/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgICEA Changes Cable Standard Strategy - January/February 2002ICEAChangesCableStandardStartegyJanandFeb2002.htmFor years, cable buyers have called out ICEA standards to specify power and control cables. Now ICEA is replacing those familiar standards, along with electric utility standards that have also been used for many medium voltage industrial applications.
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ICEA Changes Cable Standard Strategy - January/February 2002

The winds of change are blowing. For years, cable buyers have called out Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA) standards to specify power and control cables. Now ICEA is replacing those familiar standards, along with electric utility standards that have also been used for many medium voltage industrial applications.

"If you use references to ICEA standards to buy MV power cable, you'll need to update your specifications," says Dave Mercier, technical director of Southwire's Electrical Division.

New standards are organized differently

ICEA standards include requirements for conductors, insulation, coverings, and construction details for wires and cables. Buyers also call out ICEA standards to specify requirements such as dc voltages for field tests, emergency overloads and minimum bending radii.

The key difference in the new ICEA standards is the way they are organized. The old organization called out separate standards for polyethylene, ethylene propylene rubber and other insulation materials. The new standards are organized by application. For example, a single document now covers 5kV - 46kV shielded power cables. "The advantage is that all insulations suitable for a specific application are now in a single document," Mercier says.

The new ICEA standards also reflect the latest cable construction technologies, including improvements in the ability to manufacture "round" cables. The new standards define insulation thickness and eccentricity by minimum and maximum allowable values, which assures a more "round' cable than the old standards. The old nominal average thicknesses - such as 220 mils - are used only as a reference and for cable identification.

AEIC supplements change also

Many industrial cable specification writers also refer to AEIC cable specifications for the qualification testing those standards require. Because the new ICEA standards now include some qualification tests, AEIC has rewritten their standards to supplement the new ICEA standards. A single new specification - AEIC CS-8 - replaces AEIC CS-5 for XLPE and AEIC CS-6 for EPR insulation.

"If your specifications include CS-8 qualification testing, word the reference to make it clear that the only applicable part of the CS-8 standard is the qualification-testing portion," Mercier says.

The minimum requirement when using cable under the NEC remains UL 1072, "Safety Standard for Medium-Voltage Power Cables." The third edition of UL 1072 will incorporate the majority of the changes in the ICEA standards.

"Southwire has always been active in the industry's standards process," says Mercier. "We've participated in development of the new ICEA standards, we're involved in the ongoing NEC process. It's all part of bringing the best wire and cable products to our customers."


ICEA/NEMA Standards Summary:
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) publishes the ICEA wire and cable standards applications, and some of the new standards carry NEMA numbers also.
 
New ICEA/NEMA Standards:
ICEA S-93-639/NEMA WC74 Shielded Power Cable 5-46 kV
ICEA S-94-649 Concentric neutral cables 5-46 kV
ICEA S-95-658/NEMA WC70 Nonshielded 0-2kV Cables
ICEA S-96-659/NEMA WC71 Nonshielded 2001-5kV Cables
ICEA S-97-682 Copper tape shield, LCT, or drain-wire shielded cables 5-46 kV
 
Withdrawn ICEA/NEMA Standards:
ICEA S-19-81/NEMA WC3 Rubber-Insulated Wire and Cable
ICEA S-61-402/NEMA WC5 Thermoplastic-Insulated Wire and Cable
ICEA S-66-524/NEMA WC7 Cross-Linked-Thermosetting-Polyethylene Insulated Wire and Cable
ICEA S-68-516/NEMA WC8 Ethylene-Propylene-Rubber Insulated Wire and Cable