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Cable Calculations

Cable Calculations

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05/23/2013

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Cable Calculations
This part of the project deals with the matter of cable sizing and calculatingthe voltage drop for each individual circuit. These calculations can be seenon the Microsoft Excel sheet which is attached. Shown below are the manyfactors that have to be taken into consideration when calculating cable size.
Voltage Drop
Voltage drop is the main deciding factor in which we have to contend withwhen picking the size of a cables. There are many factors which affectvoltage drop these are listed below. According to the 4
th
edition of the ETCIrules the maximum permissible voltage drop in an installation is 4% of thenominal voltage i.e. 4% of 230 volts is 9.2 volts and 4% of 400 volts is 16volts. As this is a maximum guide a voltage drop of 2.5% (5.75 volts) shall be applied for all final circuits in this installation example 230V = 5.75V and400V = 10V. From the distribution transformer to adequate allowance shall be made also.
Ambient Temperature
Is defined in the ETCI rules as the temperature of the air or other mediumwhere the equipment is to be used. Ambient temperature is taken at 30° C.This factor has to be taken into consideration if the temperature rises thenthe current carrying capacity of the cable is affected.
Current Carrying Capacity
This essentially is the amount of current which a conductor can withstandcontinuously under specified conditions.
Protection Type
All cables regardless of circuit type will have overcurrent protection thisessential. We are required to provide overcurrent protection to the cable inall cases. This is done in our final circuits by MCBs. Overcurrents are theamounts of current which exceed the rated spec of current of a cable. Whenconsidering protection type following shall be taken into accountIB < I
N
< I
Z
WhereIB = The circuit currentI
N
= Breaker sizeI
Z
= The current carrying capacity of the cable

Power is the term used for electrical power consumption usually measured inwatts also referred to as the load.
Diversity Factor
Diversity factor is the ratio between actual load and total installed load inour calculations we can take the first socket circuit for example the load is2500 watts and taking into account that this circuit will be used frequently but not all the time I have applied a diversity factor if 0.8 to this circuit. Sonow the load on which we will be calculating our cable for will be a load of 2000 watts i.e. 2500*0.8 = 2000 watts. There are no given tables for diversity in the ETCI regulations. It is left to the discretion of the engineersexperience and expertise for the application of diversity.
Cable Calculation Lighting Example
For the purpose of the example we will use the first lighting circuit as aexample DB1/LS/R11) When Calculating cable size the first step is we get the power consumption from the load (1600watts)2) The next step is applying the diversity factor of 1 as these lights will beon constantly a high diversity factor is applied so Actual Load is equal to.Installed load* Diversity = 1600 watts * 1 = 1600 watts3) The next step is getting the current flowing in the circuit the formula for this isActual Watts = 1600 = 7.09Amps(Volts*P.F.) (230*0.98)4) The current is then multiplied by the distance in meters which gives us avalue of 354.5 this value is then multiplied by our miiliVolt/amp/meter valuewhich is obtained from the ETCI regulations 4
th
edition.5) The minimum size for a lighting conductor in the regulations is 1.5mm
2
and the milliVolt/amp/meter value is 0.029 so then the formula below isused.

The formula we use for calculating volt drop is:Volt drop = milliVolt/amps/meters*I
B
*distance (meters)Volt drop = 0.029*7.09*35 = 7.19 Volts6) As we know from ETCI regulations the maximum permissible volt dropis 4% but in this installation all final circuits volt drop shall not exceed2.5%. With our calculation above the voltage drop has exceeded the allowedlimit. Therefore we shall now upgrade the cable to a 2.5mm
2
themilliVolt/amp/meter value is 0.018 therefore.Volt drop = milliVolt/amps/meters*I
B
*distance (meters)Volt drop = 0.018*7.09*35 = 4.46 Volts7) We can now see that 4.46 volts is within our guidelines for allowed voltdrop which is 5.75 volts.8) While the minimum allowed size of conductor is 1.5mm
2
it is for thereason above and is important to note that cable calculations must under taken in all circuits for greater protection against voltage drop.
Cable Calculation Socket Example
For the purpose of the example we will use the seventh socket circuit as anexample DB1/GS/S21) When Calculating cable size the first step is we get the power consumption from the load (2650watts)2) The next step is applying the diversity factor of 0.8 as these sockets will be on rather a lot so a medium to high diversity factor is applied so ActualLoad is equal to.Installed load* Diversity = 2650 watts * 0.8 = 2120 watts3) The next step is getting the current flowing in the circuit the formula for this isActual Watts = 2120 = 9.7Amps(Volts*P.F.) (230*0.95)