distribution from energy grids across the country typically begins at 400,000 volts before the voltage is gradually reduced to make it suitable for business use.

You don’t need to run an industrial operation to benefit from high-voltage cable. In many cases, the concept of running fiber optic cable across high-voltage lines offers benefits to all businesses.

Let’s discuss some advantages of using high-voltage cabling for different business purposes.

Fiber Optic Installation

Expanding fiber optic Internet networks is challenging because of the complexity and cost involved in laying down the cabling. However, existing high-voltage networks offer a workaround for Internet providers.

Installing fiber optics in conjunction with high-voltage cabling is relatively quick because the poles required already exist.

In most cases, fiber optic cables can be affixed to the top of high-voltage cables, enabling Internet providers to deliver high-speed packages to more remote areas. Businesses in rural areas stand to gain the most from this application.

Transmit Energy Further

High-voltage cables were primarily designed to deliver electricity over long distances. Sprawling businesses requiring a constant electricity supply between two hubs will benefit from integrating these cables into their facilities.

High-voltage cabling operates with a lower current. This combination reduces conductor resistance as electricity flows along the cabling.

Long-distance transmission becomes more viable because lightweight wires may be utilized.

Negligible Loss of Current

Adopting a reliable energy supply is vital for any business. Changes in weather conditions, pests, and interference could lead to a loss of current somewhere in the electricity line.

Unlike low-voltage alternatives, these cables contain almost no loss of current due to leakage. Heavy insulation guarantees a strong electricity supply with a negligible current loss.

Additional Safety

Transmission of electricity at high voltage poses a severe threat to humans and other living organisms. Standing near high-voltage lines poses a risk of electrocution and death.

Businesses requiring cables running at higher voltages must prioritize the health and safety of their staff. Thankfully, these cables are grounded and contain significant amounts of insulation to provide a higher level of protection to personnel.

Versatility

Like other electrical generation and distribution networks, you’re not restricted in terms of how you can use this cabling.

Businesses can design and customize their networks according to their needs. Working with a professional installer will help you to craft the network that fits your business requirements.

Reduce Overall Power Loss

Power generated by traditional power sources, such as coal-fired and nuclear power plants, is usually produced far away from major population centers for safety and aesthetic reasons.

Moreover, energy generation facilities typically need to be located close to natural resources for economic and practical reasons.

Power transmitted over long distances has a range of challenges to overcome. Transmitting power at high voltages takes care of the distance issue because it reduces power transmission loss.

All wires contain an amount of resistance because of the copper and aluminum they’re manufactured from. Over greater distances, resistance mounts up and causes power to be lost through heat.

Businesses benefit from lower energy prices because power is transmitted at higher voltages and gradually lowered to more manageable voltage levels.

Decreased Infrastructure Costs

The amount of current needed to pass through a cable will determine the size of the cable. Higher-current power transmission requires larger wires, but high-voltage cabling is much smaller because it operates at lower currents.

The costs of power cabling soon add up when dealing with hundreds and thousands of miles of travel. The wiring itself is only part of the infrastructure cost. Large transmission towers must be engineered to handle different wire sizes. Today’s high-voltage cabling weighs thousands of tons over a single line.

By lowering the diameter of the wiring, the overall weight also decreases, thus reducing infrastructure costs. Without these savings, energy costs would be far higher for the average business.

Better Efficiency for Power Transmission

Transmitting at higher currents and lower voltages across power lines has advantages. As previously noted, it makes the entire system more efficient by reducing infrastructure costs. It also expands the capacity of the system over longer distances.

Designing high-voltage systems mean engineers must factor in the distance traveled and expected power losses caused by wire resistance. Systems with more power lost between the plant where it’s generated and its substations mean a single plant must create more power to compensate for those losses.

Keeping up with commercial demand with a low-efficiency system can cause serious headaches for these facilities. With an engineer focusing on reducing power transmission loss, energy-generating plants can ultimately produce less electricity to service the needs of their customers.

When power plants make savings, it lowers overall energy costs for businesses.

Find the Best Cabling Solution for Your Business

High-voltage cable is designed for more efficient and affordable energy networks. Larger companies, such as factories and mining operations, may require an engineer to develop a specific infrastructure to fulfill their business needs.

At Signal Solutions, we have been in the business of supporting organizations throughout California since 1987. We provide cabling solutions for businesses across every industry, including installing high-speed Internet connections.

Collaborate with our engineers to design your cabling network, whether you’re a new business looking for structured cabling in San Francisco or an existing company wanting to upgrade.

To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, contact Signal Solutions now!


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