An electrical power cable is used to transmit power to an electrically driven appliance and forms a connection between the source power and the appliance in question. The power cable must always be used in compliance with the voltage and electric current requirements of the particular appliance it is connected to. For this reason, power cable manufacturers must label these cables in accordance with the current and voltage it is capable of carrying.
Types of Power Cables
Depending on the purpose that an electric cable is expected to fulfill, there are different kinds of cables produced by power cable manufacturers. These cables differ from each other in their size, configuration, and performance rates. Let’s take a look at some of the power cable variants:
1. Coaxial Power Cables
A coaxial power cable is kind of a cable where the core is copper-plated and is surrounded by a dielectric medium that forms a layer of insulation around the core. The core and the dielectric insulator is held woven within a copper shield. Outside this copper shield, the power cable is provided with a plastic layer that forms its outermost sheath.
Coaxial power cables may differ on factors such as flexibility, size, power carrying capacities, performance rates, and so on. These cables are commonly used to connect appliances like home audio or video equipment, television networks, and certain components of local area networks.
Certain well-known types of coaxial power cables are hard line cables, leaky cables, RG/6 cables, twinaxial cables, biaxial cables, and semi-rigid cables.
2. Ribbon Power Cables
A ribbon power cable consists of multiple insulated wires that run parallel to one another and allow the transmission of multiple data signals simultaneously. These cables may also be known as multi-wire planar power cables or flat wire power cables due to their outward appearance and structure. A typical ribbon power cable consists of four to twelve wires.
Ribbon power cables are found to be used extensively to connect networking devices with each other. It is also used within the central processing units (CPU) of computers to connect the motherboard with the other components inside computers.
3. Twisted Pair Power Cables
A twisted pair power cable is comprised of copper wire pairs that are insulated and color coded. These cables consist of wires with varying diameters that range from 0.4mm to 0.8mm and are kept twisted around each other.
Twisted pair power cables are used in telephone cables and are also to connect other networking devices that form parts of the local area network. These power cables are quite easy to install due to their flexibility and are also quite cheap in price. These cables can have a varying number of wire pairs inside them, depending on its purpose. However, cables with a greater number of wire pairs are more likely to be resistant to external noise and cross-talk than cables containing fewer pairs of wires.
4. Shielded Power Cables
A shielded power cable is made up of one or more insulated wires that are kept enclosed, collectively. Power cable manufacturers typically use either Mylar foil made from aluminum or a woven metal braid for shielding. Shielding provides it with the necessary protection from interference that may be caused by external radio frequencies or power frequencies. This allows the cable to transmit power without any disruptions.
Such power cables are used in high power transmissions where they are required to carry a high-voltage current over long distances.
Typically, power cables consist of at least two conducting wires and outer insulating sheath or cover. However, depending on how the cable is to be used, these specifications may vary in small amounts.